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Week 11 Cheat Sheet: Vikings aim to extend division lead

Everything you need to know as kickoff approaches...

Key game-time decisions

All players questionable unless noted

Darren McFadden (groin) RB; Jeremy Mincey (thigh) DE, Dallas Cowboys

McFadden was limited on Thursday and Friday. The Cowboys were resting the running back and he should play Sunday. Mincey was limited all week. UPDATE: Both McFadden and Mincey will play against the Dolphins.

Emmanuel Sanders (ankle, finger) WR, Denver Broncos

Coach Gary Kubiak expects Sanders to be good to go Sunday after being limited Thursday and Friday. UPDATE: The team announced that Sanders will not play against the Bears.

Your weekly "Beast Mode is questionable" note. Lynch played last week after being designated similarly with the injury. Pete Carroll expects him to play. On Saturday, the Seahawks waived running back Bryce Brown and added linebacker Eric Pinkins to active roster. The move is further proof Lynch should be just fine Sunday.

Matt Forte (knee) RB; Alshon Jeffery (groin, shoulder) WR; Shea McClellin (knee) LB; Pernell McPhee (knee) LB; Antrel Rolle (knee/ankle) S, Chicago Bears

Forte sat out on Friday after being limited on Thursday. He could rest one more week while Jeremy Langford shoulders the load. Jeffery did not practice Thursday or Friday. The tight-lipped Bears gave no indication if the rest was precautionary for the injury riddled receiver. With Eddie Royal already out, not having Jeffery would be a big blow for Jay Cutler. Expect a lot of Zach Miller and Martellus Bennett if that is the case. UPDATE: Jeffery and Forte are both out.

UPDATE:V-Jax is active. It doesn't sound like ASJ will return yet. 

He's been limited this week and could be in line to return for Blaine Gabbert.

Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) WR -- PROBABLE, Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons have missed his presence opposite Julio Jones. UPDATE: Hankerson is active.

Corey Brown (shoulder) WR -- DOUBTFUL, Carolina Panthers

We should see a lot more of rookie Devin Funchess. UPDATE: Brown is active.

John Brown (hamstring) WR; Michael Floyd (hamstring) WR; Mike Iupati (neck, concussion) G, Arizona Cardinals

Brown has been frustrated by his nagging hamstring. Floyd sat out all week. Bruce Arians said Iupati will start after being taken to the hospital last week. UPDATE: Brown is expected to play, according to Rapoport.

Micah Hyde (hip) S, T.J. Lang (shoulder) G -- PROBABLE; Ty Montgomery (ankle) WR -- DOUBTFUL; Damarious Randall (hamstring) CB, Green Bay Packers

Hyde, Lang and Montgomery were limited all week. Randall was added to the injury report on Saturday.

Kalil returned to practice limited on Friday.

D.J. Fluker (concussion) G; Ladarius Green (ankle) TE; Corey Liuget (foot) DT, San Diego Chargers

Fluker sat out Thursday and Friday -- the good news is that King Dunlap and Orlando Franklin look like they will return for Philip Rivers' banged-up offensive line. Green was limited Friday. UPDATE:All are active.

Sheldon Richardson (hamstring) DT; Buster Skrine (shoulder, hand) CB, New York Jets

Richardson sat out all week. That's no bueno, but he'll likely be a game-time decision. On Saturday the Jets signed defensive end Mike Catapano to the active roster -- placing RB Zac Stacy on IR. The move is an early indication Richardson won't play Sunday. Skrine was limited Friday. UPDATE: Richardson is out. Shrine is active.

Jadeveon Clowney (back) DE -- PROBABLE -- Houston Texans

Rapoport reported earlier this week that Clowney is expected to return. To be frank, Whitney Mercilus has outplayed the former No. 1 overall pick anyway. UPDATE: Clowney is active.

Hudson missed last week. He was limited on Thursday and Friday. He's been the rock of an underrated Raiders offensive line this season.

Chris Long (knee) DE, Robert Quinn (hip) DE -- OUT -- St. Louis Rams

Long was a full participant all week, which is a positive sign for a player who has been out since Week 5. UPDATE: Long is active. Quinn is out. Running back Tre Mason is inactive. Mason was not listed on the injury report this week.

Peters was listed as DNP on Friday.

Jamie Collins (illness) LB -- OUT -- New England Patriots

Collins overcame an illness this week, but did not participate in practice.

Incognito was a limited participant in practice.

Weather Tracking*

We will update as prognostications drift closer to game time.

Cowboys at Dolphins -- 79 degrees / Chance of Thunderstorms (70 percent)
Rams at Ravens -- 51 degrees / Winds at 14 mph with gusts up to 22 mph
Buccaneers at Eagles -- 51 degrees / Winds at 17 mph with gusts up to 23 mph
Packers at Vikings -- 34 degrees / Winds at 10 mph with gusts up to 20 mph
Broncos at Bears -- 27 degrees / Winds at 10 mph with gusts up to 16 mph
*Forecasts courtesy of Weather Underground

Three matchups that intrigue

Carson Palmer vs. Bengals secondary

Palmer admitted this week this isn't just another game. The Cards' quarterback -- facing his former team -- is playing some of the best football of his career, thriving in Bruce Arians' offense -- six games with 300-plus passing yards this season, with a career bests in passing yards per game, TD-INT ratio and passer rating. The veteran has been calm under pressure and takes a plethora of deep shots a game to Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd. On Sunday he faces a stout Bengals defense that ranks first in the NFL in points per game allowed (16.9). With Adam Jones having a career season, Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard rotating in the secondary, the Cards' weapons will be tested. If Arizona's receivers win at the line of scrimmage, Palmer could be in for another huge day.

