The Houston Texans can seal the AFC South title with a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday before the New Orleans Saints face a huge battle with the Tennessee Titans in the penultimate week of the regular season.

Houston won a crunch clash with the Titans last weekend to give themselves the edge in the division and could get the job done this weekend, with another showdown against Tennessee to come in Week 17.

The Titans host NFC South winners the Saints on Sunday, while the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers have home advantage in the other two Saturday encounters.

Using data from Stats Perform, we take a closer look at all the Week 16 fixtures.

 


SATURDAY (all times Eastern)

Texans (9-5) at Buccaneers (7-7) 1pm

- The Texans have won all three meetings with the Buccaneers since losing the first one in 2003. Tampa Bay have averaged just 12.0 points in those matchups – the lowest all-time average against any opponent other than the Patriots (11.9).

- Houston need four touchdowns to tie the single-season franchise record of 46, set in 2009 and matched in 2012. 

- The Bucs are looking to match their longest winning streak of the past 15 years – a five-game run in 2016. They have scored at least 28 points in every game during the current winning sequence.

 

Bills (10-4) at Patriots (11-3) 4:30pm

- Of teams to square off at least 10 times since 2000, the Patriots-Bills series is the most lopsided in the NFL, with New England owning a 34-5 record.

- The Patriots are seeking a 13th season with a least 12 wins, which would tie Dallas and San Francisco for the most in NFL history.

- Josh Allen needs 50 passing yards to reach 5000 for his career in what would be his 27th NFL game. He would join Robert Griffin III (22) and Cam Newton (23) as the only players to reach that mark and 1000 rushing yards in fewer than 30 games.

 

Rams (8-6) at 49ers (11-3) 8:15pm

- The Rams have won their last two matches in San Francisco, totalling 80 points, after going 2-9-1 in their previous 12 visits and scoring no more than 25 points in any of them.

- The 49ers have allowed more than 20 points in five of their last seven games after not doing so once through their first seven outings of the season. 

- Jared Goff is two passing yards shy of becoming the first Rams quarterback to throw for 4000 yards in back-to-back seasons. 

 

SUNDAY

Bengals (1-13) at Dolphins (3-11) 1pm

- Miami are 15-7 all-time against Cincinnati, including 6-2 at home. Cincinnati could tie a franchise record of 14 losses, which they also suffered in 2002.

- The Dolphins have not scored a touchdown in any of their last eight red-zone drives – only the Redskins (10) have had a longer streak this season.

- Cincinnati have failed to score a touchdown in the second half of seven consecutive games. The last team to have a longer such run was also the Bengals, in eight straight spanning the 1999-00 seasons. 

 

Steelers (8-6) at Jets (5-9) 1pm

- The Steelers are 20-5 (.800) against the Jets all-time, tied for the best winning percentage between any current franchises that have played at least 20 times. 

- The Jets allowed a season-high 42 points in last week's loss at Baltimore and were undone by five touchdown passes for only the second time in the last 30 years.

- Devlin Hodges is on pace to have the highest completion percentage by a rookie all-time at 67.8 percent (minimum 100 attempts), but 28.8 per cent of his completions have been behind the line of scrimmage. 

 

Giants (3-11) at Redskins (3-11) 1pm

- The Giants are 9-4 in their last 13 games in Washington, dating back to the 2006 season. They have scored at least 17 points in all nine of their wins, and 16 or fewer in each of their four losses. 

- New York beat the Dolphins 36-20 at home last week, snapping a nine-game losing streak, which was the longest in franchise history.

- The Redskins went down 37-27 to the Eagles on Sunday, the most points they have allowed this season. 

 

Panthers (5-9) at Colts (6-8) 1pm

- The Panthers are 5-1 all-time versus the Colts and Carolina have never lost at Indianapolis (3-0). All five of Carolina's victories have come by eight points or fewer, including two in overtime.

- The Colts were 5-2 after seven games, but have lost six of their last seven. Indianapolis have lost four straight games and have allowed 31 or more points in each of the last three.

