The quest to qualify for the NFL playoffs continues in Week 13, including an intriguing battle between two teams boasting 8-3 records as we get to the business end of the regular season.

Losing had become a horrible habit for the Browns in recent years, but now - behind the two-heading running attack of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt - Cleveland sits at 8-3, putting them firmly on course for a wildcard berth.

Next up for them is a trip to the Tennessee Titans, who leaned on leading rusher Derrick Henry to beat the Colts last time out and seize control of the AFC South. 

The latest round of games also includes a pivotal NFC West battle, while the Steelers have to deal with a short week and the Washington Football Team as they aim to remain unbeaten.



Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans - Sunday, 1pm (all times Eastern)

- The Titans are 10-5 against Cleveland since the Browns franchise came back in 1999, including winning the previous three meetings. Last season's 43-13 Tennessee win in Week 1 was the largest by either team in the series since the Oilers set a franchise record in a 58-14 victory on December 9, 1990. 

- Cleveland's 8-3 start is the team's best since 1994, when the Browns began 9-3 under Bill Belichick and went on to win a playoff game, the franchise's last postseason triumph. Victory in Week 12 put an end to a 12-year streak of losing seasons. 

- Baker Mayfield is the first Browns quarterback to win three straight starts without throwing an interception since Vinny Testaverde in September 1995. The previous Browns QB with four straight victories and no picks? Frank Ryan, back in 1967. 

- Tennessee are coming off a 45-26 win at Indianapolis, the Titans' most points in a game since 2016 when they put 47 on the Green Bay Packers. Ryan Tannehill attempted just 22 passes in that Week 12 triumph, though he set a season high at 10.05 yards per attempt.


Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals - Sunday, 4.05pm

- The Cardinals were held under 21 points for the first time this season in their 20-17 loss to the New England Patriots last time out. Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this year and posted a 67.0 passer rating in the defeat, the second-worst rating of his NFL career.

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks - Sunday, 4.05pm

- These teams have split 18 all-time meetings. However, the Seahawks have won the past four, all by double digits. The most recent meeting was in 2017, a 24-7 Seattle triumph. The Giants last visited Seattle in 2014, a game  the home team won by a 38-17 scoreline. 

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday, 8.20pm

- The Chiefs have won their past 10 games against the Broncos, the franchise's second-longest winning streak against any single opponent (11 games against Denver, from 1964 to 1969). Patrick Mahomes threw for 462 yards in the victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12, meaning he is now responsible for five of the 10 400-yard passing games by a Chiefs quarterback.

Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers - Monday, 8.15pm

- The Bills have not had a 100-yard rusher in 16 games, the fourth-longest active streak in the NFL. Still, throwing the ball has worked just fine for them this season - Josh Allen has become the fourth Bill to pass for over 3,000 yards in consecutive seasons, joining Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jim Kelly and Tyrod Taylor.


New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons - Sunday, 1pm

- Taysom Hill is the second player in the Super Bowl era to score four rushing touchdowns through two career starts at quarterback, along with Eric Hipple, who did so for the Detroit Lions in 1981. However, the Falcons have improved under Raheem Morris, a 43-6 win over the Las Vegas Raiders last week meaning they are 4-2 since he took charge on an interim basis.

Washington Football Team at Pittsburgh Steelers - Monday, 7pm

- The Steelers are 11-0 for the first time in franchise history after beating the depleted Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday in a game delayed from Thanksgiving. Since 1970, nine of the 11 teams to start 11-0 have gone on to make the Super Bowl, including five that won it.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Josh Gordon could play during the final two weeks of the regular season after being conditionally reinstated by the NFL.

Gordon will be eligible to return to the field for the final two games, starting with the Week 16 showdown against the Los Angeles Rams, before the playoffs following Thursday's announcement.

The Super Bowl champion and Pro Bowler was suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL's policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse in December last year.

Gordon, who was signed by the Seahawks in November 2019, was banned for a fifth time in eight years over a substance abuse issue.

The 29-year-old can begin coronavirus testing on Friday and will be permitted to join the team starting December 9 for team meetings, individual meetings with the coaching staff and for individual workouts and strength conditioning.

Gordon cannot practice, travel with the team or attend games until December 21, following Seattle's Week 15 clash against the Washington Football Team.

The former Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots receiver has played in 63 games since entering the NFL in 2012 and he has made 247 catches for 4,252 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Gordon appeared in five games prior to his suspension last season, catching seven passes for 139 yards in Seattle.

The Seahawks top the NFC West with an 8-3 record, ahead of the Rams (7-4).

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz insisted he was ignoring talk about his position after a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Wentz has struggled this season, leading to speculation he could be benched and replaced by rookie Jalen Hurts.

Hurts briefly replaced Wentz during the Eagles' 23-17 loss to the Seahawks in the NFL on Monday.

