Lamar Jackson started the weekend with another five-touchdown passing show against the Jets that moved the Ravens one step closer to clinching the top seed in the AFC. They hold a one game lead plus a head to head tie-breaker over the Patriots, who figure to beat Cincinnati Sunday. The Ravens last two games are against the Browns and Steelers. The Ravens and the Chiefs are the two AFC teams to clinch division titles. Both have three game leads. The Saints are the only NFC team to have clinched a division title with a four-game lead with three left. The other five divisions are close with no more than a game separating the top team from the second team. And then there’s the NFC East with the Cowboys and Eagles, who play next week, tied for first with losing records at 6-7.
Game of the week
The Texans and Titans are tied for first place in the AFC South at 8-5 and will meet twice in the last three weeks. If either team sweeps, they will clinch the division title.
Game of the weak
The 2-11 Giants and the 3-10 Dolphins meet in a game that may decide the second spot in the draft. Cincinnati is in the lead at 1-12. The game will feature the second start in a row for Eli Manning, who was benched for rookie Daniel Jones earlier this year, but got the job back when Jones was sidelined with a high ankle sprain.
What to look for this weekend
—The 8-5 Rams will attempt to stay in the wild card race in the NFC when they go to Dallas. It is a meaningless game for the Cowboys because they can lose this game and still win the division at 8-8 if they beat the Eagles and Redskins in their final two games. The Cowboys would have the tie-breaker edge with a sweep of the Eagles. The Eagles play at the Redskins Sunday.
—The 9-4 Bills go to the 8-5 Steelers, who started out 1-4, in a game that has a lot of playoff ramifications. The Bills can’t afford to look ahead to the game next week at New England. If the Bills win the next two, they would be tied with New England in head to head and division and conference records, assuming the Patriots beat the Bengals. A Steeler victory would likely mean both the Steelers and Bills get wild card spots.
—The Raiders play their last game in Oakland against the Jaguars before moving to Las Vegas next year. The amazing thing is the Raiders are leaving, but the Oakland fans still root for them. But both teams are struggling with the Raiders at 6-7 and the Jaguars at 4-9 so it is not likely to be a memorable matchup except for the atmosphere at the stadium.
—The 10-3 Packers can stay one game ahead of the 9-4 Vikings in the NFC North with the victory over the Bears. Meanwhile, the Vikings are at the Chargers. Both the Bears and Vikings have to stay focused. The Bears are an old rival and Mitch Trubisky is suddenly playing better. And the Chargers are better than their 5-8 record with all their losses by one score.
—The game between the 3-9-1 Cardinals and the disappointing 6-8 Browns wouldn’t seem to be much of an attraction except that it features a duel of the last two Heisman Trophy winners with Baker Mayfield facing Kyler Murray. Both played at Oklahoma.