With just six weeks left of the regular season schedule, the drama in the NFL continues to ramp up.

The playoff picture is wide open and Week 13 action presents clashes between a number of sides who each boast a winning record this season.

Victories this week would provide a considerable boost for those teams' hopes of continuing beyond the regular campaign.

A huge divisional rivalry between the Washington Commanders and New York Giants is the pick of the action, while there is also a rematch from last season's AFC Championship game with the Kansas City Chiefs seeking redemption against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Stats Perform has delved into the numbers for those matchups along with some of Sunday's other big games.

New York Jets (7-4) @ Minnesota Vikings (9-2)

The Jets head to Minnesota with an 8-3 record against the Vikings, though have lost the last two meetings – including a 37-17 loss in the last meeting in 2018, which marked the most ever points scored by the Vikings in this series.

Defensive strength has been key for the Jets this season, with last week's 31-10 victory over the Chicago Bears being the fourth time this year where they have held their opponents to 10 or fewer points – the last time they had such a sequence was five games in 2010, which was also their last season with a trip to the playoffs.

The Jets defense will be tested against the Vikings' aerial threat, however, with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen each catching touchdown passes in the Thanksgiving win over the New England Patriots – the ninth time each player has had a receiving TD in the same game, which marks the most of any NFL teammates since Jefferson's 2020 debut.

A win against the Jets would see head coach Kevin O'Connell join Jim Caldwell and Jim Harbaugh as the only men this century to earn 10 wins in 12 or fewer games to start their career as an NFL head coach.

Washington Commanders (7-5) @ New York Giants (7-4)

A series sweep for Washington last season was the franchise's first against the Giants since 2011, leaving the Commanders looking for their first win streak of at least three games against New York since a four-game streak that ended in 2000.

Four consecutive wins on the road have seen Washington hold their opponents to 54 points total in those contests, marking the first time they have won four straight road games while allowing fewer than 60 points since 2001.

The Giants head into the contest having lost their last five against divisional opponents, standing just 1-7 in that regard over the past two seasons. That makes them just one of two teams without multiple wins in divisional games over that span (also Denver Broncos, 1-8).

Saquon Barkley remains the biggest threat for the Giants and sits just eight rushing yards short of his third 1000-yard season, where he would join Tiki Barber (6), Rodney Hampton (5) and Joe Morris (3) as the only Giants with at least three such seasons for the team.

Tennessee Titans (7-4) @ Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)

Philadelphia host the Titans on the back of a six-game winning run against AFC opponents dating back to last season, matching the Eagles' longest such streak in franchise history.

Last time out against the Green Bay Packers, the Eagles scored a touchdown in four of their five trips to the red zone – with Philadelphia leading the NFL in touchdown efficiency in the red zone this season, scoring in 29 of 40 trips (72.5 per cent).

Tennessee, meanwhile, have rushed for fewer than 100 yards in each of their last three games, matching their longest streak since Mike Vrabel became head coach in 2018.

In the 20-16 loss to the Bengals last time out, Derrick Henry fumbled but was it was recovered. Of the 39 players with at least 200 offensive touches since the beginning of last season, Henry, Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey are the only three to have not lost a fumble.

Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) @ Cincinnati Bengals (7-4)

Two meetings last season saw the Bengals win by three points in both contests, including in the AFC Championship game in Kansas City, with the Chiefs' last road win against the Bengals coming in 1984 – losing six straight since.

A 26-10 home victory against the Los Angeles Rams last week saw Travis Kelce catch his 12th touchdown pass of the season, with no other tight end having more than five this term. The largest all-time gap between a league leader and second place stands at six (Rob Gronkowski in 2011 and Antonio Gates in 2004).

The Bengals overcame the Titans 20-16 on the road last week, giving Cincinnati their first three-game winning streak of the season. Since 2018, they stand 3-34 when scoring 20 or fewer points in a game, but two of those wins have come against Tennessee.

Cincinnati have converted 78.1 per cent (25-for-32) of their third downs this season when needing fewer than four yards, the best mark in the league. However, they've also allowed opponents to convert such third downs at a 76.5 per cent rate (26-for-34), the worst record in the league.

Elsewhere…

The Miami Dolphins head to San Francisco with a 4-3 record on the road against the 49ers, the second-best such record by any team behind the Carolina Panthers (7-4).

The Los Angeles Rams host the Seattle Seahawks having won eight of the last 10 clashes between the two divisional rivals, with Seattle's last victory on the road in this matchup coming in Week 5, 2017.