But Wentz, who completed 25 of 45 passes for 215 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, and rushed for 42 yards on five carries, said he was blocking out suggestions he could lose his place.

"This is what you sign up for, as a quarterback ever since you're a kid you're prepared for any of those. Nothing's ever guaranteed," he told a news conference.

"For me I don't think about that though, I just try and go out and be the best player I can be, in practice, prepare my tail off, compete my tail off and hopefully we can get this thing turned around.

"I don't think about those things, I'm going to give it everything I've got every time I step on the field."

Wentz was sacked six times by the Seahawks, taking that tally to an NFL-high 46 this season, while he also has a league-high 15 interceptions to go with his 16 TD passes.

A slow start proved particularly costly for the Eagles, who failed to get a first down on their opening five drives and had minus-one total yards.

Wentz said the slow starts were frustrating for Philadelphia (3-7-1).

"I've got to go watch the tape. I know some things we just missed, we didn't execute. I can be better early in the games," he said.

"I think they made some plays early and did some things differently than what we had planned, but the slow starts are frustrating.

"That's the biggest thing I'm going to go back and watch and see how we can change that, and how we can change the momentum early in ball games so we can not put ourselves behind the eight ball like that."

Russell Wilson believes his poise and preparation have been key to his primetime success after helping the Seattle Seahawks beat the Philadelphia Eagles.

Wilson completed 22 of 31 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown as the Seahawks overcame the Eagles 23-17 on Monday to improve to 8-3.

The Seahawks star's win percentage of 77.6 in primetime is the best in the NFL since 1950, with at least 20 starts, according to NFL Research.

Wilson said preparation was key to his success, with the win meaning the Seahawks are still unbeaten against the Eagles in Philadelphia since 1989.

"I think just staying poised, I think just believing and always being prepared. I believe in being prepared," the quarterback told ESPN.

"I believe our football team was prepared. We're playing championship football, we got through some tough times, we're also doing a great job all season."

Wilson also hailed the Seahawks' defense as Seattle moved clear of the Los Angeles Rams (7-4), Arizona Cardinals (6-5) and San Francisco 49ers (5-6) in the NFC West.

"Our defense really stepped up the past few games, they look unbelievable," he said.

"Carlos Dunlap's a big pick up for us, Jamal Adams has been unbelievable, [Quandre] Diggs, Bobby Wagner's as good as it gets, I don't know if there's ever been a better linebacker, there's been some good ones and that's a big comment.

"I'm just grateful for our guys. DK Metcalf made some great plays today, he got a lot of catches, Tyler [Lockett] special, guys ran the ball really well.

"We had that holding call it could've been another touchdown, we had a couple of big plays that could've been there too to really break the game open, but we kept at it and we did it together and that's what championship teams do.

"I just love playing, I love being prepared, I love winning and I love the process more than the end result."

The Seattle Seahawks continued their dominance of the Philadelphia Eagles with a 23-17 win in the NFL on Monday.

The Seahawks strengthened their grip on top spot in the NFC West, improving to 8-3 thanks to their victory at Lincoln Financial Field.

It extended Seattle's strong record over the Eagles, who last beat the Seahawks in 2008. The last time they beat them in Philadelphia was in 1989.

Seahawks star Russell Wilson was below his best but completed 22 of 31 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown, while DK Metcalf had 177 receiving yards.

The Seahawks are clear of the Los Angeles Rams (7-4), Arizona Cardinals (6-5) and San Francisco 49ers (5-6) in the NFC West.

Philadelphia, third in the NFC East, dropped to 3-7-1 as their struggles continued and they suffered a third straight loss.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was 25 of 45 for 215 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while being sacked six times and also rushing for 42 yards.

Both teams struggled offensively early, with the Eagles going without a first down on their first five drives while totalling minus-one total yard.

Seattle got on the board in the second quarter, Wilson connecting with David Moore after setting up the TD with a 52-yard pass to Metcalf.

The Seahawks went 14-0 ahead thanks to Chris Carson, who fought off the Eagles with a 16-yard rushing touchdown.

But a 15-play, 75-yard drive would get Philadelphia a response before half-time, Wentz finding Dallas Goedert with a three-yard pass.

Jake Elliott's 42-yard field goal brought the Eagles closer before Jason Myers drilled two as Seattle led 20-9 early in the fourth quarter.

Myers added another before Philadelphia scored a TD with 12 seconds remaining, Richard Rodgers taking a great one-handed catch after Wentz's 33-yard pass was ricocheted in the endzone.

The last two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks are set to face off on Sunday as Patrick Mahomes' Kansas City Chiefs face Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Defending champions Kansas City have a 9-1 record this season, while the Buccaneers are 7-3.

Though Tampa have lost two of their past three games, the Chiefs' most recent two victories have been by tight margins, and now an all-time great in the form of six-time Super Bowl champion Brady goes up against the league's current star quarterback.

