Aaron Rodgers has been given permission to speak to the New York Jets about a possible trade.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback is yet to make an announcement on his future, with retirement rumoured since the end of the NFL season.

However, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Rodgers has received permission to speak with the Jets.

Rodgers is still under contract in Green Bay, which suggests the Packers are open to the idea of him moving on should he decide against retirement.

The 39-year-old threw 26 touchdowns for the Packers last season, with one rushing touchdown, while his 12 interceptions thrown was the most since he threw 13 in the 2008 season.

The Packers ended the season with a record of 8-9, finishing third in the NFC North, while the Jets finished bottom of the AFC East with a 7-10 record.

The New York Jets are an option for Derek Carr, who enjoyed a "great trip" to meet the team and head coach Robert Saleh.

Quarterback Carr is a free agent after leaving the Las Vegas Raiders earlier this month following his decision to decline waiving a no-trade clause in his contract.

The Raiders wanted to send Carr to the New Orleans Saints, but he now has the chance to decide on his own future after reportedly rejecting a pay cut to facilitate a trade.

According to Carr's older brother David, a former first-round draft pick who won a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants during an 11-year NFL career, the 31-year-old "hit it off" with Jets coach Saleh.

"It was a good trip," David Carr said on the NFL Network.

"It's not just going to be a situation where he gets on a plane to go have fun in New York. Derek had a great trip.

"He went there to get a feel how they work, from the top down, and everyone he met, we knew he would love Robert Saleh – he's fantastic – and they hit it off and they would love to work together."

However, Carr is still weighing up his options.

"But there's a lot of questions that have to be answered," David added.

"He has to find out how the front office works but also, the most important thing for him as a veteran quarterback, what is it going to be like as a play-caller. Todd Downing is there (as passing-game coordinator), he has a relationship with Todd. Nathaniel Hackett (offensive coordinator) is also there.

"They had a good chat, they talked about a lot of different things. Obviously, the team needs a quarterback, some stability there. They have a lot of good components, there are a lot of things that are very positive about the Jets.

"He had a great trip. It's going to be a long process, though. He really only has the Saints, the Raiders and the Jets and to compare those three places, so he wants to do his due diligence to see as many places as he can, to see what the best place will be."

Carr was drafted by the Raiders in 2014 and holds franchise records for his 35,222 passing yards and 217 touchdowns.

The trophy every player in the NFL wants to lift will be hoisted in Arizona a week on Sunday, when the Kansas City Chiefs face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.

On the preceding Thursday, a host of players and coaches will receive recognition for their individual efforts at the annual NFL Honors ceremony.

The candidates for the awards are furiously debated throughout each season, though this year the field has been trimmed for each prize with the NFL releasing list of finalists for the first time.

In the case of MVP, the top two candidates are the quarterbacks facing off in the Super Bowl, with Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts also going head to head for the game's most illustrious award.

But who does Stats Perform's advanced data say should be the recipients of the prizes on offer at Symphony Hall in Phoenix? Here we name our award winners for 2022, including one not among the finalists who'll be on the red carpet next week.

MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Though these are regular-season awards, Mahomes' heroics on one leg in the AFC Championship Game were the perfect illustration of why he is the most valuable player in the league.

Even when physically impaired by a sprained ankle, Mahomes can produce magical plays through the air and on the ground in the biggest moments, and this season he has elevated a supporting cast shorn of the downfield threat of Tyreek Hill.

Only Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills averaged more yards over expected in true passing situations than Mahomes' 1.66 (minimum 100 such plays). Mahomes, though, had the edge in terms of accuracy, delivering a well-thrown ball on 82.1 per cent of his pass attempts, outperforming both Allen (79.7%) and Hurts (81).

Surpassing 5,000 passing yards and 40 passing touchdowns in a single season for the second time in his career, Mahomes was the best regular-season player in the NFL in 2022, and the reality is it wasn't especially close.

Offensive Player of the Year: Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders' acquisition of Adams in a blockbuster trade with the Packers did not produce the team results they desired in 2022, but individually his debut season with Las Vegas ranked as one of the finest of his career.

Adams' 14 receiving touchdowns led the NFL and, though his 1,516 receiving yards trailed Justin Jefferson and Tyreek Hill, his combined open percentage across man and zone coverage of 52.18 was superior to both Jefferson and Hill.

