NFL News: Player News and Updates for 12/23/13
NFL Updates: Falcons-49ers, Week 17 Schedule and More
December 23, 2013
It was a busy NFL Sunday in Week 16, and there’s a sense of sadness among football fans as the regular season is marching toward its inevitable end this coming weekend. That said, we’ve still got a bit of football left, as the Monday night game and all the Week 17 matchups still lie ahead. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the notable players and storylines around the league right now.
What to Watch Tonight: On the final edition of “Monday Night Football” this evening, we’ll see an NFC matchup that has some heavy playoff implications--for one team anyway. The San Francisco 49ers will be hosting the Atlanta Falcons, and if the Niners can manage a victory, they’ll be assured of a playoff spot.
Interestingly enough, there are some heavier scenarios at work here if San Francisco can get a victory. They’re still alive in the race for the NFC West, and a win in Week 17 coupled with a Seahawks loss would take the division. If that storyline plays out and the Falcons beat the Panthers, the 49ers could even take the No. 1 seed in the conference--but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Tonight’s game comes down to the rush on both sides. Frank Gore and Steven Jackson hold the outcome in their respective hands, and whoever can get it going on the ground stands a great chance of controlling the game tempo and getting their team in line for a win. Defensively, San Francisco’s got the distinct advantage so it’ll be a tough task for the Falcons to make anything happen.
Coverage begins tonight at 8:40 ET on ESPN.
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
Peyton’s Record-Breaking Day: Peyton Manning added an additional feather in his already-stuffed cap yesterday by claiming another prestigious season record. He tossed four touchdowns in the Broncos’ big win over Houston, giving him 51 TD passes on the season and breaking the all-time mark of 50 set by Tom Brady a few years back.
Even more impressive is the fact that Manning did it against a very aggressive Houston defense that’s been pretty good against the pass this season. With the win (and the Chiefs’ loss), Denver locks up the AFC West and a guaranteed first-round bye in the playoffs. With that scenario on ice, we’d be surprised to see Peyton for more than a couple of series in their matchup against the Raiders this coming week.
NFL Week 17 Schedule: After tonight, we’ll be done with all the primetime regular-season games. The action will be coming fast and furious this Sunday, so if your team’s not bound for the playoffs, you’ll need to bid them farewell in Week 17. Here’s the complete schedule, along with the start times and TV networks carrying the games.
Sunday, December 29, 2013:
1:00 PM ET:
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (FOX)
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (FOX)
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (CBS)
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)
Washington Redskins at New York Giants (FOX)
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (FOX)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (CBS)
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (CBS)
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (FOX)
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (CBS)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (FOX)
4:25 PM ET:
Denver Broncos At Oakland Raiders (CBS)
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (FOX)
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (CBS)
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks (FOX)
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