The game in Florida is among the key Thanksgiving weekend matchups we preview with Stats Perform data.


Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sunday, 4:25pm (all times Eastern)

- This game is a matchup of the quarterbacks who won the past two Super Bowls, with Brady winning Super Bowl LIII two seasons ago with the New England Patriots and Mahomes and the Chiefs winning the Lombardi Trophy last February. The Bucs are 1-4 this season versus QBs who have started in Super Bowls, and 6-0 in all other games.

- Kansas City have reeled off five straight victories, scoring 30 or more points in each of the last four contests. In the franchise's 61-year history, the team has scored 30 or more points in five successive games on two occasions, in 2004 and 2018 (both streaks ended at five games).

- With a 13.5 touchdown-interception ratio (27 TD passes, two picks), Mahomes is tied for the second best single-season mark among qualifiers in league history. He is topped by only Brady and his 14.0 mark in 2016 as a member of the Patriots (28 and two).

- Twenty years and six days after making his NFL debut, Brady will look to snap a two-game home losing streak. It is the third time in his career and first since 2006 that the veteran campaigner has lost consecutive home contests in the regular season; he has never suffered a three-game home losing streak.


Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots - Sunday, 1pm

- New England have won six of the last seven games between these teams dating back to 1993, with Arizona's only win coming in 2012 in Foxborough. The Cardinals have not scored more than 21 points in any of those seven games – they had at least 24 in six of the first seven all-time meetings between these teams (6-1).

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts - Sunday, 1pm

- Ryan Tannehill has 44 touchdown passes and nine interceptions in his 20 starts with Tennessee. His 4.89 TD/INT ratio is the best all-time by a quarterback in his first 20 starts with a team, surpassing Peyton Manning with the Denver Broncos (4.82).

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers - Sunday, 8:20pm

- Green Bay are 15-3 against Chicago since the 2011 season – the third best record by one team against a divisional opponent in that span, behind the Patriots against the New York Jets (17-2) and the Steelers against the Cinciannati Bengals (16-3). Since the start of last season, the Bears have gone 14 games scoring fewer than 20 points. Only the Jets (17), Bengals (15), and Washington (15) have had more such games.

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles - Monday, 8:15pm

- The Eagles are 2-5 against the Seahawks in Philadelphia, their worst home record against any active franchise. Losers of the last five such matchups, Philly have not dropped six consecutive home games to a single opponent since losing six straight to the Cardinals from 1973 to 1978.


Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills - Sunday, 1pm

- The Chargers have won four straight over the Bills by a combined 80 points, winning each by double digits. The last time the Bills beat the Chargers was on October 19, 2008 – that 12-year span without a win is the fourth-longest active drought by any team against a conference opponent.

Las Vegas Raiders at Atlanta Falcons - Sunday, 1pm

- Atlanta's Matt Ryan is set to play in his 200th career game on Sunday. His tally of 54,164 passing yards (though 199 games) is the second-most in NFL history in a player's first 200 games, trailing only Drew Brees (55,439).

Russell Wilson said he is always aiming "to remain calm in the midst of the storm" after returning to form in the Seattle Seahawks' win over the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday.

The Seahawks' quarterback had suffered a dip in performances, throwing seven interceptions since Week 7 in a run that saw Seattle lose three of four games prior to the 28-21 victory.

Against the Cardinals, Wilson was 23-of-28 passing for 197 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, while he rushed for 42 yards on 10 carries in Seattle.

His two touchdown throws took his tally to 30 for the season, joining Brett Favre and Drew Brees as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to hit that mark in four consecutive seasons.

The seven-time Pro Bowler also earned his 93rd career win as a starter, surpassing Peyton Manning for the most by any QB in his first nine seasons in league history, per NFL Research. 

Speaking after the game, Wilson said the ups and downs are simply are part of being an elite athlete.

"There's always highs and lows and tough challenges, but I think great players always know: one, how to be consistent and two, how to consistently adjust and how to consistently overcome," he said. 

"And I think that, for me, that's my mentality all the time. I want to be neutral. I want to be able to remain calm in the midst of the storm.

"I know the kind of player that I am. I know what I'm capable of and they do, too, other teams and stuff like that. 

"So, just staying in attack mode. I know who I am, I know what kind of player I am. I'm never gonna doubt it and we let it rip and do some cool things today. Just felt completely in control the whole game."

One negative for the NFC West-leading Seahawks was the loss of veteran tight end Greg Olsen early in the fourth quarter.

Olsen went down without taking contact and coach Pete Carroll fears he has ruptured the plantar fascia in his left foot.

"He has a fascia tear injury that he's had before in his other foot," Carroll said. "He knows exactly what it is.

"Sometimes when it ruptures like it did - we think - it's the best thing for a quick recovery. So we'll see what happens and wish him the best, and hopefully he can make it back. 