With 10 touchdown receptions of 20 yards or more in 2022, Adams was the NFL's most explosive receiving threat in a season where he once again reaffirmed his status as one of the finest route-runners of his generation. The Raiders may want to forget this season in a hurry, but Adams' campaign was one well worth remembering.

Defensive Player of the Year: Chris Jones, Kansas City Chiefs

This award will almost certainly go to Nick Bosa of the San Francisco 49ers next week, but there's a strong case for Jones as a more impactful defender on a down-to-down basis in 2022.

Indeed, Jones' pass rush win rate of 58 per cent and his run defense win rate of 72.7 per cent outstrip those of Bosa, who finished a season in which he led the NFL in sacks (18.5) with a pass rush win rate of 51.4 per cent and 63.6 per cent run block win rate.

Like his quarterback, Jones shines when the situation is at its most pressurised, with his ability to create pass rush working on the interior and off the edge making him a ceaseless nightmare for opposing offensive lines. If the Chiefs are celebrating under confetti in Arizona next Sunday, Jones will likely have been a big reason why.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers

Sample size be damned! Purdy not only kept the 49ers afloat after Jimmy Garoppolo joined Trey Lance in heading to the sideline with a serious injury, but helped the offense improve as San Francisco won all five of his regular-season starts as part of a 10-game winning streak to end the 17-game campaign.

Albeit undoubtedly aided by the cavalcade of offensive talent at San Francisco's disposal and the play-calling of head coach Kyle Shanahan — Purdy threw to an open target on 84.7 per cent of his attempts — the last pick in the 2022 draft piloted at an offense that was remarkably efficient in expected passing situations.

Purdy averaged 1.2 yards over expected in true passing situations, fifth among quarterbacks with at least 100 such plays.

Other rookies may have played well for a longer period, but in terms of level of influence on his team's performance, no first year offensive player matches Purdy, who unfortunately now faces a long recovery after tearing an elbow ligament on the first offensive series of the Niners' NFC Championship Game loss in Philadelphia.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Sauce Gardner, New York Jets

Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner backed up his ostentatious nickname by quickly establishing himself as one of the league's premier defenders and a lockdown corner at the highest level.

Gardner lost just 19 of his 92 matchups in man coverage and 24 of his 92 in zone. His combined open percentage allowed of 18.8 was bettered by only four defenders across the  entire NFL.

In addition to his remarkably impressive coverage skills, Gardner showed a knack for finding the football in the air, registering a league-leading 20 pass breakups.

If he can improve on his interception tally of two, Gardner will be in the Defensive Player of the Year discussion in the coming years.

Comeback Player of the Year: Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

From the forgotten man whose hopes of becoming a starter in the NFL looked to be over, to the most accurate quarterback in pro football.

Smith led all quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts with a well-thrown rate of 87.1 per cent, improbably guiding a Seahawks team that appeared to be rebuilding to a playoff berth.

The former New York Jet also had the best passer rating (125.8) on throws of at least 21 air yards among all signal-callers with at least 10 such attempts. Smith threw for 13 touchdowns and one interception on his 52 attempts of that distance.

Smith unexpectedly emerged as the answer at quarterback for the Seahawks in the wake of the Russell Wilson trade. With a better ecosystem around him in 2023, he could be the leading man for a true contender.

Coach of the Year: Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers

Brian Daboll and Doug Pederson deserve a great deal of credit for transforming also-rans into playoff teams in short order, while Nick Sirianni's case is an extremely compelling one after turning the Eagles into the favourite to win the Super Bowl next week.

But for a combination of overcoming adversity and leading a Super Bowl-contending team, no coach can compete with Shanahan.

Shanahan calmly navigated his team through the stormy waters of losing not one by two starting quarterbacks during the regular season, putting Purdy in a position to succeed, with the rookie's readiness and the support he received from the NFL's best defense a testament to the 49er head coach's ability to assemble a top-tier staff.

Winning 13 games, 15 when counting the pair of playoff victories, in the circumstances the 49ers faced on offense is a remarkable achievement. San Francisco finished the season first in overall Efficiency Versus Expected, doing so after being forced to turn to Purdy is a feat worthy of Coach of the Year recognition.

Former Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett has been hired as the new offensive coordinator for the New York Jets.

