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NFL News: Player News and Updates for 12/16/13

NFL Updates: Playoff Storylines, Week 16 Schedule and More

December 16, 2013

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What a day it was in the NFL yesterday. We saw all sorts of compelling action out on the field as the remaining teams jockey for position and fight for their playoff lives. We’ve got one more game coming tonight before we kiss Week 15 goodbye, so with that in mind let’s take a look at some of the noteworthy names and storylines out there this morning. Here’s the latest.

What to Watch Tonight: The Ravens will be heading to Ford Field this evening to take on the Detroit Lions in the Week 15 edition of “Monday Night Football.” This game has some major playoff implications, as the Ravens are fighting to get back into that last playoff spot in the AFC, and the Lions can retake control of the NFC North with a victory this evening.
Key on both sides tonight will be the running game. The Lions expect to get RB Reggie Bush back after he missed last week with a calf injury. His absence was conspicuous as the Lions ended up falling by 14 in a snowy, run-dominated game in Philly.
On the other side, Ray Rice has struggled to find any consistency during this down-campaign. He’s only eclipsed 100 rush yards once this season, and that was against a porous Bears run defense. To make matters worse, the Lions are pretty good against opposing running backs, so he’s certainly got his work cut out for him.
Coverage begins tonight at 8:40 PM ET on ESPN.

NFL News: Player News and Updates for 12/16/13

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff Storylines: We’ll update the NFL’s playoff picture after the Ravens and Lions finish up this evening, but in the meantime we’ve got a few new wrinkles in the standings to discuss.
Kansas City was the only team to clinch a playoff berth yesterday, with a big win over the Raiders. They’re still in the running for the AFC West title, but they need to win out and see the Broncos lose one of their remaining games.
The Patriots lost a close one to the Dolphins yesterday, but they ultimately held onto the No. 2 seed in the AFC after the Bengals lost. They’ll clench a playoff berth if the Ravens lose tonight. One more win or one more Dolphins loss will win the AFC East.
Over in the NFC, the Eagles and Bears are in much the same boat. Both remain atop their divisions (for the moment) and can only get into the playoffs by virtue of a division win--they can’t catch the Wild Card teams.
In the South, the Panthers-Saints game this weekend will be HUGE, as the winner gets into the playoffs.
The Niners can clinch a berth with a win or a Cardinals loss this week.

NFL Week 16 Schedule: Week 15 isn’t officially over just yet, but we can’t resist looking forward to Week 16 in the NFL. There are lots of pretty good-looking matchups ahead, so it should be another good weekend of football. Here’s a look at the full schedule, along with the start times and TV networks carrying the games.

Sunday, December 22, 2013:

1:00 PM ET:
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (CBS)
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (FOX)
Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals (FOX)
Denver Broncos at Houston Texans (CBS)
Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (CBS)
Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (FOX)
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (CBS)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St. Louis Rams (FOX)

4:05 PM ET:
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (FOX)
New York Giants at Detroit Lions (FOX)

4:25 PM ET:
New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (CBS)
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers (CBS)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers (CBS)

8:30 PM ET:
Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)

Monday, December 23, 2013:

8:40 PM ET:
Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers (ESPN)

For the latest article updates, follow Andrew on Twitter @SCPAndrew. 

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