"The fact that he's already had this before really helps him understand what's coming up."

Asked if he will play again this season, Carroll added: "I don't know that yet. There's been some marvellous returns for guys who do rupture their fascia that would blow you away. 

"Right now, he's in really a lot of discomfort and all that. But we'll see what happens. I can't tell you anymore. It's pretty early to be talking about it."

The Cardinals had a chance to tie the game with their final drive but paid the price for a plethora of penalties, while the team's running game never truly took flight.

Quarterback Kyler Murray was 29 of 42 for two touchdowns and no interceptions, while he had five carries for 15 yards.

Murray admitted after the game the team were not quite on it at Lumen Field.

"It wasn't a clean game by any means," Murray said. "We've got to be better.

"We will be better. It was just a tough night."

In total the Cardinals gave up 10 penalties for 115 yards, with coach Kliff Kingsbury conceding: "You're not going to win the league doing that."

Russell Wilson joined an elite group in the NFL after inspiring the Seattle Seahawks to a 28-21 victory over the rallying Arizona Cardinals.

Wilson threw two touchdowns to take his tally to 30 for the season, joining Brett Favre and Drew Brees as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw 30-plus TDs in four consecutive seasons.

The seven-time Pro Bowler also earned his 93rd career win as a starter, surpassing Peyton Manning for the most by any QB in his first nine seasons in league history, per NFL Research.

Seahawks star Wilson had thrown seven interceptions since Week 7 – Seattle losing three of their four games in that period – but the Super Bowl champion and his team returned to form to claim top spot in the NFC West on Thursday.

Wilson was 23-of-28 passing for 197 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, while he rushed for 42 yards on 10 carries in Seattle, where the Seahawks improved to 7-3 for the season.

Kyler Murray and the Cardinals threatened another comeback following last week's stunning Hail Mary success, but the visitors were unable to take down the Seahawks.

Murray was 29 of 42 for two touchdowns and no interceptions, while he had five carries for 15 yards for the 6-4 Cardinals.

Wilson and the Seahawks set the tone early – the signal-caller connected with DK Metcalf on a 25-yard pass in the opening quarter before Arizona's Kenyan Drake rushed to level the scores in the second period.

Another TD pass from Wilson found Tyler Lockett inside the final nine minutes of the quarter – the latter joining Jerry Rice as the only players in the Super Bowl era with 20-plus receptions, 250-plus receiving yards and four-plus receiving touchdowns against a single opponent in a season in the Super Bowl era.

Jason Myers' 27-yard field goal stretched Seattle's lead to 16-7 at half-time, but the Cardinals refused to go away following the interval – Murray's touchdown throws to Dan Arnold and Chase Edmonds, sandwiched in between Carlos Hyde's two-yard run, reducing the deficit to 23-21.

However, the Seahawks were not to be denied as a penalty and Myers' 41-yard field goal saw Seattle improve to 5-0 on home soil in 2020.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson vowed to "keep swinging" following his loss of form amid the team's struggles.

Wilson threw two interceptions as the slumping Seahawks lost for the third time in four games, beaten 23-16 by the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL on Sunday.

The Seahawks star failed to throw a touchdown in the defeat, finishing 22 of 37 passing for 248 yards against the Rams, while he was sacked on six occasions, having turned the ball over once and fumbled once.

Heading into Week 7, Wilson had only thrown three interceptions, however the Super Bowl champion has since tallied seven in four appearances.

"You may slip and fall a little bit," Wilson said, with the Seahawks, Rams and Arizona Cardinals now level atop the NFC West at 6-3 after Seattle opened the season 5-0. "You've got to just keep climbing.

"I think Vince Lombardi said something about that one time. I think he talked about the man who's on top of the mountain didn't just get there. It's so true I think that as a team, there's always challenges ... The guys that can keep getting up and keep swinging, those are the players and those are the teams that keep overcoming.

"What I do know about myself is I'm an over-comer. I've been doubted before. One thing about me is I'm going to keep swinging."

Wilson has 233 completions from 334 attempts for 2,789 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions through nine games this season.

The seven-time Pro Bowler only managed five interceptions during the 2019 campaign, and seven the season prior in Seattle.

"He needs to play better," Seahawks offensive co-ordinator Brian Schottenheimer said. "He knows that. We can't turn the ball over."

The Seahawks face Kyler Murray and the Cardinals on Thursday.

Russell Wilson is determined to dust himself down and go again following a disappointing showing in the Seattle Seahawks' 23-16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

The star quarterback failed to throw a touchdown, finishing 22 of 37 passing for 248 yards and two interceptions as the Rams (6-3) tied the Seahawks at the top of the NFC West.

Despite an uncharacteristically untidy display, Wilson spoke like a man with no regrets.

"I'm never going to shy away from leaving it all out there," he said.