The experienced 43-year-old, who previously worked with Jets head coach Robert Saleh at the Jacksonville Jaguars, struggled in his maiden year in Colorado.

That saw him relieved of his duties before the close of the campaign.

Now though, Hackett will head back to New York, where he will reunite with Saleh after the Jets limped to a miserable end in his sophomore season.

The Jets went 5-2 across their first seven games of 2022, but then lost all but one of their final eight to post a 7-10 losing record for the campaign.

Hackett will bring him a storied career that has seen him help lead teams to three Conference Championship games in his role as an offensive coordinator (Jaguars in 2017, Green Bay Packers in 2019 and 2020).

The move also sees him follow in the footsteps of his father Paul, who spent a stint between 2001 and 2004 with the Jets under Herm Edwards.

Under Hackett's watch as OC, the Packers led the NFL in scoring in 2020 with a 31.8 points per game average, while his 2017 Jaguars offense led for rushing yards per game at 141.

His arrival comes alongside the announcement that Keith Carter will also join the Jets as their offensive line coach and run game coordinator.

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson believes a capable quarterback is the only thing missing from a team he called "loaded and ready to go".

The Jets boasted the fourth-best defense in the NFL based on yards allowed, but their offense could only finish 25th, hamstrung by mediocre quarterback play.

They tried to address their quarterback void by selecting Zach Wilson second overall in the 2021 draft, but after a horrific second campaign where he threw more interceptions (seven) than touchdowns (six), the Jets are not willing to persist with the 23-year-old as the starter.

Johnson addressed Wilson's struggles, and pointed to the instability at starter – as Mike White and Joe Flacco combined for eight of the 17 starts this season – as a reason for the dysfunction.

"Zach had a tough year, there's no denying that," he said. "I still have confidence that I've seen some kernels of real talent there. 

"[His] confidence level, whatever it was, went down, so that was certainly frustrating for him. And then we had that rotation, which is very hard to do in the NFL – changing quarterbacks."

He spoke about his willingness to reverse the fortunes of the offense in a similar fashion to the defense from a year ago, which was ranked as the league's worst in 2021.

"This team is loaded and ready to go," he said. "Our defense was an unbelievable story you saw this year, from last-place to close to the top in defense in terms of every measurable.

"If you can do the same thing on offense, it looks pretty good, right?"

The Jets are unlikely to enter the new season with another rookie under center, so to address their need, the Jets will need to either make a trade or venture into the free agent market.

The upcoming free agent class is headlined by the legendary Tom Brady and former MVP Lamar Jackson – players who will likely not come at a discount – but Johnson said he is willing to spend.

"Absolutely," he said. "We've got a cap, so there's an amount you can spend. But, yeah, that's kind of the missing piece."

When asked if he would give the coaching staff a playoff mandate, Johnson shot down the idea, saying it is not the right way to approach the situation.

"No, I don't do mandates," he said. "We've had a long wait. 

"Fifty-four years from the last Super Bowl is too long, way too long. I'd like to change that fast, but mandates don't work."

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel will be "forever loyal" to the team after they ended a six-year wait for a playoff place with a Week 18 win against the New York Jets.

The Dolphins' 11-6 win saw them seal a first postseason appearance since the 2016 campaign as the New England Patriots fell to an emotionally charged 35-23 defeat against the Buffalo Bills in their opponents' first game since Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest.

While that result eliminated the Patriots, it ensured the Dolphins will face the Bills in the wild-card round, which they last progressed beyond in the 2000 season.

Having become just the fifth Dolphins head coach to make the playoffs in his first season in charge, McDaniel expressed his gratitude to the franchise for taking a punt on him.

"I'm not one to feel entitled to anything," he said. "My walk of life has led to me having an infinite memory. Any time someone takes a chance on me, I'm very loyal to that. 

"I know how many other teams were interviewing me – the answer is zero. It feels good that didn't matter, that this is the right fit for everything we're trying to do here. I'll forever be loyal to that.

"It feels tremendous. That doesn't mean the goal was just to get to the playoffs. 

"However, you're talking about a fan base that hasn't seen their team go to the playoffs since 2016, it's very fulfilling for the way it happened."

One of the main focuses in the build-up to the game against the Bills will be the condition of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who remains subject to the league's concussion protocol.

"We'll continue to take it day by day," McDaniel said. "I will not even think about any sort of game, whether that's this year or next year, until he's fully ready to do so, with medical clearance.

