Rams vs Cardinals

The Los Angeles Rams (-13.5) and Arizona Cardinals will go head-to-head on the dome of University of Phoenix Stadium. This NFC West game starts at 4:05 p.m. ET and spectators can watch the action live on FOX.

In this Sunday NFC game, Los Angeles is projected as the heavy favorite and is currently giving up 13.5 points. The Rams are also receiving -875 moneyline odds while the Cardinals are +525. Oddsmakers have placed the over/under (O/U) at 47.5 points, and if one squad catches a lucky break early, it will likely produce a reasonable in-game betting opportunity.

This game’s opening line was 14. The total hasn’t changed since being set initially at 47.5.

The Rams have lost 0.7 units so far in 2018 and are 5-7-2 against the spread (ATS). The team’s posted an Over-Under record of 6-7-1.

The Cardinals have lost 3.3 units this season. The team is 6-8 ATS and has an O/U record of 6-8.

The Rams have gone 11-3 straight up (SU), including 4-0 SU against NFC West opponents. The Cardinals are 3-11 SU overall and 2-2 SU against divisional foes.

Both teams enter this matchup on two-game losing streaks. The Rams will look to bounce back after a 30-23 defeat to Philadelphia in Week 15. Jared Goff completed 35 passes for 339 yards and two interceptions. Todd Gurley II (48 rushing yards on 12 attempts, two TDs) led the running attack. Gurley II (10 receptions, 76 yards) and Robert Woods (seven catches, 74 yards) handled the receiving duties in the defeat.

In Week 15, Atlanta knocked off this Arizona team by a score of 40-14. The Cards defensive unit let the Falcons rush for 215 yards on 27 attempts, including two rush TDs. Tevin Coleman had a productive showing, posting 145 rushing yards and a score on 11 attempts for Atlanta. As a group, the Cards collectively completed 23-of-36 passes for 243 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Josh Rosen went 13-for-22 for 132 yards and two interceptions while Mike Glennon was 10-of-14 for 111 yards and one touchdown. David Johnson (33 yards on 11 rush attempts, one TD) handled the running game while Larry Fitzgerald (seven receptions, 82 yards) and T.J. Logan (four catches, 18 yards) led the receiving corps in the loss.

When looking at offensive play-calling, each team sports a strikingly similar (42-58) run-pass ratio on the season. Having said that, the Rams have rushed for 129 yards per game (including 135 per game versus West opponents) and have 19 scores on the ground this year. The Cards haven’t been as successful, as they’re logging 82 rushing yards per game (73 in conference) and have nine total rush TDs.

If the results so far this season can translate to this game, then the Rams ought to have the more disruptive lines up front. Their offensive line has allowed just 28 sacks while the D-line logged 48 sacks. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have allowed 52 sacks and their defense has sacked opposing QBs just 37 times.

The Rams offense has averaged 307 yards through the air overall (299 per game versus conference opposition) and has 27 passing scores so far. The Cards have put up 182 pass yards per game (173.0 against NFC foes) and have 13 total pass TDs.

On the defensive side of the ball, Los Angeles has allowed 123 rush yards and 260 pass yards per game. The Arizona D has given up 230.5 yards per game to opposing passers and 144.9 yards per game on the ground. Both teams allow similar adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) to the opposition, as the Rams have given up an ANY/A of 6.41 to opposing QBs, while the Cards are yielding an ANY/A of 6.12.

Goff is already up to 4,093 passing yards on the year, and has connected on 310-of-468 attempts with 27 passing touchdowns and nine interceptions. Goff has an 8.20 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number sits at 2.12 over the last two games.

Todd Gurley II (1,223 rushing yards, 17 rush TDs, 550 receiving yards, four receiving touchdowns this season), Robert Woods (1,045 receiving yards, five receiving TDs) and Josh Reynolds (267 receiving yards, three TDs) have each played significant roles lately.

Josh Rosen has managed to complete 161-of-295 passes for 1,802 yards, 10 TDs and 13 INTs for Arizona. His ANY/A stands at a very poor 3.60 for the year and 2.40 over his last two outings.

