NFL preview: Cowboys-Eagles rematch highlights Week 15
Green Bay at Buffalo
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Packers by 4½.
Records: Packers 10-3 (6-7 vs. spread), Bills 7-6 (7-6 vs. spread).
Comments: Bills’ Sammy Watkins leads AFC rookies with 822 receiving yards and is second with 58 catches and five TDs . . . Jordy Nelson (12), Eddie Lacy (11), and Randall Cobb (10) are first Packers trio with 10-plus TDs in a season . . . Nelson has 12 TDs in his last 14 games vs. AFC . . . Green Bay has won five straight (sorry, Patriot Nation) and nine of last 10 . . . Buffalo has an NFL-high 48 sacks and Marcell Dareus leads all DTs with 10 . . . Packers lead NFL with 423 points . . . Bills graybeard Fred Jackson had career-high 10 catches last week . . . Player to watch: Lacy has collected 100-plus yards from scrimmage in six straight games and has 773 yards and seven TDs during that run.
Key injuries: PACKERS: OUT: CB Davon House (shoulder), LB Jamari Lattimore (ankle). PROBABLE: DT Bruce Gaston (illness), RB Eddie Lacy (hip), G T.J. Lang (ankle), LB Nick Perry (shoulder), G Josh Sitton (toe). BILLS: OUT: TE Chris Gragg (knee), S Da’Norris Searcy (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: DE Jarius Wynn (knee). PROBABLE: K Dan Carpenter (right groin), DT Stefan Charles (quadriceps).
Denver at San Diego
Time: 4:05 p.m. Line: Broncos by 4.
Records: Broncos 10-3 (6-7 vs. spread), Chargers 8-5 (6-7 vs. spread).
Comments: Broncos beat Chargers, 35-21, in Week 8 and lead series, 59-49-1 . . . Denver’s Peyton Manning was held without a TD pass against the Bills last week, ending his streak of games with a TD pass at 51. That was second longest behind Drew Brees’s 54 . . . Manning is 5-1 vs. Chargers as Broncos QB . . . San Diego’s Ryan Mathews is averaging 100.5 scrimmage yards in last six division games . . . Chargers QB Philip Rivers has thrown for 636 yards and six TDs in last three in this rivalry . . . Denver’s Demaryius Thomas has 1,125 receiving yards and nine TDs in last 10 games . . . Player to watch: Broncos’ C.J. Anderson is averaging 143.2 yards from scrimmage and has six TDs in his last five games.
Key injuries: BRONCOS: OUT: RB Montee Ball (groin), T Paul Cornick (toe), WR Cody Latimer (concussion). DOUBTFUL: S Quinton Carter (knee). QUESTIONABLE: RB Ronnie Hillman (foot), TE Jacob Tamme (ribs), CB Kayvon Webster (shoulder). PROBABLE: RB C.J. Anderson (ankle), S David Bruton Jr. (groin), C Will Montgomery (knee), DE Quanterus Smith (ribs), WR Demaryius Thomas (ankle), TE Julius Thomas (ankle), RB Juwan Thompson (knee), WR Wes Welker (ankle). CHARGERS: OUT: P Mike Scifres (shoulder). DOUBTFUL: NT Ryan Carrethers (elbow). QUESTIONABLE: TE Ladarius Green (concussion, ankle), DT Corey Liuget (ankle), RB Ryan Mathews (ankle). PROBABLE: QB Philip Rivers (chest, back).
San Francisco at Seattle
Time: 4:25 p.m., Fox Line: Seahawks by 10.
Records: 49ers 7-6 (5-8 vs. spread), Seahawks 9-4 (7-6 vs. spread).
Comments: Seahawks beat 49ers, 19-3, on Thanksgiving and lead the series, 16-15 . . . Seattle has won six of last seven overall and 22 of 24 at home . . . Niners rookie Chris Borland has 91 tackles, 2 INTs, a fumble recovery, and a sack in his last seven games . . . Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin has three TDs in last four at home vs. 49ers . . . San Fran WR Anquan Boldin is 103 receiving yards shy of his seventh 1,000-yard campaign . . . Seattle bruiser Marshawn “Skittles” Lynch has 704 rushing yards, eight TDs, and lots of bruises in last seven vs. San Fran . . . SF QB Colin Kaepernick is 15-1 when he posts a 100-plus rating . . . Player to watch (but not listen to): Seattle CB Richard Sherman leads NFL with 23 INTs since 2011.