"There will be some question marks, but fortunately this team has been proven not to blink with any sort of question mark either way. 

"We have guys that we really believe in, and we'll go with the healthiest group up to Buffalo and play a very good football team."

Skylar Thompson will start for the Miami Dolphins in a must-win Week 18 game against the New York Jets that could be decided by his ability to produce explosive plays.

The Dolphins are on a five-game losing streak that has dropped them from 8-3 to 8-8 and on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.

Yet Miami will qualify for the postseason if the Dolphins beat the Jets – who were eliminated with last week's loss to the Seattle Seahawks – and the New England Patriots lose to the Buffalo Bills.

The task of achieving that feat has been complicated by the Dolphins' quarterback situation.

Tua Tagovailoa remains out of action having been placed in the concussion protocol following the Dolphins' Christmas Day loss to the Green Bay Packers, and his backup Teddy Bridgewater suffered a finger injury in the defeat to the Patriots last week.

Thompson was subsequently thrown into the fire and never came close to rallying the Dolphins to a key victory, having also looked ill-equipped to lead the attack in a 40-17 loss to the Jets in Week 5, in which Bridgewater was injured on the first offensive play for Miami while filling in for Tagovailoa after he was concussed against the Cincinnati Bengals.

But the Dolphins have no choice but to look to him to thrive throwing the ball for a passing attack that has racked up 60 passing plays of 20 yards or more, a tally that trails only the Philadelphia Eagles (61) and Kansas City Chiefs (71).

The problem is that the Dolphins are facing a defense that has excelled at taking away the big play.

Indeed, the only team to allow fewer 20-yard pass plays than the Jets (36) are the New Orleans Saints (33).

With the Jets coaching staff perhaps coaching for their jobs, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel will expect his opponents, led by his former San Francisco 49ers colleague Robert Saleh, to offer another stern test.

If Thompson and the Dolphins cannot find a way to come through it and miss out on the playoffs, there will be plenty of questions about what went wrong in a season that once looked so promising.

The New York Jets have conceded they may have been better served easing Zach Wilson into the starting quarterback role after a disastrous second season.

The 2021 NFL Draft second overall pick endured a tough season with the Jets, who were eliminated from playoff contention on the weekend on the back of a five-game losing run, where he was benched twice and ultimately lost the starting spot to Mike White.

This season, Wilson has started nine games with a 54.6 per cent completion rate for 1,688 yards with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. The BYU graduate started 13 games in his rookie season in 2021.

Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said: "In hindsight, it probably would've benefited [him] just to sit back and learn a little bit and watch a veteran and just kind of grow in this league - kind of in the backseat, watching.

"Get better in practice, get better through the scout team and all that. But that wasn't the course that we went."

The Jets added veteran Joe Flacco in a midseason trade to bolster their quarterback options, while White had no NFL experience in preseason when they backed in Wilson to start.

LaFleur conceded he had not done a good job in helping Wilson develop to his full potential.

"In two years, yeah, we haven't done our job with him, right?" he said. "Any player at any position that isn't producing to the level they're capable of, as a coach, we failed them.

"There's a two-way street with it. The player has to meet us in the middle of it, but you want all these guys to play at their absolute best.

"We all know Zach hasn't played at his absolute best. He has shown spurts. He has shown the talent. Like [coach Robert] Saleh said yesterday, through hell or high water, we're going to work with him."

The Jets' struggling offense has been a big reason for their five-game losing streak which ended their postseason bid, managing only four touchdowns in the past five games.

The NFL has been in shock this week, following the terrible scenes in Monday's game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills.

Damar Hamlin's cardiac arrest on the field has sent shockwaves through the sport, though it appears the 24-year-old is making progress in his recovery.

While Hamlin's health remains the league's priority over the rescheduling of that game from Week 17, there is also focus on the final round of fixtures.

There's plenty still be decided in Week 18, and Stats Perform has used Opta data to preview some of the key matchups.

SATURDAY (all times EST)

Chiefs (13-3) at Raiders (6-10) - 4:30pm

With the Bills and the Bengals having yet to finish the game that was rightly suspended on Monday, the AFC picture is not entirely clear. As things stand, a Kansas City Chiefs win in Las Vegas would mean they remain in with a chance of claiming the top seed, pending a decision on the Bengals-Bills game and the outcome of Buffalo's Week 18 clash against the New England Patriots.