David Johnson (794 rushing yards, seven rush TDs, 396 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns this season), Larry Fitzgerald (590 receiving yards, five receiving TDs) and Trent Sherfield (48 receiving yards, one receiving TD) have combined to account for 391 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns over the past couple of games.

Texans vs Eagles

Texans vs. Eagles live stream: Watch NFL Week 16 game online

We hate to break it to you, New England Patriots fans. But you should be rooting heavily for the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend.

The 7-7 Eagles play at home Sunday against the 10-4 Houston Texans, who currently own the AFC’s No. 2 seed. If the Texans lose to Philly and the Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, however, New England will move to 10-5 and overtake Houston for the No. 2 seed by virtue of its tiebreaker over the Texans (head-to-head results).

With a Texans loss and Patriots win this weekend, New England would just need to beat the New York Jets at home in Week 17 to secure a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.

  • Why AFC’s No. 2 seed could be best-case scenario for Patriots

Houston is one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now and has won 10 of its last 11 games. But the Eagles are in desperation mode, needing a win to stay alive in the NFC playoff race, and just upset the Los Angeles Rams on the road last weekend.

Here’s how and when to watch Texans vs. Eagles online.

Time: Sunday, Dec. 23 at 1 p.m. ET
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: CBS All Access

Jets vs Packers

Jets vs Packers Game Day Forecast

The New York Jets will be home in the cozy confines of MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey as they take on the Green Bay Packers today. The game starts at 1:00 pm EST.

The weather in East Rutherford will be crisp, clear and cool. Skies will be bright and sunny with few clouds in sight. Temperatures will be cool but not too bad for December in East Rutherford, in the lower 40s throughout the game. Winds will be light and variable at 5 – 10 mph out of the west. Humidity will be comfortable, in the 50s. There will be a near zero chance of precipitation throughout the game. This is about as good as the weather gets in late December in the Meadowlands. A great day for football.

For those watching the game at home, conditions will be comfortable, with steady temperatures in the low 70s, low humidity, no wind to speak of and no chance of showers.

Enjoy the game everybody.

Bills vs Patriots

Game Preview: Bills @ Patriots

The Buffalo Bills (5-9) will head into the house of the New England Patriots (9-5) this Sunday. Tom Brady and Patriots have the opportunity to clinch the AFC East division and secure their spot in the playoffs. The Bills are mathematically eliminated from the postseason but have the chance to make the Patriots road to the playoffs a more bumpier road than it already is.

The first meeting between the two teams was a close battle up until the fourth quarter. At the end of three quarters, the Patriots led by six. Up until a pick-six by Devin McCourty, the Bills fought until that point and had plenty of opportunities to steal a possible win.

This will be a different game. The Patriots are on a two-game losing streak and news broke today that Josh Gordon has left the Patriots to focus on his mental health, and then eventually placed on the leagues’ suspension list as reported by Adam Schefter.

The Bills will have their starting quarterback in Josh Allen. Having missed the first game between the two teams, Allen faces Brady and the Patriots for the first in his career. Allen has been on a role for the Bills offense with finding a connection with wideout Robert Foster.

What will hurt the Bills? The missing presence of Matt Milano on the defense. Milano suffered a broken fibula against the Jets in Week 14 and he played a big role in the first game between the Bills and the Patriots.

What will be the key matchups for this Sunday?

Josh Allen vs. Pats secondary

If history repeats itself, the Patriots defense finds a way to rough up the Bills quarterback. Allen is a special kind of talent that the Bills offense has not had in recent years. He’ll be throwing into a secondary of McCourty and Stephon Gilmore. Allen may use his legs again to make the big plays, but his ability to throw the ball down the field may challenge this secondary.

Tom Brady vs. Bills front four

The Bills front four, led by Kyle Williams will be a reason why Brady either succeeds or crumbles. Jerry Hughes is having a monster year for the Bills and he should be in the face of Brady throughout the game.

