The San Francisco 49ers will host the Seattle Seahawks in the opening game of the Wild Card round.

San Francisco progressed to the postseason as the NFC second seed, and have home field advantage in the first game of this season's playoffs, which will take place on Saturday.

The Seahawks defeated the Los Angeles Rams in overtime in their final regular-season game and were subsequently handed a favour by the Detroit Lions, who eliminated the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers from playoff contention.

In Saturday's second game, the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, who clinched the AFC South title with a 20-16 win over the Tennessee Titans.

A day later, the Buffalo Bills, who beat the New England Patriots in an emotional game on Sunday, will host the Miami Dolphins.

The Cincinnati Bengals, whose January 2 game against the Bills was suspended and subsequently cancelled altogether following Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest, go up against the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's final game, after the New York Giants have taken on the Minnesota Vikings.

The Wild Card round concludes with the Dallas Cowboys' trip to face Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The San Francisco 49ers will host the Seattle Seahawks in the opening game of the Wild Card round.

San Francisco progressed to the postseason as the NFC second seed, and have home field advantage in the first game of this season's playoffs, which will take place on Saturday.

The Seahawks defeated the Los Angeles Rams in overtime in their final regular-season game and were subsequently handed a favour by the Detroit Lions, who eliminated the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers from playoff contention.

In Saturday's second game, the Los Angeles Chargers travel to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, who clinched the AFC South title with a 20-16 win over the Tennessee Titans.

A day later, the Buffalo Bills, who beat the New England Patriots in an emotional game on Sunday, will host the Miami Dolphins.

The Cincinnati Bengals, whose January 2 game against the Bills was suspended and subsequently cancelled altogether following Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest, go up against the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's final game, after the New York Giants have taken on the Minnesota Vikings.

The Wild Card round concludes with the Dallas Cowboys' trip to face Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Philadelphia Eagles earned the top seed in the NFC and a first-round playoff bye after defeating the New York Giants 22-16 on Sunday.

Despite the contest finishing as a one-score game, the Eagles were comfortably in control throughout as three Jake Elliott field goals and a Boston Scott touchdown run gave Philadelphia a 16-0 lead in front of their home fans at half-time.

It was also a memorable first half for receiver A.J. Brown, who came into Week 18 needing just nine yards to break the Eagles' single-season record set by Mike Quick back in 1983 (1409 yards).

Brown got it done on his first catch, going on to finish with four receptions for 95 yards to set the new mark at 1496.

The Giants tried to make a game of things late, with a Davis Webb rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown to Kenny Golladay in the fourth period, but it was too little, too late for a New York team who already booked their ticket to the playoffs last week.

With the win, Philadelphia joined the Kansas City Chiefs as the only teams in the league to win 14 games, with those two teams earning the right to host all of their playoff games leading up to a potential Super Bowl.

Seahawks keep playoff hopes alive

The Seattle Seahawks will be eagerly awaiting the final result of the regular season after defeating the Los Angeles Rams 19-16 in overtime to hold up their end of the bargain.

Seattle came into the final week needing to beat the Rams, as well as needing the Detroit Lions to beat the Green Bay Packers in the night game to sneak into the playoffs.

The Seahawks almost blew it, hitting the upright with a potential game-winning field goal in regulation, but secured an interception in overtime to set up Jason Myers for redemption, nailing a 32-yarder to finish it.

In the process, Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith threw for 213 yards, bringing his season total to a new franchise-record of 4282.

Jalen Hurts was a limited participant at Philadelphia Eagles practice again on Thursday but there are positive signs towards him playing in Sunday's regular season finale against the New York Giants.

Hurts suffered a sprain to his right throwing shoulder in the Eagles' 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears on December 18 and missed their past two games, both losses to the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints with Gardner Minshew starting at QB.

Philadelphia takes on the Giants on Sunday where victory will clinch the NFC top seed for the Eagles, but a defeat will leave them vulnerable, with the Cowboys potentially even jumping them to take out the NFC East.

Eagles quarterback Hurts has been a key part of their success this season, but has not been able to fully participate in practice since sustaining the sprain.