- Indianapolis have allowed an NFL-high 34.3 points per game this month, while the Panthers have conceded 33.0 points per game, third-most in the competition.

 

Ravens (12-2) at Browns (6-8) 1pm

- The Ravens' last loss came at the hands of the Browns, a 40-25 defeat in Week 4. Cleveland have not swept Baltimore in a season, or won consecutive games against the Ravens, since 2007.

- Baltimore's 10-game winning streak is the longest in the team's history; no team has won 11 straight games in a single season since the 2016 Cowboys.

- The Browns have won four consecutive home games for the first time since they won seven in succession in 2007.

 

Jaguars (5-9) at Falcons (5-9) 1pm

- This will be just the seventh meeting between the Jaguars and Falcons, with both winning three so far. The Jaguars have lost in their last two visits to Atlanta, winning in Georgia only once in 1999.

- Jacksonville snapped a five-game losing streak with a 20-16 win last week in the Raiders' final home game in Oakland. The Jaguars have scored 20 points or fewer in six consecutive games, the longest ongoing streak in the NFL.

- The Jaguars have not turned the ball over or forced a turnover in their last two games. No NFL team in the Super Bowl era have done this in three consecutive games.

 

Saints (11-3) at Titans (8-6) 1pm

- The Titans have won five of their last six games against the Saints, including a 34-28 overtime win in their most recent meeting in Week 9 of 2015.

- The Saints defeated the Colts 34-7 at home on Monday. That was New Orleans' ninth game scoring 30 or more points this season, which is tied for the third-most 30-point games in a season in team history and one short of their single-season high (2011 and 2018).

- Since Week 10, the Titans are scoring 34.2 per game, the second-highest average in the NFL. Over that same period, the Saints are averaging 30.5 points per game.

 

Raiders (6-8) at Chargers (5-9) 4:05pm

- Either the Chargers or Raiders have swept the season series between these teams in every campaign since 2014. The Raiders won the first meeting this year.

- The Chargers have scored at least 10 points in 65 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL and the second-longest in franchise history (98 straight from 2006-12).

- Philip Rivers has thrown a TD pass in 24 consecutive games against the Raiders, tied for the second-longest run all-time against a single opponent behind Brett Favre's 26 versus the Bears.

 

Lions (3-10) at Broncos (5-9) 4:05pm

- The Lions have lost seven in a row after starting the season 3-3-1. Detroit have had seven seven-game losing streaks since 2000.

- Danny Amendola had eight catches for 102 yards in the Lions' loss to the Bucs last time out. It was his third 100-yard receiving game of the season, the most he has had in a campaign since matching that feat in 2013.

- Courtland Sutton surpassed 1000 receiving yards for the season in a Week 15 loss to the Chiefs. He is the first Broncos player with 1000-plus receiving yards in a season since 2016.

 

Cardinals (4-9) at Seahawks (11-3) 4:25pm

- Seattle have won three in a row versus Arizona. The Seahawks have only won four on the bounce against the Cardinals once, a streak that spanned from 2004 to 2006.

- The Cardinals beat the Browns 38-24 last week, snapping a six-game losing streak. It was their first victory by more than six points this season.

- Kenyan Drake ran for 137 yards on 22 carries against Cleveland, scoring four rushing touchdowns in Arizona's win. He became the fourth player in franchise history to score at least four rushing touchdowns in a game and the first since Ronald Moore in 1993.

 

Cowboys (7-7) at Eagles (7-7) 4:25pm

- Dallas have won four straight games against Philadelphia, its longest streak versus the Eagles since a six-game winning run that stretched from November 1992 to November 1995. 

- Carson Wentz was 11-for-11 in the fourth quarter in a defeat of the Redskins last week, just the second time in his career he's had a perfect quarter with at least 10 attempts.

- The Cowboys defense have allowed just 10 broken tackles this season, tied with Tennessee for second fewest in the league behind Washington (nine).