The Bills vs. themselves

The Bills are high up in the league with penalties against them. The Patriots take advantage of opponents mental mistakes and they capitalize on those opportunities. The Bills need to be mentally tough and not allow any mistake cost them a potential scoring drive.

Lions vs Vikings

How to watch Lions vs. Vikings: Start time, TV channel, stream

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The Lions aren’t in playoff contention anymore, but the Vikings are. That sets Sunday’s game up as a critical one for one NFC North rival and a spoiler opportunity for the other. Here’s everything you need to know before the game:

WHO: Detroit Lions (5-9) vs. Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1)

WHAT: NFL Week 16

WHEN: 1 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Ford Field in Detroit

TV: FOX

RADIO: WJR 760 AM

STREAM: fuboTV (free trial)

On Twitter, follow beat reporters Nate Atkins and Kyle Meinke, who will provide live updates from Ford Field.

MLive will also have the live game chat running on the Lions page starting an hour before kickoff.

Here’s some pre-game reading to hold you over:

  • A lineman at heart, Matt Patricia’s top task is saving Matthew Stafford’s back
  • Lions’ Glover Quin could play his last game at Ford Field on Sunday
  • The Lions have reached the NFL’s worst intersection of bad and boring
  • Ask Kyle: Top 5 reason the Lions failed this year
  • Eric Ebron’s goal was to make the Pro Bowl — he just had to leave Detroit to do it

FuboTV is a paid affiliate of Advance Local Media LLC. Advance Local Media LLC may receive compensation if you access the FuboTV service through the link above.

If you’re carrying a balance on a high interest credit card or are looking to make a big purchase in the coming months, it’s time to switch cards and save money.

ALLEN PARK — The Detroit Lions now have enough players on injured reserve to play a game.

Receiver Bruce Ellington and special teams ace Charles Washington are the latest victims, landing on IR on Saturday afternoon. Detroit has now lost four players to IR heading into the home finale Sunday against Minnesota, following rookie standouts Kerryon Johnson and Da’Shawn Hand.

T.J. Lang, Marvin Jones, Ezekiel Ansah, Michael Roberts, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Nick Bawden and Steve Longa are also on IR. That’s 11 players in all, enough for a full side.

The receiver position has been hit especially hard, where three of their top four pass catchers are gone. Golden Tate was dealt at the training deadline, then Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury, then Ellington — their primary replacement in the starting lineup — suffered a season-ending hamstring injury.

Kenny Golladay leads Detroit with 64 catches for 1,005 yards. The next healthy receiver is TJ Jones, who has 10 catches for 108 yards and no touchdowns.

The Lions have promoted receiver Chris Lacy from the practice squad to take Ellington’s place. He is an undrafted rookie who has never played in an NFL game.

Cornerback Dee Virgin was also promoted from the practice squad. He takes Washington’s place on special teams.

ALLEN PARK — Every Saturday for years, this space of MLive has been home to a game preview, presented in the form of players and matchups to watch that ended with a prediction. It was our way of hyping up the next game, and for years, the Lions offered plenty to reel you in. Almost every NFL game does if you look hard enough.

That is no longer the case in Detroit. I’m picking the Lions to lose 24-10 to the Vikings on Sunday, but this team has no players or matchups worth dissecting, and it would be disingenuous to tell you otherwise just for the sake of routine.

This is my time to tell you not to bother.

At 5-9, the Lions are eliminated from any playoff contention. It’s a disappointment after general manager Bob Quinn said 9-7 seasons were unacceptable, but 20 of 32 teams miss the playoffs every year. Plenty rebuild along the way, and many of those teams have components to watch even after they are mathematically eliminated.

This year’s Lions team isn’t just bad, though it has beaten just one team with a winning record, has lost two home games by at least 14 points and has losses to rookie quarterbacks on the Bills and Jets.

