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By: Darius Boamah – Staff Writer
Week 14 of the NFL is coming up. Here are the top games of the week.
5. Washington Football Team vs. San Francisco 49ers Sun @ 4:25 PM FOX
The Washington Football team will travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers this Sunday. Washington is coming off of a huge win after beating the only undefeated team in the league, the Steelers. They will be looking to continue their run into this week, especially because they are in a tight race for playoffs in their division. On the other hand, the 49ers are coming off of a loss to the Bills. The Niners are currently sitting in last place in their division. However, they do have the ability to move up within these last four game days. San Francisco will have to bring out their strongest offense this weekend. Last week, Washington showed the power of their defense, they held Big Ben to under six yards per pass and stopped the rush, only allowing 1.5 yards per carry. They also picked up an interception late in the game. The Steelers do not have an amazing offense, however, the Niners will still need to bring their game because they also do not have a great offense. They have struggled with the quarterback position this season and are averaging about eight yards per pass. San Francisco does excel more on the other end of the field. Their defense is strong, however, they will be going up against a Washington offense that just broke one of the best defenses in the league. This game is crucial for both teams as they will be looking to get a better position in their respective conferences.
4. Minnesota Vikings vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sun @ 1 PM FOX
The Minnesota Vikings take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday. The Bucs are coming off of a bye week so they will be well rested for this game. The Vikings are coming off of a close win against the 1-11 Jaguars. Minnesota is in a very tough spot right now. In their division, they are sitting in second place with only a one game advantage over third and fourth place. They need to win all of their games if they want to make it through to the playoffs. Tampa Bay on the other hand is sitting comfortably in second place in their division. This game won’t be as important for them, but you can still expect Brady and co. to come out ready to win. Before their bye week, the Bucs narrowly lost to the Chiefs, 27-24. In that game both their offense and defense looked solid. Brady threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns. The defense held the Chiefs to 4.4 yards on the ground but were exposed more in the air. The Vikings are also very solid on each end of the field. On the season, they are averaging 8.5 yards per pass attempt and just under 5 yards per rush attempt. This will make the game very close and it will come down to who can break the defense. As stated before, this is a big game for the Vikings and they need a win, so they will come ready to take down the Bucs.
3. Indianapolis Colts vs. Las Vegas Raiders Sun @ 4:05 PM CBS
The Indianapolis Colts will fly over to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders this Sunday. The Colts are coming off of a win against the Texans and they currently hold the second spot in their division. However, they have the same record as the Titans, who are sitting above them, so if they can continue winning they may eventually take the top spot. The Raiders are coming off a very close win against the Jets, they won in the last couple seconds of play. They also hold the second spot in their division. Both divisions that these two teams are in are not very competitive, however, Indianapolis has the opportunity to take that top spot, so this game will still be intense. On the year, the Colts have been very good. Defense is their strongest attribute and they’ve shown that throughout the season. The Raiders have a fairly strong offense under Derek Carr, however, they will need to work much harder if they want to beat this Colts defense. Last weekend, Las Vegas struggled to complete passes, Carr was 28/47. They also struggled with their run game. They will need to turn this around if they want to have success against Indianapolis. The Colts have a strong defense and they will be hard to break. On the other end, the Colts are also looking strong. Phillip Rivers has been connecting with his receivers and running back Jonothan Taylor has been very consistent. This game will be interesting to watch as both teams have, for the most part, solidified their spots into the playoffs.
2. Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns Mon @ 8:15 PM ESPN
In a highly competitive AFC North conference match, the Baltimore Ravens travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns. The Ravens have been shaky these past couple of weeks but were able to get back on course after a win against the Cowboys on Tuesday. On the other side, the Browns have excelled and are on a four game win streak. This game is extremely important for each of these teams. Currently, the Browns have the second spot in the division, their record 9-3. The Ravens are right behind them in third place, their record 7-5. There are four game days left in the season, the Browns need to win every game if they want to ensure a spot in the playoffs, and the Ravens need to win every game if they want a chance to make the playoffs. Last weekend, the Browns torched the Titans. Baker Mayfield threw for 334 yards, about 10 yards per pass attempt, and four touchdowns, probably his best game of the season. The Browns need to carry this energy into their matchup this week. On the other end of the field, they did allow the Titans a lot of points. They kept Derrick Henry quiet, however, Ryan Tannehill threw all over them, 389 yards, 8.6 yards per attempt, and three touchdowns. Baltimore has a stronger defense compared to the Titans and they will need to show out to stop Mayfield. On the year, they have held teams to about six yards per pass attempt and 4.4 yards per carry. Baltimore has a very strong offense, especially their run game. Cleveland did a good job in stopping the run last week and they will need to continue that strength this weekend. This will be a great game to watch, both teams are going to be fighting for a win and it will be an intense match.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills Sun @ 8:20 PM NBC
The no longer undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers will fly over to Buffalo to play the Bills. Pittsburgh is coming off a massive upset loss to the Washington Football Team and they will be looking to get their season back on track this weekend. This will be no easy game for the Steelers, the Bills have been very strong this season and are currently on a two game win streak. So far this season, Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen has been very solid, averaging about 311 yards per game, eight yards per pass, and currently has thrown 26 touchdowns. Their defense has also been strong this season and they will need to keep it up this weekend. Washington beat the Steelers because of their defense, the Bills will need to mirror this if they want to have success. Pittsburgh’s offense is their weak point and the Bills can exploit them if they play good defense. On the year, the Steelers are only averaging 6.4 yards per pass attempt and 3.7 yards per carry. The other end of the field is a different story. The Steelers have had success this season because their defense is so good. This year, their opponents have a 29% fourth down completion rate. Pittsburgh’s defense makes quick work of other teams’ offenses and allows their offense to get lots of chances to score points. This week they will be challenged by the Bills who have one of the strongest offenses in the league. This game will be very fun to watch especially since neither of these teams has anything to lose.
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