NFL Nation: Final Word 2012 Week 12

Final Word: Panthers-Eagles

November, 24, 2012
11/24/12
12:00
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Five nuggets of knowledge about the Monday night game between the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles:

Hard road ahead. The Panthers are 1-3 on the road this season, but their three losses have come by a total of nine points. The game at Philadelphia is the start of a stretch in which the Panthers will play four of their final six games on the road.

[+] EnlargeCameron Newton
Jeff Siner/Getty ImagesCam Newton has struggled in his second year in the NFL.
Sophomore slump. A quick look at Total QBR might be the best way to sum up Carolina quarterback Cam Newton’s second NFL season. After ranking 17th in the league with a 55.0 Total QBR his rookie year, Newton ranks 29th this season with a 40.4 Total QBR. He’s had four games this season with a Total QBR lower than 20 after not having any games below that mark last season.

No need to blitz. The Eagles don’t blitz a lot to begin with. According to ESPN Stats & Information, no team has rushed four or fewer defenders more often than the Eagles, who have used that tactic 80.5 percent of the time over the past two seasons. But the Eagles might be wise to scrap the blitz completely against the Panthers. Newton has struggled far more against a pass rush of four or fewer than he has against the blitz. Over the past two seasons, Newton has a minus-4 touchdown-to-interception differential when facing four of fewer pass-rushers (only three quarterbacks have a worse differential). Over that same span, Newton has a plus-8 touchdown-to-interception differential when opponents have blitzed.

Milestone time. In a season in which there have been few positive milestones, the Panthers should hit one Monday night. Steve Smith needs just 12 receiving yards to become the fourth active player with 11,000 receiving yards. The only players ahead of him are Randy Moss (15,124), Tony Gonzalez (13,988) and Reggie Wayne (12,711).

Fourth-quarter woes. Over the past two seasons, the Panthers have lost five games in which they’ve held a lead entering the fourth quarter. But the good news is the Eagles have squandered a fourth-quarter lead six times in that same span. The Eagles and Dolphins are tied for the league lead in losing games in which they led at the start of the fourth quarter over the past two seasons. The Panthers are tied for third with the Cleveland Browns.

Final Word: AFC South

November, 23, 2012
11/23/12
1:30
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NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 12:

On track: Titans running back Chris Johnson said this week he’s not worried about his future with the Titans, who have to guarantee him an additional $9 million in March in order to keep him for 2013. He averaged just 2.9 yards per carry in his first five games this season, with no touchdowns and just seven runs of 10 yards or more. In his next five games, his average is 6.7 yards, he has four touchdowns and 16 runs of 10 yards or more. He’s topped 100 yards in two consecutive games.

[+] EnlargeAndrew Luck
AP Photo/AJ MastQuarterback Andrew Luck has played better this season at home.
Luck data: Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has a .569 completion percentage, 303.6 passing yards per game, eight touchdowns and two interceptions in five home games this season, and the Colts are 4-1 in those games. He’s thrown an interception once every 104.5 attempts when at home but once every 20.3 attempts on the road, per ESPN Stats & Information. Nine of his interceptions have come on throws more than 10 yards downfield. The Bills have interceptions on five such throws this season, but have also allowed 10 touchdowns. The team’s passing yard per game is up from 30th last season to eighth currently and total yards per game is up from 30th last season to fourth currently. Luck’s average pass has traveled 10.3 yards downfield this season, the highest rate in the NFL. Buffalo’s Ryan Fitzpatrick has an average throw distance of 6.9 yards downfield, the second-shortest rate this season.

First start: Chad Henne makes his first start as the Jaguars quarterback and first in the NFL since Oct. 2, 2011, when he was with the Dolphins. He is one of three active quarterbacks who've lost their last seven starts. The other two are also tied to Jacksonville. Blaine Gabbert is the quarterback Henne is replacing and Byron Leftwich, now of the Steelers, saw his streak start when he quarterbacked the Jaguars. Henne has not won a game he started since Dec. 12, 2010, for Miami at the Jets.

Also: The Bills have given up a touchdown to their opponents on 30.2 percent of their drives this season, the highest rate in the league. The Colts are third at 26.1 percent. ... The Bills have been outscored by 72 points in the second half and overtime this season and have given up 48 points off turnovers. ... A Colts win would mean Luck ties Sam Bradford (seven in 2010) for most wins by a rookie quarterback selected first overall in the common draft era. ... Indianapolis has given up 102 second-quarter points, most in the NFL. ... In the Titans' first three road games of the season, they were outscored by an average of 35.3-10.3 and went 0-3. In their last two road games, they have won by an average score of 36.0-18.5 and are 2-0. ... The Titans and Jaguars have two of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Titans are the second-worst scoring defense, allowing 31.1 points per game. The Jaguars are allowing 28.9 points per game, fourth worst.

Rooting interests: The Texans won in overtime Thursday in Detroit and have a 10-1 record. There are two scenarios Sunday where they can clinch a playoff spot. 1) A Titans loss or tie, a Dolphins loss or tie, a Bengals loss and a Chargers loss or tie or 2) A Titans loss or tie, a Dolphins loss or tie, a Bengals loss or tie and a Steelers loss.

Final Word: AFC North

November, 23, 2012
11/23/12
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 12:

Veteran arm: Charlie Batch is the third starting quarterback in as many games for the Steelers after Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich went down with rib and shoulder injuries in consecutive weeks. Batch, who is less than two weeks from turning 38, becomes the oldest quarterback in Steelers' history to start a game. When Batch threw his first NFL pass in 1998, Steelers starting center Maurkice Pouncey was 9 years old. But Batch brings more than experience. He has a solid track record, winning five of his seven fill-in starts (.714). Since he made his first start for the Steelers in 2005, the only quarterbacks to make at least seven starts and have a better winning percentage than Batch are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Jake Plummer and Matt Ryan, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

[+] EnlargeCharlie Batch
J. Meric/Getty ImagesCharlie Batch has won five of his seven fill-in starts for Pittsburgh.
Third-down troublemakers: The Ravens rank second in the AFC with 21 takeaways, and they step up in passing situations. Baltimore has forced an NFL-high nine turnovers on third downs, which could come into play Sunday at San Diego. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has thrown a league-high 14 interceptions this season, and his 43 turnovers since the start of 2011 are the most in the NFL. Last season, Rivers completed 73.9 percent of his passes and averaged 15.9 yards per completion against the Ravens.

Going south in the AFC North: The Browns have lost 16 of their past 17 games to the Steelers, including four straight. Their last win against Pittsburgh came in 2009, when Eric Mangini was coach and Brady Quinn was the starting quarterback. Cleveland's problems in the AFC North aren't limited to the Steelers. The Browns have lost 13 of their past 14 divisional games. Their 2-14 record in the AFC North since 2010 is the worst of any team in divisional play during that time, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Weekly A.J. Green nugget: Bengals receiver A.J. Green is looking to become the third player in NFL history to have a receiving touchdown in 10 straight games within a single season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The only two receivers who have done this are Elroy Hirsch (10 straight in 1951) and Jerry Rice (12 straight in 1987). The impressive part is how Green has scored his touchdowns. Of his NFL-leading 10 touchdown catches, three have been receptions of 50 yards or longer this season, which also tops the league.

Richardson on a tear: Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson has gained at least 95 yards rushing in three straight games. He'll be going against the Steelers and the NFL's fifth-ranked run defense (89.8 yards per game). The Steelers have only allowed two 100-yard rushers this season: Darren McFadden and Jamaal Charles. Richardson needs 72 yards from scrimmage to set a Browns rookie record. His 959 yards from scrimmage are currently second among all rookies this season (Doug Martin has 1,319 yards).

Final Word: NFC West

November, 23, 2012
11/23/12
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 12:


Fateful QB decision: If carried out as expected, the San Francisco 49ers' move to replace Alex Smith with Colin Kaepernick will be the most scrutinized decision in the NFL this week and perhaps all season.

Smith has completed 25 of his past 27 passes. The 49ers have posted a 19-5-1 record the past two seasons with Smith in the lineup. Smith has 38 touchdowns with 11 interceptions in his past 30 starts dating to late in the 2010 season. His Total QBR score has risen from a sub-average 45.8 last season to 69.8 this season. The latter figure ranked ninth in the NFL through Week 11 and would represent Pro Bowl-caliber play if sustained over a full season.

What's not to like? Smith ranks only 25th in third-down QBR at 32.0. That is up from 22.0 last season, but it's still not good enough.

Smith has done a disproportionate amount of damage on early downs, when opponents must account for the 49ers' formidable ground game. His QBR score on first and second downs has jumped from 55.9 last season to 80.8 this season. Might the lagging third-down production point to limitations the 49ers think Kaepernick can transcend?

Kaepernick hasn't played enough to draw meaning from his third-down performance. So far, though, so good. The second-year pro has completed 7 of 12 passes for 123 yards on third down. He has one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown. His third-down QBR score (65.6) would mark a significant improvement if maintained over time.

[+] EnlargeAldon Smith, John Skelton
AP Photo/Paul ConnorsAldon Smith (99) is poised to become the NFL's all-time leader in sacks over a player's first two seasons.
Chasing down history: 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith needs two sacks to pass Derrick Thomas and tie Reggie White for the most sacks in a player's first two seasons since 1982, when sacks became an official stat. White had 31 in 1985-86. Thomas had 30 in 1989-90. Smith has 15 this season after collecting 14 as a rookie. Denver's Von Miller ranks sixth on the list with 24.5 in his first two seasons heading into Week 12.

Fresh-faced QBs: Kaepernick, Seattle's Russell Wilson and Arizona's Ryan Lindley had not started an NFL game before this season. All three are expected to start in Week 12. That makes St. Louis' Sam Bradford, with 36 career starts, the most seasoned starting quarterback in the division this week. The NFC West is bucking a broader NFL trend, however. Teams will have used no more than 42 starting quarterbacks through Week 12, the fewest to this point in any of the past 20 seasons, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Hitting the road: Wilson has gone 5-0 at home with 11 touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 67.7 QBR score in those games. He heads to Miami in Week 12 having posted a 1-4 record on the road with four touchdowns, eight picks and a 47.3 QBR score. It's looking up for Wilson on the road, however. He completed 71.4 percent of his passes for 236 yards, two touchdowns and a 93.7 QBR score in his most recent road game, at Detroit. He's got a 70.7 QBR score for his past three road games, up from 23.6 for his first two. My feel is that Wilson has improved overall in recent weeks and that should translate to the road as long as his overall trajectory remains upward.

Welcoming back Wells: Running back Beanie Wells' return from a toe injury comes after the Cardinals pumped up their yards-per-carry average from a league-worst 3.5 through Week 8 to an 11th-ranked 4.3 since Week 9, a span of two games for Arizona. Wells faces a St. Louis run defense that has improved since he gashed it for 228 yards in Week 12 last season. The Rams are allowing 4.1 yards per carry, down from 4.8 last season. No Rams team has allowed fewer yards per carry over a season since 2002. On a side note, the Cardinals need no worse than a tie to avoid becoming the first NFL team to lose seven consecutive games after a 4-0 start.

Note: ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this item.

Final Word: NFC South

November, 23, 2012
11/23/12
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about the Week 12 games:

A Super omen? A victory against the Falcons would give the Buccaneers their first five-game winning streak since the 2002 season. Yep, that’s the same season the Bucs went on to win Super Bowl XXXVII.

[+] EnlargeJosh Freeman
David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCTCan quarterback Josh Freeman guide the Buccaneers to a Week 12 win against the Falcons?
Something’s got to give: Perhaps the biggest key to the game between the Falcons and Bucs will be Tampa’s running game, led by rookie Doug Martin, against an Atlanta run defense that has struggled lately. Poor tackling has been a problem, and the Falcons have allowed a league-worst 2.2 yards per rush after contact, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That’s got to change or the Falcons could be in big trouble because Martin is averaging 2.3 yards after contact, which puts him fourth in the league among players with at least 75 rushing attempts.

Can’t afford a repeat: The last time the Saints and 49ers met was in January, when San Francisco eliminated New Orleans from the playoffs. One of the reasons San Francisco won that game was that the pass rush was all over Drew Brees. He was under duress on 29.9 percent of his drop-backs. San Francisco’s pass rush, led by Aldon Smith, has been very good so far this season, and that’s a major concern because right tackles Zach Strief and Charles Brown both are banged up.

Strength on strength: On passes of at least 15 yards downfield, Brees has thrown a league-high 13 touchdowns this season. But the 49ers rank first in the league with only one touchdown allowed on passes of 15 yards or more.

No connection: There are many reasons why Carolina’s offense has struggled this season. But here’s one of the bigger ones: Cam Newton and Steve Smith haven’t been connecting on the deep ball. When targeting Smith more than 10 yards downfield, Newton has completed only 47.6 percent of his passes and only one has been a touchdown. As a rookie last season, Newton completed 57.9 percent of his passes to Smith on throws that went more than 10 yards downfield, and Smith had seven touchdowns in those situations.

Final Word: NFC East

November, 23, 2012
11/23/12
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 12:

A Giant drought: The New York Giants have scored exactly one offensive touchdown in each of their past three games. According to ESPN Stats & Information, this is the first time they've played three straight games without at least two offensive touchdowns since they went four straight in 2004, Tom Coughlin's first year as their coach. Giants quarterback Eli Manning has not thrown a touchdown pass in any of those three games, and that's his longest such streak since his rookie season, which also was 2004. Manning's last touchdown pass was his 77-yard game-winner to Victor Cruz against the Redskins in Week 7.

[+] EnlargeEli Manning and Tom Coughlin
AP Photo/Evan PinkusEli Manning and Tom Coughlin are searching for a formula to beat the Packers at home.
Home cooked: The Giants beat the Green Bay Packers, Sunday night's opponent, in Green Bay in an NFC divisional playoff game in January. They lost to the Packers at MetLife Stadium during the 2011 regular season. The Giants have lost four straight home games to the Packers. The last time they beat Green Bay in New Jersey was Week 10 of the 1992 season -- Brett Favre's sixth career start as Packers quarterback. The Giants are 3-2 at home this season after going 4-4 at home in the 2011 regular season.

Stop the Packers' run game? Odd to even think it's a consideration, but Green Bay is trying to commit to the run more this season. James Starks got 25 carries last week, the most for a Packers running back since 2009. And the Giants haven't been great at stopping the run, especially at home. ESPN Stats & Info tells us that the Giants have allowed at least 150 rushing yards in back-to-back home games for the first time since 2006, and that 99 of the Steelers' 158 rushing yards in Week 9 came after first contact. If the Packers do run the ball Sunday, the Giants will have to tackle better.

Pass-rusher's delight: The "Monday Night Football" matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers features the teams with the two worst records in the NFC and two of the worst pass-protection teams in the NFL so far this season. Eagles quarterbacks have been sacked or under duress on a league-high 30.7 percent of their drop-backs so far this season, according to Stats & Info's Next Level stats. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been sacked or under duress on 27.1 percent of his drop-backs, the third-highest figure in the league. The league average is 21.2 percent.

Containing Cam: The Panthers' leading rusher this year is Newton with 394 yards. The last quarterback to lead his team in rushing yards in a season was the Eagles' Donovan McNabb, with 632 yards in 2000.

Final Word: NFC North

November, 23, 2012
11/23/12
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 12:

November woes: The Green Bay Packers have won four consecutive road games against the New York Giants, their opponent in Sunday's prime-time game. And are the Packers getting the Giants at a good time? Recent history is inexplicable but clear. The Giants are a bad November team, and this year quarterback Eli Manning has slumped badly as well. Under coach Tom Coughlin, the Giants are 13-21 in November and 67-37 in all other months. The Giants have lost their past five games in November, including two this season. Manning, meanwhile, hasn't thrown a touchdown pass since the fourth quarter of Week 7, a span of 99 passes. Since Week 8, Manning has completed only 54.5 percent of his total throws and has a Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 27.1, ranking him No. 29 of 33 qualifiers during that span.

Run opportunities: The Packers achieved rare equality in their run-pass ratio last week against the Detroit Lions, running on 28 plays and passing on 31. Coach Mike McCarthy lamented a relative lack of production from starter James Starks, who rushed for 74 yards on 25 carries, and it appears Starks and Alex Green will rotate more frequently Sunday night. The Packers should have some opportunities against a Giants defense that has allowed at least 150 rushing yards in consecutive home games for the first time since 2006. The Pittsburgh Steelers rushed for 158 yards against them two weeks ago, and 99 of those yards came after contact, an indication of the state of the Giants' tackling.

[+] EnlargeJay Cutler
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhThe Bears will be counting on QB Jay Cutler to make an impact in their upcoming games against Minnesota.
Big meeting: Few thought when the season began that the Week 12 meeting between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings would be so crucial to the NFC North race. Only one game separates the Bears (7-3) and Vikings (6-4), and they're set to play twice in the next three weeks. The Vikings have lost 10 of their past 11 games in Chicago, and the only game they've won in that span required a 224-yard effort from tailback Adrian Peterson and a 54-yard game-winning field goal from Ryan Longwell. The Bears are coming off a short week after an embarrassing road loss, but they appear likely to get back the services of quarterback Jay Cutler, who has won 12 of his past 13 games that he has finished. Of ESPN's 14 NFL experts, all but one picked the Bears to win this game.

Tracking Allen: Vikings defensive end Jared Allen had at least one sack in six consecutive games but has now gone two games without one. But the last time Allen saw the Bears, he lit up left tackle J'Marcus Webb for 3.5 sacks in the 2011 season finale. Webb is one of three offensive linemen who kept his job after backup quarterback Jason Campbell was sacked six times by the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night, but offensive coordinator Mike Tice has pledged constant chip help for Webb this weekend. The Bears will try to contain the rest of the Vikings' defense with a new right tackle (Jonathan Scott) and left guard (Chris Spencer).

Peterson power: The Bears' defense has proved vulnerable recently to what has been the decided strength of Peterson all season. Specifically, they have given up at least 80 yards on runs between the tackles in each of their past five games. Peterson, of course, has been gashing teams almost exclusively between the tackles since returning from knee surgery. This season, 174 of his carries, 922 of his yards, six of his touchdowns and 11 of his 20-plus yard runs have come on runs that began between the tackles. There is every reason to believe the Vikings will attack that area early and often, and then probably follow up with a heavy dose of their play-action game.

Final Word: AFC West

November, 23, 2012
11/23/12
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 12:

Chiefs need to harass Manning: Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said earlier this week his team needs to play perfect to beat the Denver Broncos on Sunday. That means the Chiefs, who have a solid pass rush, must make Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning uncomfortable. That won’t be easy. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Manning has been sacked or put under duress just 13.9 percent of his drop backs this season. It is the lowest rate in the NFL. The league average is 21.1 percent.

[+] EnlargeOakland's Carson Palmer
Rob Carr/Getty ImagesCarson Palmer will face his former team, the Cincinnati Bengals, on Sunday.
Bengals should be well prepared to face Palmer: Carson Palmer is badly going to want to beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Bengals traded Palmer to Oakland in October of last year. Palmer was the quarterback in Cincinnati from 2004 through the 2010 season before he essentially retired from the team because he wanted to be traded. Expect the Bengals to fiercely game plan for him. While Palmer knows the Bengals well, they have three coaches who know Palmer’s every move, instinct and thought -- head coach Marvin Lewis, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and defensive assistant Hue Jackson. They all coached Palmer. They all worked very closely with him or against him in practice. Palmer will have to be at his very best to beat the Bengals because of the intimate knowledge that will go into their game plan.

Chargers need to step up: The San Diego Chargers are 4-6 and have lost five of the past six games. But they are just two games out of a wild-card position, so if they can beat the Baltimore Ravens, San Diego could have some life. But the Chargers will be challenged to beat the 8-2 Ravens. The Chargers have not beaten a team that currently has a winning record. Their next three opponents are all AFC North foes. Cincinnati comes to San Diego next week and then the Chargers go to Pittsburgh. All three teams are .500 or better.

Denver stout against the run: The best thing going for the Chiefs’ offense is running back Jamaal Charles. Expect the Broncos’ defense to concentrate on stopping him. And Denver's defense is playing great against the run. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Denver’s run defense is second in the NFL with opposing teams averaging just 2.1 yards per rush before contact. Against San Diego last week, Denver hit the runner at or behind the line of scrimmage on nine of 23 rush attempts.

Ravens tough on the AFC West: Baltimore is 2-0 against the AFC West this season and 8-1 in its past nine games against the division heading into its game at San Diego. The good news for San Diego is the Ravens’ lone loss during that stretch came in San Diego in Week 15 last season. Also, the Ravens have won five straight games against teams with losing records. Yes, their last loss to a team with a losing record came in Week 15 of last season.

Final Word: AFC East

November, 23, 2012
11/23/12
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 12:

Must-win game for Bills: The Buffalo Bills are 4-6 and on thin ice for an AFC wild card. The Bills will meet one of the two current wild-card placeholders -- the Indianapolis Colts -- in what could be a playoff eliminator for the Bills. Buffalo must win this game to close the gap on the Colts (6-4) and also get closer to .500. There is no margin for error. The playoffs start now for the Bills.

[+] EnlargeSpiller
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesWhen given the opportunity, C.J. Spiller has been successful running the ball.
Spiller thriller: The Bills are 2-0 this season when running back C.J. Spiller gets at least 15 carries. That should be the formula Buffalo follows if it wants to upset the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Spiller got a career-high 22 carries in last week’s win over the Miami Dolphins. He averages an NFL-best 7.3 yards per carry and continues to make the most of his opportunities. But it’s up to the coaching staff to call Spiller’s number more often. Buffalo announced this week that Spiller remains the starter, despite Fred Jackson returning. That's a good start.

West Coast bias: The Dolphins have done well at home against West Coast teams. Miami’s location on the southern tip of Florida makes it one of the longest possible trips for NFL teams in different time zones. Miami is 2-0 the past two seasons against teams from the Pacific Time zone. The Dolphins beat the Oakland Raiders in back-to-back years, including a 35-13 thrashing this season. The Dolphins were able to take advantage of the early sluggishness and cruise to victory. The Seattle Seahawks will make their longest road trip of the season to play the Dolphins on Sunday.

Losing the trenches: Miami began the year hot because it could run the ball and stop the run. But lately, the Dolphins have lost their way in the trenches. Miami is averaging just 57 rushing yards and allowing 148.5 rushing yards the past two weeks. Tennessee Titans tailback Chris Johnson broke Miami’s 22-game streak of not allowing a 100-yard rusher, and Spiller (91 yards) nearly made it two in a row. Miami has another tough assignment at tailback in Marshawn Lynch, who has rushed for 1,007 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Scoreboard watching: The New England Patriots improved to 8-3 with a blowout victory over the New York Jets on Thanksgiving. New England is running away with the AFC East and can now set its sights on bigger goals, such as a first-round bye in the playoffs. New England currently has the third seed in the AFC. The Patriots lost to the Baltimore Ravens (8-2), the No. 2 seed, earlier this season and will be watching them closely. The Ravens travel to play the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

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