Key injuries: 49ERS: OUT: LB NaVorro Bowman (knee), T Anthony Davis (concussion), DT Glenn Dorsey (forearm), WR Stevie Johnson (knee). QUESTIONABLE: CB Tramaine Brock (hamstring), CB Chris Culliver (knee), C Marcus Martin (knee), S Bubba Ventrone (groin). PROBABLE: G Mike Iupati (elbow), DT Ray McDonald (finger), DT Justin Smith (back). SEAHAWKS: OUT: DE Demarcus Dobbs (ankle). DOUBTFUL: C Max Unger (knee, ankle). QUESTIONABLE: TE Cooper Helfet (ankle). PROBABLE: CB Jeremy Lane (glute), RB Marshawn Lynch (back).
Dallas at Philadelphia
Time: 8:30 p.m., NBC Line: Eagles by 3½.
Records: Cowboys 9-4 (7-5-1 vs. spread), Eagles 9-4 (7-6 vs. spread).
Comments: Eagles blasted Cowboys, 33-10, on Thanksgiving . . . Dallas’s Dez Bryant (he’s angry when he’s winning and angrier when he’s losing) has 1,000 receiving yards and 10-plus TDs for the third straight season . . . Eagles QB Mark Sanchez is 2-0 vs. Cowboys . . . Dallas QB Tony Romo’s 108.8 rating is second best in NFL and has posted a 100-plus rating in five straight road games . . . Philly’s Jeremy Maclin had eight receptions for 108 yards in the Week 13 win . . . Eagles have nine players with a return TD this season, which is tied for an NFL record . . . Dallas is 6-0 on the road . . . Player to watch: Cowboys’ DeMarco Murray has an NFL-high 1,606 rushing yards and 100-plus yards in 11 of 13 games.
Key injuries: COWBOYS: OUT: LB Dekoda Watson (hamstring). DOUBTFUL: DT Josh Brent (calf). PROBABLE: S Jeff Heath (thumb), DE Demarcus Lawrence (chest), LB Rolando McClain (knee), DE Jeremy Mincey (not injury related), CB Tyler Patmon (knee, ankle), QB Tony Romo (back), DE George Selvie (thumb). EAGLES: OUT: QB Nick Foles (collarbone). PROBABLE: LB Emmanuel Acho (groin), TE Trey Burton (hamstring), WR Josh Huff (hip), K Cody Parkey (right groin), RB Chris Polk (ankle), DE Cedric Thornton (groin).
Washington at NY Giants
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Giants by 6½.
Records: Redskins 3-10 (4-9 vs. spread), Giants 4-9 (4-8-1 vs. spread).
Comments: Giants thumped Redskins, 45-14, in Week 4 and lead the series, 95-64-4 . . . As of press time, Redskins coach Jay Gruden was still deciding between Colt McCoy, RGIII, and Jay Schroeder at QB . . . Giants’ Andre “Doak Walker” Williams rushed for career-high 131 yards last week and leads NFC rooks with six rushing TDs . . . Jints’ Jason Pierre-Paul has six sacks in seven games vs. Redskins . . . Player to watch: Washington’s DeSean Jackson has seven TDs (including four of 50-plus yards) vs. Giants.
Key injuries: REDSKINS: OUT: RB Roy Helu Jr. (toe), S Brandon Meriweather (toe), LB Keenan Robinson (knee). QUESTIONABLE: NT Chris Baker (chest, toe), NT Kedric Golston (back, foot), DE Jason Hatcher (knee), WR DeSean Jackson (shin), QB Colt McCoy (neck). PROBABLE: NT Barry Cofield Jr. (illness), LB Will Compton (shoulder). GIANTS: OUT: T James Brewer (concussion), LB Jacquian Williams (concussion). PROBABLE: LB Mark Herzlich (concussion), QB Eli Manning (back), LB Jameel McClain (knee).
Oakland at Kansas City
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Chiefs by 10.
Records: Raiders 2-11 (6-6-1 vs. spread), Chiefs 7-6 (9-4 vs. spread).
Comments: Raiders beat Chiefs, 24-20, in Week 12 for their first win . . . It’s been more than a calendar year since a Chiefs WR caught a TD pass . . . Oakland’s Darren McFadden has 403 scrimmage yards in last four vs. KC . . . Travis Kelce needs 12 receiving yards to become third Chiefs TE with a 700-yard season, joining Tony Gonzalez and Walter White (tread lightly) . . . Player to watch: Chiefs QB Alex Smith has thrown for 2,200 yards and 15 TDs in his last 11 games.