This Lions team is also so boring. The team has no personality among active stars or coaches, no soundbites, no trash talk, no fun personal stories, no splashy young players for fans to pour hope into after Kerryon Johnson and Da’Shawn Hand went to injured reserve. It trudges through games, showing no aggressiveness, working just to survive. It has taken a game that is meant to be entertaining and turned it into the biggest chore of the week.

The best part of the Lions is their fans, and they’re the ones who take the punishment.

The Lions are failing as a football team and as a business. They rank 24th in the league in attendance and have the second-lowest franchise value only ahead of the Bills, according to Forbes. Although neither of those marks are exactly new in Detroit, the team is trending in the wrong direction. The Lions didn’t have the most exciting coach or locker room under Jim Caldwell, but they offered high-flying offenses that came back to win more than any other team in the NFL. They had the ability to turn Ford Field into an inferno.

This year’s Lions are the opposite of that. By being bad and boring, they are entering the worst place to be in the NFL.

One or the other is always avoidable, as the Browns showed by going 0-16 last year with fun stars like Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers and an organizational plan for it all with two top-five draft picks coming up. “Hard Knocks” covered that team.

The Lions’ plan was to just win in the contract window of Matthew Stafford. They wanted to kill all the other noise and let their play do the talking.

What you hear instead are crickets.

As much as Quinn and Matt Patricia have said that they aren’t just trying to copy the Patriots, the only other NFL team either had worked for before here, that’s exactly what they’re doing. Almost every decision they make stems from the “do-your-job” culture, from their non-answers to their stripping of player personalities to their treatment of a question like “Who is your emergency long snapper?” as if it’s a threat to national security. Only Patricia speaks anymore, rambling about hard work and getting ready to play, cliches that lose value when the games don’t matter. Quinn hasn’t shown his face publicly since the draft.

The Patriots have shown that this muted approach can work when you win. People forgive and forget when the games are exciting. But when you pull that act and lose, you leave people thinking up better uses of their time and money.

This isn’t a condemnation as much as it is an apology. I am sorry that I haven’t provided better coverage of your favorite team this year. The Lions aren’t interested in it. They aren’t earning it either.

On Christmas weekend, you can find so many happier and healthier uses of your time than this Lions team.

Cowboys vs Buccaneers

How to Watch Buccaneers vs. Cowboys: Time, TV, Live Stream, Radio

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The Bucs will take on the last of their NFC East opponents this season as they again travel to Dallas before Christmas. The last time the Bucs played the ‘Boys was on Sunday Night Football in 2016, where the Bucs suffered a narrow loss in primetime.

This season has been up and down for the Cowboys and with their division still wide open, need to secure at least one win in their last two games to make the postseason. They are coming off a shutout loss to the resurgent Indianapolis Colts last week and will be looking to gain momentum going into the end of the regular season.

The Dallas defense will present problems for the Bucs’ offense with their front seven. Dallas’ strength lies in the speed of their linebackers, according to Head Coach Dirk Koetter. It will be crucial for the Bucs to establish a ground game and protect quarterback Jameis Winston to have success.

Check out how to watch all the action below:

What: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8) vs. Dallas Cowboys (8-6)

When: Sun., Dec. 23, 1 p.m. ET

Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX

How to Watch:

TV: FOX

Announcers: Play-by-play – Joe Buck, color analyst – Troy Aikman, sideline reporter – Erin Andrews

National/International Streaming: Stream the game on the Fox Sports Go app.

For a full list of every NFL broadcast this weekend, and which games will be available in certain areas, click here.

Browns vs Bengals

Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Time, channel, how to watch, listen and live stream

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Browns host the Bengals on Sunday. Cincinnati comes into the game at 6-8. The Browns are coming off of a Saturday night win in Denver and are 6-7-1.

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Here’s what you need to know to watch, listen to or stream the game.

Time: 1 p.m. EST

Location: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio.

TV: CBS, Ch. 19.

• Play-by-play: Spero Dedes; Analyst: Adam Archuleta.

Local Radio: 92.3 The Fan (WKRK), ESPN 850 WKNR and WNCX (98.5).

