N.F.L. Saturday: What’s at Stake for the Eagles, Cowboys and Kansas City

A Saturday doubleheader will kick off the remaining week of the N.F.L.’s common season, with groups competing for seeding and playoff berths.

First is an A.F.C. West matchup between Kansas City, which sits atop the division, and the Denver Broncos, the division’s worst crew. After that, the N.F.C. East’s playoff-bound Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles will meet at Lincoln Financial Field.

Though Saturday’s video games don’t appear fairly as consequential as the ones to be performed Sunday, the two matchups will function three groups which have been amongst the league’s hottest at varied factors in the season.

Below is a glance at what you must know to observe Saturday’s matchups.

4:30 p.m., ABC and ESPN

In Week 17, the Broncos (7-9) had been eradicated from playoff competition with their loss to the Chargers, and Kansas City’s loss to the Bengals pushed the crew out of the A.F.C.’s prime seed, giving it to the Tennessee Titans by means of a head-to-head tiebreaker. If the Titans lose to Houston on Sunday, Kansas City (11-5) may reclaim the No. 1 seed, which comes with a bye in the first spherical of the playoffs.

Kansas City received its first matchup towards Denver in Week 13 amid an eight-game win streak. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City’s quarterback, wasn’t nice in that sport, throwing for simply 184 yards and not using a passing landing (although he did rush for one) and an interception.

Teddy Bridgewater was the Broncos’ quarterback then, throwing for two interceptions in the sport, however he’ll miss Saturday’s matchup with a concussion that has saved him out since Week 15. Drew Lock, who has began in Bridgewater’s place, figures to be Denver’s starter Saturday, although he’s nursing a shoulder damage.

Kansas City’s protection, which had appeared to be a legal responsibility towards each the run and the go early in the season, was at its greatest throughout the crew’s profitable streak earlier than giving up over 400 yards of offense towards Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow final week. It could not want an ideal sport to comprise Denver’s offense, although.

The Broncos’ offense, which has been actually poor lately, is averaging barely 19 factors per sport this season and — if for nothing greater than pleasure — might want to preserve tempo with a Kansas City offense that typically solely wants a few performs to attain.

8:15 p.m., ABC and ESPN

Dallas (11-5) clinched a playoff spot and the N.F.C. East title in Week 16 and is the No. Four seed in the N.F.C. heading into Saturday’s matchup. The Eagles (9-7) have received seven of their final 9 video games after beginning the season 2-5 and grabbed the No. 7 seed with final week’s win over the Washington Football Team. This sport isn’t about making the playoffs however may decide seeding. Dallas may transfer as excessive as the No. 2 seed with a win over Philadelphia, plus losses by Arizona and the Rams, whereas Philadelphia will end with both the sixth or the seventh seed.

In their first assembly, the Cowboys blew out Philadelphia in quarterback Dak Prescott’s first residence sport for Dallas since his ugly ankle damage final season. Prescott had three touchdowns and over 200 passing yards in that Week Three sport.

Dallas’s high-powered offense has sputtered in latest weeks, nonetheless, stamped by a 25-22 loss to the Cardinals final week. The Cowboys’ run sport has been inconsistent (Dallas rushed for simply 45 yards final week), and the offense has not pushed the ball down the subject — each, partially, due to struggles on the offensive line.

Running again Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t had the identical influence many are used to seeing as he offers with a knee damage. Micah Parsons, Dallas’s 2021 first-round decide, has been a part of its defensive turnaround this season however was placed on the reserve/Covid-19 checklist this week and may miss Saturday’s sport.

Still, Jerry Jones, the Cowboys’ proprietor and common supervisor, indicated in a radio interview on 105.3 the Fan this week that the crew had no plans to relaxation its starters.

Much of Philadelphia’s success this season has come behind a dominant floor sport, led by working again Miles Sanders, who’s the crew’s second main rusher behind quarterback Jalen Hurts. Sanders will miss this sport with a fractured hand. Hurts has been a hesitant runner in latest weeks as he performs by a excessive ankle sprain.

Philadelphia may be and not using a host of different starters as the crew positioned 12 gamers, together with middle Jason Kelce, defensive deal with Fletcher Cox and tight finish Dallas Goedert, on the reserve/Covid-19 checklist on Monday. It stays unclear whether or not Eagles Coach Nick Sirianni plans to relaxation any of his starters.

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