It seems that when scheduling, the NFL predicted what matchups would be crucial at the end of the season, as multiple games in week 14 have playoff implications.
All the teams featured have been given playoff seeding projections in each division, as projected by CBS.
New Orleans Saints (No. 4 NFC) vs. Atlanta Falcons (No. 7 NFC, first-team-out)
After losing its eight-game win streak two games ago to the Rams, New Orleans rebounded by defeating Carolina 31-21.
Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram scored on the ground against the Panthers. Kamara is third in the NFL with seven rushing touchdowns, and has also scored four touchdowns receiving. Ingram leads the league with nine rushing touchdowns.
If the Falcons can defeat the Saints, it will muddy things up in the NFC South and the NFC altogether, but their fate also depends on how the Panthers handle their game with the Vikings.
Atlanta will look to get its passing game back on track, as Matt Ryan threw for just 173 yards and zero scores last week. Devonta Freeman returned to action and ran for 74 yards, and a big game for him could propel the Falcons to victory.
The division rivalry is scheduled to kick at 7:25 p.m. Thursday on NBC.
Philadelphia Eagles (No. 2 NFC) vs. Los Angeles Rams (No. 3 NFC)
The 10-game win streak for Philadelphia finally came to an end last week with a 24-10 loss to Seattle.
We know what Carson Wentz and the Eagles offense can do, but the defense will have to step up to shut down Jared Goff, who is averaging 293 passing yards per game.
Los Angeles won its second game in a row after a demoralizing loss to the Vikings three weeks ago.
Todd Gurley has been producing at running back, sitting second in the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns. The Rams bring a balanced attack, with an offense scoring 30.1 points per game, and a defense that gives up 18.5 points per game.
Catch the game at 3:25 p.m. Sunday on FOX.
Seattle Seahawks (No. 5 NFC) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 5 AFC)
Seattle has put itself back into the thick of the playoff race after its monumental 24-10 defeat of Philadelphia.
Russell Wilson picked apart the Eagles’ defense to the tune of 227 yards and three scores. He will need to play a clean, turnover-free game against a Jacksonville team that has forced 27 turnovers.
Jacksonville was clearly in charge of the AFC South, but has since let the Titans tie with them for first.
Leonard Fournette, for the Jaguars, is still averaging an NFL third-best 82.2 rushing yards per game, but has recently declined in production with performances of just 25 and 57 rushing yards the last two weeks. A big game for Fournette will be important for Jacksonville to keep their season going in the right direction as it nears an end.
This matchup is set for 3:25 p.m. Sunday on FOX.
Source: K-State Collegian
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