• Play-by-play: Jim Donovan; Analyst: Doug Dieken; Sideline: Nathan Zegura.

Spanish Radio: La Mega 87.7 FM.

• Play-by-play: Rafael “Rafa” Hernandez-Brito; Analyst: Octavio Sequera.

Streaming: fuboTV (free trial)

ABOUT GREG ROBINSON & BRESHAD PERRIMAN

Browns General Manager John Dorsey has been intrigued with Greg Robinson for years, dating back to the 2014 NFL draft.

The tackle from Auburn was the No. 2 selection by the Rams. He played three years for them and was considered a major disappointment. He was traded to Detroit in 2017, started six games and then was injured for the rest of the year.

Robinson became a free agent in June. Some of his previous coaches whispered he wasn’t a hard worker, he wasn’t tough enough, etc.

The Browns thought, “We need a left tackle to replace Joe Thomas. This guy was the No. 2 pick in the draft. He doesn’t cost us much of anything.”

They brought Robinson to town. He went to dinner with Dorsey and met some others with the Browns.

That dinner lasted six hours. The Browns had heard Robinson was a quiet, small-town guy from Thibodaux, Louisiana. The Browns spent time getting to know him.

It soon became apparent Robinson’s confidence was shaky. Screaming at him was not going to work. He also felt weighed down by the expectations of being the No. 2 pick in the draft and failing to be an impact player.

The Browns’ goal was to make Robinson feel comfortable. They thought the offensive line with veterans Joel Bitonio, JC Tretter, Kevin Zeitler and Chris Hubbard could create the right climate for Robinson to rebuild his career.

It was a slow process. Robinson suffered a concussion early in training camp. The coaching staff was more interested in looking at Shon Coleman, then Bitonio and then Desmond Harrison at left tackle.

Harrison started the first eight games. He was injured, and Robinson took over the same time Freddie Kitchens moved up to offensive coordinator.

The Browns went from Mayfield being sacked 20 times in his first six games to only five times in his last six. Robinson is an important part of that improvement. He has played well enough the Browns don’t have to draft a tackle in the upper rounds.

The front office took a similar view with Breshad Perriman, the former 2015 first round pick by Baltimore.

He had a rocky three seasons with the Ravens – dropped passes, injuries, confidence sagging.

The Browns picked him up after he was cut by Baltimore and then Washington. Dorsey confided to friends that Perriman’s workout was one of the best he’d seen in years. They quickly signed him.

They slowly worked him into action, much as they did Robinson. Now, Perriman is making some big plays as a part-time receiver.

Neither player has to live up to the expectations of being a first-round pick. Instead, they are on a new team in a comfort zone to find where they fit in the NFL

ABOUT THE QUARTERBACKS

The new front office thought it was a major mistake for the Browns to have a 2017 quarterback room of Cody Kessler, DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan. None of them had won an NFL game.

For months before the draft, Dorsey knew he was drafting Baker Mayfield. He also knew it was unwise to expect a rookie to start Day 1 for a team that was 1-31 in the previous two seasons.

Even before the draft, the Browns traded for veteran Tyrod Taylor and signed veteran Drew Stanton. Taylor was good enough to open the season as a starter. Mayfield would have to earn the job,

The rookie from Oklahoma also was surrounded by two no-nonsense veterans who set examples when it came to work ethic and leadership.

Yes, coaches matter. Interim head coach Gregg Williams and new offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens brought stability, accountability and even some simplicity to how things were done.

But culture often is dictated by the players.

Taylor and Stanton helped keep Mayfield steady when chaos shook the staff – the “internal discord” between former head coach Hue Jackson and ex-offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Both men were fired and Mayfield quickly adapted to the new leadership.

ABOUT THE RECEIVERS

The Browns believe they have a strong presence in receivers coach Adam Henry.

But when Josh Gordon continued to have personal problems early in the season, the front office didn’t want him around. That led to the trade to New England for a first-round pick after the first game of the season.

