Carolina at New Orleans
Series: Panthers lead 17-16
Last Meeting(s): The Saints needed a late fourth quarter touchdown to top the Panthers 30-27 in Week 5. Drew Brees threw for 359 yards, two touchdowns, and one pick while Cam Newton had 224 yards, two touchdowns, and one pick and ran for a score. After a defensive stop midway through the fourth, New Orleans drove 89 years in over six minutes for the game-winning touchdown pass from Brees to Pierre Thomas.
Streak(s): That win was New Orleans’ third straight and fourth in five meetings. The Panthers last road win in the series came in 2008.
Buffalo at New England
Series: Patriots lead 61-41-1
Last Meeting(s): Buffalo snapped a 15-game losing streak to the Patriots with a 34-31 comeback win in Week 3. Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes in the first half as the Patriots jumped out to a 21-0 lead. Buffalo got 10 points on the board before halftime then outscored New England 24-10 in the second half. Brady finished the game with four interceptions, including one that Drayton Florence returned 27 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to give the Bills their first lead of the game. Brady and the Patriots responded with a touchdown drive, but never saw the ball again. The Bills started their next possession with gains of 29, 12, and 38, then ran off the rest of the clock thanks to a personal foul penalty by New England. Rian Lindell nailed a 28-yard field goal for the win.
Streak(s): Even with the 15-game streak broken, Buffalo has won in just two of the last 22 meetings, a stretch that dates back to the second game in the 2000 series. Possibly some context: Including the first game of that 2000 season, Drew Bledsoe was a winner both sides: he was the Bills’ quarterback for their 2003 win over New England, and, of course, Bledsoe was the Patriots quarterback for a few of their wins before Brady took over. The Bills still have a 10-game losing streak at Foxboro. Their last win there came in 2000, when John Friesz took the majority of the snaps for New England and the Bills won 16-13 in overtime.
Chicago at Minnesota
Series: Vikings lead 52-47-2
Last Meeting(s): Chicago destroyed Minnesota 39-10 earlier this year at Soldier Field. Devin Hester caught a 48-yard touchdown pass on the Bears’ opening drive and took a kickoff 98 yards for a score in the third quarter. It could have been Donovan McNabb’s last game ever: he went 19-24 for 177 yards before being replaced by Christian Ponder.
Streak(s): Chicago has now won four straight. The Bears won at TCF Stadium last year, but they haven’t won in the Metrodome since 2006.
New Jersey Jets at Miami
Series: Jets lead 48-43-1
Last Meeting(s): The Dolphins fell to 0-5 when they lost 24-6 at the Meadowlands in Week 6. It was Matt Moore’s first start of the season and Miami moved the ball well early but failed to score. Plus, after one long drive, Moore was intercepted by Darrelle Revis at the goalline and Revis took it back 100 yards for a touchdown.
Streak(s): The Jets have won two of the last three, but Miami has won four of the last six and four of the last five at home. Like Bledsoe, Pennington won and lost games from both sides of this series.
San Francisco at St. Louis
Series: Tied 61-61-2
Last Meeting(s): San Francisco evened this series at 61 wins each with a 26-0 win in Week 13. David Akers made four field goals and Alex Smith threw 50-plus yard touchdown passes to Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams in the second half. St. Louis gained only 157 yards and turned the ball over twice.
Streak(s): The 49ers have won six of seven since the start of the 2008 season, holding the Rams without a touchdown in three of those games.
Detroit at Green Bay
Series: Packers lead 92-65-7
Last Meeting(s): The Packers and Lions Thanksgiving meeting was billed as a showdown between NFC elites, a chance for the undefeated Packers to finally fall. Detroit had plenty of chances and limited Green Bay’s offense during the first half, but ultimately fell 27-15. The Lions killed themselves with 11 penalties for 82 yards, including an idiotic personal foul (Ndamukong Suh) on a third and goal that gave the Packers a first down and led to a touchdown. Aaron Rodgers had a quiet 300-yard game while Matt Stafford tossed three critical interceptions.
Streak(s): Green Bay has won 11 of 12 in this series. More importantly, they haven’t lost a home game to the Lions since 1991, a streak of 20 games that dates back to the pre-Favre days. The Erik Kramer-led Lions dropped Green Bay to 3-12 with a 21-17 win at Lambeau Field, where the game-time temperature was 10 degrees and the wind chill was -6. Mel Gray’s 78-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter turned out to be a game-winner.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
Series: Buccaneers lead 19-17
Last Meeting(s): Tampa Bay started the season 2-1 thanks to a 16-13 home victory over Atlanta. The Buccaneers lead 16-3 in the fourth quarter and held off a late Atlanta surge to win with only 295 total yards. Roddy White and Julio Jones combined for 255 yards receiving but neither found the end zone. Josh Freeman was picked off twice and but ran in a score from one yard out.
Streak(s): Tampa Bay snapped a five-game losing streak with that win. Now they’ll try to win in Atlanta for the first time since November 2007. Since the Week 3 meeting, Atlanta has gone 8-4 while the Buccaneers have gone 2-10.
Baltimore at Cincinnati
Series: Ravens lead 17-14
Last Meeting(s): The Bengals started the year 6-2 without having played Baltimore or Pittsburgh. They lost at home to the Steelers in Week 10, then lost 31-24on the road to the Ravens in Week 11. Baltimore led 31-14 in the fourth quarter after a 38-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith. Cincinnati had a chance to tie the game, but Andy Dalton was sacked on 4th and 5 from the Ravens’ 17 yard line with 28 second remaining. Dalton also threw three interceptions in the game.