 

Chiefs (10-4) at Bears (7-7) 8:20pm

- These teams last met in Week 5, 2015, when the Bears trailed 17-6 late in the game but scored two touchdowns in the final 3:05 to win 18-17.

- The Chiefs beat the Broncos 23-3 at home last week, their fourth consecutive win. They have conceded 17 or fewer points in each of those four games.

- Kansas City are averaging 6.4 yards per first down this season, third most in the league – only San Francisco and New Orleans (6.5 each) have averaged more. 

 

MONDAY

Packers (11-3) at Vikings (10-4) 8:15pm

- The Vikings have won the last three contests played in Minneapolis and hold a 29-28 lead in home contests against Green Bay.

- The Packers were 21-13 winners at home to the Bears last week, improving their record against NFC North teams to 4-0 this season. Green Bay have not gone undefeated against all division rivals since 2011.

- Aaron Jones had two more rushing touchdowns against the Bears, giving him 17 scrimmage TDs this season. That is the third-most scrimmage touchdowns in a single season by a Packers running back behind Ahman Green in 2003 (20) and Jim Taylor in 1962 (19).

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick revelled in the team clinching a playoff berth for the 11th straight NFL season.

Super Bowl champions the Patriots (11-3) accounted for the lowly Cincinnati Bengals 34-13 on Sunday.

New England's postseason run – already a league record – is the longest current streak in the NFL as the Patriots look to clinch their 11th consecutive AFC East championship.

It is the 21st time in Robert Kraft's 26 years of ownership that the Patriots have punched their ticket to the postseason.

Patriots star Brady, who completed 15 of 29 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns, told reporters: "Yeah, it was good. This team has been working hard, and trying to put ourselves into good positions.

"Good to win – we're 6-2 on the road this year. Last year we were 3-5. It was good. The defense played great – got five turnovers."

During the Patriots' playoff streak, the franchise have won three Super Bowls after five trips to the league's showpiece event.

Belichick – a six-time Super Bowl-winning coach with the Patriots – also set an NFL mark for a coach with an 11th straight trip to the playoffs.

"You play to keep playing. You win four, five, six games ... you don't really get anything for doing that. When you can win enough to play in the postseason, that is one of our goals. It's a good thing," he said.

"I mean, we can continue our season. You take things one game at time and continue to get better. We'll continue to improve. We try to play good football in all three phases of the game."

It is advantage the Houston Texans in the AFC South after they held on for a 24-21 win over the Tennessee Titans, while the New England Patriots sealed a playoff spot with victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. 

The Texans and the Titans were locked at 8-5 before doing battle in Week 15 on Sunday, but Houston now have the edge with two rounds of the regular season remaining.

New England responded to back-to-back defeats with a 34-13 success over the Bengals, while the Seattle Seahawks stood on the brink of joining the reigning Super Bowl champions in the postseason following a 30-24 win over the Carolina Panthers.

NFC North leaders the Green Bay Packers were also poised to seal a playoff spot after Aaron Jones scored two touchdowns in a 21-13 defeat of the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.

Travis Kelce became the first tight end in NFL history to record 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 23-3 in the snow.

Eli Manning guided the New York Giants past the Miami Dolphins, throwing 20-of-28 for 283 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Meanwhile, it was a mixed day for Adrian Peterson, another veteran, who tied Walter Payton for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns (110) in NFL history as the Washington Redskins' loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles.


TEXANS HALT TITANS RUN IN BLOCKBUSTER SHOWDOWN

Tennessee had won four in a row to join the Texans at the summit of the AFC South, but they were beaten in their own backyard in a titanic battle.

Deshaun Watson threw two touchdown passes for Kenny Stills in the second quarter to give Houston a 14-0 halftime advantage.

But Ryan Tannehill went in for a touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play in the third quarter and then picked out AJ Brown for another to level it up.

Ka'imi Fairbairn's 29-yard field goal with just over three minutes to go ultimately proved the difference after a TD from Carlos Hyde, with the response from Dion Lewis not enough.
 