Key injuries: RAIDERS: OUT: S Larry Asante (shoulder, quadriceps), TE Brian Leonhardt (concussion), WR Denarius Moore (knee, ankle), T Menelik Watson (foot, ankle). QUESTIONABLE: CB Tarell Brown (foot, ankle), LB Sio Moore (hip), DT Pat Sims (shoulder). PROBABLE: CB Chimdi Chekwa (shoulder), WR Andre Holmes (shoulder), CB Neiko Thorpe (hand). CHIEFS: OUT: DE Allen Bailey (concussion). DOUBTFUL: CB Phillip Gaines (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: LB Tamba Hali (knee). PROBABLE: S Husain Abdullah (foot), WR Donnie Avery (groin), RB Jamaal Charles (knee, ankle), TE Anthony Fasano (knee), WR Junior Hemingway (concussion), LB James-Michael Johnson (back, knee), LB Joe Mays (knee), CB Chris Owens (knee), CB Sean Smith (groin).
Houston at Indianapolis
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Colts by 6½.
Records: Texans 7-6 (8-5 vs. spread), Colts 9-4 (9-4 vs. spread).
Comments: Colts beat Texans, 33-28, in Week 6 and lead series, 21-4 . . . Indianapolis’s Andrew Luck’s 12,501 passing yards are most in first three seasons of any Super Bowl-era QB (Peyton Manning 12,287) . . . Houston QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown for 1,397 yards, 12 TDs, and 2 INTs in his last six games . . . Texans WR Andre Johnson is four catches shy of 1,000 for his career . . . Player to watch: Colts WR T.Y. Hilton has collected 62 catches for 1,109 yards and seven TDs in his last 10 games.
Key injuries: TEXANS: OUT: TE Garrett Graham (ankle), LB Whitney Mercilus (back), G Xavier Su’a-Filo (back). QUESTIONABLE: WR Andre Johnson (concussion). PROBABLE: T Tyson Clabo (foot), LB Brian Cushing (back, ankle), LB Akeem Dent (neck), RB Arian Foster (groin), CB Kareem Jackson (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (knee, Achilles), S Danieal Manning (hamstring), LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee). COLTS: OUT: G Joe Reitz (ankle), G Hugh Thornton (knee). PROBABLE: S Mike Adams (back), S Sergio Brown (illness), CB Darius Butler (illness), CB Vontae Davis (concussion), WR T.Y. Hilton (not injury related), LB D’Qwell Jackson (ribs), S LaRon Landry (illness), T Xavier Nixon (foot), LB Andy Studebaker (hamstring), LB Erik Walden (knee), WR Reggie Wayne (not injury related).
Cincinnati at Cleveland
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Browns by 1.
Records: Bengals 8-4-1 (6-7 vs. spread), Browns 7-6 (8-5 vs. spread).
Comments: Browns beat Bengals, 24-3, in Week 10, with Brian Hoyer at the helm. In rematch, rookie QB Johnny Manziel will make his first NFL start . . . Andy Dalton is 38-22-1 (.631), the highest winning percentage of any Bengals QB with at least 20 starts . . . Cleveland CB Joe Haden has a pick in three of last four games . . . Safety Donte Whitner leads the Brownies with 85 tackles . . . Player to watch: WR A.J. Green caught 11 passes for a career-high 224 yards last week — second most in franchise annals.
Key injuries: BENGALS: DOUBTFUL: DE Margus Hunt (ankle), WR James Wright (knee). QUESTIONABLE: TE Jermaine Gresham (toe), CB Adam Jones (chest), CB Terence Newman (ankle). PROBABLE: CB Dre Kirkpatrick (ribs), K Mike Nugent (not injury related), G Mike Pollak (knee), S Shawn Williams (chest). BROWNS: OUT: TE Gary Barnidge (ribs), S Tashaun Gipson (knee), CB Robert Nelson (hamstring), CB K’Waun Williams (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: K Billy Cundiff (right knee), LB Karlos Dansby (knee), LB Jabaal Sheard (foot).
Tampa Bay at Carolina
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Panthers by 3.
Records: Buccaneers 2-11 (5-8 vs. spread), Panthers 4-8-1 (6-7 vs. spread).