Adrian Peterson vs. Packers front seven

Wrecking-ball Peterson is back in full force. The running back is carrying the 7-2 Vikings on his back, going over 100-yards in three straight games, including last week's 203-yard performance. Peterson leads the NFL with 961 rushing yards and is actually ahead of his 2012 MVP-pace. It will be a chilly day outdoors in Minnesota on Sunday (projected around 30 degrees), which should be perfect weather for pounding All Day. Peterson averages more rushing YPG against the Packers than any other player since 1960. The Packers own the NFL's No. 24-ranked rush defense, allowing 116.2 yards per game on the ground and have given up three individual 100-yard rush games this season. Clay Matthews, per usual, will be key in slowing down Peterson, whether he lines up on the inside or outside. If Peterson is chugging along unimpeded the Packers will fall further behind in the NFC North.

Tom Brady vs. Bills DBs

Brady torched the Bills' defense in Week 2, throwing for 466 yards, the most individual passing yards ever allowed by a Bills defense and the most ever allowed by a Rex Ryan team. This time around he won't have Dion Lewis or Julian Edelman. It will be interesting to see if Bill Belichick sticks with the spread attack against a Bills defense that struggles to take down the quarterback (29th in the NFL in sacks) sans two of his best pass catchers. We could see a lot of two-tight end sets Monday night from the Pats, which they went to after Edelman went down last week. Rob Gronkowski went for 113 yards on seven catches and a TD in Week 2. Lacking playmakers behind Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell on the outside could hamstring the Pats against superb Bills corners Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore. Both the Bills starting corners rank in the top 14 at the position, according to Pro Football Focus.

Did You Know?

Since 1990, teams that start 6-4 have made the playoffs 60.8 percent of the time. Teams that start 5-5 have made the playoffs 27.7 percent of the time.

Entering Week 11, there are two undefeated teams -- CAR (9-0) and NE (9-0) -- That marks the fourth time in NFL history there have been multiple 9-0 teams in a season (1934, 1990, 2009).

In the Super Bowl era, 19 teams have started 9-0 and all 19 made the playoffs -- 11 of those 19 teams advanced to the Super Bowl and seven of those 11 teams won the Super Bowl.

In 2015, 76 out of 146 (52.1 percent) games have been decided by seven points or fewer (most such games through Week 10 in NFL history).

Divisions by Winning Percentage
AFC East 23-13 .639
NFC South 23-14 .622
NFC North 19-17 .528
NFC West 18-18 .500
AFC North 18-20 .474
AFC West 17-19 .473
NFC East 15-22 .405
AFC South 13-23 .361

The NFC is 22-18 versus the AFC head-to-head this season.

The Colts are 3-0 this season against AFC South teams, but 1-5 against the rest of the NFL. Their turnover differential is even against the division, but -7 against the rest of the league. In Matt Hasselbeck's two starts (wins over the Texans and Jaguars), the Colts have two giveaways. In Andrew Luck's seven starts, the Colts have 17 giveaways.

Matt Hasselbeck: 63.2 completion percentage, 247.5 pass YPG, 3 TD, 0 INT, 95.0 passer rating.

Colts Offense by Starting QB This Season
Andrew Luck: 2-5 W-L; 22.4 PPG; 362.0 Total YPG; 43.0 3rd Down Pct; 2.4 Giveaways
Matt Hasselbeck: 2-0 W-L; 21.5 PPG; 324.5 Total YPG; 38.5 3rd Down Pct; 1.0 Giveaways

Hasselbeck is looking to win three consecutive starts for the first time since Weeks 2-4, 2011, in his first season with the Titans.

Frank Gore: 148 carries, 599 rush yards, 4 TD, 4.0 yards per carry. On pace for 263 carries, 1,065 yards, 7 TD -- would be his ninth career 1,000-yard season (fifth most in NFL history).

T.Y. Hilton: 87 targets, 43 receptions, 703 yards and 3 TD. Hilton has almost the same yardage without Andrew Luck this season, but he hasn't scored:
With Luck: 7 Games; 5.3 rec/game; 78.3 YPG; 3 TDs
Without Luck:2 Games; 6.0 rec/game; 77.5 YPG; 0TDs

Vontae Davis: 25 tackles, 2 INT, 10 passes defensed -- 25.0 percent of Colts' passes defensed this season.

With Hasselbeck starting, it will mark the fifth game this season in which the Falcons avoided the opposing team's Week 1 starting QB. They have already faced Brandon Weeden (DAL), Ryan Mallett (HOU), Zach Mettenberger (TEN), and Blaine Gabbert (SF) this season.

After starting the season 5-0, the Falcons have lost three of their last four games. One key factor is Atlanta's 5-plus turnover differential in their first five games and their -5 differential in their last four games. This has caused the Falcons to go from 32.4 PPG through five games to 16.8 PPG in their last four contests.

The Falcons have the NFL's No. 8 scoring offense (25.4 PPG) and No. 5 total offense (402.2 YPG) -- 1 of 6 teams to rank Top 10 in both categories.

Matt Ryan: 66.9 completion percentage, 300.2 YPG, 12 TD, 7 INT, 92.4 passer rating -- 16-straight games of at least 250 passing yards, longest active streak in NFL.

Devonta Freeman: 164 carries, 721 rushing yards, 9 rushing TD; 48 receptions, 420 receiving yards, 2 receiving TD. Freeman has 1,141 scrimmage yards, 11 scrimmage TDs. Leads the NFL with nine rushing touchdowns this season (3 ahead of 2nd place) and is third in the NFL with 721 rushing yards this season.

Julio Jones: 80 receptions, 1,029 receiving yards, 6 TD. He's on pace for 142 receptions, 1,829 receiving yards, 11 TD this season. Jones has the second-highest percent of his team's targets, receptions and receiving yards in the NFL this season (trails Antonio Brown in each category).