NORMAL SERVICE RESUMED AS BELICHICK BREAKS ANOTHER RECORD

The Patriots were reeling from defeats to the Texans and the Chiefs, but normal service was resumed as they marched into the playoffs yet again.

Head coach Bill Belichick can add another unprecedented achievement to his list, with his record of masterminding 11 consecutive postseason spots taking him beyond a tally he shared with Tony Dungy.

Tom Brady threw for a season-low 128 yards but laid on two scores in an emphatic victory against the 1-13 Bengals, with the Patriots now 11-3.
 

PACKERS SWEEP BEARS

The Packers beat the Bears again in the 200th meeting between the old rivals. 

Green Bay started the season by defeating Chicago, and they pulled off a repeat to go 11-3 at the top of the NFC North.

Two rushing TDs from Jones in the third quarter left the Bears with a mountain to climb and, although they fought all the way, with Anthony Miller scoring in the final quarter, Chicago fell short and are now 7-7.
 

Week 15 scores:

New England Patriots 34-13 Cincinnati Bengals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-17 Detroit Lions
Houston Texans 24-21 Tennessee Titans
Denver Broncos 3-23 Kansas City Chiefs
Miami Dolphins 20-36 New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles 37-27 Washington Redskins
Seattle Seahawks 30-24 Carolina Panthers
Chicago Bears 13-21 Green Bay Packers

The Tennessee Titans take on AFC South rivals the Houston Texans in the stand-out match of the NFL schedule in Week 15.

With both teams holding an 8-5 record, there are huge playoff implications to Sunday's meeting with just three matches left of the regular season.

But that is far from the only game to keep an eye on in the coming days, with the under-pressure Dallas Cowboys hosting the Los Angeles Rams and the Buffalo Bills on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The New England Patriots are also looking to bounce back after suffering back-to-back defeats when they play the Cincinnati Bengals.

Using data from Stats Perform, we take a closer look at all the Week 15 fixtures.

 

The New England Patriots admitted a video crew violated NFL rules, though the Super Bowl champions maintained it was not on purpose.

On Monday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick strongly denied the team's football operations were involved in alleged filming of the Cincinnati Bengals last week ahead of Sunday's upcoming clash.

It came after Bengals coach Zac Taylor confirmed the NFL is investigating an incident that took place during Cincinnati's 27-19 loss to the Cleveland Browns on December 8.

The Patriots released a statement later Monday, acknowledging the video crew – which included independent contractors – inappropriately filmed the sideline from the press box amid an ongoing behind-the-scenes documentary series.

"For the past year, the New England Patriots content team has produced a series of behind-the scenes features on various departments within the organisation," the statement read.

"The seven previous 'Do Your Job' episodes are archived on patriots.com. On Sunday, December 8, the content team sent a three-person video crew to the Bengals-Browns game at FirstEnergy Stadium in order to capture one part of a longer feature on the Patriots scouting department, in this case a Patriots pro personnel scout while he was working in the press box. 

"While we sought and were granted credentialed access from the Cleveland Browns for the video crew, our failure to inform the Bengals and the League was an unintended oversight. In addition to filming the scout, the production crew – without specific knowledge of League rules – inappropriately filmed the field from the press box. The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road. 

"There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose. We understand and acknowledge that our video crew, which included independent contractors who shot the video, unknowingly violated a league policy by filming the field and sideline from the press box. When questioned, the crew immediately turned over all footage to the league and cooperated fully. 

"The production crew is independent of our football operation. While aware that one of the scouts was being profiled for a 'Do Your Job' episode, our football staff had no other involvement whatsoever in the planning, filming or creative decisions made during the production of these features. We accept full responsibility for the actions of our production crew at the Browns-Bengals game."