The Browns knew they needed rookie Antonio Callaway to be influenced in the right way. Callaway was suspended all of 2017 while at Florida.

The Browns signed veteran Jarvis Landry not only because he was a productive receiver with Miami (400 receptions in four years), but because Landry is durable. He’s never missed a game in five seasons, and rarely misses practice.

Rashard Higgins is a solid citizen. Now they have added Perriman into the room. Callaway is showing flashes of being an impact receiver as the season progresses.

ABOUT THE DEFENSIVE BACKS

The new front office had an idea it would draft cornerback Denzel Ward. They surrounded the rookie with veterans Terrance Mitchell, TJ Carrie, EJ Gaines and Damarious Randall.

The idea being Mitchell, Carrie and Gaines are known as solid pros, good guys who had to battle to make the NFL. Carrie and Mitchell were seventh round picks, Gaines was a sixth-rounder.

Meanwhile, the fiery Randall could take over at free safety, something the Browns desperately needed.

The Browns thought that trio could have a positive impact on second-year pro Jabrill Peppers and Ward.

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Today, the Cleveland Browns (6-7-1) host their in-state and division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals (6-8). The Browns, with a win, still have a slim chance at making the playoffs as a Wild Card.

The last time the two teams met, Cleveland won 35-20. Quarterback Baker Mayfield threw four TDs while Cincinnati’s QB, Andy Dalton, left the game with an injured thumb. Jeff Driskel replaced Dalton and is still quarterbacking the Bengals.

As a result, the Browns have a chance to sweep the season series with the Bengals. The last time that happened George W. Bush was president. The year was 2002.

The Bengals have owned the Browns, going 11-4 against them, since Andy Dalton entered the league in 2011. Slowly but surely though, the balance of power in the Battle of Ohio seems to be shifting from Cincinnati to Cleveland.

The Browns are gaining on every team in the AFC North. A sweep of the Bengals would really bring that home and also gain the Browns momentum towards sweeping the Ravens the following week.

Whyte vs Chisora

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Ravens vs Chargers

Chargers vs. Ravens: Preview, prediction, statistics to know for showdown of AFC playoff contenders

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We’re getting quite the treat this Saturday night, with two AFC contenders with distinct offensive and defensive styles squaring off in primetime.

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Philip Rivers and the Chargers now have the NFL’s second-best record and a legitimate chance at winning both the AFC West and the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. Rivers is playing at as high a level as he’s ever played in his career, and last week’s win against the Chiefs was his crowning achievement, as he made a series of completely absurd throws down the stretch while working without his three best options in the passing game.

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Meanwhile, the Ravens are back in the mix and currently in possession of the No. 6 seed in the AFC, thanks to having won four of their past five games with Lamar Jackson under center. They’re running an anachronistic offense … and it’s working, thanks to the combination of ball-control and elite defense they’re able to employ. And it’s fun!

This should be quite the interesting clash of styles, so let’s dig into what to watch out for.

When the Chargers have the ball

According to the most recent reports, the Chargers will finally be back at full strength for this game, with Keenan Allen likely to play despite suffering an injury last week, and Melvin Gordon on track to return from an absence caused by the MCL injury he suffered several weeks ago. The timing is excellent for L.A., because the Ravens once again have one of the NFL’s toughest defenses, so they’ll need all the playmakers on the field that they can get.

Baltimore is one of just four defenses in the NFL ranked in the top 10 in both run and pass defense DVOA, according to Football Outsiders, and their No. 2 pass defense and No. 6 run defense combine into a No. 2 overall ranking. Baltimore’s pass defense has been elite against No. 1 receivers (sixth in DVOA), No. 2 receivers (third), slot receivers (seventh), and running backs (first). They rank fifth in passes to the left side of the field, fifth on passes to the middle, and 12th on passes to the right, plus fourth against short passes and 11th against deep passes.

(Stream all of Sunday’s games on fuboTV, try it for free, and stream the CBS games on CBS All Access.)