An overtime victory over the Seahawks last week was the second in a row for the Las Vegas Raiders, having beaten the Denver Broncos in OT in Week 11. No NFL team has ever won three consecutive games in overtime going into the Raiders' latest battle with the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Dallas Cowboys host the Indianapolis Colts on the back of a four-game spell with at least 400 net yards, with only one longer streak in team history – running eight games in that regard in 2016.

For the first time in his illustrious career, an injury will prevent Los Angeles Rams seven-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Aaron Donald from taking the field. 

Coach Sean McVay said on Wednesday that a high-ankle sprain suffered in the Rams' 26-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12 will sideline Donald for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. 

This will be the first game the 31-year-old Donald will miss since Week 17 of the 2017 season, when the Rams rested a number of starters ahead of the playoffs. The only other game he missed in his nine-year career was Week 1 of the same season because of a contract holdout. 

Despite missing those two games in 2017, he still won his first of three NFL Defensive Player of the Year Awards. 

Donald, who has five sacks, 10 tackles for a loss, 11 quarterback hits and a forced fumble in 11 games this season, is the latest Rams star to be saddled with an injury, joining quarterback Matthew Stafford (concussion protocol) and 2021 AP Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp (high-ankle sprain). 

Unlike Kupp, whose high-ankle sprain required surgery, Donald won't need surgery, and is considered week to week, according to McVay. 

Although the injury isn't thought to be season-ending, there is a possibility the team ultimately decides to shut him down seeing as the Rams are essentially playing out the string. 

Last Sunday's loss was the fifth straight for Los Angeles, dropping the defending Super Bowl champions to 3-8 – alone in last place in the NFC West. 

Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald has joined the Los Angeles Rams' long injured list with head coach Sean McVay fearing a high ankle sprain.

McVay revealed on Monday that the 31-year-old defensive tackle had an ankle sprain, although he was still undergoing examination on the severity. He said Rams' medical staff indicated they feared it was a high ankle sprain.

Donald joins quarterback Matthew Stafford (concussion protocol) and wide receiver Cooper Kupp (high ankle sprain) on the sidelines.

"We're finding that out right now," McVay told reporters about Donald's injury. "He's still meeting with the doctors and getting the necessary scans.

"On Wednesday when we re-convene I'll have a little bit more information for you."

Donald has five sacks, 10 tackles for a loss, 11 quarterback hits and a forced fumble in 11 games this season.

"Obviously we'll take the appropriate steps for Aaron in terms of how we move forward and what that means as far as his availability for this week and the weeks to come," McVay said.

McVay added there was no update on Stafford, who remains in protocol, but rejected talk of shutting down all their star players despite the reigning Super Bowl champions' 3-6 record.

"I think you've got to take each individual case," he said. "As a competitor for those players, you want to be mindful of all the things that go into that. I've always consistently said being smart. They're all factors. We're trying to compete.

"But it's been something nobody could have predicted. When it rains, it pours."

On Sunday, the Rams confirmed wide receiver Allen Robinson II will miss the remainder of the season with a foot stress fracture.

The Los Angeles Rams are unsure if Matthew Stafford will return to their roster this season amid a physically testing season.

The quarterback has been ruled out of this weekend's clash with the Kansas City Chiefs with a strained neck, having also suffered from a concussion earlier this month.

The Super Bowl LVI winners have struggled this season, and now look as if they could be without their first-choice QB for the rest of the campaign.

According to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, the 3-7 Rams do not know if Stafford will feature again in a campaign that is slipping away from them, with six losses in their last seven games.

Bryce Perkins, a 2020 undrafted free agent, is expected to get his first start against the Chiefs this weekend in Stafford's absence, having replaced him during last Sunday's game with the New Orleans Saints.

If there is a potential revival, Stafford could be considered to feature for a home stretch, but otherwise is likely to be kept on the sidelines as the team lick their wounds from a tough year.

The Rams also remain without star wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who is expected to miss the rest of 2022 following ankle surgery.

Stafford has passed for 2,087 yards this campaign, with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions to his name.

With 11 weeks down in the NFL, Week 12 presents a number of crucial matchups for sides pushing to secure their spot in the playoffs.

The Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) and Minnesota Vikings (8-2) look set to slug it out for number one spot in the NFC but the picture is far tighter in the AFC, where the 8-2 Kansas City Chiefs lead the way ahead of four sides with a 7-3 record.

Week 12's action includes a number of sides looking to boost their chances of featuring in the postseason, with the Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs all having home field advantage.

Stats Perform has taken a look at some of the more interesting numbers ahead of these and other big games on Sunday.

Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) @ Tennessee Titans (7-3)

The Bengals head to Tennessee having scored 37 and 42 points in their last two games, with a total of 79 standing as their most over a two-game span since 2005, and Joe Burrow will be looking to make an impact against an opponent he went touchdown-less against last time out.

In the playoff win against the Titans last season their franchise quarterback did not throw a touchdown pass, with that still the only game which the Bengals have won without Burrow throwing a TD when he has started.

The Titans only really got going in Week 3 this season, boasting a 7-1 record since. That stands as the joint-best across the NFL, tied with Minnesota and Philadelphia – the top two in the NFC, as it stands.

Since Week 4, the Titans have held their opponents to an average of 2.8 yards per rush, the best in the NFL, while the 387 yards rushing allowed in those seven games is the lowest tally by any NFL side in such a span since the 2014 Detroit Lions.

Chicago Bears (3-8) @ New York Jets (6-4)

The Bears have won five straight in matchups against the Jets but travel to New York on the back of a three-game losing streak, each of which has been decided by three or fewer points – the first time in franchise history they have experienced such a run.

Chicago will come up against Mike White as the starting QB for the Jets, who have benched Zach Wilson after last week's horror show against the New England Patriots, where they scored just three points despite not turning the ball over in the game.

White last started in Week 10 of last season, while his four games in 2021 saw him throw an interception on 6.1 per cent of his passes, the highest mark of quarterbacks across the NFL last season with at least 100 passing attempts.

Sunday's matchup will see two vastly different teams on the ground, with the Bears rushing for 54 first downs since Week 8, 15 more than the next-closest team over that span, while the Jets have rushed for just 13 first downs in the same period – the lowest total across the NFL.

Las Vegas Raiders (3-7) @ Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

The Raiders head to Seattle having lost their last five road games against the Seahawks, tied for their longest active losing streak on the road against a single opponent – also losing five straight at Green Bay.

Las Vegas have had no more than one takeaway and no more than one giveaway in nine straight games, the longest streak by any NFL side in the Super Bowl era, but come up against a formidable force in rookie Tariq Woolen.

Woolen has five of the Seahawks' seven interceptions in this season (71.4 per cent) and is on course to shatter the NFL rookie record for the highest percentage of a team's interceptions, which is currently held by Washington's Dan Sandifer, who had 13 of 24 in 1948 (54.2 per cent).

Quarterback Geno Smith has completed at least 64 per cent of his passes in all 10 games so far this season, tying him with Steve Young (1992), Drew Brees (2011) and Kyler Murray (2021) for the longest streak to start an NFL season.

Los Angeles Rams (3-7) @ Kansas City Chiefs (8-2)

The Rams head to Kansas City on the back of a four-game losing streak, tied with the 1999 Broncos and 2002 Patriots for the third-longest losing streak by a defending Super Bowl champion – behind only the 1987 Giants and 2009 Steelers (five straight losses).

In the past eight games, the Rams have just a single takeaway, which stands as the lowest by any side over an eight-game span in the Super Bowl era.

The Chiefs have a devastating record against the Rams, having scored 246 points (41 per game) over their last six games against Los Angeles, the second most by any NFL team over a six-game span against an opponent since the 1970 merger.

Having fought back from behind to beat the Chargers last time out, the Chiefs have now won six in a row when trailing at halftime, dating back to last season, the longest streak by any NFL team (regular and postseason) since the 49ers won seven such games in a row from 1989-90.

Elsewhere…

All 10 of the Denver Broncos' games this season have been decided by single digits. If that happens again against the Carolina Panthers, they will tie the second-longest such streak to begin any NFL season, trailing only the 2015 Ravens (12 games).

Green Bay head to Philadelphia having won six of their last eight matchups against the Eagles. They had won just five of their previous 17 prior to that.

The 49ers host the Saints having recorded at least one sack in 37 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL and the longest streak for San Francisco in the Super Bowl era.

The Falcons travel to Washington with six wins in their last seven against the Commanders. Atlanta have scored at least 24 points in nine straight games against Washington – the franchise's longest streak against any opponent in team history.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford will not play on Sunday at the Kansas City Chiefs after exiting last week's loss to the New Orleans Saints with a possible head injury, coach Sean McVay announced on Wednesday.

McVay told reporters the Rams are still trying to determine whether Stafford suffered a concussion after he was forced to exit last Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Saints early in the third quarter.

The veteran quarterback previously sustained a head injury in Los Angeles' Week 9 loss at Tampa Bay, and sat out the following week's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

"We're checking all those boxes and going through all that," McVay said. "

"There's a lot of layers to it, but you certainly want to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to [address] exactly what went into that feeling, and letting the experts be able [to] give their opinion, look at the MRI and those scans, and be able to give the right information so that we can move forward accordingly with him."