The Patriots, who top the AFC with a 10-3 record, travel to Cincinnati face the lowly Bengals (1-12) on Sunday.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick strongly denied the team's football operations were involved in alleged filming of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Bengals coach Zac Taylor confirmed on Monday that the NFL is investigating an incident that took place during Cincinnati's 27-19 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

A Patriots employee was reportedly caught recording the Bengals' sideline signals during last week's game in Cleveland.

Belichick – whose Patriots face the Bengals on Sunday – addressed the accusations of illegal videotaping amid New England's ongoing behind-the-scenes documentary series.

"I have absolutely nothing to do – we have absolutely nothing to do with anything they produce, direct, or shoot, or anything," Belichick told WEEI.

"I've never seen their tapes, or anything else. This is something that we 100 per cent have zero involvement with.

"This is something you have to talk with the production people about and what they were doing, and whatever it was.

"We've never seen anything they've shot, other than what's been on TV."

Earlier in the day, Cincinnati's Taylor told reporters: "I'm aware that there was an incident. But I know the league is investigating it, so I’ve got no comment."

Tom Brady said New England Patriots fans have the right to boo the reigning Super Bowl champions during a tough stretch.

The Patriots were jeered by their own supporters at half-time of Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, as they trailed 20-7 after two quarters at Gillette Stadium.

New England dropped to 10-3 after a second straight defeat and third in five games.

Brady, who went 19-of-36 passing for 169 yards, a touchdown and an interception, is determined to handle the slump "gracefully", though, while accepting some fans would not be happy.

"We've had millions of people show up for our winning celebrations, our rallies after we've won Super Bowls," he told The Greg Hill Show on WEEI.

"I think when you play sports, nothing's guaranteed. You have wins, you have losses, you have highs, you have lows. You have great wins and very tough losses. How you handle those things gracefully is what's most important to me.

"Everyone has the right to do what they want to do, to feel how they want to feel.

"We as a team obviously feel very disappointed when we lose games, so you just take it for what it is and try to move forward and do the best you can do. That's what we're trying to do out there."

A key issue for the Patriots last week was the identity of their kicker, which remained uncertain heading into the weekend.

Nick Folk ultimately played just 10 days after having appendicitis, but Brady was not looking to make excuses, insisting similar challenges arrive in every season.

"I think you look at those as opportunities as an offense," he said. "We had chances there to make some plays and we just didn't.

"If our number's called, we've got to go out and execute. If special teams are called on, they've got to go and execute. And when the defense is called, they have been executing - those guys have been playing great all season and they gave us every chance yesterday.

"We've just got to keep fighting and keep battling. It hasn't been an easy season - that's fine, it's like every other year. Every season has its own unique challenges.

"We face them, we have to learn from them, and our whole season is ahead of us. We've got to rally together, trust each other, and go lay it on the line like we have been doing every week.

"This is about a one-week season for us and trying to go to Cincinnati and win on the road."

Brady was positive on an elbow injury post-game, and he added: "It's alright. I just took the helmet right on the inside of it.

"It's just a typical football game, nothing I haven't dealt with before. I'm just going to try to get some extra treatment and hopefully be 100 per cent for next week."

The Kansas City Chiefs clinched another division title by overcoming the New England Patriots, while the Seattle Seahawks' winning streak was ended.

The Chiefs handed the Patriots a second straight loss and secured the AFC West crown for the fourth consecutive NFL season.

Seattle's winning streak came to an end at five after losing to NFC West rivals the Los Angeles Rams.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans posted big wins and the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.

 

CHIEFS CLINCH

Patrick Mahomes helped the Chiefs past the Patriots 23-16 at Gillette Stadium.

Mahomes was 26 of 40 for 283 yards, a touchdown and an interception as the Chiefs improved to 9-4.

The Patriots dropped to 10-3 and had two TDs taken away by controversial officiating calls.

Tom Brady's right elbow was heavily wrapped after the loss, the quarterback finishing 19 of 36 for 169 yards, a TD and an interception.

 

SEAHAWKS' RUN SNAPPED BY RAMS

The Rams stopped the Seahawks' run with a 28-12 victory.

