NFL Week 14 preview: Playoff berths on the line for 3 teams

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Week 14 of the 2022 season begins with the Los Angeles Rams hosting the Las Vegas Raiders and ends with the Arizona Cardinals taking on the New England Patriots.

The matchups aren’t quite as enticing as last week, but it’s Sunday’s game that will get a lot of attention. Three divisional matchups will be very intriguing as the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs all look for a playoff spot.

Jalen Hurts has proven himself worthy of an MVP award, as has Patrick Mahomes. The Vikings clicked well offensively and that’s why they play great. All those tams will be tested on Sunday at a crucial point of the season.

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Read below for a small preview.

Giants (7-4-1) vs. Eagles (11-1) – 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Azeez Ojulari of the New York Giants reacts during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, December 4, 2022, in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Eagles and Giants meet on Sunday in such an important game between two NFC East foes. Philadelphia tries to close out the division title, while the Giants hope to prove they belong in the playoffs with a victory.

The Eagles can clinch a playoff spot with a win or tie against the Giants or a San Francisco 49ers loss to and Seattle Seahawks during the day. San Francisco will play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seahawks will play against the Carolina Panthers.

There are no playoff scenarios for the Giants, but New York will definitely need to win to keep their postseason chances alive.

Lions (5-7) vs. Vikings (10-2) – 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, #8, talks to New York Jets players after an NFL football game, Sunday, December 4, 2022, in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, #8, talks to New York Jets players after an NFL football game, Sunday, December 4, 2022, in Minneapolis.
(AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

Minnesota is neck and neck with the Eagles for the best record in the NFL and could come within a tie if they win and Philly loses. The NFC North isn’t as tight as the NFC East, and a division title could conclude for the Vikings with a win or tie against the Lions on Sunday.

Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson have turned the Vikings into offensive juggernauts. Cook had 927 rushing yards and seven touchdowns this season. Jefferson has 88 catches for 1,277 yards and six touchdowns. They will have to take into account the season.

Detroit could very well get upset. Jared Goff is playing well this season. Detroit is sixth in points scored and seventh in yards gained, but the defense is last in points allowed and yards allowed.

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Broncos (3-9) vs. Chiefs (9-3) – 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Kansas City Chiefs Run Back Jerick McKinnon, #1, celebrates after a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half of an NFL football game in Cincinnati, Sunday, December 4, 2022.

Kansas City Chiefs Run Back Jerick McKinnon, #1, celebrates after a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half of an NFL football game in Cincinnati, Sunday, December 4, 2022.
(AP Photo/Joshua Bickel)

It’s almost impossible to ever fire Russell Wilson, but his game hasn’t been great this season. The nine-time Pro Bowler has lost four straight and the Broncos have not scored at least 20 points since Week 8. They have only scored at least 20 points on two occasions this season.

It’s not really the offense the Chiefs need to worry about on Sunday. It will be the defense. Denver is second in points allowed and third in yards allowed despite their 3-9 record. It could be quite hampering whether Kansas City can click on all cylinders.

Kansas City will be looking for an AFC West title. The Chiefs need a win and a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers against the Miami Dolphins later Sunday night to clinch the title. Mahomes and Travis Kelce have been rolling lately.

Mahomes needs a minimum of 192 passing yards on Sunday to join Peyton Manning as the only player in NFL history with at least 4,000 passing yards in five of their first six seasons.

49ers (8-4) vs. Buccaneers (6-6) – 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, #1, appears to pass before San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, #97, caused Tagovailoa to fumble, which 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw returned for a touchdown, during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, California, Sunday December 4, 2022.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, #1, appears to pass before San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, #97, caused Tagovailoa to fumble, which 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw returned for a touchdown, during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, California, Sunday December 4, 2022.
(AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)

Tom Brady returns to the Bay Area to take on the team he loved as a kid: the 49ers. Brady and the Buccaneers are fresh off a win against the New Orleans Saints and have some momentum in this game against the 49ers.

San Francisco will be without Jimmy Garoppolo for the foreseeable future, but as long as Brock Purdy can move the ball well enough, the 49ers defense should be able to contain the Buccaneers, who seem to struggle until the end of games where Brady can do his thing and win.

It’s a show-me game for both teams. San Francisco must prove they are legitimate contenders in the playoffs even in the absence of Garoppolo, while Tampa Bay must prove they are not as bad as pundits and pundits think they are.

Chargers (6-6) vs Dolphins (8-4) – 8:20pm ET, NBC

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, #10, passes under pressure from Las Vegas Raiders defense end Maxx Crosby, #98, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, December 4, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, #10, passes under pressure from Las Vegas Raiders defense end Maxx Crosby, #98, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, December 4, 2022, in Las Vegas.
(AP Photo/David Becker)

Ending the list of matchups on Sunday will be a matchup of 2020 quarterbacks – Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa. The two star players could decide who is really better and start a debate among fans about who really made the right choice with their selections.

The game was not the spot on Sunday night, given the playoff potential of both teams. Herbert and the Chargers, who have been in trouble all season, haven’t run away from really declaring themselves as playoff contenders. The Dolphins, who are also working hard, will have to stay healthy enough to keep up the pace in the tightly packed AFC East.

This game is expected to be good enough to end the weekend.

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The rest of Sunday’s schedule (all times Eastern)

  • 1 p.m.: Bills (9-3) vs. Jets (7-5), CBS
  • 1pm: Bengals (8-4) vs. Browns (5-7), CBS
  • 1 p.m.: Cowboys (9-3) vs. Texans (1-10-1), FOX
  • 1pm: Titans (7-5) vs. Jaguars (4-8), CBS
  • 1 p.m.: Steelers (5-7) vs. Ravens (8-4), CBS
  • 4:25 p.m.: Seahawks (7-5) v Panthers (4-8), FOX

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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