McVay said Stafford was removed from last week’s game after he felt numbness in his legs after being hit, and was placed in concussion protocol per NFL policy.

The sixth-year head coach added the struggling defending Super Bowl champions could consider shutting Stafford down for the remainder of the season.

"We're not going to do anything that's reckless," McVay said.

"[Stafford] is such a great competitor and I definitely think that's probably one of those deals where if he is cleared, you definitely want to make sure that I'm making a smart decision for him and for our team, not exclusive to this year."

With number two quarterback John Wolford dealing with a neck injury, Bryce Perkins took first-team reps in Wednesday's practice and could be in line for his first career NFL start against the AFC-leading Chiefs.

Perkins, an undrafted free agent who signed with the Rams in 2020, completed five of 10 passes for 64 yards after replacing Stafford last week and added 26 rushing yards on three attempts.

Los Angeles has lost four straight games to fall to 3-7 and are currently three games out of a playoff spot with seven to play.

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is possibly dealing with a concussion for the second time in three weeks after he left in the third quarter of Sunday’s 27-20 loss at the New Orleans Saints. 

Stafford exited the game after appearing to hit his head on the turf and then being sacked to end that same drive. 

The Rams said Stafford was being evaluated for a concussion, but coach Sean McVay said after the game he was not sure if his Super Bowl champion signal-caller was in the NFL’s concussion protocol. 

Stafford cleared the league’s protocol on Friday after missing last week’s 27-17 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals due to a hit he took in a 16-13 defeat at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 6.  

Following Sunday’s loss, McVay said he had no update on Stafford’s status. 

''I need to talk to the doctors,'' McVay said. ''Obviously we need to make a smart decision for Matthew and see where we're at with that.

"I know how he was feeling, and we made the decision it was going to be in his best interest to not have him continue to play.'' 

The Rams have lost four in a row to fall to 3-7 and equal the worst 10-game record of any defending Super Bowl champion. 

Matthew Stafford will return to the field for Sunday's Week 11 game against the New Orleans Saints after the Los Angeles Rams quarterback missed Week 10 due to a concussion.

With Stafford out and backup quarterback John Wolford in the game, the Rams lost their third game in a row, and their fifth loss from their past six outings.

Sitting at 3-6, the reigning Super Bowl champions look a long way from being contenders this year, with their playoff chances hanging by a thread when they travel to New Orleans.

Stafford, 34, tossed an equal career-high 41 touchdown passes last season in his first year since being traded from the Detroit Lions, but he has struggled this campaign, with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions in eight games.

The Rams are currently last in the NFC West, three games behind the division-leading Seattle Seahawks (6-4). They also have, by far, the worst point differential in the division at minus 52, behind the Arizona Cardinals (minus 28), the Seahawks (plus 16) and the San Francisco 49ers (plus 35).

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is expected to clear concussion protocol and play in Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, according to head coach Sean McVay.

The reigning Super Bowl QB missed the Rams' 27-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but returned to practice on Wednesday.

McVay indicated he expected Stafford to clear protocol by Friday, having entered on November 8 in the days after their 16-13 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"The doctors are making sure, everybody, himself, his family, feels good about it," McVay told reporters. "That's always been the priority, the person, the safety, the health.

"But if he is fully cleared and he and his family feel good about that, then I know he's chomping at the bit to be out there with his guys."

McVay said if Stafford was cleared as late as Friday that would not impact his availability for Sunday's game.

"It's not going to inhibit his ability to participate in practice, be a full participant in meetings, all that kind of stuff," he said. "It's just kind of following the necessary steps to fully be cleared."

John Wolford, who stepped in for Stafford but struggled against the Cardinals, did not practice on Wednesday due to a neck issue.

Stafford has a 68.4 per cent completion rate this season, passing for 1,928 yards and eight touchdowns and eight interceptions for the Rams who are 3-6 and last in the NFC West.

The Rams will definitely be without wide receiver and 2021 AP Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp who has undergone ankle surgery following an injury sustained against the Cardinals.

"It's going to give a lot of guys an opportunity to step up," McVay said. "Anytime you lose a guy like that, you never replace him.

"Cooper, we all know what a special player, special person he is. That's a big loss, without a doubt, but it will provide a lot of opportunities for other guys to get chances that they wouldn’t otherwise. You have to look at it through that lens."

Saints head coach Dennis Allen confirmed they will stick with quarterback Andy Dalton for Sunday's game, despite considering a change to Jameis Winston who is available again after injury but not yet 100 per cent.