Streak(s): Baltimore has won two straight following a three-game Bengals winning streak. The Ravens last win in Cincinnati came in 2008.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland
Series: Steelers lead 63-56
Last Meeting(s): The Steelers ugly 14-3 win was made uglier by injuries to both starting quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger’s left leg was hit awkwardly in the second quarter and he left the game for the rest of the half. Charlie Batch filled in but Roethlisberger was back at the start of the third quarter and threw a 78-yard touchdown to Antonio Brown in the fourth. Colt McCoy took a shot from James Harrison in the fourth quarter and left the game for one play. Seneca Wallace came in and completed a pass but McCoy returned immediately and could not get the Browns in the end zone.
Streak(s): Cleveland extended a brutal stretch of 15 losses in 16 games against the Steelers. The only win in that stretch came at home in 2009. The Browns haven’t hit 20 points against Pittsburgh since November 2007 and they’ve been held under 10 points eight times since 2003.
Washington at Philadelphia
Series: Redskins lead 79-70-6
Last Meeting(s): Washington wiped out a 20-0 deficit in Week 6 against Philadelphia, but four Rex Grossman interceptions were too much for Jon Beck to overcome. Mike Shanahan finally benched Grossman after an ugly third quarter stretch: Down 20-6, Washington intercepted Michael Vick at their own one yard line, but punted after gaining one first down. Vince Young came into the game for a briefly-hurt Vick and was intercepted on his first attempt. Given the ball on the Eagles’ 18, Grossman tossed his third interception of the day. After an Eagles punt a few minutes later, Grossman was intercepted one last time. Beck led the Redskins into Eagles territory twice in the fourth quarter but came away with only seven points. The teams combined for 17 penalties.
Streak(s): The Eagles have won four of the last five overall, but Washington has won three of four in Philadelphia.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville
Series: Colts lead 15-6
Last Meeting(s): The Jaguars won in Indianapolis 17-3 in Week 10. Dan Orlovsky and Curtis Painter were sacked five times and combined for a 161 yards passing and two interceptions (both by Painter), which helped Blaine Gabbert win with only 118 yards, one touchdown, and one pick.
Streak(s): Jacksonville has won two of the last three—they’ve never won consecutive games against the Colts. They won two of three one other time (2003-2004). The Week 10 game was the first in which Indianapolis failed to hit 10 points against the Jaguars and featured the second lowest point total in the history of the series (10-3 Indianapolis in 2005).
Tennessee at Houston
Series: Titans lead 13-6
Last Meeting(s): Houston’s offense dominated the Titans in a 41-7 drubbing in Week 7 in Nashville. Houston broke a two-game losing streak and recaptured the lead in the AFC South, which the Titans had previously held with a 3-2 record (Houston entered the game 3-3). Matt Schaub was 18 of 23 for 296 yards and two touchdowns and Ben Tate ran for 104 yards. But Arian Foster was the real star: he not only rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns, he also caught five passes for 119 yards and another score. Houston out-gained Tennessee 518 to 148.
Streak(s): Houston has won four of the last six after starting 2-11 against Tennessee.
Seattle at Arizona
Series: Cardinals lead 13-12
Last Meeting(s): Seattle won an uneventful Week 3 game 13-10.
Streak(s): The Seahawks are 3-0 against Arizona in the Pete Carroll era. Arizona had won six of seven before Carroll showed up. These teams met only six times from 1976 to 2001, and the Seahawks didn’t register their first win against the Cardinals until 1998 (after losing the first five games in the series).
Kansas City at Denver
Series: Chiefs lead 55-48
Last Meeting(s): Kyle Orton was still a Bronco when these teams met back in Week 10. He didn’t throw any passes and Tim Tebow only threw eight in Denver’s 17-10 win. The Broncos’ 69 passing yards was bad, but Kansas City didn’t do much better with only 124; Tebow and Matt Cassell each threw a touchdown pass, though. Both punters kicked seven times for over 300 yards (that’s 300 yards each).
Streak(s): Denver leads the series 13-10 since 2000, with neither team winning three in a row. Last week I noted that the Chiefs and Raiders have recently won more games on each other’s turf; not the case here. The Chiefs are 2-9 in Denver since 2001. The Broncos are a little better on the road, going 4-8 in Kansas City since 2001.
San Diego at Oakland
Series: Raiders lead 58-44-2
Last Meeting(s): After six horrific quarters to start his Raiders career, Carson Palmer was solid in Oakland’s 24-17 Week 10 win in San Diego. Palmer had 299 yards, two touchdowns, and one pick while Michael Bush rushed for 157 yards and caught three passes for 85 yards. Denarius Moore had five catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns. San Diego was running out of offensive linemen and Philip Rivers was screaming at everybody.
Streak(s): Oakland has won three straight for the first time since they swept the 2000 and 2001 series. Even with this run, Oakland is 5-14 against the Chargers since those sweeps.
Dallas at NY Giants
Series: Dallas leads 56-41-2
Last Meeting(s): The Giants won one of the season’s most thrilling games when they beat Dallas 37-34 in Week 14. Dallas appeared to have the game locked up after a 50-yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Dez Bryant gave them a 34-22 lead with under six minutes remaining. The Giants drove 80 yards for a touchdown to pull within five, then got the ball back after Tony Romo missed a wide-open Miles Austin on third down. After a short punt, the Giants drove 58 yards and scored again, adding a two-point conversion. Dallas drove into field goal range, but Dan Bailey’s 47-yard attempt was blocked.
Streak(s): The Giants are 6-2 since the end of the 2007 season, when they beat Dallas in the divisional round. Dallas won in 2010 when they travelled to New Jersey.