Jared Goff went 22 of 31 for 293 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (22 of 36 for 245 yards and an interception) struggled.

The Seahawks are now 10-3 and second in the NFC West, while the Rams (8-5) are chasing a wildcard.

 

CHARGERS, TITANS CRUISE

The Chargers ended a three-game losing run by thrashing the Jacksonville Jaguars 45-10.

Philip Rivers led the Chargers, completing 16 of 22 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns.

However, the Chargers were eliminated from playoff contention.

The Titans extended their winning streak to four by crushing the Oakland Raiders 42-21.

Titans QB Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdown passes, completing 21 of 27 for 391 yards for Tennessee (8-5), who are in the wildcard chase.

GAROPPOLO EARNS PRAISE, RAVENS ROLL ON

Jimmy Garoppolo threw four TDs in the San Francisco 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the New Orleans Saints, earning praise from head coach Kyle Shanahan.

"He's unbelievable. No matter what happens," Shanahan said. "He's had a lot of good games this year.

"He has had some times where he's made some mistakes. But he's the same guy every day. Just to be able to deal with that crowd noise and to deal with adversity that went in and out throughout the game, to be able to deal with me, he's the same and a lot of fun to coach."

The Baltimore Ravens booked their spot in the playoffs thanks to a 24-17 win over the Buffalo Bills.

However, tight end Mark Andrews (knee), linebacker Chris Board (concussion) and safety Anthony Levine Sr. (ankle) suffered injuries.

"Mark is not serious, maybe a thigh bruise type of thing," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said.

"Anthony is not serious, ankle. Both those guys told me they'd be back Thursday. We'll see how that goes as the week goes on."

 

WEEK 14 SCORES:

Atlanta Falcons 40-20 Carolina Panthers
Baltimore Ravens 24-17 Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns 27-19 Cincinnati Bengals
Green Bay Packers 20-15 Washington Redskins
Denver Broncos 38-24 Houston Texans
Minnesota Vikings 20-7 Detroit Lions
San Francisco 49ers 48-46 New Orleans Saints
New York Jets 22-21 Miami Dolphins
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-35 Indianapolis Colts
Los Angeles Chargers 45-10 Jacksonville Jaguars
Pittsburgh Steelers 23-17 Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs 23-16 New England Patriots
Tennessee Titans 42-21 Oakland Raiders
Los Angeles Rams 28-12 Seattle Seahawks

Tom Brady downplayed his elbow injury after the New England Patriots' loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL on Sunday.

The Patriots slipped to a second straight defeat, edged 23-16 by the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium to fall to 10-3 this season.

Brady's right elbow was heavily wrapped as he arrived to face the media, but the quarterback insisted he was OK.

"I just got hit right on my elbow, it's fine," the 42-year-old told reporters.

"Probably be on the injury report, but I'll be there next Sunday [against the Cincinnati Bengals]."

Brady went 19 of 36 for 169 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the loss to the Chiefs.

The six-time Super Bowl champion, who was unwilling to criticise officials despite some controversy, said the Patriots' offense was simply unable to deliver at key times.

"We got the ball, we moved it, we had some plays there where we could've scored and just couldn't quite," Brady said.

"We had a fourth down, we had some other ones in a red area, couple of fourth downs, just didn't make the plays when we needed to make 'em."

He added: "We've just got to go out and try to play better and try to win next week's game so, disappointing but not going to feel sorry for ourselves, try to go back to work and do a better job."

Wide receiver Antonio Brown has apologised to "the organisations I offended" as he bids to return to the NFL and "repair what I broke".

Brown is without a team after he was released by the New England Patriots earlier in the season amid allegations of sexual assault against him, which he strenuously denies, and misconduct.

The 31-year-old's departure from the Patriots in September was the latest move of a chaotic 12 months, with the player having also left the Pittsburgh Steelers and then the Oakland Raiders.

Brown clashed with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before getting a trade away from the Steelers, joining the Raiders.