The Los Angeles Rams' Super Bowl title defence has become significantly more difficult with star wide receiver Cooper Kupp heading to injured reserve.

Coach Sean McVay told reporters on Tuesday that the 2021 AP Offensive Player of the Year will undergo tightrope surgery for his high-ankle sprain.

The recovery time is expected to be about five to six weeks, meaning it is possible Kupp could return for one of the Rams’ final few games.

It is also possible, however, the Rams ultimately decide to shut him down for the rest of the season if they are out of the playoff picture.

The Rams fell to 3-6 after Sunday’s 27-17 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Kupp was injured against the Cardinals when he jumped in an attempt to make a catch and his right ankle was rolled over by a defender upon landing.

He has been one of the few bright spots in the Rams offence, ranking second in the NFL in receptions (75) and fifth in both receiving yards (812) and receiving touchdowns (6).

"Obviously you never ever replace a player like Cooper Kupp, but we've got to figure out the best way to accentuate the skill sets of the guys that will be playing," McVay said.

In 2021, Kupp became just the fifth player in the Super Bowl era to lead the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

He played a crucial role in the Rams’ run to the Super Bowl, catching 33 passes for 478 yards and six touchdowns in four playoff contests, including eight receptions for 92 yards and a pair of TDs in the title game.

Although he is enjoying another stellar season, the Rams rank 29th in scoring (16.4 points per game) and 31st in total yards (282.7 per game).

Allen Robinson and Van Jefferson will likely see larger roles in the offence in Kupp’s absence.

The Los Angeles Rams are unclear on the severity of the ankle injury that forced Cooper Kupp out of Sunday's 27-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, but head coach Sean McVay says "it didn’t look good".

Kupp clutched his right ankle when he landed awkwardly trying to catch a fourth-quarter John Wolford pass and was checked by the Rams medical staff before walking to the locker room.

The Rams wide receiver, who also hurt his right ankle late in their Week 8 game but played the following week, did not speak to media afterwards.

"I don't have anything right now," McVay told reporters. "I just know it didn't look good, it didn't sound good."

Kupp, who won last year's Super Bowl MVP, has been the Rams' key offensive player this season. The wide receiver has 72 receptions for 813 yards with six touchdowns, with one rushing TD from nine carries this season.

The Rams' latest loss left the Super Bowl LVI champions with a 3-6 record, sitting last in the NFC West after three straight losses.

Kupp enjoyed an historic 2021 season, becoming the fourth player in NFL history to lead the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in the same season, alongside Jerry Rice, Sterling Sharpe and Steve Smith Sr.

The 29-year-old had 145 receptions for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns in the 2021 regular season, before adding 33 receptions for 478 yards and six touchdowns in the postseason.

Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray could both miss Sunday's clash between the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals in a crucial game for each team's seemingly fading playoff hopes.

The defending Super Bowl champion Rams are 3-5 heading into the visit of the Cardinals after suffering successive losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The sole team propping them up in the NFC West is Arizona, who dropped to 3-6 with a home loss to the Seattle Seahawks last time out.

Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray will be a game-time decision with a hamstring injury, and it may well prove a battle of deputy Colt McCoy and Rams backup John Wolford. Stafford (concussion) is listed as questionable having returned to practice in a limited capacity on Friday.

"It could go all the way up until 90 minutes before kick-off," coach Sean McVay said of Stafford. 

"Because when you've got a guy that's a veteran player like him, you're not gonna risk at all… We're not gonna skip any steps, so I don't want that to be misunderstood. But I think it would be silly of me to rule him out."

Even if Stafford cannot play, the Rams can have reason to be optimistic of beating the Cardinals.

The Rams are 10-1 against the Cardinals since 2017, including a win in Arizona in Week 3 this year. The lone loss came at SoFi Stadium last season. The only team with more wins against a single opponent since 2017 are the New England Patriots, who are 11-0 against the Jets.

However, the Rams have the worst offense in the NFL by yards per play, averaging just 4.71. Additionally, they have gone three-and-out on 29.4 per cent of their offensive drives this season, the second-highest mark in the league (Pittsburgh, 31.8). Last season, they did that on just 13.3 per cent of their drives, the second-lowest mark in the league (Kansas City, 10.1).

The Cardinals, therefore, should not have much fear of the Rams pulling away as the Seahawks did last week, but, with Arizona averaging just 4.88 yards per play, a low-scoring game looks likely regardless of who is under center. 

If the Rams are to prevail, wide receiver Cooper Kupp will be the probable offensive difference-maker.

Last week, Kupp produced his 20th career game with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, the most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2017. The only other players with more than 15 such games in that span are Davante Adams (19) and Tyreek Hill (18).

