NFL Sunday: Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson and Jimmy Garoppolo on show
The race into the NFL playoffs continues on Sunday and also you may watch three huge games live – including 49ers Raiders at Patriots and Chiefs in Texans, in Ravens.
Sunday’s build-up policy will start at 5pm before the very first kick-off at 6pm, and the games will be followed with a fascinating Monday Night Football match-up whenever the Minnesota Vikings (8-3) see the Seattle Seahawks (9-2), live on Sky Sports Action at 1.15am on Monday night/Tuesday morning.
For now, let’s look ahead to Sunday’s matches…
Seasons so far: The San Francisco 49ers (10-1) are edging ever closer to a playoff berth because they seek their 11th win of their year when they visit the Baltimore Ravens (9-2). They will reserve their slot if they defeat the Los Angeles Rams and the Ravens fail to win against the Arizona Cardinals.
The guys of kyle Shanahan are second in rushing yards in the NFL using 1,602, behind the Ravens’ 2,316. Their only defeat this year came against the Seahawks, because they’ve won three consecutive including an remarkable 37-8 victory over the Green Bay Packers. They are also the No 1-ranked defense in the league when it comes to yards conceded per game with 248.
Their playoff credentials were reaffirmed by the Ravens against the Rams on Monday Night Football courtesy of Lamar Jackson practice. John Harbaugh’s side direct the NFL with 386 points at an average of 35.1 across their first 11 games and are the only team to have defeated the defending champions – the New England Patriots.
Players to watch: George Kittle is still a part on offense for the 49ers . Despite missing time on the field, the end stays the best goal with 52 catches for 670 yards of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Even though Jackson’s dual-threat can’t be dismissed for the Ravens, 1 person to monitor is cornerback Marcus Peters. The 26-year-old has elevated Baltimore’s defense with two touchdowns and three interceptions because his arrival from the Rams. He promises to be crucial in comprising the likes of Kittle for a Ravens defense that’s allowing 235 passing yards on average per match.
Seasons so much: It’s been an odd and far mixed season for the Oakland Raiders (6-5), who have flashed playoff potential in addition to disappointed on occasion. Head coach Jon Gruden has witnessed his group up impressive wins over the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts, but get stomped 34-3 by the New York Jets out time. An unlikely win over the Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) would certainly place the strain on the NFC West leaders.
The Chiefs have not been difficult to include as they were in 2018 (12-4 and the No 1 seed in the AFC), yet Andy Reid’s team are still next to the Dallas Cowboys in passing yards with 3,319 in an average of 301.7.
Reigning quarterback MVP Patrick Mahomes is 10th in passing yards despite missing two matches in the year. He has pitched for two interceptions and 19 touchdowns and especially helped inflict among the Ravens’ two defeats with 373 passing yards and three touchdowns in a 33-28 success. On the opposite side of the ball, the Chiefs have the third-worst rushing defense using let 1,574 yards to date this season.
Players to watch: With all the Chiefs’ battles against the run in your mind, Josh Jacobs will probably be a primary hazard for the Raiders at Arrowhead. The running back is in the NFL for rushing yards this year and has seven touchdowns to its own title. Rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby could be another key figure having generated a team-high 7.5 sacks this season along with three forced fumbles.
Kansas City will be hoping to cheer back receiver Tyreek Hill later he had been forced off with a hamstring injury in the first quarter of last week’s win over the Los Angeles Chargers. Hill, who has only played seven games this season, enters the match with 33 receptions for 543 yards and five touchdowns.
Seasons so far: Thanksgiving week is really when the season starts for the New England Patriots (10-1), more so to get them than any other team in the league. Their story this season has been one of typically training in the helm of a group which hasn’t dazzled or dominated, but one which has got the work done up to now. They are 17th using 3,881 total yards in the NFL.
If one of five scenarios plays out the defending Super Bowl champions can secure their playoff spot this weekend – that the most likely of that will be a New England win combined with the Raiders neglecting to overcome against the Chiefs. The Patriots have won 10 games to get a record 17 consecutive seasons after beating the Dallas Cowboys in Week 12.
The Texans are ranked No 7 on offense thanks to 4,198 entire yards, which includes 2,692 passing yards (12th) and 1,506 rushing yards (tied-sixth). Quarterback Deshaun Watson has been at the heart of everything great about the Texans this year, throwing for 20 touchdowns and running for five more. Weren’t for its amounts being put up with Jackson and Russell Wilson, he’d be tough to overlook in the MVP conversation.
It’s on defense where the Texans have struggled, with celebrity defensive end J.J. Watt was put on injured reserve at the end of October. Houston is currently 16th for many rushing yards allowed per game with 108, eighth for many passing yards allowed per game with 259.3 and also have recorded the fourth-fewest sacks with 22 and only five interceptions.
Players to watch: Frailties to both the Texans’ conduct and pass defense could encourage Patriots running back James White to gain as a hazard both as a receiver target in the area and out of the backfield. While the ground game is led by Sony Michel, White can offer the Patriots a outlet as his side the next most productive receiver this season.
If anyone can harm this Patriots defense, then it’s Watson and his goal DeAndre Hopkins, that enters the match. He appears for what might be a blockbuster dual with two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Stephon Gilmore set. The Texans offensive line that is complete, and left tackle Laremy Tunsil, are also vital in helping to give Watson understands.