Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 14, with large thanks to ESPN Stats and Info:
Arian Foster has been the catalyst for Houston's recent win streak.
Workhorse:Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has taken on a huge load during their six-game win streak. He has scored seven touchdowns since Week 7, as many as anyone in the NFL. He’s got 147 rush attempts, most in the league, in that time period while averaging 101.8 rushing yards. He’s also been the team's primary pass target when they’ve been without Andre Johnson, who has a new hamstring issue. When Johnson was out, Foster was the team’s leading receiver with 32 targets, 26 receptions and 427 yards.
Scoring issues: The Jacksonville Jaguars have not scored more than 20 points in a game this season. That streak extends to 14 games dating to the 2010 season. If they don’t get to 21 or more on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at EverBank Field, they will tie the Cleveland Browns of 2008-09 for the longest such streak since 2001. Only the St. Louis Rams have fewer points per game (11.7) than the Jaguars (12.7) this season. But the Bucs have given up 350 yards or more in nine consecutive games. Can the Jaguars find a way to get a lead? No team has spent more time trailing this season than the Buccaneers, who have been behind for 475 minutes and 22 seconds. The Bucs have trailed for 43 more minutes than the Colts, the next worst team.
Elements and points: Sunday in Nashville is the final game of the regular season in which the New Orleans Saints will play outdoors. New Orleans is 2-2 in games played outside this season. The forecast for Sunday: Sunny with a high in the 40s. I’m not seeing playing outdoors as major issue in this game. The temperature may not be the only thing in the 40s if Drew Brees is working against minimal pass rush and if cornerback Jason McCourty is out after a head injury. The Tennessee Titans know they’re going to have to score to stay in this one.
Serving up Rice: The Indianapolis Colts are 30th against the run. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is second in the NFL with 1,474 scrimmage yards this season. Rice ranks third in the NFL in rush yards and his fullback, Vonta Leach, deserves some credit. ESPN Stats and Info says Leach has been a lead blocker on 173 of Rice’s 208 rushes, including all of his NFL-high nine rushing touchdowns. No other running back-fullback combo has been together for as many rushes. The Colts are newly depleted at cornerback. Second-level run-stopping help from the secondary will probably be undependable.
And also: The Saints have scored on 49.6 percent of their offensive possessions this season. Since the start of 2007, only the 2007 New England Patriots finished with a higher scoring percentage. … Matt Hasselbeck has averaged 5.0 yards per attempt in his last three games, the lowest number among quarterbacks with at least 30 attempts. … This season, the Cincinnati Bengals are 1-5 against teams that currently have a winning record. They are 6-0 against teams currently with a losing record. … The Jaguars have lost their last two games against NFC South opponents, scoring 10 points in each game.