The Chiefs have scored 28 or more points in nine consecutive games against the Raiders. The only longer streak of such games against a single opponent in NFL history is 10 by the Los Angeles Rams against the Green Bay Packers, and that came way back in 1949 to 1953. 

Jerick McKinnon caught two touchdowns in Kansas City's 27-24 win over the Denver Broncos and has seven touchdown catches in the Chiefs' last five games. That is the most receiving touchdowns by a running back over a span of five team games in the Super Bowl era. 

The Chiefs have scored 264 points on the road this season, averaging 33.0 points per game. If they hit their average on Saturday, they will finish with the third-most road points in a single season in NFL history, behind only the 2007 New England Patriots (314) and their own effort in 2018 (306).

Patrick Mahomes has 5,000 passing yards (5,048) and 250 rushing yards (329) in a single season for the second time in his career, also doing so in 2018.

Titans (7-9) at Jaguars (8-8) - 8:15pm

It will be winner-take-all in the AFC South when the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans face off. The victor will clinch the division and become the fourth seed in the playoffs. While Jacksonville would still be able to make the postseason via a wild card should they lose, Tennessee must win if they are to avoid elimination.

The Jaguars are looking to sweep the season series with the Titans for the first time since 2005. The only other NFL teams that have gone that long since they last swept a current divisional opponent are the Cleveland Browns, who last swept the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1988, and New York Jets, who last swept the Patriots in 2000 (the Browns also have a chance to end their drought this week).

Jacksonville could become the first team in NFL history to make the playoffs immediately following back-to-back 14-loss seasons.

Meanwhile, the Titans are looking to avoid joining the 1994 Eagles as the only teams in league history to have at least seven wins before ending the season on a seven-game game losing streak.


Giants (9-6-1) at Eagles (13-3) - 4:25pm

The Philadelphia Eagles have been the team to beat in the NFC all season, yet after successive defeats in the absence of Jalen Hurts, they now need a win to clinch the top seed.

Should they lose to the New York Giants, both the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers will have to suffer defeats in order for the Eagles to be guaranteed home advantage in the playoffs.

The omens are good for the Eagles, who have won eight straight home games against the Giants, tied for the second-longest home win streak against a single opponent in team history. It trails only their active 10-game home win streak against the Steelers that started in 1966. 

A win against the Eagles would give the Giants 10 wins after having just four last season. It would be the first time New York earned double-digit wins in a season after having four or fewer wins since doing so in 1933 (11 wins after a 4-6 record in 1932).

Lions (8-8) @ Packers (8-8) - 8.20pm

Given the NFC East will get two of the conference's three wild cards, matters are relatively simple for the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. A Packers victory sends them through to the playoffs, while Detroit need to win and hope the Los Angeles Rams defeat the Seattle Seahawks.

The Packers are coming off a 41-17 win over the Vikings in which they had four takeaways and no giveaways. Green Bay are now 50-0-1 in the Super Bowl era (including playoffs) with a turnover margin of +4 or better in a game.

Green Bay's record at home against the Lions is 61-27-4, the most home wins by any team against a single opponent.

With another win, Aaron Rodgers would be the first QB in NFL history to have two seasons where his team was multiple games under .500 immediately before going on a five-or-greater game winning streak to end the regular season. 

But the Lions have scored at least 20 points while throwing no interceptions in eight straight games, tied for the longest streak in NFL history (regular season) with the 2005 Broncos, 2010 Patriots and 2018-19 Ravens.


New England will clinch a playoff spot should they defeat the Bills, who are of course recovering from that incident involving Hamlin. The Bills have won their last two games against the Patriots and are looking for three straight wins in the series for the first time since 1999-2000.

The Miami Dolphins have lost five in a row but can make the playoffs should they beat the Jets. The matchup is perfectly balanced all-time at 56 wins apiece with one tie entering this game. 

A run of five wins from six games has put the Steelers in playoff contention. They will have to beat the Browns and need results elsewhere go their way. Cleveland won against the Steelers in Week 3 this season. The Browns have not won multiple games against Pittsburgh in a season since the 1988 season.