Philadelphia team-mate A.J. Brown revealed that Hurts took first-team reps on Thursday in a positive sign.

"We're all excited. We're all excited to see him back, doing his thing," Brown told reporters.

"He's locked in for sure. He definitely had a tempo about him today, even in the walkthrough. He was telling guys to 'come on, hurry up, get going.' Glad he's back."

Prior to the injury, Hurts was an MVP candidate with a 67.3 per cent completion rate for 3,472 yards with 22 touchdowns and five interceptions. He has also rushed 747 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said earlier in the week that Hurts' status is "day by day", with no rush to make a decision on his availability.

The NFL has been in shock this week, following the terrible scenes in Monday's game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills.

Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest on the field has sent shockwaves through the sport, though it appears the 24-year-old is making progress in his recovery.

While Hamlin's health remains the league's priority over the rescheduling of that game from Week 17, there is also focus on the final round of fixtures.

There's plenty still be decided in Week 18, and Stats Perform has used Opta data to preview some of the key matchups.

SATURDAY (all times EST)

Chiefs (13-3) at Raiders (6-10) - 4:30pm

With the Bills and the Bengals having yet to finish the game that was rightly suspended on Monday, the AFC picture is not entirely clear. As things stand, a Kansas City Chiefs win in Las Vegas would mean they remain in with a chance of claiming the top seed, pending a decision on the Bengals-Bills game and the outcome of Buffalo's Week 18 clash against the New England Patriots.

The Chiefs have scored 28 or more points in nine consecutive games against the Raiders. The only longer streak of such games against a single opponent in NFL history is 10 by the Los Angeles Rams against the Green Bay Packers, and that came way back in 1949 to 1953. 

Jerick McKinnon caught two touchdowns in Kansas City's 27-24 win over the Denver Broncos and has seven touchdown catches in the Chiefs' last five games. That is the most receiving touchdowns by a running back over a span of five team games in the Super Bowl era. 

The Chiefs have scored 264 points on the road this season, averaging 33.0 points per game. If they hit their average on Saturday, they will finish with the third-most road points in a single season in NFL history, behind only the 2007 New England Patriots (314) and their own effort in 2018 (306).

Patrick Mahomes has 5,000 passing yards (5,048) and 250 rushing yards (329) in a single season for the second time in his career, also doing so in 2018.

Titans (7-9) at Jaguars (8-8) - 8:15pm

It will be winner-take-all in the AFC South when the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans face off. The victor will clinch the division and become the fourth seed in the playoffs. While Jacksonville would still be able to make the postseason via a wild card should they lose, Tennessee must win if they are to avoid elimination.

The Jaguars are looking to sweep the season series with the Titans for the first time since 2005. The only other NFL teams that have gone that long since they last swept a current divisional opponent are the Cleveland Browns, who last swept the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1988, and New York Jets, who last swept the Patriots in 2000 (the Browns also have a chance to end their drought this week).

Jacksonville could become the first team in NFL history to make the playoffs immediately following back-to-back 14-loss seasons.

Meanwhile, the Titans are looking to avoid joining the 1994 Eagles as the only teams in league history to have at least seven wins before ending the season on a seven-game game losing streak.

SUNDAY

Giants (9-6-1) at Eagles (13-3) - 4:25pm

The Philadelphia Eagles have been the team to beat in the NFC all season, yet after successive defeats in the absence of Jalen Hurts, they now need a win to clinch the top seed.

Should they lose to the New York Giants, both the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers will have to suffer defeats in order for the Eagles to be guaranteed home advantage in the playoffs.

The omens are good for the Eagles, who have won eight straight home games against the Giants, tied for the second-longest home win streak against a single opponent in team history. It trails only their active 10-game home win streak against the Steelers that started in 1966. 

A win against the Eagles would give the Giants 10 wins after having just four last season. It would be the first time New York earned double-digit wins in a season after having four or fewer wins since doing so in 1933 (11 wins after a 4-6 record in 1932).

Lions (8-8) @ Packers (8-8) - 8.20pm

Given the NFC East will get two of the conference's three wild cards, matters are relatively simple for the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. A Packers victory sends them through to the playoffs, while Detroit need to win and hope the Los Angeles Rams defeat the Seattle Seahawks.