We are somehow already at Week 10 in the NFL season, all wondering where the time actually does go.

Two of the shining lights of the campaign face off in Buffalo as the Bills host the Minnesota Vikings.

History will be made in Munich as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Seattle Seahawks in the first-ever regular season NFL game played in Germany, while the San Francisco 49ers will look to continue their return to winning ways against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Stats Perform takes a closer look at the numbers behind some of Sunday's NFL clashes.

Minnesota Vikings (7-1) @ Buffalo Bills (6-2)

The Vikings have played eight games at Highmark Stadium and have held the Bills to 23 points or fewer in each one, which is the longest streak of allowing 23 points or fewer by a visiting team in the stadium's history.

Minnesota have won six straight games, all by eight points or fewer, tied for the second-longest streak of one-possession wins in NFL history, behind a seven-game streak by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020.

T.J. Hockenson boasted nine catches on his Vikings debut last week, tying the Bills' Keith McKeller (October 18, 1987) for the most receptions by a tight end on debut with a team in the Super Bowl era.

The Bills have allowed 21 points or fewer in 12 straight regular-season games, the longest streak in franchise history and the second longest by any NFL team over the last 15 seasons (Baltimore Ravens, 13 straight from 2019-20).

Buffalo are allowing just 4.6 points per game in the second half this year. No NFL team has allowed fewer than 5.0 points per game in the second half over a full season since the Carolina Panthers in 1996 (3.5).

Seattle Seahawks (6-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)

It should be a great experience in Bavaria, but the Bucs are 0-3 in games played outside the United States (all in London), having been outscored 96-51 in those games. The Seahawks, meanwhile, are 2-0 outside the U.S. (one in Toronto, one in London), outscoring their opponents, 77-20.

Pete Carroll is in his 17th season as an NFL head coach and has had at least six wins in each campaign. The only other coach to have six or more wins in each of his first 17 seasons was Don Shula, who did so in all 33 seasons of his career.

Kenneth Walker III is the first NFL rookie to rush for a touchdown and have his team win in each of his first four career starts since Robert Edwards for the New England Patriots in 1998.

Tom Brady has thrown at least 40 passes with no interceptions in seven consecutive starts. No other QB in NFL history has done that in more than four straight starts.

The Bucs have rushed for 75 or fewer yards in eight straight games, the second-longest streak in the Super Bowl wera behind a nine-game streak by the Cardinals from 1991-92.

Los Angeles Chargers (5-3) @ San Francisco 49ers (4-4)

The Chargers are looking to win their sixth-straight game against the 49ers, which would make them the first team to do so since the Seahawks (nine games from 2014 to 2018).

Justin Herbert was not sacked in the Chargers' recent win against the Atlanta Falcons. The Chargers have allowed the fewest sacks in the league this season (10), and have not allowed 10 or fewer sacks through eight games since the 2008 season (also 10).

Through 40 career starts, Herbert has played a part in 90 touchdowns (82 passing, eight rushing). Only Patrick Mahomes (107), Dan Marino (95) and Kurt Warner (91) accounted for more scores in their first 40 starts.

San Francisco's last five games have all been decided by at least 14 points (3-2 record). They have not had six consecutive such games since an eight-game streak in 1999.

Christian McCaffrey threw for, rushed for and caught a touchdown in San Francisco's win over the Rams. He was the first player to do so since the Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson completed the feat in Week 6 of the 2005 season.

Elsewhere...

The Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) will need a plan to deal with Chiefs (6-2) QB Mahomes, who attempted 68 passes (completing 43) in last week's win over the Tennessee Titans, both of which set single-game team records. The only player to attempt more passes in a win in the NFL since 1950 was Drew Bledsoe with 70 in Week 11 of the 1994 season.

Former Chief Tyreek Hill has 1104 receiving yards this season for the Miami Dolphins (6-3), the most by any player through his team's first nine games in the Super Bowl era. Prior to this year, there had only been 11 times a Dolphins receiver recorded 1100 yards in an entire season, and Hill will look to add to those against the Cleveland Browns (3-5).

Last week was Cooper Kupp's 20th career game with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, the most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2017. The only other players with more than 15 such games in that span are Davante Adams (19) and Hill (18), and the Los Angeles Rams (3-5) will need their star to step up again against the Arizona Cardinals (3-6).

Aaron Rodgers' passer rating is at 89.0 this season after posting 111.9 in 2021. The decrease of 22.9 is the largest by a Green Bay Packers quarterback (min. five games played) since Bart Starr from 1966 to 1967 (105.0 to 64.4). With a record of 3-6, the Packers will hope he can improve that against the Dallas Cowboys (6-2).