The 49ers can still claim the top seed in the NFC by beating the Arizona Cardinals. San Francisco beat Las Vegas in Week 17, 37-34, despite trailing by 10 points in the third quarter. It was the Niners' second-largest comeback victory in the second half under Kyle Shanahan.

It has been a terrible season for the Rams (5-11), but they are 7-3 in their last 10 games against Seattle. The Seahawks got a 27-23 win in Inglewood in Week 13, the closest game between these teams since a 30-29 Seahawks win in Week 5, 2019. 

New York Jets quarterback Mike White described his side's elimination from the playoff race as "gut-wrenching" after suffering their fifth straight loss in Sunday's 23-6 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Jets had been primed for postseason action for the first time since the 2010 season after sitting at 7-4 following a 31-10 rout of the Chicago Bears in late November.

But their season fell apart amid an awkward period that saw White take over as starting QB from the struggling Zach Wilson.

White had been sidelined for two games due to a rib injury but his return against the Seahawks was not enough to lift the Jets, who have not had a winning season since 2015 (10-6).

Their 12-year playoff drought is the longest active streak in the NFL and now the franchise's longest ever as well, leaving White crestfallen.

"It stings," he told reporters. "It's tough. It's gut-wrenching. It's all of the above. You can use any adjective you want to use to describe it."

White failed to complete a touchdown pass against the 8-8 Seahawks at Lumen Field, completing 23 of 46 passes for 240 yards with two interceptions, while he was sacked four times.

"I was cleared to play by the doctors," he said. "The guys in that locker room deserve a certain standard. I knew what I was signing up for.

"I was cleared by the doctors, I practiced all week. Basically, what I'm saying is, there's a standard those guys deserve. I didn't live up to that standard today."

The game marked two in a row without a touchdown, which White described as "shocking", leaving question marks about the Jets' struggling offense.

Head coach Robert Saleh conceded the situation hurt but was eager to point out some of the positives in his second season in charge after going 4-13 last year.

"No one is hurting more than the people in the locker room, especially me," Saleh said.

"At the same time, I know it's hard to see light at the end of the tunnel, but there are a lot of really cool things to look at for this season. But right now it stings big time."

A host of teams can start 2023 on a high note by clinching an NFL playoff place in an eagerly awaited Week 17.

There are also divisional titles to be won on New Year's Day, with Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers within touching distance of winning the NFC South ahead of a clash against the Carolina Panthers.

The Seattle Seahawks and the New York Jets lock horns scenting a spot in the postseason, while the Miami Dolphins could seal a playoff berth when they do battle with the New England Patriots.

Here Stats Perform used its data to preview the biggest games with plenty at stake at the beginning of a new year.

SUNDAY (all times EST)

Panthers (6-9) at Buccaneers (7-8) 1pm

The Buccaneers can clinch the NFC South title for a second straight season if they beat the Panthers, a feat they have never previously achieved.

After a 21-3 win in Week 7, the Panthers are going for the season sweep of the Buccaneers for the first time since 2017. That was also the last season they made the playoffs.

Tampa Bay beat the Arizona Cardinals 19-16 in their final game of 2022. The Buccaneers have scored 21 or fewer points in all seven of their wins this season. 

Carolina overcame the Detroit Lions 37-23 in Week 16 behind 320 yards rushing and 250 yards passing. They were the first NFL team with 300 rush yards and 250 pass yards in a game since the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12, 2012.

Jets (7-8) at Seahawks (7-8) 4.05pm

The Seahawks have dominated the Jets in recent years, winning all four games against them since 2005 and conceding only 30 points in the process. That is just 7.5 points per game, which is the fewest allowed by any NFL team against a single opponent over that time.

Pete Carroll is in his 17th season as an NFL head coach and has never missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons. The Seattle boss is the only head coach in NFL history to coach at least 15 seasons in the league and never have consecutive seasons in which he did not lead his team to the playoffs.

DK Metcalf has had at least five receptions in eight straight games, tied with John L. Williams (1989-90) and Brian Blades (1995) for the longest streak in Seahawks franchise history.

The Jets are allowing 10.8 fewer points per game than they did last season (29.6 to 18.8), on pace to be the second-largest season-to-season improvement in the NFL in the past 40 years behind the 2000-01 Rams (29.4 to 17.1, -12.3). 

Dolphins (8-7) @ Patriots (7-8) - 1pm

New England are due a win over the Dolphins, who have beaten them in four consecutive games - the last of which was a 20-7 success in Week 1.