Falcons notable defensive ranks: Third in rushing YPG allowed (88.9); 13th in PPG (21.1); 14th in Total YPG (342.3); 19th in Pass YPG (253.4); 32nd in sacks (10).

Matchup to watch:Julio Jones vs. Vontae Davis

Despite rushing for just 45 yards in Week 10, Todd Gurley is leading the NFL in rush yards per game (116.7) since Week 4, when he made his first start. Gurley is also second in the NFL in scrimmage yards per game (137.8) since Week 4.

The Rams' offensive ranks under Nick Foles (benched): Fifth in rushing yards per game (130.9); 30th in points per game (18.4); 31st in total YPG (309.6); 32nd in passing YPG (178.7) and third down percentage (24.3).

Case Keenum Bio: 27 years old, undrafted out of Houston in 2012, started 10 games for Texans from 2013-14 (2-8). 2,195 career pass yards, 11 TDs, 8 INTs. Lost his first eight starts, has won his last two. Career: 55.2 completion percentage; 219.5 pass YPG; 76.8 passer rating.

Todd Gurley: 130 carries, 709 rush yards, 5 rush TD. Gurley has been held under 100 yards in each of his last two games (77.0 average).

Wes Welker in first game with Rams: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 32 receiving yards -- second-most targets, T-Most receptions on Rams in Week 10 vs CHI.

Rams notable defensive ranks: 3rd in sacks (29); 5th in pass YPG (222.4); 6th in total YPG (331.9); 8th in PPG allowed (20.3); 17th in rush YPG (109.4).

Each of the Ravens' nine games this season have been decided by eight points or fewer. Since 1940, the Ravens are the only team to have each of their first nine games decided by so few points. No team since 1940 has had every game of the season decided by eight points or fewer.

The Ravens rank No. 10 in total offense (322.5 YPG), but have generated less than 100 rushing yards in four straight games.

Joe Flacco: 64.8 completion percentage, 276.9 pass YPG, 13 TD, 10 INT, 84.6 passer rating.

Kamar Aiken: 32 rec, 406 rec yards, 2 TD.

Crockett Gillmore: 24 rec, 284 rec yards, 4 TD. Gillmore has already more than doubled his output from 2014 in each category and is on pace to break the Ravens' record for receiving TDs by a tight end in a single season (7, by Todd Heap in 2005 and Dennis Pitta in 2012).

Ravens notable defensive ranks: 8th in sacks (24); 10th in rush YPG (98.7); 20th in total YPG (369.7); 25th in PPG (26.2); 26th in Pass YPG (271.0); 32nd in takeaways (5).

Matchup to watch:Todd Gurley vs. Brandon Williams

Kirk Cousins has yet to win back-to-back starts in his career. The Washington Redskins are 1-11 under Jay Gruden on the road, including 0-4 this season.

Kirk Cousins: 67.9 completion percentage; 253.1 pass YPG; 14-9 TD-INT; 89.9 passer rating. Cousins threw his first TD of 10-plus air yards in Week 10, but his numbers are still significantly worse on downfield throws this season -- 2nd-lowest passer rating with 75-plus such attempts (Andrew Luck, 50.4).

The Washington offense has allowed 12 sacks this season (T-2nd fewest in NFL).

DeSean Jackson: 5 receptions, 59 yards (3 games). Two career games versus CAR: 3 receptions, 18 yards, 0 TD.

Jordan Reed: 41 receptions, 397 yards, 6 TD -- leads the team in scores. Six TDs in seven games this season, 5 TDs in last three games.

The Redskins' defense has 13 takeaways in the last six games -- 1 takeaway in first 3 games - but allowed 150-plus rushing yards in five straight games.

The Panthers own the NFL's No. 3 scoring offense this season (28.3 PPG), are tied for the 16th-best total offense (352.7 YPG). Rank first in rush play percentage (51.1), third in rushing yards per game (139.7) and 10-plus yard runs (37).

Cam Newton has the fourth-lowest passer rating of any primary QB for a 9-0 team since the NFL merger. Newton's 84.8 passer rating ranks ahead of only Bob Griese (71.2) with the 1972 Dolphins, Kerry Collins (78.8) with the 2008 Titans and Alex Smith (81.4) with the 2013 Chiefs. Of the above teams, only the undefeated 1972 Dolphins won (or reached) the Super Bowl.

Newton is one game behind Steve Young (31) for the most games in NFL history with a passing and rushing TD. Newton is second among 34 qualifying QBs this season with a 110.7 passer rating when trailing. Newton has 4 TDs and 1 INT while adding another 2 TDs on the ground while Carolina is behind. The only QB with a higher passer rating with his team behind this season is fellow 9-0 QB Tom Brady, who has a 121.3 passer rating with the Patriots trailing this season.

Cam Newton already has more TD passes of 25-plus air yards this season (5) than he did in all of last season (4).

Jonathan Stewart: 169 rush, 662 yards, 4 TDs. His 662 rush yards is 7th in the NFL. Stewart needs 148 rush yards to surpass his 809-yard total from 2014 (13 games).

Devin Funchess (set to start if Corey Brown is out): 12 receptions, 202 yards, TD. Last 2 games: 5 receptions, 112 yards, TD

Greg Olsen: 45 receptions, 664 yards, 5 TD -- 664 yards is 3rd among TE this season (Rob Gronkowski (806) and Gary Barnidge (667)).

Panthers' notable defensive ranks: Sixth in points per game (19.4); 8th in 3rd down conversions (35.6); 10th in total YPG (338.0); 11th in pass YPG (234.6); 14th in rush YPG (103.4).