The Packers are coming off a 41-17 win over the Vikings in which they had four takeaways and no giveaways. Green Bay are now 50-0-1 in the Super Bowl era (including playoffs) with a turnover margin of +4 or better in a game.

Green Bay's record at home against the Lions is 61-27-4, the most home wins by any team against a single opponent.

With another win, Aaron Rodgers would be the first QB in NFL history to have two seasons where his team was multiple games under .500 immediately before going on a five-or-greater game winning streak to end the regular season. 

But the Lions have scored at least 20 points while throwing no interceptions in eight straight games, tied for the longest streak in NFL history (regular season) with the 2005 Broncos, 2010 Patriots and 2018-19 Ravens.

Elsewhere...

New England will clinch a playoff spot should they defeat the Bills, who are of course recovering from that incident involving Hamlin. The Bills have won their last two games against the Patriots and are looking for three straight wins in the series for the first time since 1999-2000.

The Miami Dolphins have lost five in a row but can make the playoffs should they beat the Jets. The matchup is perfectly balanced all-time at 56 wins apiece with one tie entering this game. 

A run of five wins from six games has put the Steelers in playoff contention. They will have to beat the Browns and need results elsewhere go their way. Cleveland won against the Steelers in Week 3 this season. The Browns have not won multiple games against Pittsburgh in a season since the 1988 season.

The 49ers can still claim the top seed in the NFC by beating the Arizona Cardinals. San Francisco beat Las Vegas in Week 17, 37-34, despite trailing by 10 points in the third quarter. It was the Niners' second-largest comeback victory in the second half under Kyle Shanahan.

It has been a terrible season for the Rams (5-11), but they are 7-3 in their last 10 games against Seattle. The Seahawks got a 27-23 win in Inglewood in Week 13, the closest game between these teams since a 30-29 Seahawks win in Week 5, 2019. 

The Philadelphia Eagles still do not know if Jalen Hurts will play in Week 18, although the quarterback will take part in Wednesday's walkthrough.

Hurts has missed the Eagles' past two games with a shoulder injury, having been a leading NFL MVP contender in a 13-1 start to the season.

Philly have lost twice in the QB's absence, meaning fans are eager to see him back before the playoffs, with work still to do in their final regular season game to clinch the top seed in the NFC.

The Eagles play the New York Giants, another postseason team, but have not yet decided on Hurts' involvement.

"We'll still keep that day by day," said coach Nick Sirianni. "We don't have to make a decision yet.

"We'll see how the week goes and see how [Wednesday's] walkthrough goes. [On Thursday] we'll see a little bit more because we'll be doing more than a walkthrough, we'll be practicing, so we'll get a better idea."

Daniel Jones was left to bask in a "special moment" as he received a standing ovation at MetLife Stadium after helping the New York Giants clinch a playoff berth.

The Giants qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2016 with a dominant 38-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Jones has been much maligned since the Giants selected him with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 draft.

But he completed 79.2 per cent of his passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a further 91 yards and a touchdown as the Giants secured the sixth seed in the NFC.

Jones, in the final year of his Giants contract after they declined his fifth-year option, was removed from the game with seven minutes and 30 seconds remaining, receiving a tremendous reception from the crowd and from his team-mates on the sideline.

"That was a special moment," Jones said. "A lot of guys who've put in a lot of work. We've been through, certainly, some tougher times and it feels good to be on this side of it, for sure.

"Special moment with those guys. Really proud of this team, proud of what we did today. Grateful to be a part of it."

The Giants cannot improve their seeding and have nothing to play for in their Week 18 clash with the Philadelphia Eagles.

By contrast, the Eagles need to win to clinch the NFC East and the number one seed in the conference. Defeat for the Eagles would give the Dallas Cowboys the chance to snatch the division and both the Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers the opportunity to clinch the one seed.

Giants head coach Brian Daboll indicated he would not rest his starters and give the Eagles some help in an unexpectedly nervy end to the season for Philadelphia, who suffered a second successive loss at home to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

"You get rest after the season. It's a long season," Daboll said. 