The only area of weakness has been against tight ends, where they rank 27th. If this were 2008 and not 2018, that would be a major concern against the Chargers, due to the presence of Antonio Gates. Nowadays, while Gates is still capable of making the occasional play, he’s more of a supplementary option, playing just 35.3 percent of the Chargers’ offensive snaps and drawing just 8.7 percent of the targets from Philip Rivers.

Instead, the Chargers will almost surely have to attack the strengths of the Baltimore pass defense, because that’s where the Chargers’ own strengths lie. The Ravens almost always play sides with their perimeter corners, Jimmy Smith and Marlon Humphrey, with Smith playing 86 percent of his snaps on the right side of the field and Humphrey playing on the left 70 percent of the time. That will presumably be the case against the Chargers as well, because neither of the Williamses (Tyrell and Mike) necessarily merits shadow coverage, while Keenan Allen has been operating in the slot on more than half his snaps, which means he’ll be matched up with Brandon Carr more often than not. (Smith does also bump down inside on occasion, and this game could be a case where he does so more often.) Carr is not a natural slot corner, having played on the outside for the significant majority of his career, so it would make sense for the Chargers to focus on that matchup — which is nice because they generally prefer to get the ball to Allen anyway. He has more targets (121) than the Williamses (117) combined.

The Ravens are one of the NFL’s best teams at getting pressure on the opposing quarterback, ranking sixth in overall pressures, per Sports Info Solutions, as well as sixth in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Sack Rate. Importantly, Rivers has actually been the NFL’s best quarterback when under pressure this season, with a passer rating that ranks five points better than the next-closest QB (Russell Wilson). Rivers has been under pressure about an average amount this season, but he’s been extraordinarily accurate with those throws and has a two-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio.

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Where Rivers is actually at his best, though, is on play-action throws. He has a completely absurd 137.9 passer rating on 84 play-action throws, having completed 65 of them for 959 yards, six scores, and no picks, per Pro Football Focus. The return of Melvin Gordon should aid the play-action game, as it will be less obvious whether the Chargers plan to run or pass based on which running back is on the field. Gordon had been a spectacularly inefficient runner prior to this season, averaging just 3.8 yards per carry during his first three NFL seasons, but he’s up at 5.2 yards per carry this year and has been Rivers’ second-most reliable target in the passing game behind Allen. Among 51 running backs who have been targeted at least 20 times this season, Gordon ranks fourth in yards per route run. (Austin Ekeler is third.)

When the Ravens have the ball

The current version of the Ravens’ offense is unlike any other offense in the NFL. Lamar Jackson has 83 designed rushing attempts this season, per Pro Football Focus, which is more rush attempts than any non-Cam Newton quarterback in the NFL has, even if you include both designed attempts and scrambles.

The majority of his runs go to the edges of the formation, and he’s been remarkable efficient with those designed rushes that test the defense’s ability to maintain gap discipline and work scrape concepts. He’s run to the left end of the formation 32 times, gaining 187 yards (5.8 per carry), 13 first downs, and a touchdown. When running to the right edge, he’s taken 25 carries for 168 yards (6.7 per carry), while gaining six first downs and another score. Nine of those 57 combined edge runs have gained 10 yards or more, which is an incredible rate.

But unlike many other mobile quarterbacks (especially those with Jackson’s body type), he’s also been efficient when running up the middle on zone-reads and power plays. On 25 rush attempts between the tackles, Jackson has gained 120 yards — an average of 4.8 a pop. That’s better than almost every running back in the league with a similar number of attempts. He’s even broken three of those 25 carries for 10 yards or more, which is again better than most running backs with a similar number of carries up the middle.

The Ravens have not been quite as Jackson run-dependent in his more recent starts as they were in his first, but he is still running far more often than any other quarterback in the league.