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford has entered the concussion protocol putting him in doubt for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Rams head coach Sean McVay confirmed on Wednesday that Stafford had entered the protocol on Tuesday with medical staff performing their "cleanup after the game" from Sunday's 16-13 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Stafford has not missed an NFL game since 2019, but if he is unavailable, John Wolford would be the Rams' starting quarterback.

"We'll take it a day at a time with him," McVay told reporters. "We're still anticipating and having the optimistic approach that there's a possibility that he'll be ready to go."

McVay added: "I know Matthew's going to do everything in his power to try to be able to be ready and we'll just take it a day at a time.

"But John's a guy that when he's been in these situations, he's stepped in and done a really good job. And it wasn't too long ago that he had to come in a game that we had to have to be able to get into the playoffs and he performed incredibly well."

McVay clarified that Stafford had not shown any indication that he was dealing with concussion symptoms during Sunday's game. He said medical staff "determined that they felt like that [entering protocols] was the best thing for him".

Stafford completed 13 of 27 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions against the Bucs. He was sacked four times in the game.

The 34-year-old Super Bowl LVI champion has a 68.4 per cent completion rate for 1,928 passing yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions this season.

The Rams are 3-5 and third in the NFC West, while the Cardinals are 3-6 and fourth in that division.

Eventually, everybody's bill comes due. 

That is the lesson the Los Angeles Rams are learning in an extremely hard way in the 2022 season.

The price the Rams are paying, one which has them 3-5 and above only the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West, is one they will be happy to pay in the grand scheme of things given they lifted the Lombardi Trophy last season.

But their struggles this season are a consequence of the ultra-aggressive strategy that has seen the Rams consistently part with draft capital to acquire star players.

Now the stars of their top-heavy roster are failing to elevate those around them, and while many may view this pain as tolerable for 2022, there is reason to be concerned about the viability of this team as a long-term contender.

Even in a less than stellar NFC, it is tough to see this version of the Rams recovering to make a run at the postseason, and right now it is just as difficult to envisage a path through which Los Angeles can return to prominence in the years to come.

Stafford slumping under duress

The root of the Rams' problems is on offense. That is not a revelation to anyone who has even briefly watched Sean McVay's group in 2022. The Los Angeles attack poses nothing close to the same threat it presented last season and is one of the worst in the NFL through eight games.

In Sunday's defeat to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team who had lost five of their previous six games, the Rams averaged a pitiful 3.7 yards per play. Their season average of 4.71 puts the Rams last in the NFL, while only the Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans have produced fewer explosive plays of 10 yards or more than Los Angeles (86).

Blame could be laid at the feet of Matthew Stafford, the quarterback the Rams gave up a pair of first-round picks to acquire last offseason and who put them over the top in 2021. His well-thrown percentage of 80 is below the league average of 80.6 for quarterbacks with a minimum of 100 attempts, yet it is actually a stark improvement on his first season with the Rams, when he delivered an accurate, well-thrown ball on 73.7 per cent of passes.

The number to focus on with Stafford is his air yards per attempt, which has dropped off substantially from 8.62 in 2021 to 6.35 this season. In other words, Stafford's accuracy is up because the degree of difficulty on throws he is attempting is significantly down, and that is a symptom of dreadful pass protection.

Los Angeles' sack rate allowed of 8.7 per cent is the fourth-worst in the NFL, while the time from Stafford's snap to release has dropped from 2.72 seconds in 2021 to 2.54 this campaign, a reflection of the short passing attack the Rams have adopted to prevent their quarterback taking too much damage and how often he has been hurried into getting the ball out.

In the Week 8 loss against the San Francisco 49ers, Stafford averaged 4.71 air yards per attempt, the lowest of any quarterback to attempt multiple passes, with the Rams' attack reduced to one reliant on the screen pass and the occasional deep shot to Cooper Kupp that had no answer when both those options were taken away.

The Rams' lack of a riposte has been jarring to watch this season, and even Kupp has not been as effective as they would hope.

Counterpunches in short supply

Of course, it would be difficult for Kupp not to endure a drop-off after a 2021 season in which he led the NFL in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns.

But the fall, at least by one measure, has been drastic. 

Kupp's burn rate, which measures how often a receiver wins his matchup on a play where he is targeted, is 58.7 per cent, a huge dip from his 2021 rate of 66.5 per cent, which was the ninth-best in the NFL among wideouts with at least 100 targets.