However, he never played for Oakland, ultimately calling for the team to release him - and getting his wish - after numerous controversies, including a holdout with the NFL and a fine from the Raiders.

A stint with the Patriots was cut short, too, but Brown hopes to make amends - despite previously saying he would not return to the league.

"First and foremost, I'd like to apologise to my family, friends and anyone who I offended," he wrote on Instagram on Friday.

"I never once meant to make anyone feel like I wasn't thankful and appreciative of the opportunity that I was afforded to play the game I love. I've worked hard over the years to earn a chance to compete in the greatest game on earth.

"Over the years I was met with challenges and I can honestly say I didn't handle those challenges in the manner that I should have.

"Over the past few weeks I've had the opportunity to think about everything that's transpired and I am deeply sorry to all who I've offended.

"While my behaviour was inexcusable, sometimes when people are coming at you with false information and allegations, we handle ourselves in ways that we sometimes regret.

"I do take full responsibility for my actions and I'm working everyday to repair what I broke.

"I do know that if I'm ever given the opportunity to play the game that I love, I'm going to work extremely hard to show the world how much I appreciate another chance.

"To the organisations that I offended, I offer my sincere apology to you and my hope is that you forgive me and help me move on from this minor setback. I look forward to competing and helping a team reach their goals."

Bill Belichick jokingly suggested he may try to tempt Wes Welker out of retirement as the New England Patriots continue to search for a solution to their kicking issues.

The Pats boast a 10-2 record this season despite having to chop and change the identity of their kicker, using four different players in the role so far.

Stephen Gostkowski was the starter before being placed on injured reserve and, after Mike Nugent failed to successfully fill the void, Nick Folk's spell with the team was cut short when he had an appendix operation.

Kai Forbath was on duty for the Week 13 defeat to the Houston Texans, kicking a field goal while landing one of his two extra-point attempts, but he was subsequently released on Monday.

While there are reports Folk may return to New England in time for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs, they had still yet to have a recognised kicker on their roster early on Friday.

Asked about the situation in his news conference, Belichick said: "We will just have to see how it goes. We will go with what we've got, or… I don't know, see how it goes."

The Patriots head coach was then questioned over reports Folk is set to return, though when asked if an announcement was expected, he simply replied: "Nope".

Punter Jake Bailey is an option having accepted the added responsibility of kick-off duties in Gostkowski's absence, though Belichick seemed relaxed over the situation as he proposed the idea of a familiar face coming back to the team.

Welker's name cropped up during the media session as the wide receiver was occasionally utilised as an emergency kicker during his NFL career – including slotting over an extra point for the Pats in 2010.

"We were talking about him the other day – maybe we can see if we can round him up," Belichick jokingly said of Welker, who is now on the coaching staff at the San Francisco 49ers.

On a more serious note, he added: "If we lost three guys in any position it would be a problem."

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played down his toe and elbow injuries as the NFL Super Bowl champions prepare to face the Kansas City Chiefs.

Patriots star Brady was limited in practice on Thursday, with a toe and right elbow issue hampering the veteran.

However, the 42-year-old – a six-time Super Bowl champion and four-time MVP in the NFL showpiece – made light of the injury report.

"That might be the first time my toe's ever been on the injury report. You know us Patriots," Brady told Westwood One Sports.

"We're pretty diligent about listing everything, so I guess we have to make mention of my toe now as well."

"Isn't there some HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] violation or something like that, when I start talking about all my injuries? I'm doing pretty good," Brady added of his elbow.

"At this time of the year, I'll take it. I'll take anything if I'm still able to go out there and feel like I can play my best. I'm feeling really good, really positive about this week. We have a really great challenge ahead of us."

Brady was speaking ahead of Sunday's showdown against the Chiefs (8-4), with the Patriots (10-2) looking to bounce back from last week's 28-22 loss to the Houston Texans.

"It is going to be a very, very tough game," Brady said. "Hopefully we can go out there and play with the fire and energy we have, and go out there and have a great performance."