Comments: Panthers beat Buccaneers, 20-14, in Week 1 and lead the series, 17-11 . . . With Cam Newton recuperating, Derek Anderson gets the start at QB for Panthers . . . Carolina DE Charles Johnson has six sacks in his last nine games . . . Buccaneers’ Vincent Jackson is 139 receiving yards shy of his sixth 1,000-yard season . . . Tampa QB Josh McCown has two-plus TD passes in two straight vs. Carolina . . . Player to watch: Panthers’ Luke Kuechly has a league-high 452 tackles since 2012.
Key injuries: BUCCANEERS: QUESTIONABLE: LB Mason Foster (Achilles), DT Gerald McCoy (knee), DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring), WR Solomon Patton (foot), RB Bobby Rainey (ankle), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (back), S Major Wright (ribs).PANTHERS: OUT: QB Cam Newton (back), G Amini Silatolu (knee). DOUBTFUL: RB DeAngelo Williams (hand). PROBABLE: WR Philly Brown (shoulder), CB Carrington Byndom (illness), C Ryan Kalil (not injury related), LB A.J. Klein (knee), TE Greg Olsen (knee), G Chris Scott (foot), RB Jonathan Stewart (hip).
Jacksonville at Baltimore
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Ravens by 14.
Records: Jaguars 2-11 (4-9 vs. spread), Ravens 8-5 (8-5 vs. spread).
Comments: Joe “Cool” Flacco is 197 passing yards shy of becoming first Ravens QB with 25,000. Baltimore is 38-5 when he posts a 100-plus passer rating . . . Jaguars rookie Blake Bortles leads AFC QBs with 306 rushing yards and is 34 passing yards shy of 2,500 . . . Baltimore’s Elvis Dumervil had 3½ sacks last week and is tied for NFL lead with 16 . . . Jaguars are second in AFC with 39 sacks . . . Player to watch: Jacksonville DT Sen’Derrick Marks has 6½ sacks in past six games.
Key injuries: JAGUARS: OUT: DE Andre Branch (groin), LB Khairi Fortt (hamstring), RB Denard Robinson (foot). PROBABLE: QB Blake Bortles (right shoulder), DE Chris Clemons (knee), S Josh Evans (finger), RB Toby Gerhart (ankle), WR Tommy Streeter (abdomen), LB J.T. Thomas III (ankle). RAVENS: QUESTIONABLE: TE Crockett Gillmore (back), G Jah Reid (hand), RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (foot). PROBABLE: TE Owen Daniels (not injury related), S Anthony Levine (concussion), WR Steve Smith Sr. (illness), LB Daryl Smith (not injury related), WR Torrey Smith (knee), LB Terrell Suggs (not injury related).
Pittsburgh at Atlanta
Time: 1 p.m. Line: Steelers by 1½.
Records: Steelers 8-5 (6-7 vs. spread), Falcons 5-8 (7-6 vs. spread).
Comments: Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell leads the AFC with 1,924 yards from scrimmage and joined the great Walter Payton (Sweetness!) as the only players NFL history with 200-plus scrimmage yards in three straight games . . . Atlanta QB Matty “Ice” Ryan is 39-12 inside the Georgia Dome with 84 TDs and a 98 passer rating . . . Pittsburgh’s Big Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 2,462 yards and 21 TDs in his past seven games . . . Player to watch: Falcons safety Kemal Ishmael (that’s what they call him) has a pick in three of past five games.
Key injuries: STEELERS: DOUBTFUL: CB Ike Taylor (shoulder, forearm). QUESTIONABLE: LB James Harrison (knee). PROBABLE: CB William Gay (quadriceps), T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), DE Cameron Heyward (not injury related), TE Heath Miller (not injury related), C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related). FALCONS: OUT: CB Robert Alford (wrist). QUESTIONABLE: RB Patrick DiMarco (illness), WR Julio Jones (hip), S William Moore (foot).
NY Jets at Tennessee
Time: 4:05 p.m. Line: Jets by 2½.
Records: Jets 2-11 (4-8-1 vs. spread), Titans 2-11 (3-10 vs. spread).
Comments: It’d be great if the Jets wore their old New York Titans unis for this one . . . Jets RB Chris Johnson rushed for 7,965 yards and 50 TDs in six seasons with Titans . . . Chris Ivory leads Jets with 714 rushing yards . . . Tennessee QB Jake Locker threw for 149 yards and three TDs in win over Jets last season . . . New York DT Sheldon Richardson had a career-high three sacks and a safety last week . . . Player to watch: Titans rookie RB Bishop Sankey has collected 50-plus total yards in six of last eight games.