Josh Norman: 34 tackles, 4 INT, 2 TD -- No INTs in last five games.

Matchup to watch:Kirk Cousins vs. Josh Norman

When Brock Osweiler takes the field for his first start Sunday, he will have waited 57 games for the opportunity. That's the fourth-longest wait of any player drafted in the first two rounds since 1950 (1960 LAN Rudy Bukich 86, 1967 SF Billy Kilmer 84 and 1981 DAL Glenn Carano 75).

Osweiler Bio: Pronounced OSS-why-lur, 24 years old (will be 25 on November 22nd). Selected by Broncos in the second round of the 2012 draft (Arizona State) -- 5th QB selected. At 6-foot-8, Osweiler is the tallest QB in the NFL. He appeared in 15 games in his NFL career: 31-of-54 passing for a 57.4 completion percentage; 305 passing yards; 2-1 TD-INT ratio; 78.1 passer rating.

Was it Peyton? Peyton Manning has thrown 9 TDs and 17 INTs this season for a 67.6 passer rating. When the defenses he's faced have gone up against any QB not named Peyton Manning this season, they have allowed 118 TDs and 46 INTs for a passer rating of 95.5.

The Broncos are getting 53.2 percent of their points from defense and special teams this season. Broncos have been held under 25 points in six of nine games -- held under 25 points in seven of 32 games from 2013-14.

Ronnie Hillman: 103 carries, 426 yards, 4.1 yards/carry, 5 TDs, leads team in all 3 categories -- 34.3 rush YPG, 3 TD in 3 games as a starter.

C.J. Anderson: 90 carries, 324 yards, 3.6 yards/carry, 1 TD. Fewest rush yards in NFL of any player with 90 or more carries.

Demaryius Thomas: 68 rec, 816 yards, TD -- 60.5 rec YPG in Weeks 9-10

Broncos notable defensive ranks: 1st in total YPG allowed (277.3), pass YPG (182.8) and sacks (32); 3rd in PPG (18.7); and 7th in takeaways (17). Three straight games without a takeaway.

John Fox was the Broncos' head coach from 2011-14. Denver was one of four teams to make playoffs every year from 2011-14.

Jay Cutler will play his first career game versus the Broncos -- selected 11th overall in 2006 by Broncos. This season: 64.2 completion pct, 255.6 YPG, 13 TD, 5 INT, 95.3 passer rating -- on pace for highest passer rating of career.

Cutler has not thrown multiple INTs in any of his last nine games, the longest streak of his career (previous high was seven). That's the second-longest active streak in the league behind only Tom Brady (15 games).

Jeremy Langford: 65 carries, 225 yards 4 TD; 12 rec, 210 yards, TD -- 179 receiving yards in last two weeks (leads team in that span).

Alshon Jeffery: 36 receptions, 515 yards, 2 TD. Jeffery has 100-plus receiving yards in three of five games this season -- his career high for a season is five in 2013.

The Bears rank eighth in total defense (335.6 YPG) -- Chicago has not had a Top 10 total defense since the Lovie Smith era (2012). Ranks: 26th in rush YPG allowed (118.6); 24th in PPG (26.0); 4th in pass YPG (217.0).

Matchup to watch:Brock Osweiler vs. Vic Fangio's secondary

Oakland ranks No. 8 total offense (374.2 YPG) and No. 9 scoring offense (25.2 PPG). The last time the Raiders finished Top 10 in both was 2010. Oakland has scored 30-plus points in four games this season (including three of the last four). In 2014, the Raiders did not score 30 points in any game.

In four road games this year, the Raiders scored 119 points. That's 26 more points than they scored all of last season in eight winless road games.

Raiders WRs Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are both on pace to gain more than 1,000 receiving yards this season -- Cooper on pace for 1,301 yards, Crabtree on pace for 1,148 yards. Oakland hasn't had a 1,000-yard receiver since 2005 (Randy Moss, 1,005).

Amari Cooper is on pace to nearly double the rookie output of Calvin Johnson in 2007. In 15 games that season, Johnson caught 48 passes for 756 yards and 4 TDs. Cooper is currently on pace to finish his rookie season with 89 receptions, 1,301 yards, and 7 TD.

Derek Carr: 64.2 completion percentage, 266.2 YPG, 21 TD, 6 INT, 101.5 passer rating -- three straight games with 300-plus passing yards. Carr is on pace for 4,260 pass yards, 37 TD, 11 INT this season -- would be second-most passing yards by an Oakland QB all-time (Rich Gannon: 4,689 pass yards in 2002 -- league MVP).

Latavius Murray: 144 carries, 678 rush yards (4.7 average), 3 TDs.

Raiders notable defensive ranks: 23rd in rush YPG (115.3); 27th in PPG (26.8); 30th in total YPG (408.6); 31st in pass YPG (293.2).

Detroit's offense has gone three straight games with fewer than 20 points scored and scored less than 20 points in seven of nine games this season. The Lions also have three straight games with less than 300 yards of total offense. Ranks: 32nd in rush YPG (66.9) and turnovers (21); 29th in PPG (18.6); and 27th in total YPG (332.1).

Matthew Stafford: 64.4 completion percentage, 258.3 YPG, 15 TD, 12 INT, 84.5 passer rating.

Calvin Johnson: 54 receptions, 740 receiving yards, 3 TD. Megatron is on pace for 96 receptions, 1,316 receiving yards, 5 TD -- only has one 100-yard receiving game this season.

Lions notable defensive ranks: 31st in PPG (29.0); 28th in rush YPG (124.1); 25th in total YPG (384.2); and 23rd in pass YPG (260.1).