"If you don't shoot, you'll never make it, you know what I mean?

"We can still get better; we can still find our way. We've got tough challenges ahead of us but nothing that we can't overcome and nothing that I won't overcome.

"I'm looking forward to keep going and just keep believing in it all."

The first of Wilson's interceptions saw him attempt to seek out tight end Will Dissly in the end zone, passing up on the chance to scramble for the first down in a move that backfired courtesy of Rams cornerback Darious Williams' intervention.

It came as a surprise to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who expects much better from the 31-year-old.

"Yes, it was a bad play," he said. "It was a decision that, you know, rarely have we seen Russ do.

"He's on the other side of the field moving that way and throwing the ball back across. He does miraculous things often and that wasn't one of them."

Ben Roethlisberger returned and fuelled the red-hot Pittsburgh Steelers as a Hail Mary pass lifted the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL.

Coronavirus protocols kept Roethlisberger away from Pittsburgh's team facility all week, but the star quarterback led the unbeaten Steelers to a 36-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Kyler Murray's throw saw the Cardinals claim a stunning last-gasp 32-30 success against the Buffalo Bills, while Cam Newton enjoyed a memorable outing as the New England Patriots upstaged the Baltimore Ravens.



There is no stopping the Steelers through nine games of the 2020 season.

Roethlisberger – one of four Steelers placed on the COVID-19 list at the start of the week – threw for a season-high 333 yards and four touchdowns, completing 27 of 46 passes.

The two-time Super Bowl champion connected with Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster in the first half, before throwing TD passes to Chase Claypool twice in the second half.

T.J. Watt sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow twice – he had two sacks, four QB hits and two tackles for loss. T.J. Watt and J.J. Watt (2015) are the only players over the past 15 seasons to record nine-plus sacks, 25-plus quarterback hits and 10-plus tackles for loss in their team's first nine games of a season, per NFL Research.

It was a tough outing for number one pick Burrow, who was 21 of 40 for 213 yards, a touchdown and four sacks as the Bengals fell to 2-6-1.



Murray made NFL history after combining with DeAndre Hopkins for an incredible game-winning touchdown for the Cardinals.

Murray's 43-yard pass was brilliantly caught by Hopkins in the endzone with two seconds remaining to secure a victory for the Cardinals, who improved to 6-3 after scoring 17 unanswered points, having trailed the Bills 23-9.

The top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Murray's throw to Hopkins was his only touchdown pass, as he finished 22 of 32 for 245 yards.

According to Stats Perform, Murray became the first player in NFL history with a pass TD and a rush TD in five straight games, thanks to his pass to Hopkins.

Murray also joined Newton as the only QBs in NFL history with 6,000-plus pass yards and 1,000-plus rush yards in their first 25 career games, as per NFL Research.



The Patriots may be struggling following the departure of Tom Brady, but Bill Belichick's side shocked the Ravens 23-17 for back-to-back wins.

Newton became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era with nine rushing touchdowns in his first eight games of a season, according to NFL Research.

The former MVP rushed for one TD and 21 yards, while he was 13-of-17 passing for 118 yards and another touchdown in New England, where the Patriots (4-5) rallied.

With seven weeks still remaining, 2020 is already the first season in league history in which two quarterbacks – Newton (nine) and Murray (10) – have each had nine-plus rushing TDs.

Baltimore star and reigning MVP Lamar Jackson was 24 of 34 for 249 yards, two touchdowns and an interception as the Ravens fell to 6-3.



The Los Angeles Rams smothered Seattle Seahawks star quarterback Russell Wilson and won 23-16.

Wilson did not throw a touchdown, finishing 22 of 37 passing for 248 yards and two interceptions as the Rams (6-3) stifled the high-flying Seahawks (6-3).

The NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints topped the San Francisco 49ers 27-13 but it came at a cost on home soil.

Drew Brees suffered a rib injury in the first half and is set to undergo an MRI and X-Ray after taking a hit from 49ers defensive tackle Kentavius Street before being replaced by Jameis Winston at half-time.

Brees threw a touchdown, the 41-year-old finishing eight of 13 for 76 yards as the Saints eventually improved to 7-2 for the season.


Week 10 scores:

Cleveland Browns 10-7 Houston Texans
Detroit Lions 30-27 Washington Football Team
Green Bay Packers 24-20 Jacksonville Jaguars
New York Giants 27-17 Philadelphia Eagles
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 46-23 Carolina Panthers
Pittsburgh Steelers 36-10 Cincinnati Bengals
Los Angeles Rams 23-16 Seattle Seahawks
New Orleans Saints 27-13 San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals 32-30 Buffalo Bills
Las Vegas Raiders 37-12 Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins 29-21 Los Angeles Chargers
New England Patriots 23-17 Baltimore Ravens

The Seattle Seahawks looked like Super Bowl frontrunners only a matter of weeks ago, but two defeats in their past three games have damaged that status, with MVP candidate Russell Wilson's efforts undone by the struggles of the worst defense of the Pete Carroll era.