Key injuries: JETS: DOUBTFUL: DE Muhammad Wilkerson (toe). QUESTIONABLE: S Antonio Allen (hand), WR Percy Harvin (ankle). PROBABLE: TE Jace Amaro (concussion), G Willie Colon (knee), K Nick Folk (right hip), RB Chris Johnson (knee), LB Trevor Reilly (concussion). TITANS: OUT: QB Zach Mettenberger (right shoulder). DOUBTFUL: T Taylor Lewan (ankle), T Michael Oher (toe). QUESTIONABLE: S Michael Griffin (back), S Daimion Stafford (concussion), T Byron Stingily (ankle), LB Kamerion Wimbley (hamstring), WR Kendall Wright (hand).
Minnesota at Detroit
Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Lions by 7.
Records: Vikings 6-7 (8-5 vs. spread), Lions 9-4 (7-6 vs. spread).
Comments: Lions beat Vikings, 17-3, in Week 6 but Detroit leads the series, 69-35-2 . . . Streaky Lions QB Matthew Stafford has connected on 60 of 79 passes for 701 yards, 5 TDs, and 0 INTs the last two weeks . . . Minnesota rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater is 5-5 . . . Vikings DE Everson Griffen has five sacks in past five games vs. Lions . . . Detroit DE Ziggy Ansah has 6½ sacks and three forced fumbles in last eight games . . . Player to watch: Lions’ Calvin Johnson has 19 receptions for 304 yards and three TDs in his past two games.
Key injuries: VIKINGS: OUT: LB Anthony Barr (knee), S Robert Blanton ( knee), DT Sharrif Floyd (knee), G Charlie Johnson (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: WR Cordarrelle Patterson (hamstring). PROBABLE: RB Jerome Felton (neck), DE Everson Griffen (back), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), S Harrison Smith (shoulder). LIONS: OUT: DT Nick Fairley (knee). QUESTIONABLE: RB Reggie Bush (ankle), LB Tahir Whitehead (shoulder).
New Orleans at Chicago
Time: Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN Line: Saints by 3.
Records: Saints 5-8 (5-8 vs. spread), Bears 5-8 (5-8 vs. spread).
Comments: Not even hearing Jon Gruden explain the Spider 2 Y Banana is going to salvage this Monday night nightmare . . . Series is tied, 13-13 . . . In his past nine home games, Bears RB Matt Forte has 1,293 yards from scrimmage . . . Nawlins’ LB Junior Galette has 13 sacks in his past 17 games . . . In his last two games against the Bears, Saints QB Drew Brees has thrown for 558 yards, 5 TDs, and 0 INTs . . . Player to watch: New Orleans RB Mark Ingram has 651 rushing yards since Week 8, second-highest total in NFL.
Key injuries: SAINTS: DNP: LB Junior Galette (knee). LIMITED: T Terron Armstead (neck), LB David Hawthorne (hip), DE Akiem Hicks (ankle), CB Keenan Lewis (illness). BEARS: DNP: S Chris Conte (back), K Robbie Gould (right quadriceps), LB Darryl Sharpton (hamstring). LIMITED: T Michael Ola (back), DT Jeremiah Ratliff (knee).
Comments: Miami beat New England, 33-20, in Week 1 . . . Dolphins lead series, 51-44, including the past two . . . Patriots have won at least 10 games in 12 straight seasons . . . Rob Gronkowski needs 3 receiving yards for second-career 1,000-yard campaign . . . Miami DE Cameron Wake has 7½ sacks in his last nine games . . . Patriots DE Rob Ninkovich has six sacks in his past eight games . . . Since becoming a Dolphin last season, Brent Grimes leads AFC corners with nine INTs . . . Tom Brady passed Miami legend Dan Marino for third all time with his 64th 300-yard passing game last week in San Diego . . . Player to watch: Miami’s Ryan Tannehill has thrown for 2,420 yards, 17 TDs, and 7 INTs over his last 10 games.
Miami at New England
Time: 1 p.m., CBS. Line: Patriots by 7½.
Records: Dolphins 7-6 (8-5 vs. spread), Patriots 10-3 (8-5 vs. spread).