There might be more important games in the afternoon timeslot, but few contests will be more enthralling than the turnover war between Matt Stafford and Eli Manning. Between them this season, they have 48 turnovers in 28 games. That’s not far off a two per game average. In fact, if Eli had just one more, he would be averaging two per outing by himself. Either way, safe to assume the doops and the derps will be plentiful, especially since Stafford still technically has something to play for. The pressure only makes it more likely.
The Jets winning and the Dolphins losing means the Steelers are still technically in playoff contention, albeit a tremendous longshot. Still, Pittsburgh can deal a crushing defeat to a Packers team still without Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau. Steelers and Giants victories coupled with a Chicago win on Sunday night clinches the NFC North for the Bears. Of course, since it’s clear no wants to win that division until someone absolutely has to, I’m gonna go ahead and say that’s unlikely to happen.
A rematch of the past two AFC Championship Games goes down in Bawlmer. Justin Tucker may have very well saved the Ravens season on Monday with his 61-yard game-winner, but the win came at the price of Joe Flacco hurting his ankle. This week, when he wasn’t buying Mega Millions tickets at the 7-11, his Eliteness was being fitted for a knee brace that he’ll wear in today’s game. While six field goals may have been enough to beat the Lions on the road, the same seems doubtful even at home against the Patriots.
Poor Buzzsaw. If they were in the AFC, they’d have the inside track for a Wild Card slot. As it is, they have a critical game in Seattle, one of the toughest road venues in the league, needing a win to keep their playoff hopes intact. Last year, the Cards got trounced by the Seahawks 58-0 on the road, but as Bruce Arians would tell you, that really has no bearing on today.
Arians won't show tape of last year's 58-0 loss in SEA. "Not our offense, not our defense. Who gives a (expletive)?"
— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) December 18, 2013
Your late game slate, as rated by KSK’s not-at-all subjective, rigorously scientificated five-star system:
New York Giants at Detroit ***
Arizona at Seattle ****
New England at Baltimore ****
Pittsburgh at Green Bay ***
Oakland at San Diego **