Seattle conceded 44 points in their Week 9 loss to the Buffalo Bills last Sunday, the most they have given up since Carroll took the reins in 2010.

They are giving up 362.1 net passing yards per game, putting them on pace to be the worst defense in NFL history in that regard. The Atlanta Falcons are allowing 310.3 net passing yards per game, with the 2011 Green Bay Packers (299.8) the current owners of that unwanted record.

It is a happier story when it comes to run defense. The Seahawks are one of just seven teams allowing under 100 rushing yards per game.

Yet the strength against the ground game will count for little if they cannot stop opposing aerial attacks.

Is their susceptibility to the pass something that can be fixed and, if not, will it prove a fatal flaw in the postseason? We examined the numbers to answer those questions.

Shaquill's struggles

One reason for the Seahawks' issues stopping opposing aerial attacks has been the drop off in play from cornerback Shaquill Griffin, who has missed the past two games due to a concussion and a hamstring injury.

Griffin was expected to make the leap and establish himself as one of the league's best cornerbacks in 2020. That jump has not materialised.

While he already has two interceptions this season, Griffin is giving up 8.7 yards per target, having surrendered 7.3 in 2019. 

He has allowed five passing touchdowns in his six games after conceding only four last season, while the passer rating of opposing quarterbacks when they target him is a career-high 113.1.

Griffin has the size and the coverage ability to be a star corner, but the Seahawks need him back on the field and they need him to rediscover his 2019 form.

Bringing the blitz

The Seahawks found defensive success in their Week 9 win over the San Francisco 49ers as an aggressive approach paid off.

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan was expected to utilise his play-calling acumen to take apart Seattle but his efforts were hamstrung as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo struggled in the face of the blitz.

Seattle blitzed Garoppolo 10 times before he left the game with an ankle issue, sacking him three times and producing two hurries and a quarterback hit for a pressure rate of 30 per cent.

Garoppolo finished with 84 yards and an interception, but hopes of a similar plan of attack paying off against Buffalo were emphatically extinguished.

The Seahawks blitzed Josh Allen 26 times and recorded seven sacks. However, they pressured the Bills quarterback on just 20.8 per cent of dropbacks and saw Allen shred them for 415 yards and three touchdowns.

With a secondary being beaten so consistently, there is a strong argument that throwing caution to the wind and regularly sending the blitz in the hope that it creates enough negative plays for offenses is Seattle's best bet to slow teams down.

But as the past two weeks have shown, it is a tactic that produces volatile results, and the elite quarterbacks in the NFL can frequently expose blitzing defenses. It is, therefore, unlikely to be a fix to Seattle's defensive woes.

If those issues cannot be fixed, will they be fatal to the Seahawks' Super Bowl ambitions?

A fatal flaw?

History says the answer to the previous question is yes.

The 2011 New England Patriots hold the record for the highest number of net passing yards allowed per game among teams to have reached the Super Bowl. New England surrendered 293.9 yards per game, but the Seahawks are on course to blow that average out of the water.

Bill Belichick's men were on the losing side in Super Bowl XLVI, falling to a New York Giants team that also features in the top five after giving up 255.1 yards per game in the 2011 regular season.

The 2016 Falcons (266.7), the 2017 Patriots (251.3) and the 2013 Denver Broncos (254.4) were all defeated while conceding over 30 points, the latter stomped 43-8 by Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII.

At this point, it would take a significant turnaround for the Seahawks not to finish last in the NFL in net passing yards allowed per game. Only the 1983 Washington Redskins have done so and still reached the Super Bowl.

Washington were crushed 38-9 by the then-Los Angeles Raiders in that Super Bowl, a look back through the years providing little reason for hope that Seattle can prevail this season despite their dreadful defense.

Quarterback Wilson has kept the Seahawks in every game this year, but it is dangerous to rely on him to do that down the stretch and throughout the postseason.

Throughout Carroll's tenure, the Seahawks have made a habit of turning the seemingly impossible into a reality. Unless there are dramatic changes on defense in the near future, overcoming a historically bad defensive season will likely prove too much for even Carroll and Wilson.

Two in-form quarterbacks will go head to head when the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams meet in a crunch NFC West game on Sunday.

Russell Wilson's phenomenal displays have helped the Seahawks go 6-2 to top their division, but Jared Goff has strung together some impressive performances and is coming off a bye week ahead of a mouth-watering clash at SoFi Stadium.

The Buffalo Bills have made their best start to a season since they made the Super Bowl after the 1993 season, but their defense will need to be strong to keep DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals at bay.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be hoping to improve to 9-0 against the Cincinnati Bengals this weekend but could be forced into doing something that has not occurred in 22 years.