Matchup to watch:Amari Cooper vs. Darius Slay

The Jets started off the season with a 4-1 record, allowing 15.0 PPG. In their last four games, they are 1-3 and allowing 27.3 PPG. The Jets do not have a win this season against a team with a winning record (CLE, IND, MIA, WAS and JAX).

The Jets rank 12th in scoring (24.1 PPG) and 11th in total offense (360.6 YPG). The last time Jets offense finished Top 10 in PPG and total YPG was 1998.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: 59.7 completion percentage, 220.3 YPG, 15 TD, 9 INT, 85.5 passer rating.

Chris Ivory has struggled over the Jets' last four games. After averaging 115.0 YPG on the ground and 5.5 yards per rush in his first four games, Ivory is averaging just 45.8 rush YPG and 2.5 yards per rush in his last four (missed one game due to injury).

Brandon Marshall: 57 receptions, 753 yards, 6 TDs, leads team in receptions and receiving yards.

Eric Decker: 42 receptions, 557 yards, 7 TDs, leads team in receiving TD.

The Jets are ranked top 5 in total YPG (318.4; 4th), rush YPG (88.1; 1st), first downs per game (17.1; T-1st), red zone TD percent (38.1; 2nd), takeaways (19; 4th) and rush TDs allowed (2; 1st).

Houston's running game averages 3.28 yards per carry (Last in NFL) -- fewer than 100 rush yards in eight of nine games this season.

The Texans 24 dropped passes this season are the most in the NFL.

DeAndre Hopkins has been targeted a league-high 123 times this season. The most targets for a player through his team's first nine games since at least 1991. Hopkins is on pace to pass Rob Moore (1997) for the most targets in a season since 1991 (208). Hopkins this season: 71 receptions, 927 yards, 7 TD.

T.J. Yates Week 10 at CIN: 5-11, 69 pass yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 96.4 passer rating. His last TD pass prior to Monday night was in the 2011 AFC Wildcard vs CIN. Yates has a 3-4 career record as starter (including playoffs) -- last start came in 2011 Divisional Playoffs at Baltimore.

Houston has not allowed a TD in last 10 quarters -- second-longest streak in franchise history (13 quarters without allowing a TD from Weeks 14-17, 2004). The Texans D is allowing 27.0 conversion rate on 3rd down this season (best in NFL).

J.J. Watt is second in the NFL this season with 9.5 sacks (Chandler Jones, 10.5). Watt has one more sack this season than he did through nine games last season when he finished with 20.5 sacks and won his second Defensive Player of the Year award.

Matchup to watch:J.J. Watt vs. Chris Ivory

Fact: Since 1990 (current playoff format), 72 teams have started 2-7. None of those teams have made the playoffs. Fact: None of those 72 teams had Tony Romo returning after missing seven games.

Tony Romo returns to the lineup for the Cowboys this week after Dallas lost all seven games without him. Romo has a 26-6 (.813) career record in the month of November, the third-highest mark for any QB since 1950 in November, and the best since Daryle Lamonica (19-4-2), who last started a game in 1973.

The Cowboys have held the lead at some point in each of last four games (lost all), the longest streak of consecutive blown leads in Cowboys history -- the all-time record for consecutive games with a blown lead is eight (Houston Oilers, 1967-1967).

Darren McFadden: 130 carries, 494 yards, 3.8 yards/carry, 2 TDs. He is on pace for 231 carries, 878 yards and 4 TDs, which would be a career high in carries.

Dez Bryant: 17 receptions, 209 yards, TD -- fewer than 50 yards in three of four games this season.

Jason Witten: 49 rec, 445 yards, 2 TDs -- has not scored a TD since Week 1.

The Cowboys have 6 takeaways this season (31st in the NFL). Dallas' defense has allowed 93 points and 1,211 yards in the 4th quarter and overtimes this season.

The Dolphins are averaging 150.3 rush YPG in their four wins this season -- averaging 64.8 rush YPG in their five losses.

Miami has allowed safeties in three straight games (new team record). Only two other teams have allowed safeties in three straight games -- 1980 Seahawks (finished 4-12) - 1970 Steelers (finished 5-9).

Ryan Tannehill: 63.6 completion percentage, 272.7 YPG, 15 TD, 9 INT, 89.3 passer rating -- 9 INTs are tied for seventh most in NFL.

Lamar Miller: 107 carries, 521 yards, 4.9 yards/carry, 5 TDs, leads team in all three categories -- three rushing TD shy of career-high set last season. Miller earned 34.0 rush YPG in Weeks 8-10 after earning consecutive 100-yard rush games in Weeks 6-7.

Jarvis Landry: 60 rec, 587 yards, 3 TDs. He is on pace for 107 receptions this season, which would be Miami franchise record.

Dolphins notable defensive ranks: 31st in rush YPG (135.6); 26th in total YPG (390.2); 21st in PPG (25.0); 20th in pass YPG (254.7).

Ndamukong Suh: 30 tackles, 4 sacks, 10 TFL, 10 QB hits. All four sacks came after Campbell took over as head coach. Suh has a sack in two straight games for first time this season.

Matchup to watch:Tony Romo vs. rust

Jameis Winston has a rushing TD in each of the last 3 games, which is tied for the longest streak by a Buccaneers QB in franchise history (Steve Young, 1986). The last rookie QB with a three-game streak with a rushing TD was Robert Griffin III in 2012, and the last rookie with a rushing TD in four straight games was Cam Newton in 2011.

Winston: 57.5 completion percentage, 239.9 YPG, 10 TDs, 9 INTs, 80.1 passer rating; 29 carries, 115 yards, 4 TD -- leads team in rush TDs.

The Buccaneers have the fewest amount of three-and-outs offensively (12) -- Eagles have forced 29 three & outs (fourth-most in the NFL). The Bucs also force the fewest thee-and-outs defensively (13).