In 12 games this season, Brady has completed 297 throws for 3,268 yards – fifth in the NFL – and 18 touchdowns.

The Buffalo Bills against Lamar Jackson's Baltimore Ravens is the stand-out match-up of the Week 14 NFL schedule.

Orchard Park plays host as the Ravens chase a ninth straight win, having moved to top spot in the AFC last week.

But that is far from the only game to keep an eye on in the coming days, with the New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers meeting, while the New England Patriots take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

As division rivals the Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks also face one another, there is plenty to look forward to.

Using data from Stats Perform, we take a closer look at all the Week 14 fixtures.

 

Tom Brady admitted the New England Patriots offense is "learning as we go" after the reigning Super Bowl champions fell to a 28-22 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday.

New England lost just their second game this season, but there are wider concerns over their misfiring offense, which is ranked 14th in yards gained - their lowest ranking since the 2003 season.

Having lost tight end Rob Gronkowski to retirement after their Super Bowl LIII win in February, Brady has struggled to find a consistent receiver outside of Julian Edelman, with Antonio Brown released after just 11 days, Josh Gordon jettisoned in October and Mohamed Sanu battling injuries since he was acquired.

The Pats' rushing attack - ranked 21st in the NFL - has also struggled behind a less-than-stellar offensive line and three-time MVP Brady suggested there are several factors behind their offensive struggles.

"We're learning as we go. By no means, we're not 2-10. We're 10-2," he said in an interview with WEEI.

"I know there are very high expectations, as there are for us. I think the expectations for our team are often at a very, very, very high level. I understand that.

"But at the same time, I think there are realistic expectations with our circumstances and incorporating different elements and players and injuries."

New England are now the second seed in the AFC behind the Baltimore Ravens and a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday would also harm their hopes of securing a first-round bye in the playoffs.

"It's not like we haven't dealt with losses before," Brady added.

"I think a lot of it is about mental toughness and realising that when you don't play well, you're not supposed to win.

"You're not supposed to win when you put less than your best out there. Sometimes you get away with it. Most of the time you don't.

"I don't think anyone is feeling sorry for us. We're not feeling sorry for us. We're going to try to have a great week of preparation and see if we can get back to winning."

Deshaun Watson labelled Tom Brady the greatest of all time and explained he had achieved a career goal after inspiring the Houston Texans to victory over the New England Patriots.

Houston (8-4) earned a famous 28-22 win against the Patriots (10-2) on Sunday and the teams may end up doing battle once more in the playoffs.

Watson, 24, had lost his first two meetings with fellow quarterback Brady, 42, but completed 18 of 25 passes for 234 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions to triumph this time around. 

It was a memorable night for Watson as he also caught a TD pass himself from wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, with the Texans making it back-to-back wins.

Prior to the contest, the Pats' dominant defense had only allowed four passing TDs in 11 games and collected 15 interceptions, but Watson's display confounded those statistics.

"That's the GOAT," Watson said of Brady in an interview with NBC. "It's special for me - before he hangs it up I had to at least get one [win]. 

"The first two, I was 0-2, he got me, and I had to get this one. So it was great."

Watson also discussed beating Brady at his post-match media conference, with the Texans on a roll ahead of next week's home game against the Denver Broncos.

"As far as big wins, honestly, it's pretty big," he said. 

"Really just because it's Brady. I was 0-2 against Brady and who knows when he's going to hang it up. 

"That's my role model, a guy that's been doing it forever, over 20 years. I'm only alive for 20 years. It's pretty awesome to finally get one."

Brady and Watson talked on the field after the game and the Texans QB added: "He just congratulated me, said keep going, stay healthy. 

"We'll be in touch. We're going to talk this offseason. Definitely a resource that he's going to give an opportunity to check in and learn from him. I'm definitely going to take it.

"Just to see the love and respect we have for each other. It was big. It was awesome.

"The win builds our confidence, it builds the momentum for us to continue to try to push on. It shows us and shows the world that we can play with anyone on any given day if we come out and play."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.