"This is the fun part of the season. It's the fun part of the season when you're winning. It's the bad part of the season when you're losing."

A host of teams can start 2023 on a high note by clinching an NFL playoff place in an eagerly awaited Week 17.

There are also divisional titles to be won on New Year's Day, with Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers within touching distance of winning the NFC South ahead of a clash against the Carolina Panthers.

The Seattle Seahawks and the New York Jets lock horns scenting a spot in the postseason, while the Miami Dolphins could seal a playoff berth when they do battle with the New England Patriots.

Here Stats Perform used its data to preview the biggest games with plenty at stake at the beginning of a new year.


SUNDAY (all times EST)

Panthers (6-9) at Buccaneers (7-8) 1pm

The Buccaneers can clinch the NFC South title for a second straight season if they beat the Panthers, a feat they have never previously achieved.

After a 21-3 win in Week 7, the Panthers are going for the season sweep of the Buccaneers for the first time since 2017. That was also the last season they made the playoffs.

Tampa Bay beat the Arizona Cardinals 19-16 in their final game of 2022. The Buccaneers have scored 21 or fewer points in all seven of their wins this season. 

Carolina overcame the Detroit Lions 37-23 in Week 16 behind 320 yards rushing and 250 yards passing. They were the first NFL team with 300 rush yards and 250 pass yards in a game since the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12, 2012.

Jets (7-8) at Seahawks (7-8) 4.05pm

The Seahawks have dominated the Jets in recent years, winning all four games against them since 2005 and conceding only 30 points in the process. That is just 7.5 points per game, which is the fewest allowed by any NFL team against a single opponent over that time.

Pete Carroll is in his 17th season as an NFL head coach and has never missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons. The Seattle boss is the only head coach in NFL history to coach at least 15 seasons in the league and never have consecutive seasons in which he did not lead his team to the playoffs.

DK Metcalf has had at least five receptions in eight straight games, tied with John L. Williams (1989-90) and Brian Blades (1995) for the longest streak in Seahawks franchise history.

The Jets are allowing 10.8 fewer points per game than they did last season (29.6 to 18.8), on pace to be the second-largest season-to-season improvement in the NFL in the past 40 years behind the 2000-01 Rams (29.4 to 17.1, -12.3). 

Dolphins (8-7) @ Patriots (7-8) - 1pm

New England are due a win over the Dolphins, who have beaten them in four consecutive games - the last of which was a 20-7 success in Week 1.

Miami are the only team to beat the Patriots four times in a row since Bill Belichick took over as head coach of the Patriots in 2000. With a loss this week, Miami would join Tennessee as the only teams this season with a winning streak of at least five games and a losing streak of at least five games.

Tua Tagovailoa posted a career-high 12.4 yards per pass attempt in last week's loss to the Green Bay Packers. It was the highest yards-per-attempt in a loss by a starting Dolphins quarterback in team history. He misses out this week due to concussion, though, so Teddy Bridgewater steps in.

New England’s comeback bid fell short in a 22-18 loss to the Bengals last week. The Patriots have lost nine straight games when trailing after three quarters, with only the Panthers (41 straight losses) and Seahawks (13 straight) having longer active streaks.

MONDAY

Bills (12-3) @ Bengals (11-4) - 8.30pm

The Bills know they will get a first-round bye in the playoffs if they see off the Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs lose to the Denver Broncos. Following Cincinnati's win over the Bills in the 1988 AFC Championship Game, the Bills won 10 straight in this series. Since then, Cincinnati are 4-2 against Buffalo, with the most recent meeting resulting in a 21-17 Buffalo win in Week 3, 2019.

The Bills beat the Bears 35-13 in Chicago last week, extending their winning run to six games. Buffalo have scored at least 20 points in each of those wins – they have just two longer streaks of wins with 20+ points – a nine-game streak in 1964 and a seven-game streak in 1990.

The Bengals' road win over the Patriots extended their winning streak to seven games, one shy of tying the franchise record of eight – achieved in the first eight games of the 2015 season (also an eight-game streak spanning the 1970 and 1971 seasons).