We use Stats Perform data to preview the standout matchups in Week 10.


Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams - Sunday, 4.25pm (all times Eastern)

- The Seahawks average 34.3 points per game and allow 30.4; their games produce an NFL-high average of 64.7 total points. Rams games, meanwhile, see an average 43.1 points scored – 24.1 by Los Angeles and 19.1 by their opponents – which is the fourth lowest in the league.

- Wilson needs two touchdown passes to reach 30 for the fourth consecutive season and fifth time in his career. Dave Krieg is the only other Seahawk to have hit that mark, having thrown for 32 touchdowns in 1984.

- Goff has thrown TD passes in seven straight games, setting a personal high for consecutive games with a touchdown pass in a single season. The last such single-season streak of eight or more games by a Rams QB occurred in 2005 by Marc Bulger (eight games).


Los Angeles Chargers at Miami Dolphins – Sunday, 4.05pm

Tua Tagovailoa has won each of his first two starts, throwing three touchdowns and no interceptions. Only one Dolphins quarterback has started his NFL career 3-0 before, Damon Huard in 1999.

Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals – Sunday, 4.05pm

- The Bills' 7-2 start is their best through nine games since 1993 (7-2), when they made their fourth straight Super Bowl appearance. However, wideout Hopkins has 60 receptions this season, the most by a player in his first eight games with a team in NFL history, and is eight receptions away from becoming the first player with 700 receptions before turning 29.

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers – Sunday, 4.25pm

- Ben Roethlisberger was this week added to the Steelers' reserve/COVID-19 list and if he is unable to start Pittsburgh would be the first team since the 1998 Denver Broncos to change starting QBs with an unbeaten record and eight or more wins. His absence would deny an entertaining matchup with Bengals signal caller Joe Burrow, who has passed 330 times, has five 300-yard games and 284.0 yards per contest with a record of 2-5-1 after eight starts in his rookie campaign. At the same point in his debut season in 2004, Roethlisberger attempted 172 passes, had no 300-yard games, averaged 176.5 yards per game – and went 8-0.

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots – Sunday, 8.20pm

- Cam Newton has six more rushing touchdowns (eight) than passing touchdowns (two) this season. The last player with that big of a difference was Chicago's Johnny Lujack in 1950, who finished with 11 rush TDs to just four pass TDs (minimum 100 pass attempts in season).


Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns – Sunday, 1pm

- Nick Chubb has been designated to return from injured reserve this week after missing the Browns' previous four games. Cleveland have averaged 204.5 rushing yards per game in four games with Chubb in the lineup this season and 95.5 yards per game without him.

San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints – Sunday, 4.25pm

- The 49ers are averaging 53.5 rush yards per game and 2.74 yards per rush over its past two games compared to 137.7 per game and 4.77 per rush over their first seven.

The Seattle Seahawks suffered only their second defeat of the NFL season in Week 9 but still produced an offensive performance that continued their crucial reinvention as a pass-happy team.

Seattle approached Sunday's clash with the Buffalo Bills following news Pete Carroll had signed a contract extension to make him the highest-paid head coach in the NFL.

He was not able to celebrate with a victory as the Bills surged to a 44-34 triumph by exploiting a Seahawks defense that struggles defending the pass.

Yet it was a game in which their points tally saw the Seahawks join an elite group, illustrating their status as a Super Bowl contender in a league in which offense is king.

Seahawks offense continues to soar in defeat

By scoring 34 points, the Seahawks became the sixth team in NFL history to score at least 25 points in the first eight games of a season.

They did so against the Bills despite Buffalo disrupting MVP frontrunner Russell Wilson on a regular basis. Wilson was sacked five times, fumbled twice and was intercepted twice.

That Seattle's offense succeeded in producing to such a level even as Wilson performed below his brilliant best is indicative of how high the Seahawks' ceiling is when he is at his peak.

It is a significant change in strategy from Carroll and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer that has turned Seattle's attack into such a juggernaut.

Their commitment to the running game had long since been a source of frustration for Seahawks fans and observers. 

In 2019, their pass rate of 54 per cent was the sixth-lowest in the league. This year, the Seahawks have a pass rate of 62 per cent, the fifth-highest in the NFL.

Carroll has finally put the onus on Wilson and the results have been superb, the Seattle quarterback leads the league in touchdowns (28) and touchdown percentage (9.4) and is averaging the highest adjusted net yards per pass attempt (8.05) of his career.

The offensive reinvention many had long called for has been crucial to Seattle's 6-2 start and will likely be a key factor in veteran coach Carroll keeping the Seahawks in the Super Bowl hunt each year until his career comes to a close.

Kingsbury's questionable call follows more Murray magic

One coach who still has a long way to go to match Carroll's laundry list of achievements is Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals.