Doug Martin: 161 carries, 706 yards, 3 TDs; 21 receptions, 188 yards, TD. Martin ranks fifth in the NFL in rush yards (706) this season -- 0 TDs in last the last four games (0 TD in last 8 road games).

Bucs rank No. 6 overall in rushing.

Mike Evans: 40 receptions, 662 yards, TD. Evans has 32 targets in the last two games (T-2nd most in NFL) -- 9-plus targets in 4 straight games. The wideout earned four 100-yard games this season (three versus NFC East teams).

Bucs notable defensive ranks: Seventh in total YPG (334.2); 10th in pass YPG (233.2); 12th in rush YPG (101.0); 26th in PPG (26.3).

Tampa Bay has not allowed a rush TD in three straight games (five of last six). The Eagles have 1-plus rushing TD in five straight games.

The Eagles' offense has generated 425-plus total yards in four of the last five games.

Mark Sanchez Week 10: 14-of-23 passing, 156 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 63.0 passer rating. Sanchize set a Philadelphia single-season franchise record with 64.1 completion percentage in 2014. In 72 career games, Sanchez has 95 total TD and 104 turnovers (37-33 in 70 starts). He has earned 15 total TDs and 15 turnovers in 10 career games with Eagles -- 1-plus INT in five-straight games (Koy Detmer was last PHI QB with INT in six straight games, 1998-2000).

DeMarco Murray: 128 carries, 451 yards, 4 TD; 35 receptions, 268 yards, TD -- 89.9 scrimmage YPG. Murray has 100-plus scrimmage yards in two straight and four of the last five games.

Jordan Matthews: 51 receptions, 552 yards, 2 TD, leads team in receptions and receiving yards. No other Eagles WR is on pace to have 400-plus yards this season. The last time Philly had only one WR with 400-plus yards was 1991 (Fred Barnett).

Eagles notable defensive ranks: T-9th in PPG (20.4); 16th in pass YPG (246.8); 18th in total YPG (358.1); and 19th in rush YPG (111.3).

Matchup to watch:Mike Evans vs. Byron Maxwell

Charcandrick West has been a more than suitable replacement for Jamaal Charles, who was lost to a torn ACL. In five games as a starter this season, Charles rushed for 72.8 YPG, gained 108.2 YPG from scrimmage and scored 5 TDs. In four games as his replacement, West has 77.3 rush YPG, gained 112.8 YPG from scrimmage and has scored 4 TDs.

Alex Smith: 62.5 completion percentage, 214.4 YPG, 10 TD, 3 INT, 91.5 passer rating -- 0 INT in last 6 games. Smith has gone 228 consecutive pass attempts since his last INT in Week 3 versus the Packers.

Travis Kelce - Season: 45 receptions, 574 yards, 3 TD - 1 TD in last 8 games.

The Chiefs have held opponents to 18 or fewer points in five straight games -- two-plus INTs in four straight games (11 total INT).

Chiefs' D:
First 4 games: 31.3 PPG, 397.0 total YPG, 9 sacks, 3 takeaways
Last 5 games: 14.0 PPG, 292.3 total YPG, 17 sacks, 13 takeaways

The Chargers have lost five straight games, each by eight points or fewer.

San Diego's offense has averaged 328.6 pass YPG this season (most in NFL). Their 4.52 yards per play in red zone is best in the NFL. But their 85.3 rush yards per game rank 30th.

Philip Rivers: 69.0 completion percentage, 337.0 YPG, 19 TD, 7 INT, 100.7 passer rating. Rivers is second in the NFL with 3,033 passing yards this season (Brady, 3,043).

Melvin Gordon: 114 carries, 413 yards, 3.6 average per carry; 21 receptions, 118 yards -- 0 TDs on 135 touches this season (most in NFL without a TD).

Danny Woodhead: 58 carries, 230 yards, 2 TD; 45 receptions, 521 yards, 3 TD -- T-2nd most receptions among RBs this season.

The Chargers' defense averages 6.34 yards per play allowed this season (31st in NFL) and allowed 11 runs of 20-plus yards this season (T-most in NFL) -- given up 1-plus rush TD in five straight games.

Matchup to watch:Justin Houston vs. Chargers' decimated O-line

The Packers currently own the NFL's No. 21 total offense (344.3 YPG). Green Bay has not ranked outside Top 20 in total YPG since 1991, back when Lindy Infante was the head coach and Mike Tomczak was the QB -- the year before they traded for Brett Favre. The 2015 Packers are the worst offense of the Aaron Rodgers-era in points per game, total yards per game, passing yards per game, and third down percentage.

Green Bay's offense has failed to score 30-plus points in each of last six games -- longest streak by GB since 2013 (six straight without Rodgers starting) and matches longest streak ever with Rodgers starting (Weeks 3-8, 2010).

Aaron Rodgers is on pace for his worst completion percentage (63.3), passing yards per game (252.2), and yards per attempt (7.3) as a starter, and his worst passer rating in the last five seasons (103.4). That passer rating is still fifth-best in the NFL this season.

Rodgers is 0-2 versus Mike Zimmer-coached defenses in his career with 2 TDs, 2 INTs and a passer rating of 73.5. Both games came against the Bengals when Zimmer was the defensive coordinator (Week 2, 2009 & Week 3, 2013).

Eddie Lacy: 83 carries, 308 yards, 2 TD, 3.7 yards/carry -- missed Week 10 with a groin injury.

James Starks: 93 carries, 376 yards, 1 rush TD, 4.0 yards/carry.