Joe Burrow had 375 passing yards last week, his second-highest total of the season. It was his seventh career game with at least 350 passing yards, fourth most in the NFL since 2020 behind Tom Brady (13), Patrick Mahomes (12) and Josh Allen (9). 

Elsewhere...

The Denver Broncos start life after Nathaniel Hackett with a tough trip to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in their first game since the head coach's firing. The Chiefs have won 14 straight games against the Broncos dating back to the 2015 season. Just five teams in NFL history have beaten another team 15 times in a row, with the last team to do so being the Patriots against the Bills from 2003 to 2010.  

The Philadelphia Eagles host the New Orleans Saints knowing they can clinch the NFC East and the number one seed in their conference with a win.

The Eagles are 11-3 (.786) all-time at home against the Saints, which includes an active three-game winning streak. That is the Eagles' third-best home record against any opponent all-time (3-0 versus the Texans and 6-1 versus the Broncos). 

A playoff place is in the New York Giants' sights as they prepare to take on the Indianapolis Colts. 

The Colts have won four straight games against the Giants, with the most recent win coming in Week 16 of 2018 with a 28-27 home victory.

There appears to be no stopping the San Francisco 49ers, who can win a ninth game in a row when they take on the Las Vegas Raiders. The 49ers are the only NFL team in the Super Bowl era to win eight straight games in a single season while holding their opponents to fewer than 80 rushing yards in each victory.

New York Giants players were believed to have been inside the Mall of America on Friday during a deadly shooting in Minnesota.

A 19-year-old man was killed in the shooting, police in Bloomington said, which sent the mall into lockdown.

Giants executive vice president of communications Pat Hanlon told The Associated Press the team were staying in a hotel adjacent to the mall and some players were believed to have been inside at the time of the incident.

"Everyone is back in the hotel and accounted for now," Hanlon said after the incident on Friday.

The Giants are in Minnesota for Saturday's game against the Minnesota Vikings, in which New York can clinch a spot in the playoffs if they win and two of the Washington Commanders, the Seattle Seahawks and the Detroit Lions suffer defeat.

The New York Giants have taken the advantage in the NFC Wild Card race with a stubborn 20-12 victory over the Washington Commanders on Sunday.

The Commanders pushed hard in the final quarter, getting inside the Giants' 10 with their last two drives but failed to score on either, with the visitors' defense repelling quarterback Taylor Heinicke's best efforts at FedExField.

The Giants scored both of their touchdowns in the second quarter, with Kayvon Thibodeaux stripping Heinicke and scoring on a fumble recovery, before Daniel Jones linked up with Richie James on a drive, setting up Saquon Barkley's rushing TD.

Washington rallied from the 14-3 half-time deficit, with Heinicke lifting his output, finding rookie Jahan Dotson for his sixth touchdown of the season. Dotson had four receptions for 105 yards, including a brilliant fourth-quarter 61-yard catch.

Brian Robinson, who gained 89 yards from 12 carries, ran Washington into the redzone on the next play, but Heinicke turned the ball over when sacked by Dexter Lawrence, with Leonard Williams making the recovery.

Graham Gano extended the Giants' lead to eight points with a 50-yard field goal, before Heinicke drove Washington forward again, coming closest when Robinson's touchdown was erased due to a penalty for an illegal formation. Heinicke followed that up with two incomplete passes.

Heinicke completed 17 of 29 passes for 249 yards with one touchdown with 33 rushing yards, while Giants counterpart Jones threw 21 of 32 passes for 160 yards and 35 rushing yards. Barkley gained 87 yards on 18 carries.

The win means the Giants improve their record to 8-5-1 ahead of the Commanders (7-6-1) in the NFC East, with a tiebreak victory too. The result means the Dallas Cowboys have qualified for the playoffs.

Co-owner John Mara believes the New York Giants are enjoying their "best vibes" for a long time under first-year coach Brian Daboll, as they look to push on for the postseason.

The Giants are bottom of the NFC East, but sit seventh in the conference standings overall after an impressive 7-5-1 campaign to date.

In what was anticipated to be a season of transition under Daboll, the Giants have continued to upset expectations, though they are winless in their last four to check their momentum.