Kingsbury's decision to kick a potential game-tying field goal on fourth down late in the fourth quarter of their 34-31 defeat to the Miami Dolphins proved costly as Zane Gonzalez's kick came up short.

That call always looked dubious given the effectiveness of dual-threat quarterback Kyler Murray on short-yardage runs.

Murray finished Sunday's game with 283 passing yards and three touchdowns along with a career-high 106 rushing yards and a further score.

He is the fourth quarterback in the Super Bowl era with at least three passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in consecutive games.

His eight rushing touchdowns are the most by a quarterback through the first eight games of a season in the Super Bowl era, while he is only the fourth QB to run for at least 500 yards in each of their first two seasons in the league.

Arizona's loss saw the Cardinals miss out on the chance to leapfrog the Seahawks in the NFC West and, given Murray's historic production, Kingsbury's decision to put the game on the foot of his kicker rather than the hands of his best player deserves significant scrutiny.

Mahomes the comeback king... again

The Kansas City Chiefs moved to 8-1 with a nervier win over the Carolina Panthers than many anticipated. 

Kansas City had to overcome an 11-point deficit to see off the Panthers 33-31, making it the 28th game in which a team has overcome a deficit of at least 10 points this season. That is the second-highest tally through nine weeks in NFL history behind the 1987 campaign (30).

Star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who became the fastest quarterback in NFL history to 100 passing touchdowns in the victory, led three double-digit fightbacks in the playoffs on the Chiefs' run to Super Bowl glory last season.

His penchant for engineering revivals has not stopped in the 2020 season and he will likely be inspiring turnarounds for years to come in what looks set to be a storied career.

The Pittsburgh Steelers made history in their ugly win over the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL, while the New Orleans Saints dismantled the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

For the first time in their history, the Steelers are 8-0 to start the season following Sunday's 24-19 victory against the Cowboys.

The Los Angeles Chargers suffered an agonising defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders and the Miami Dolphins topped the Arizona Cardinals.



The Steelers have won eight consecutive games to open the 2020 season, surpassing the 7-0 mark set by the 1978 team.

Pittsburgh, though, did not have it all their own after trailing by as many as 13 points against the Cowboys.

The Steelers used a big final quarter, scoring 15 unanswered points to take down the Cowboys in Dallas.

Ben Roethlisberger's afternoon almost ended early after hurting his left knee, but the star Steelers quarterback finished 29-of-42 passing for 306 yards and three touchdowns.

Roethlisberger became the second QB in NFL history to lead his team to an 8-0 start at the age of 38 or older (must have started all eight games), per Stats Perform. The other is Brady, who achieved the feat in 2015 and 2019.

Cowboys QB Garrett Gilbert was 21 of 38 for 243 yards, a touchdown and one interception as Dallas fell to 2-7.



Tom Brady and the Buccaneers were no match for the Saints in Sunday's blockbuster showdown, beaten 38-3.

The Buccaneers (6-3) had won three games in a row to top the NFC South ahead of the Saints (6-2).

But the Saints claimed top spot in the division thanks to Drew Brees' dazzling display in Tampa, where the star quarterback threw four touchdowns on 26-of-32 passing for 222 yards.

In contrast, Brady was 22 of 38 for 209 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions on a tough night for the Buccaneers, who were scoreless until late in the final quarter.



The Raiders handed the Chargers a soul-crushing 31-26 loss.

Los Angeles thought they had claimed one of the most thrilling wins of the season when Justin Herbert (28 of 42 for 326 yards and two TDs) connected with Donald Parham for a game-clinching touchdown on the final play.

However, there was a review as the Chargers (2-6) celebrated.

The review went against the Chargers – Parham lost the ball as he went to ground and the Raiders (5-3) escaped with back-to-back wins.

Raiders QB Derek Carr was 13 of 23, finishing with 165 yards and two touchdowns.

Tua Tagovailoa impressed as the Dolphins took down the playoff-contending Cardinals 34-31 for their fourth successive triumph.

Tagovailoa ended the game 20-of-28 passing for 248 yards and two touchdowns, while Cardinals counterpart Kyler Murray was 21 of 26 for 283 yards and three TDs.


Week 9 scores:

Atlanta Falcons 34-27 Denver Broncos
Buffalo Bills 44-34 Seattle Seahawks
Baltimore Ravens 24-10 Indianapolis Colts
Houston Texans 27-25 Jacksonville Jaguars
Kansas City Chiefs 33-31 Carolina Panthers
Minnesota Vikings 34-20 Detroit Lions
Tennessee Titans 24-17 Chicago Bears
New York Giants 23-20 Washington Football Team
Pittsburgh Steelers 24-19 Dallas Cowboys
Miami Dolphins 34-31 Arizona Cardinals
Las Vegas Raiders 31-26 Los Angeles Chargers
New Orleans Saints 38-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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