Randall Cobb: 45 receptions, 529 yards, 5 TD, leads team in receptions and receiving yards. Cobb is on pace for 80 receptions, 940 receiving yards, 9 TD this season. 2014: 91 receptions, 1,287 yards, 12 TD.

Davante Adams: 27 receptions, 272 yards, 0 TD. Week 10: 10 receptions, 79 yards, 0 TD (on 21 targets) -- lowest yardage total in any game with 20-plus targets since at least 1991. Marked the most targets by any Packers player in a game since at least 1991 -- NOTE: 1991 is as far back as STATS has target data.

The Packers have zero sacks in their last three games combined, their longest stretch without a sack since team sack data has been recorded (since 1964). The last team to go four straight games without a sack was the 2008 Chiefs.

The Packers' defense ranks No. 23 total defense this season (371.6 YPG) and owns the No. 24 rushing defense this season (116.2 YPG) -- allowed three individual 100-yard games.

The Vikings own the NFL's sixth-best point differential this season (+44), behind only NE, ARI, CIN, CAR, PIT.

Adrian Peterson is actually ahead of his 2012 pace, when he rushed for 2,097 yards and won the MVP. Peterson has 961 rushing yards through nine games this season. After nine games in 2012, he had 957 rushing yards. Peterson would need to average 148.4 rushing YPG for the remainder of the season to reach 2,000 yards (163.6 rushing YPG to break Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record).

Vikings notable offensive ranks: First in rush YPG (147.2); 22nd in PPG (22.0); 29th in total YPG (328.7); and 31st in pass YPG (181.4).

Since 1932, there have been 25 teams to finish a season with a Top 2 rushing offense and a Bottom 2 passing offense -- 9 of those 25 teams made the playoffs (36.0 percent) - 17 of those 25 teams finished with a winning record (68.0 percent). The 2012 Vikings were last team to do so (10-6, made playoffs).

Teddy Bridgewater: 64.2 completion percentage, 201.1 YPG, 7 TD, 6 INT, 84.6 passer rating.

Stefon Diggs: 30 receptions, 507 yards, 2 TD. Diggs has 2.5 receptions per game and 44.0 YPG in last two contests.

Minnesota owns the NFL's No. 2 scoring defense this season (17.1 PPG).

The Vikings have committed the fewest penalties this season (48). Allowed 23-or-fewer points in every game this season. And own the NFL's 3rd-best third down defense (32.2 percent).

Matchup to watch:Linval Joseph vs. Packers O-line

The 49ers' offense ranks last in the NFL in points per game (14.0), total YPG (286.2), yards per play (4.8) and 10-plus yard plays (87).

Blaine Gabbert Week 9: 15-of-25 passing, 185 pass yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 76.2 passer rating; 9 carries, 32 rushing yards. Gabbert is 6-22 for his career as starting QB.

Notable 49ers defensive ranks: 20th in points per game (24.8) and rush YPG (111.9); 27th in total YPG (392.4); and 29th in pass YPG (280.6).

The 49ers are allowing a passer rating of 99.2. Last season, the Niners ranked fourth in opponent passer rating (79.5)

The Seahawks have lost back-to-back home games for the first time since 2011. Seattle hasn't lost three straight home games since dropping five in a row in 2008.

From 2010-2014, the Seahawks were 33-6 (.846 win percent) in games they won the turnover battle. This season, the Seahawks are 0-4 in games they've won the turnover battle.

The Seahawks are tied for the NFL's No. 20 scoring offense this season (22.1 PPG), have allowed second-most sacks this season (33) -- allowing 3.7 sacks per game. Seattle also owns the NFL's worst red zone offense (TD on 35.0 percent of red zone drives).

Russell Wilson: 65.8 completion percentage, 235.3 YPG, 10 TD, 7 INT, 91.7 passer rating. Wilson has multiple TD passes in only one of nine games this season.

Jimmy Graham has not scored a TD in any of his last six games, marking the longest TD drought since scoring 0 TDs in the first 7 games of his career (2010).

Marshawn Lynch: 111 carries, 417 yards, 3 TD (3.8 yards per carry), 1 rush TD in three of his last four games. Beast Mode is on pace for 834 rushing yards this season, which would be his first sub-1,000 yard season since 2010 (737 yards).

Richard Sherman is allowing a passer rating of 114.5 in coverage this season. Of the 90 cornerbacks to be targeted 25-plus times this season, Sherman ranks 83rd in passer rating allowed.

The Seahawks are actually ahead of their defensive pace from last season after the first nine games:
2014 (6-3 record): 21.2 PPG allowed; 307.0 total YPG; 227.2 Pass YPG
2015 (4-5 record): 19.9 PPG allowed; 303.3 total YPG; 202.8 Pass YPG.

Matchup to watch:Blaine Gabbert vs. Michael Bennett

Cardinals' offensive ranks: 2nd in PPG; 1st in total YPG allowed; 1st in yards per play; 3rd in third down percent
Bengals defensive ranks: 1st in PPG; 11th in total YPG allowed; 16th in yards per play; 9th in third down percent

The Bengals have finished the season with a Top 5 scoring offense once in the previous 18 seasons - 2005: 4th (26.3 PPG). Currently rank 5th in points per game (26.1).

Andy Dalton: 66.2 completion percentage, 269.2 pass YPG, 18-5 TD-to-INT ratio, 104.6 rating -- on pace for career highs in all categories. Dalton had a passer rating of 8.8 on passes of 15-plus air yards in Week 10. Entering Week 10 he had a passer rating of 123.9 on such pass attempts this season.

Jeremy Hill: 111 carries, 359 yards, 5 TD, 3.2 yards per carry. Only Isaiah Crowell is averaging fewer yards per carry than Jeremy Hill this season (min 100 carries).