LAMAR JACKSON THROWS RUNS PASS YDS RUSH YDS YDS/PASS YDS/RUSH
Week 11 19 26 150 119 7.9 4.6
Week 12 25 11 178 71 7.1 6.5
Week 13 21 17 125 75 6.0 4.4
Week 14 24 14 147 67 6.1 4.8
Week 15 23 18 131 95 5.7 5.3

Again, this is a challenge unlike that posed by any quarterback in the league. Even the Chargers seem to think so. “I think between Lamar and (Patrick) Mahomes, they’re equally dangerous,” Chargers safety Adrian Phillips said this week, per the L.A. Times. “Mahomes, OK, he can throw it a mile. Lamar can throw it like crazy, too, but he can blink and he’s running 70 yards. So throughout the week we’ll have drills that focus on keeping the quarterback in the pocket and not letting him get out. But he’s a great athlete. He’s gonna get out. We just have to make sure that when he does, we get him on the ground quick.”

The Chargers’ run defense has easily been the easier unit to attack this season, as they rank 18th in DVOA, 19th in Adjusted Line Yards, and 23rd in both the percentage of runs stopped behind the line of scrimmage and opponents’ conversion rate on third or fourth down runs with two or fewer yards to go. All of those figures play in Jackson and the Ravens’ favor, but the Chargers also have two dynamite edge rushers and underrated interior pressure players, which means they could box Jackson into the pocket more often than it might seem like they can.

And if Jackson has to win the game from the pocket, he just might not be equipped to do so just yet — especially against a secondary as well-equipped to deal with his receiving targets as any in football. Casey Hayward figures to shadow one of John Brown or Michael Crabtree on the outside, and he’s as good a shutdown corner as any in the league. Desmond King has been the NFL’s best slot corner this season and should be more than able to handle Willie Snead. Safeties Derwin James, Adrian Phillips, and Jahleel Addae have a major advantage over Baltimore’s right ends.

Given those circumstances, the Ravens seem likely to have to lean heavily on Jackson and Gus Edwards running the ball as often as possible so they can control the clock, keep Rivers and company off the field, and grind the game to a halt. It just doesn’t seem all that likely to work well enough for them to win, given how many different ways the Chargers can challenge you on both sides of the ball.

Prediction: Chargers 26, Ravens 17

Frampton vs Warrington

Warrington vs Frampton : results and round by round coverage,Today at 3:00 pm ET streaming live on ESPN+ in the United States, Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton headline from Manchester, squaring off for Warrington’s IBF featherweight title.

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Warrington vs Frampton live

Warrington (27-0, 6 KO) won the belt on May 19 from Lee Selby, and is making his first title defense. The 28-year-old is largely seen as the underdog against former two-division titleholder Frampton (26-1, 15 KO), who has been in bigger fights and faced tougher opposition.

But this is hardly seen as the sort of mismatch many main events are, either, and the 31-year-old Frampton also has a few more years on his clock than Warrington does, which could help even things up.

On the undercard: Mark Heffron (21-0, 17 KO) vs Liam Williams (18-2-1, 13 KO) for the vacant British middleweight title; Martin Murray (37-4-1, 17 KO) vs Hassan N’dam (36-3, 21 KO) in a matchup of veteran middleweights; Nathan Gorman (14-0, 11 KO) vs Razvan Cojanu (16-4, 9 KO) in a heavyweight bout; Billy Joe Saunders (26-0, 12 KO) vs Charles Adamu (32-13, 25 KO) in a catchweight bout; and Michael Conlan (9-0, 6 KO) vs Jason Cunningham (24-5, 6 KO) in the latest test for prospect Conlan.

IBF featherweight world titleholder Josh Warrington of England faces Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton in a 12-round bout at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, on Saturday. The fight card will air live on ESPN+ in the United States starting at 3 p.m. ET.

Warrington (27-0, 6 KOs) won the title with a split decision victory over Lee Selby in May. He’s making his first defense against Frampton, a former two-division world titleholder.

Frampton (26-1, 15 KOs) won a featherweight belt with a majority decision victory over Leo Santa Cruz in 2016, but six months later he lost the belt by the same result in the rematch against Santa Cruz.

Since then, Frampton has won three fights in a row, including a unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire in April and a TKO win against Luke Jackson in August.