When he does win his coverage matchup, Kupp is at least still consistently creating clear separation. His burn yards per route average of 4.8 is up on his league-leading tally of 4.0 from last season and trails only Tyreek Hill (5.6) for receivers with a minimum of 50 targets.

The problem the Rams have is not necessarily that Kupp is not performing at the level of his 2021 zenith; it is that has no support from his surrounding cast. Down the stretch last year, he had Odell Beckham Jr. to divert coverage away from him. This season, no Rams wideout with at least 10 targets has a burn rate higher than Kupp's, with Allen Robinson (48.8 per cent) among the worst in the league by that measure. At tight end, Tyler Higbee (52.7 per cent) is below the average for his position.

And the lack of non-Kupp difference-makers extends to the run game.

Los Angeles' ground attack largely consists of jet sweeps to Kupp, with carries of any other variety resulting in precious little gain.

The Buccaneers (2.98 yards per carry) are the sole team with a worse rushing average than that of the Rams (3.2), but no offense has a worse ratio of successful runs than that of Los Angeles. McVay's attack has a success rate of just 22.7 per cent on the ground. The team directly above the Rams, the New England Patriots, are a full eight percentage points clear.

The Rams' decision to try to trade running back Cam Akers and then reintegrating him after failing to do so encapsulates their woes on the ground and is emblematic of a season where nothing has gone right for an offense that is fourth-worst in the NFL with an overall success rate of 35.2 per cent.

Any room for optimism comes on the defensive side of the ball.

Time for a Rams reset?

While Stafford and, to a lesser extent, Kupp may be in the midst of down years, the cornerstones the Rams possess on defense are still performing at an extremely high level.

The Los Angeles defense had the Rams in position to get back to winning ways in Tampa, holding the Bucs to six points going into the final quarter, and remains one of the better units in the NFL on that side of the ball.

Allowing 5.29 yards per play, the Rams rank 10th in the NFL by that metric, with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey both continuing to excel.

Donald headed into Week 9 having won 37 of his 50 pass rushes, good for an incredible stunt-adjusted win rate of 73.66 per cent, and his frequent interior pressure forced Tom Brady to get the ball out at an average of 2.21 seconds from snap to release. Only Zach Wilson (2.04) was quicker among QBs with 20 attempts in Week 9.

Ramsey, meanwhile, went into the Bucs game with a combined open percentage allowed across man and zone of 27.66 per cent (the average for cornerbacks is 34 per cent).

But the Rams' defense has a similar issue to that of the offense. Save for emerging linebacker Ernest Jones, this group is short of young impact players who can develop around Donald and Ramsey.

And on the final Tampa Bay drive of the Buccaneers' 16-13 win, a defense that had seen the offense inexplicably give the ball back after running the ball three times and using under a minute of clock with the chance to kill the game with a first down proved powerless to stop Brady authoring another game-winning series.

Brady's decisiveness and quick release rendered Donald a non-factor, and Ramsey found himself similarly helpless and picked on as the Bucs successfully attacked the Rams' soft zone coverage on a drive capped by tight end Cade Otton's decisive score.

Asked if he thought the defense would be back on the field after the Rams stopped the Bucs in the red zone on Tampa's penultimate drive, Ramsey replied: "We should not have been."

Those five words spoke volumes as to what Ramsey thinks of the offense, but the cold hard truth is that – even though the defense is the superior unit – the Rams in their current guise are not doing anything well enough to escape avoidable situations.

And their avenues to get better are not obvious. Their offensive fortunes could be improved by a greater reliance on play-action, which the Rams are utilising just 10.4 per cent of the time (the average is 12.5 per cent) but racking up 11.52 yards per play when they do.

That is unlikely to be a cure-all, though, and any reticence on Stafford's part to turn his back to the defense for a play-fake while playing behind this offensive line would be understandable.

The resources with which they could boost the O-line, their collection of playmakers or the defense in the coming offseason are thin. The Rams have a second and third-round pick this year and four selections across the final two rounds, but asking the front office to unearth instant impact players from those non-premium picks is a tall order for a franchise that has racked up its share of misses with the draft selections it has held on to in recent years.

Projected to be $2million over the cap in 2023, don't expect a free agency splurge from the Rams either.

Given the retirement rumours that have previously swirled around Donald and McVay, this is a situation that would be ripe for a rebuild, were the Rams not locked into Stafford's contract until 2026. Instead, if they cannot produce a second-half surge, it is likely to be more of an attempt at a reset that quickly gets the Rams back in contention.

With the paucity of tools they have to attack that challenge, successfully doing so would be as impressive as the comebacks this star-studded team produced to lift the Lombardi back in February.

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