NFL Week 14 preview: Playoff berths on the line for 3 teams
Week 14 of the 2022 season will begin with the Los Angeles Rams hosting the Las Vegas Raiders and end with the Arizona Cardinals taking on the New England Patriots.
The matchups are not as enticing as last week, but it is Sunday’s game that will have a lot of eyeballs. Three divisional matchups will be very intriguing as the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs all look to clinch a playoff spot.
Jalen Hurts has proven to be worthy of an MVP award as has Patrick Mahomes. The Vikings have clicked very well on offense which is why they’ve been playing great. All of those tams will be tested on Sunday at a crucial point of the season.
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Read below for a little preview.
Giants (7-4-1) vs. Eagles (11-1) – 1 p.m. ET, FOX
The Eagles and Giants will meet in such an important game on Sunday between two NFC East foes. Philadelphia is looking to close out the division title while the Giants are hoping to prove they belong in the playoff picture with a victory.
The Eagles can clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie against the Giants or a San Francisco 49ers loss to and Seattle Seahawks loss during the day. San Francisco is playing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seahawks are playing against the Carolina Panthers.
There are no playoff scenarios for the Giants, but New York will definitely need to win to keep their postseason chances alive.
Lions (5-7) vs. Vikings (10-2) – 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Minnesota is neck-and-neck with the Eagles for the best record in the NFL and could get to within a tie for that mark should they win and Philly loses. The NFC North is not as tight as the NFC East, and a division title could be wrapped up for the Vikings with a win or tie against the Lions on Sunday.
Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson have turned the Vikings into offensive juggernauts. Cook had 927 rushing yards and seven touchdowns this season. Jefferson has 88 catches for 1,277 yards and six touchdowns. They will be forced to be reckoned with the season.
Detroit could very well pull off the upset. Jared Goff has been playing well this season. Detroit is sixth in points scored and seventh in yards gained, but the defense is dead last in points and yards allowed.
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Broncos (3-9) vs. Chiefs (9-3) – 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS
It’s almost impossible to dismiss Russell Wilson ever, but his play has not been great this season. The nine-time Pro Bowler has lost four straight and the Broncos have not scored at least 20 points since Week 8. They have only scored at least 20 points twice this season.
It’s not really the offense the Chiefs have to worry about come Sunday. It will be the defense. Denver is second in points allowed and third in yards allowed despite their 3-9 record. It could really impede whether Kansas City will be able to click on all cylinders.
Kansas City will be looking to clinch an AFC West title. The Chiefs need a win and a Los Angeles Chargers loss to the Miami Dolphins later Sunday night to wrap up the title. Mahomes and Travis Kelce have been rolling as of late.
Mahomes needs at least 192 passing yards on Sunday to join Peyton Manning as the only players in NFL history with at least 4,000 passing yards in five of their first six seasons.
49ers (8-4) vs. Buccaneers (6-6) – 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX
Tom Brady returns to the Bay Area to take on the team he loved as a child – the 49ers. Brady and the Buccaneers are fresh off a victory against the New Orleans Saints and have some momentum going into this matchup against the 49ers.
San Francisco will be without Jimmy Garoppolo for the foreseeable future, but as long as Brock Purdy can move the ball well enough, the 49ers defense should be able to contain the Buccaneers, who seem to struggle up until the end of games where Brady can do his thing and pull off a win.
It’s a show-me game for both teams. San Francisco needs to prove they are legit playoff contenders even in Garoppolo’s absence, while Tampa Bay needs to prove they are not as bad as pundits and experts believe they are.
Chargers (6-6) vs. Dolphins (8-4) – 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
Ending the slate of Sunday matchups will be a matchup of 2020 quarterbacks – Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa. The two star players could decide who is really better and ignite a debate among fans over who really made the right choice with their selections.
The game was flexed not the Sunday night spot given both teams’ playoff potential. Herbert and the Chargers, who have been banged up all season, haven’t gone on a run to really declare themselves contenders for the playoffs. The Dolphins, who are also banged up, will need to stay healthy enough to maintain the pace in the tightly packed AFC East.
This game is expected to be good enough to end the weekend on.
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The rest of Sunday’s schedule (All times Eastern)
- 1 PM: Bills (9-3) vs. Jets (7-5), CBS
- 1 PM: Bengals (8-4) vs. Browns (5-7), CBS
- 1 PM: Cowboys (9-3) vs. Texans (1-10-1), FOX
- 1 PM: Titans (7-5) vs. Jaguars (4-8), CBS
- 1 PM: Steelers (5-7) vs. Ravens (8-4), CBS
- 4:25 PM: Seahawks (7-5) vs. Panthers (4-8), FOX