There are some key games on tap as Week Fourteen approaches the NFL schedule, with the Dallas Cowboys taking on the New York Giants in the Sunday night game.
That game could be the one that gives the Cowboys (11-1) the NFC East division title as they seek their twelfth straight victory following a loss to the Giants (in Dallas) in the opening game of the 2016 season. The Giants are 8-4 and saw their six-game winning streak snapped last week in Pittsburgh.
Other games with some big implications include the Monday night tilt in New England, where the Patriots (10-2) face the Baltimore Ravens (7-5), who currently share the lead in the AFC North with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the AFC South, the Indianapolis Colts (6-6) will host the Houston Texans (also 6-6) in a battle for first place.
The Tennessee Titans (6-6) are the third team in the AFC South tied for the top spot and they will host the Denver Broncos (8-4) in a game that could go a long way to determine "wild card" positions in the AFC playoff chase.
The Seattle Seahawks (8-3-1) will travel to play the Green Bay Packers (6-6) as they look to continue to cement away the NFC West division. The Packers have won two in a row and are back in the hunt for a wild card spot as they trail the Detroit Lions (8-4) in the NFC North race.
The games get bigger and bigger as December ticks away toward the last game of the season in three weeks, so this weekend will help clear some things up as far as the playoffs are concerned.
For a more detailed look at all of the games this weekend, the following offers a capsule style preview followed by the Heftyinfo predictions for the games.
Pittsburgh (7-5) at Buffalo (6-6) - The Steelers rate the edge, but the Bills will not just roll over, especially at home.
Denver (8-4) at Tennessee (6-6) - The Broncos need to continue to win to keep pace with Kansas City and Oakland in the AFC West race. The Titans likewise to keep up in the AFC South.
New Orleans (5-7) at Tampa Bay (7-5) - The Buccaneers look to keep their "magic carpet ride" going against a desperate Saints squad.
Washington (6-5-1) at Philadelphia (5-7) - This could be looked at as an elimination game.
Arizona (5-6-1) at Miami (7-5) - Another good match up between two teams on the "playoff bubble."
San Diego (5-7) at Carolina (4-8) - Who cares?
Cincinnati (4-7-1) at Cleveland (0-12) - The Browns might actually win this game. The Bengals are banged up and RG3 is back at quarterback for the Browns.
Chicago (3-9) at Detroit (8-4) - Can the Bears de-claw the Lions once again this season? The game is in Motown, so don't count on it.
Houston (6-6) at Indianapolis (6-6) - The battle for first place in the putrid AFC South.
Minnesota (6-6) at Jacksonville (2-10) - The Jaguars may be just the tonic the sagging Vikings need, but they better be ready to play.
New York Jets (3-9) at San Francisco (1-11) - These two teams stink.
Atlanta (7-5) at Los Angeles (4-8) - Falcons need to win this game, but the Rams defense keeps them in games.
Seattle (8-3-1) at Green Bay (6-6) - The Packers need to win out to have a shot at the playoffs. The Seahawks are looking to stay ahead of the pack for a first round "bye" in the post-season.
Dallas (11-1) at New York Giants (8-4) - Can the Giants beat Dallas once again and spoil their victory party for the NFC East title? Nope.
Baltimore (7-5) at New England (10-2) - This is one of the better Monday night games this season and could very well go right down to the wire.
The Heftyinfo picks for Week Fourteen . . . . . (Home teams are listed in bold; Lock of the Week pick is listed in BOLD CAPS)
Kansas City over Oakland
Pittsburgh over Buffalo
Tennessee over Denver
Tampa Bay over New Orleans
Philadelphia over Washington
Miami over Arizona
Carolina over San Diego
Cleveland over Cincinnati
DETROIT over Chicago
Indianapolis over Houston
Minnesota over Jacksonville
San Francisco over NY Jets
Atlanta over Los Angeles
Green Bay over Seattle
Dallas over NY Giants
New England over Baltimore
Last Week's Record: 11-4
SEASON RECORD: 125-65-2
Lock of the Week Record: 13-0