Packers, 49ers in playoffs, have business left

By Barry Wilner

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Dec. 10 2011 12:08 p.m. MST

"I think it's important for us to go out there and try to play our best game this weekend," Tom Brady said. "What's in our control is how we're able to go out there and see how we match up against a team on the road that has some very good players, very good schemes, very well coached. I'm excited to see if we can go out there and finally play for 60 minutes and see what that looks like."

Washington is without TE Fred Davis and OT Trent Williams, both suspended for the rest of the season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Kansas City (5-7) at New York Jets (7-5)

No team makes things more difficult on itself than the Jets, who have only one victory that wasn't close in the second half. They've gotten more offense lately and RB Shonn Greene rushed for three scores against Washington, but that's a bit of an illusion because of how unsteady they are with the ball.

KC made just enough plays to beat Chicago and showed a strong pass rush, with rookie LB Justin Houston getting three of the Chiefs' seven sacks. New York has not protected Mark Sanchez all that well.

Indianapolis (0-12) at Baltimore (9-3)

Sure, the Ravens sometimes play down to the grade of the opposition. It's doubtful they could sink as low as Indy no matter how poorly they play.

Ray Rice comes off a career-best 204 yards rushing and has developed into one of the NFL's most dangerous all-around players. There's also a chance star LB Ray Lewis will return from a right toe injury, although the way the defense has played without him, he might get another week off.

Indy is 9-2 all-time against Baltimore, the city from which the Colts defected, but those were the Peyton Manning Colts. These guys aren't.

Buffalo (5-7) at San Diego (5-7)

Both of these clubs were 4-1 long, long ago. The Chargers hit their tailspin first, and broke a six-game slide with a win at Jacksonville. Philip Rivers has had his worst season, but showed against the Jaguars the competitive streak and touch that has defined his career.

The Bills have lost five straight and are playing far too many backups because of injuries to be much of a threat. Yet they kept things close in recent defeats against the Jets and Titans.

St. Louis (2-10) at Seattle (5-7), Monday night

Some more must-miss TV on Monday night, except that the Seahawks are coming on and have an outside shot at being in the postseason mix if they win out. Knocking off the battered Rams would be the first step, and the way Marshawn Lynch is running (TDs in nine straight games, 591 yards rushing in last five weeks), he'll be taking the biggest steps.

Philadelphia (4-8) at Miami (4-8)

It sure seemed like the Eagles had lost interest with the way they performed in losing at Seattle. That could be the biggest indictment of coach Andy Reid, whose superb resume has taken a huge hit this year.

Miami's identical record has been achieved in a much different manner, with four wins in the last five games. The Dolphins have gotten particularly adept on defense, yielding just 54 points in those games.

Tampa Bay (4-8) at Jacksonville (3-9)

There can't be much interest in this one outside of Florida. Or inside the Sunshine State.

Tampa Bay has lost six in a row, the NFC's longest slide and second only to Indy's season-long slump. The Jaguars fired coach Jack Del Rio late last month and then flopped against San Diego in prime time. Other than RBs Maurice Jones-Drew for the hosts and LeGarrette Blount for the visitors, not much worth watching here.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS