Five quick takes on Week 13 in the NFL:
1. After New Orleans surprising loss in Dallas, the Los Angeles Rams have the inside track on home field for the NFC playoffs with a 10-1 record. Now they have to avoid a letdown when they go to Detroit to face the struggling 4-7 Lions, who have taken a step back under new coach Matt Patricia. The Rams’ high-powered offense is second in the NFL in yards per game and third in points per game and only have to avoid being overconfident against the Lions.
2. The 9-2 Kansas City Chiefs figure to have little problem in Oakland’s black hole against the 2-9 Raiders. This used to be a great rivalry, but the collapse of the Raiders under Jon Gruden has made it just another game. The one interesting thing to watch in this game will be how the Chiefs offense looks without Kareem Hunt, who was cut after a video surfaced of him showed him shoving a kicking a woman last February.
3. The 8-3 New England Patriots, in position to get a first round bye, go against the 6-4-1 Minnesota Vikings in one of the better matchups of the day. The Patriots haven’t been hitting on all cylinders, but they are still well poised for a playoff run. The Vikings need a victory to stay within striking distance of the Chicago Bears.
4. In the prime time Sunday night game, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be at home trying to rebound from their loss in Denver last week as they host the Chargers. It should be a good quarterback duel between Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers. While the Steelers, who are now 7-3-1, were losing in Denver, the Chargers, who are 8-3, were routing Arizona. Despite their similar records, Pittsburgh is in better position because the Steelers lead their division while the Chargers are still a game behind Kansas City in the AFC West.
5. Jeff Driskel will make his first start for the Cincinnati Bengals in place of injured Andy Dalton, who is out for the year, against Denver. The rest of the season is like a tryout for Driskel to show he can be a starting NFL quarterback. With both teams at 5-6, this is a big game for the wild card hopes of each team. But Driskel will be the player under the spotlight.