Giovani Bernard: 99 carries, 547 yards, 5.5 yards/carry, 2 TD; 26 receptions, 198 receiving yards. Bernard has rushed for 4-plus yards on 63.6 percent of his carries this season.

In one head-to-head NFL meeting, Patrick Peterson did not surrender a catch to A.J. Green. Green was targeted three times with Peterson covering him in Week 16, 2011.

The Bengals are allowing 16.9 PPG (best in NFL) -- fewest by the Bengals since allowing 16.8 PPG in 1977. Cincy has not allowed more than 24 points in any game this season.

Arizona has the second-most PPG (33.6) in NFL this season (behind NE, 33.7) and scored 30-plus points in six games this season. The Cardinals scored 30-plus points in six games from 2011-2014 combined. Bruce Arians' offense is one of five with 400-plus yards of offense per game this year (NE, NO, SD, ATL). The Cards have gained 400-plus total yards in seven of nine games this season.

Carson Palmer: 64.0 completion percentage, 305.4 YPG, 23 TD, 7 INT, 108.0 passer rating.

Palmer has six games with 300-plus passing yards this season, the most such games in a single-season in his 12-year career. Six 300-yard games is one shy of the Cardinals' record (since 1960) shared by Kurt Warner (2008) and Neil Lomax (1984).

Chris Johnson is second in the NFL in rushing yards this season (734) at age 30, while fellow 30-year-old Adrian Peterson leads the league with 961 rushing yards. Since at least 1932, there have never been two players age 30 or older to finish the season as the top two rushers.

Larry Fitzgerald: 65 receptions, 836 receiving yards, 7 TD (on 85 targets). Only Rob Gronkowski (136.9) has a higher passer rating when targeted than Larry Fitzgerald (129.3) -- Tyler Eifert is third with 127.7.

Cardinals notable defensive ranks: Third in total YPG (316.1); 4th in rush YPG (92.9); T-5th in takeaways (18); 7th in pass YPG (223.2); and T-11th in PPG (20.6).

The Cards have the NFL's third-highest blitz frequency on pass plays this season (40.9 percent). Andy Dalton has highest passer rating in the NFL versus the blitz this season: 5 TDs, 0 INTs, 126.2 passer rating.

Matchup to watch:A.J. Green/Tyler Eifert vs. Cards DBs

The Bills are 4-1 when Tyrod Taylor, LeSean McCoy, and Sammy Watkins all play this season. The lone team to beat the Bills when they had all three on the field was the Patriots.

Tyrod Taylor: 70.5 completion percentage, 205.1 pass YPG, 11 TD, 4 INT, 106.2 passer rating; 47 carries, 243 rush yards, 2 TDs. Taylor is on pace for the highest passer rating of any Bills QB in franchise history.

LeSean McCoy: 113 carries, 528 rush yards (4.7 average), 2 TD (7 games); 18 receptions, 177 receiving yards, 1 TD. McCoy earned two straight 100-yard rushing games.

Bills rookie running back Karlos Williams is the second player in NFL history to score a TD in each of his first six games, joining Robert Edwards of the 1998 Patriots. Edwards had 121 touches in his first six games, an average of 20.2 per game. Williams has scored in each game despite having just 64 touches, an average of 10.7 per game.

Sammy Watkins: 22 receptions, 329 receiving yards, 3 TD (6 games). Aside from Week 9 versus Miami, Watkins has struggled:
Week 9: 8 targets, 8 receptions, 168 yards, TD
Other 5 Games: 5.0 targets/game, 2.8 receptions per game, 26.8 YPG, 2 TDs

In Week 2 versus the Pats, the Bills defense allowed Tom Brady to pass for 466 yards. It was the most individual passing yards ever allowed by Bills defense and the most individual passing yards ever allowed by a Rex Ryan D.

Bills notable defensive ranks: 15th in PPG allowed; 16th in total YPG; 18th in pass YPG; 29th in sacks.

The Patriots have scored in 35-straight quarters, the longest streak since 1925.

Tom Brady is leading the NFL in passing yards per game (338.1), TD-INT ratio (8.00), and passer rating (111.1) this season. The last QB to lead the league in all three categories for a full season? Brady in his 2007 MVP season. Only three other QBs have accomplished the feat since 1950 -- Joe Montana in 1989 for the 49ers, John Brodie in 1970 for the 49ers, and Johnny Unitas for the Colts in 1957.

Brady's 24 wins versus Buffalo is the second most wins by a QB versus a single opponent -- Brett Favre: 26 versus the Lions.

Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman, both lost to major injuries the past two weeks, combined for 34.4 percent of the Patriots' total scrimmage yards this season (Lewis: 622 yards; Edelman: 715 yards).

LeGarrette Blount: 117 carries, 513 yards (4.4 average), 6 TD (8 games).

Danny Amendola: 40 receptions, 403 yards, 2 TD .According to Pro Football Focus, Amendola has 0 drops on 40 catchable balls this year, giving him "the best hands in the league at WR."

Tom Brady has a 136.9 passer rating when targeting Rob Gronkowski this season: 49/75, 806 yards, 8 TD, 0 INT. It marks the highest passer rating among all players with 50-plus targets. Gronk is on pace to finish with 1,433 receiving yards (would be NFL record for a TE).

New England's defense earned three or more sacks in six of nine games this season - three or more sacks in seven of 16 games last season.

Pats notable defensive ranks: 2nd in sacks (30) and rush YPG (88.2); 4th in PPG (18.8) and 15th in total YPG (343.8).

Throne of Ease Stat of the Week: The Patriots have clinched their 15th straight winning season. The next longest active streak belongs to the Packers, with six straight winning seasons.

Matchup to watch:LeSean McCoy vs. Pats front seven

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