Still, Mara is enjoying what he sees so far, though he is waiting to reserve judgement until the end of the year, as his team look to break a playoff drought that stretches back to the 2016 season.

"We'll see how it finishes out," he told NJ Advance Media. "But right now, I feel good about the team, the direction we are going.

"You are always disappointed if you don't make the playoffs, but we are trying to take it one week at a time at this point.

"I know that sounds like coach-speak, but that's really the only way you can look at it right now.

"I just know the vibe in the building is the best that it has been in a long time. People are all pulling in the same direction."

The Giants - who posted their lone draw of the season during their last four matches - will look to get back to winning ways when they face the Washington Commanders on Sunday.

With both teams tied in the standings, the winner will see a boost for their playoff hopes at the expense of their rivals.

The Philadelphia Eagles are on cloud nine after booking their spot in the playoffs with Sunday's 48-22 trouncing of the New York Giants, but head coach Nick Sirianni insists they have "way bigger goals".

Playing away in New York, the Eagles were dominant from the first whistle until the last, winning all four quarters after jumping out to a 21-0 lead early in the second frame.

Adding to his potential MVP case, Jalen Hurts was unstoppable with 217 passing yards, 77 rushing yards and three total touchdowns to go with no turnovers, while running back Miles Sanders added another two touchdowns and a career-high 144 yards on the ground.

It was a terrific game by the Eagles' defense as well, collecting seven sacks and one fumble recovery, led by Brandon Graham's three hits on the Giants' quarterbacks.

Graham said the camaraderie inside the Eagles' locker room is at an all-time high, and they have their sights set on a deep playoff run.

"We want the playoffs to come through Lincoln Financial Field," he told reporter. "We want that bye week and we want that home-field advantage, because we know our fans are going to bring it.

"We know there are a lot of areas where we can improve, but it feels great to be 12-1 because this is a special team with that kind of chemistry. 

"Everybody wants everybody to do well. We're all rooting for each other and helping each other. We know we can be special, but there is a lot of work to do.

"It's been so much fun, though. Coming here and beating the Giants like this? Man, it's something else. 

"Just keep it going. That's all we want to do – keep it going and let's see where we end up."

The offensive side of the ball agreed, with Sanders discussing how their bevy of options make them so difficult to defend.

"I don't think they had much of an idea of what we were going to do," he said. "We're having so much fun out there – that's really what it is – this is just fun. 

"We're executing at a high level and having fun and complementing each other. That's what it's all about."

After receiving one of Hurts' two touchdown passes, with the other going to Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Brown, Devonta Smith echoed those thoughts.

"We're clicking – if it's not me, it's going to be someone else," he said. "That's how this offense is working, the way we've been all season."

Boasting the best record in the league is not a place most of these players have been, including four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with the struggling Detroit Lions.

"I've never been 12-1 in the NFL, leading the division, clinching this early," he said. "Sky's the limit for this team."

While edge-rusher Haason Reddick added: "This is the first year in my NFL career where I'm going to the playoffs – I can't wait to see what that atmosphere is like. Hopefully I'll do my part and the team do their job so we can go play for the big trophy."

Some key members on the team are enjoying what they have accomplished so far, but Sirianni said he was unfazed when he was alerted that his side had officially clinched their postseason berth.

"They said that to me in there and I'm like, 'Oh, that's nice'," he said. "We've got way bigger goals, and it's on to the next one."

The Eagles will look to improve to 13-1 when they travel to take on the Chicago Bears this coming Sunday.

The Dallas Cowboys were the biggest favourites on Sunday, but they needed a touchdown drive in the final minute to defeat the Houston Texans 27-23.

Dallas entered the game at 9-3, coming off a 54-19 pounding of the Indianapolis Colts, while the Texans were 1-10-1 and coasting towards the number one pick in the NFL Draft.

The Cowboys entered the game as 17-point favourites, but the game did not follow the script, with Houston hanging 20 points on one of the league's best defenses in just the first half.

