Previewing NFL Week 16

The NFL is planning six national telecasts on Christmas weekend although one of them is on NFL Prime (49ers-Cards) on Saturday. There will be a late Christmas afternoon game, three on Saturday plus the usual Sunday and Monday night games.

But one of the feature games will be the Sunday doubleheader game pitting the Rams at the Seahawks. The Seahawks are 10-4 and the Rams at 9-5, so it is a pivotal game in the NFC West and could have implications for the top seed in the NFC.

The Seahawks and Saints are a game behind the 11-3 Packers in the battle for the top seed. The Packers are playing the Titans in the Sunday night game that is critical for both teams. The Titans are tied with the Colts at 10-4 in the AFC South. The Saints are hosting the Vikings in the Christmas day game.

—In the AFC, Buffalo, which is 11-3 and figures to beat New England Monday night, appears to be the only team that could stop the Chiefs from making the Super Bowl. The 13-1 Chiefs can wrap up the top seed in the AFC with a victory over Atlanta.

—Pittsburgh, the only team ever to lose three in a row after starting out 11-0, no longer appears to be a contender. It is even danger of losing the division title to the 10-4 Browns. The Browns have an easy game against the Jets while the Steelers have a tough one against the Colts. The division title could be decided in the regular season finale when the Browns and Steelers meet in Pittsburgh.

—Tom Brady’s old team, the Patriots, won’t have a winning season but he still has a good shot at a wild card spot if his new team, the Bucs, doesn’t catch the 10-4 Saints. The Bucs are 9-5 and play Detroit on Saturday and then Atlanta in the season finale. It would be ironic to have Brady going for a playoff spot against an Atlanta team that couldn’t hold a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl against him.

—The Jets’ upset win last week over the Rams probably cost them the top pick and Trevor Lawrence. The Jaguars now get the top pick if they lose to the Bears Sunday and the Colts in the season finale.

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