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

A Saturday doubleheader will kick off the closing 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 staff. 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 characteristic three groups which were amongst the league’s hottest at numerous factors in the season.

Below is a glance at what you have to know to look at 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 staff out of the A.F.C.’s high seed, giving it to the Tennessee Titans by the use of a head-to-head tiebreaker. If the Titans lose to Houston on Sunday, Kansas City (11-5) might reclaim the No. 1 seed, which comes with a bye in the first spherical of the playoffs.

Kansas City received its first matchup in opposition to Denver in Week 13 amid an eight-game win streak. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City’s quarterback, wasn’t nice in that game, throwing for simply 184 yards with no passing landing (although he did rush for one) and an interception.

Teddy Bridgewater was the Broncos’ quarterback then, throwing for two interceptions in the game, 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 harm.

Kansas City’s protection, which had gave the impression to be a legal responsibility in opposition to each the run and the move early in the season, was at its greatest throughout the staff’s profitable streak earlier than giving up over 400 yards of offense in opposition to Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow final week. It might not want an ideal game to include Denver’s offense, although.

The Broncos’ offense, which has been actually poor in recent times, is averaging barely 19 factors per game this season and — if for nothing greater than delight — might want to maintain 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 game isn’t about making the playoffs however might decide seeding. Dallas might 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 house game for Dallas since his ugly ankle harm final season. Prescott had three touchdowns and over 200 passing yards in that Week 3 game.

Dallas’s high-powered offense has sputtered in current weeks, nevertheless, stamped by a 25-22 loss to the Cardinals final week. The Cowboys’ run game has been inconsistent (Dallas rushed for simply 45 yards final week), and the offense has not pushed the ball down the discipline — each, partly, 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 harm. Micah Parsons, Dallas’s 2021 first-round choose, has been a part of its defensive turnaround this season however was placed on the reserve/Covid-19 checklist this week and might miss Saturday’s game.

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

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

Philadelphia is also with no host of different starters as the staff 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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