They did it with a touchdown run from rookie Dameon Pierce, before backup quarterback Jeff Driskel came in and threw a 28-yard score to Amari Rodgers, and a pair of Ka'imi Fairbairn field goals gave them a 20-17 lead at the break.

Tony Pollard had both of the Cowboys' first-half trips to the end zone – one through the air and one on the ground – before the second half turned into a defensive struggle, with no touchdowns until the final 46 seconds.

Trailing by three, the Cowboys got the ball back on the two-yard line with 3:20 on the clock, marching 98 yards down the field in 11 plays, culminating in a two-yard, game-winning rushing touchdown from Ezekiel Elliott to spare his side any embarrassment.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott ended up completing 24 of his 39 passes for 284 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, while receiver Chris Moore was a standout for the Texans with 10 catches for 124 yards.

Eagles run up the score

The Philadelphia Eagles showed no mercy on their way to a dominant 48-22 demolition of the New York Giants, improving their league-best record to 12-1.

All of the Eagles' offensive stars got in on the act, starting with potential MVP Jalen Hurts, who threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns, while adding a rushing touchdown with his seven carries for 77 yards.

Running back Miles Sanders racked up 144 yards and two touchdowns from his 17 carries, while their two top receivers – A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith – were on the receiving end of both of Hurts' touchdown passes.

The Eagles' defense also collected seven sacks, with three to Brandon Graham, to leave the Giants (7-4-1) with three losses and a tie from their past four outings.

Lions keep their playoff hopes alive

The Detroit Lions have now won five of their past six after defeating the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings 34-23.

Jared Goff played arguably his best game of the season, taking no sacks and committing no turnovers while passing for 330 yards and three touchdowns, with D.J. Chark enjoying a terrific day on the outside for 94 yards and a touchdown from his six catches.

It was a day to remember for first-round draft pick Jameson Williams, as the first catch of his NFL career went for a 41-yard touchdown, having only made his debut last week after beginning the season with a torn ACL.

The Lions are now 6-7, and are well and truly in the NFC wildcard hunt, only one game off the pace.

Only five weeks remain in the NFL regular season and places in the playoffs are still up for grabs heading into Week 14.

Come Monday, the Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings could all have booked their spot in the postseason should things go their way, while others could officially see their hopes ended.

Crucial meetings are set to take place between a number of playoff contenders, including divisional rivals the Eagles and the New York Giants.

Elsewhere, the in-form San Francisco 49ers host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the New York Jets face a Vonte Miller-less Bills in Buffalo.

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

New York Jets (7-5) @ Buffalo Bills (9-3)

In Week 9, the Jets ended a four-game losing streak against the Bills to win 20-17, but Buffalo stand 7-3 in their last 10 meetings at home, winning each of the last two by double-digit margins.

In the defeat to the Vikings last week, Mike White had 369 passing yards and zero touchdowns; becoming the first Jets quarterback to throw for at least 350 yards without a touchdown pass.

Meanwhile, the Bills have been strong at home this season with just one defeat in Buffalo – coming in overtime to the Vikings in Week 10. They have averaged 33.4 points per game at home this season, outscoring their opponents by an average of 16.8 points.

An intriguing second half is on the cards, with the Bills holding a +48 points differential this season, the third-best ratio in the NFL, while the Jets rank fourth with a +44 differential.

Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) @ New York Giants (7-4-1)

Despite two consecutive wins against the Eagles at home, the Giants stand at 6-13 against the Eagles since 2003.

Standing 5-0 on the road this season, the Eagles are looking to tie a team record for consecutive road wins to start a season, set in 2001. Eight of the last 10 NFL teams to finish unbeaten on the road have gone on to reach the Super Bowl.

Jalen Hurts has thrown 20 touchdowns this season and has rushed for nine more, throwing just three interceptions, with no NFL quarterback ever finishing a campaign with 20+ passing TDs, 8+ rushing TDs and five or fewer interceptions.

This season, the Giants are the only NFL team not to allow a single offensive touchdown of at least 35 yards. Since 1940, the only year the Giants did not give up a single such touchdown was in 1994.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6) @ San Francisco 49ers (8-4)

Of teams to have played at least five games on the road against the 49ers, none have a worse record than the Buccaneers, who have won just three of 15 clashes in San Francisco (3-12).

