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NFL Week 16 Grades: Falcons could be playoff team you don't want to play

CBSSports.com: Atlanta went into the game ranked dead last in the NFL in total defense and it was dead, dead last, not just dead last. However, the defense came up big in the Big Easy. The Falcons forced three turnovers and sacked Drew Brees five times in the win ...
NFL Week 15: The Ultimate Guide to Sunday's Action

- 1 week earlier @ bleacherreport.com: Yes, in the NFL, it is true that every game matters and any matchup can be the one that excludes a team from the playoffs. But the final weeks of the season are packed with high-stress divisional games engineered into the schedule to keep teams from ...

What NFL Teams Must Do to Advance to the Playoffs

- 1 week earlier @ nytimes.com: There are three weeks left in the N.F.L. season, and the postseason picture is still wide open. Only 10 teams have been eliminated, and no team has guaranteed itself a playoff berth. Here, we walk you through the possibilities for all the teams that ...

Report: NFL could reseed playoffs if/when it expands to 14 teams

- 1 week earlier @ cbssports.com: Thanks to the NFC South's mighty struggles this season, one team with a .500 record or lower will make the NFL playoffs and host a postseason game. In the future that could change if the NFL decides to expand the playoffs, as reseeding the postseason ...

NFL Week 16 opening line report – Four days of betting action

- 6 days earlier @ linemakers.sportingnews.com: The penultimate week of the 2014 NFL season begins with a clunker, but bettors are blessed with a pair of games on Saturday, followed by an intriguing set of playoff-shaping matchups on Sunday and a clash of AFC division leaders on Monday. Here are the ...

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) " ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) " Dallas ended a four-year playoff drought Sunday in a dominating 42-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, with Tony Romo throwing four touchdown passes and breaking Troy Aikman's franchise...

NFL Winners and Losers: These consistent Steelers could be dangerous

Yahoo Sports (blog): The thing about a maddening, inconsistent team is that sometimes their best days can be really good. And so it goes for the Pittsburgh Steelers lately. It's hard to remove the stink of losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets and New Orleans ...

NFL Playoff Picture through Week 16

Here?s what the NFL Playoff Picture looks like after Sunday's action:...

NFL Week 16 injury updates

NFL Week 16 injury updates

Seahawks take control of NFC in romp over Cardinals

NFL.com: Dan Quinn's defense deserves all of the credit they have been receiving as the NFL's best, but it's the improvement on offense that has to have the Seattle faithful excited. Whereas a month ago the offense was based on Marshawn Lynch and randomness in ...

Lions' Dominic Raiola stomps on Bears player; what will the NFL do about it

It seemed to awaken the Bears, who went on to score and began to play with more vigor on defense, but that didn't lessen the questions about just why the referees didn't kick out the Lions center for a dirty play and just how the NFL should punish ...

NFL Week 16: Schedule plan means fantastic finishes in division races

The fix is in — and it's working.

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ROOKIES..

Jets' Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

NFL.com: J.J. Watt is widely regarded as the greatest defensive player on the planet. Sheldon Richardson believes he should be in that conversation. The Jets defensive tackle took Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 and has been a bright spot in a lost ...

NFL Week 16 Rookie Rankings: Surveying Rookie Class Post-Week 15

Bleacher Report: Note: All players included in the Rookie Rankings were eligible for the 2014 NFL draft. First-year players who spent time on preseason rosters in previous years, such as Washington Redskins punter Tress Way, are not considered to be rookies.

Rookie receivers making their mark in NFL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Tampa Bay's Mike Evans resists labels that describe him as a football player, especially those that shortchange what he's accomplished as part of an outstanding class of rookie receivers lighting up the NFL.

HOUSTON TEXANS..

Ravens fall to Texans, lose control of playoff fate

NFL.com: Congratulations to Andre Johnson, who became the 10th player in NFL history to catch 1,000 passes. Next to Marvin Harrison, he was the fastest in league history to do so. Catching the ball from Keenum, a quarterback who got the call from Houston while ...

JJ Watt for NFL MVP? Texans' star is battling history

USA TODAY: Twenty seven NFL MVP awards have been handed out since Lawrence Taylor collected his trophy in 1986 after his transcendent season as a pass-rushing star for the New York Giants. None of those trophies have gone to a defensive player. But this season ...

ATLANTA FALCONS..

NFL Week 16 Picks: Chiefs over Steelers, Bengals upset Broncos

CBSSports.com: Playing in New Orleans. The Falcons are ranked dead last in the NFL against the pass and they've only won once in New Orleans since 2004. I'm sure there are some things the Saints are bad at too, but I don't feel like talking about those because I don ...

Enough is enough: Make NFL penalty calls reviewable

USA TODAY: The play, which showed Worilds legally hitting Ryan in the chest, was flagged for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness call, advancing the ball for the Falcons and setting up a red zone situation that Ryan took advantage of three plays later on a 17-yard ...

NFL Films game preview: Packers vs. Falcons

NFL Films previews the Week 14 matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS..

Niners' Jim Harbaugh conflicted about NFL vs. Michigan

NFL.com: NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Saturday that Harbaugh likely will meet with 49ers officials either Dec. 29 or 30, and that Harbaugh will tell them what he wants: Explore the opportunity with Michigan or for them to work out a trade with another NFL ...

NFL power rankings, Week 16: Patriots back on top, Packers tumble

SB Nation: The Pats may have one of the most potent offenses in the NFL, but the Seahawks are back up there among the best defenses right now as winners of four in a row. In those four wins -- against the Cardinals, Eagles, and 49ers twice -- their opponents are ...

Blandino: Roughing penalty on hit to Wilson incorrect

NFL.com: The penalty helped set up the Seahawks' final touchdown score and eliminate the 49ers from the playoffs. Speaking on NFL Network's NFL AM Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating, said referees got the call wrong. "In looking at it, it ...

NFL Odds, Week 15: Seahawks vs. 49ers against the spread

Field Gulls: A pretty good defense that's giving up, on average, less than a touchdown per game over its last three, one of which was a division game on the road in the shortest week the NFL can offer, before a cross country trip to face one of the most vaunted ...

NFL Nation Week 16 game predictions

Click here for all of the Week 16 game previews. Click here for an inside look at Week 16 from ESPN Chalk. Eric D. Williams: It's hard to pick against the 49ers at home, but San Francisco might be even more beat up than the Chargers.

NFL must make right out of wrong again, after 49ers dump McDonald

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald (91) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.

NFL's 49ers release McDonald amid sexual assault investigation

By Steve Ginsburg (Reuters) - The San Francisco 49ers released defensive tackle Ray McDonald on Wednesday after police said he was a possible suspect in a sexual assault case. San Jose police said they were investigating the assault of a woman seeking treatment at a hospital on Tuesday when officers determined that McDonald might have been involved in the incident. Police then searched the San ...

STEELERS..

Bengals-Steelers flexed to 'SNF' in Week 17

NFL.com: The NFL announced that the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers will face off in primetime next Sunday night. The league leaves the primetime spot on NBC open until most of Week 16 is over to maximize having the best game possible on air.

NFL Insider: Special RBs still needed

The Steelers are a Super Bowl threat in large part because of RB Le'Veon Bell.

BUFFALO BILLS..

Only in the NFL!

The MMQB: More twists and turns in the story of the 2014 NFL season. Start in the NFC, where Green Bay's surprise loss to Buffalo opened the door for Seattle in the home-field race. Plus, the Cowboys deliver a big December win, Johnny Manziel's disastrous debut, ...

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