Chiefs at Saints
Might we see a Super Bowl Preview in Week 15? We just might when Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs travel to New Orleans to take on Drew Brees and the Saints. Yes, Drew Brees. Per ESPN, Brees will be back under center after missing the last four games with 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung. Ouch.
This will be the first meeting for Mahomes and Brees, and both quarterbacks have a #1 seed at stake. If the playoffs started today, the Chiefs would be first in the AFC, while the Saints fell behind the Packers in the NFC after last week’s loss to the *checks notes* Philadelphia Eagles. The Saints would clinch the NFC South with a win.
Kansas City is dealing with many an injury on its offensive line, and that line is going to have to contend with defensive ends Trey Hendrickson and Cameron Jordan. Add in a solid Saints’ secondary, and Mahomes and his explosive offense will have their work cut out for them.
Saints’ wide receiver Michael Thomas won’t play this week, as he’s still dealing with an ankle injury, so that will be one less weapon for Brees. That being said, Kansas City has a tendency to start slow, which, with that aforementioned defense, is an advantage for the Saints.
Seahawks at the Football Team
While the Seattle Seahawks are looking to clinch a playoff spot, while keeping pace with the Los Angeles Rams (who play the Jets on Sunday, so…) in the NFC West, the Washington Football Team is looking to keep its lead in the NFC East.
The Football Team is on a four-game win streak, but they are going to have to keep that streak alive without quarterback Alex Smith, who has been ruled out with a strained right calf. That means Dwayne Haskins will start at quarterback for the first time since Week 4.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and his offensive line will be up against a Washington defensive front that is establishing itself as a force to be reckoned with. Rookie defensive end Chase Young is next level and has 5.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and 24 pressures on the season. Add in Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat, Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen, and yeah, they’re tough.
Washington’s pass defense is third in the NFL, but the secondary will have to contend with Seattle wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Granted he was playing the Jets, but Wilson was more Wilson-like last week, going 21-of-27 for 206 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
Should Seattle play like Seattle can, the Seahawks will win this game, but it won’t be easy. If Wilson struggles to protect the football, it’s anybody’s game.
Waiting All Day For Sunday Night?
Your Dec. 20 Sunday Night Football game was supposed to be the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Dallas Cowboys, but for reasons laid out in the next slide, that game got flexed out in place of the…Cleveland Browns at the New York Giants? Who had that on their 2020 bingo card?
The Giants are a game back in the NFC East and it’s going to be an uphill battle. QB Daniel Jones is questionable, as are tight ends Evan Ingram and Kaden Smith. CB Darnay Holmes is out, as is CB James Bradberry, who is on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, after he was listed as a close contact of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who tested positive for COVID-19. The Giants aren’t exactly a powerhouse at full strength, so this will be rough.
Meanwhile, the Browns are coming off a hard-fought Monday Night Football loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but that was Week 14. Cleveland needs to leave Week 15 with a win, and there is no good reason it shouldn’t. The Browns have too much talent on both sides of the ball and too much to play for. Advantage Myles Garrett, Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, et al.
The Glendale 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers extended stay in Arizona just got…extended.
The 49ers were set to stay in Glendale for three weeks, but after Santa Clara County announced that its COVID-19 restrictions, restrictions that include a ban on contact sports, would be in effect until at least Jan. 8, 2021, the team said it would finish the season in Arizona and host the Seattle Seahawks there in Week 17. San Francisco has a “road” game against the Cardinals on Dec. 26.
The 49ers are currently 5-8 and head to Dallas this weekend to take on the 4-9 Cowboys. Both teams have had disappointing seasons and are riddled with injuries. If the 49ers can avoid turning the ball over, which has been a serious issue for this team, they should pull out the win.
Cleveland Baseball Team
The Cleveland Indians will be changing their name, though the timeline of when has not been determined. They will still be the Indians in 2021. The name has long been criticized, and rightly so, for being racist and disrespectful to Native Americans.
This decision comes after the NFL’s team in Washington changed its name, temporarily, to the Washington Football Team. Its final name has yet to be decided, as is the case with the Cleveland baseball team. Cleveland said that it does not want to use an interim name, but will instead wait until a new name is chosen.