The 49ers are on a strong run, having won five straight games while holding opponents to 17 or fewer points – the fourth such streak in franchise history and the first since a six-game stint in the 1992 season.

A comeback victory for the Buccaneers against New Orleans last week saw Tampa Bay overturn a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Prior to that, the Buccaneers had lost their previous 62 such games, stretching back to the 2010 season.

Tom Brady has thrown 56.3 per cent of his touchdown passes this season in the fourth quarter (nine of 16). Among the 27 quarterbacks to have at least 10 passing TDs this season, he is the only one to have at least half of his coming in the final frame.

Miami Dolphins (8-4) @ Los Angeles Chargers (6-6)

The Dolphins stand 12-4 against the Chargers since 1995 but saw a five-game winning streak halted by a 33-17 loss on the road against the 49ers, where they had a season-low 33 rushing yards from eight carries – the fewest attempts in a game in Dolphins history.

Tyreek Hill remains a significant threat, tallying 146 yards in Week 13 to reach six 100-yard receiving games this season – the second-best total in a single season, behind only Mark Duper with eight in 1993.

Meanwhile, the Chargers lost to the Raiders last week despite leading 13-10 at half-time. That was their fourth loss this season in games where they have led at the interval, the second most in the NFL behind the Denver Broncos.

The two teams are second and fifth respectively in the NFL in terms of highest percentage of plays from passing attempts, but the Dolphins are first in pass yards per attempt (8.51), while the Chargers are 28th (6.52).

Elsewhere…

The Houston Texans travel to face the Dallas Cowboys, with the last two meetings between the teams going to overtime. There have been three instances of teams playing three consecutive games with overtime, most recently the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Atlanta Falcons from 2002-2010.

The Tennessee Titans host the Jacksonville Jaguars boasting a 9-1 record going back to 2017, the fifth-best record by any team against a division opponent in that span.

The Cleveland Browns head to Cincinnati on a five-game win streak against the Bengals, their best run against any opponent since rejoining the NFL in 1999.

The Minnesota Vikings are 10-2 this season despite being outgained by an average of 62.8 yards per game and head to Detroit to face the Lions, with the last four meetings all decided by four points or fewer.

The Minnesota Vikings took another big stride towards the playoffs with a 27-22 victory over the New York Jets, courtesy of fine showing in the second quarter.

All square with a field goal each in the first quarter, the Vikings hit boiling point to score 17 points without return to enter the half with a commanding lead.

A rushing touchdown each from Dalvin Cook, his eighth of the year, and Alexander Mattison left the Jets needing a response from the third quarter in order to maintain hope for their own postseason push.

The Jets did exactly that, scoring 12 unanswered points, all from the boot of Greg Zuerlein, to claw their way back into the game – Mike White then scoring a touchdown in the fourth on the Jets' immediate possession after Justin Jefferson added further gloss to the Vikings advantage.

It was not to be though, as Braxton Barrios dropped a pass in the endzone for the Jets, before White's last-ditch throw on the final possession was picked off at the goal line by Camryn Bynum to clinch a tenth win of the season for Minnesota.

However, with the Detroit Lions 40-14 victors against the Jaguars, the Vikings did not get the favour they needed from Jacksonville and will have to wait to cement their postseason spot.

Packers lead the way

The Green Bay Packers scored 17 straight fourth-quarter points, as well as a blocked field goal and two interceptions, on their way to a comeback victory against the Chicago Bears – which created NFL history.

Trailing 10-0 and 16-3 in the first half, Aaron Rodgers' side fought back to seal a 28-19 win and became the NFL's all-time winningest franchise, taking their franchise total to 787.

Honours even between Commanders and Giants

The divisional rivalry between the Washington Commanders and New York Giants went all the way into overtime, after Taylor Heinicke's 28-yard touchdown pass to Jahan Dotson levelled the score at 20-20 to end the fourth quarter.

Neither side managed to get the score they needed to secure what would have been a valuable win for the playoff charge, resulting in the first tie between the two franchises since 1997 and only the fifth all-time.

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