Miami are the only team to beat the Patriots four times in a row since Bill Belichick took over as head coach of the Patriots in 2000. With a loss this week, Miami would join Tennessee as the only teams this season with a winning streak of at least five games and a losing streak of at least five games.

Tua Tagovailoa posted a career-high 12.4 yards per pass attempt in last week's loss to the Green Bay Packers. It was the highest yards-per-attempt in a loss by a starting Dolphins quarterback in team history. He misses out this week due to concussion, though, so Teddy Bridgewater steps in.

New England’s comeback bid fell short in a 22-18 loss to the Bengals last week. The Patriots have lost nine straight games when trailing after three quarters, with only the Panthers (41 straight losses) and Seahawks (13 straight) having longer active streaks.


Bills (12-3) @ Bengals (11-4) - 8.30pm

The Bills know they will get a first-round bye in the playoffs if they see off the Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs lose to the Denver Broncos. Following Cincinnati's win over the Bills in the 1988 AFC Championship Game, the Bills won 10 straight in this series. Since then, Cincinnati are 4-2 against Buffalo, with the most recent meeting resulting in a 21-17 Buffalo win in Week 3, 2019.

The Bills beat the Bears 35-13 in Chicago last week, extending their winning run to six games. Buffalo have scored at least 20 points in each of those wins – they have just two longer streaks of wins with 20+ points – a nine-game streak in 1964 and a seven-game streak in 1990.

The Bengals' road win over the Patriots extended their winning streak to seven games, one shy of tying the franchise record of eight – achieved in the first eight games of the 2015 season (also an eight-game streak spanning the 1970 and 1971 seasons).

Joe Burrow had 375 passing yards last week, his second-highest total of the season. It was his seventh career game with at least 350 passing yards, fourth most in the NFL since 2020 behind Tom Brady (13), Patrick Mahomes (12) and Josh Allen (9). 


The Denver Broncos start life after Nathaniel Hackett with a tough trip to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in their first game since the head coach's firing. The Chiefs have won 14 straight games against the Broncos dating back to the 2015 season. Just five teams in NFL history have beaten another team 15 times in a row, with the last team to do so being the Patriots against the Bills from 2003 to 2010.  

The Philadelphia Eagles host the New Orleans Saints knowing they can clinch the NFC East and the number one seed in their conference with a win.

The Eagles are 11-3 (.786) all-time at home against the Saints, which includes an active three-game winning streak. That is the Eagles' third-best home record against any opponent all-time (3-0 versus the Texans and 6-1 versus the Broncos). 

A playoff place is in the New York Giants' sights as they prepare to take on the Indianapolis Colts. 

The Colts have won four straight games against the Giants, with the most recent win coming in Week 16 of 2018 with a 28-27 home victory.

There appears to be no stopping the San Francisco 49ers, who can win a ninth game in a row when they take on the Las Vegas Raiders. The 49ers are the only NFL team in the Super Bowl era to win eight straight games in a single season while holding their opponents to fewer than 80 rushing yards in each victory.

For most fantasy leagues, Week 17 brings the end of the campaign.

The number of players traditionally held out of action to protect against injury in the raft of games with no playoff implications in Week 18 means it is too risky to hold fantasy championships on the final week of the regular season.

Hence, most fantasy title games will take place this week, and those involved may spend the days prior to the upcoming kick-offs agonising over which players to put in their line-up.

Often players who appeared unlikely fantasy stars at the start of the year emerge as league winners, and here Stats Perform picks out four such players and a defense whose contributions could decide the destination of fantasy titles. 

Quarterback: Justin Fields, Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions

The dynamism Fields brings as a runner always gave him potential fantasy upside and he has harnessed that spectacularly in 2022. Fields had been a top-10 fantasy quarterback every week since Week 6 before he was held in check by the Buffalo Bills last Saturday.

While the Lions are in the mix for a playoff spot, their defense, which gave up an astonishing 320 rushing yards to the Carolina Panthers last week, is not well-equipped to slow down Fields, who should be expected to bounce back and deliver a championship-game tilting display.

Running Back: Brian Robinson Jr, Washington Commanders vs. Cleveland Browns

Robinson was frustrated by the San Francisco 49ers' outstanding defense last time out, but he is unlikely to meet much resistance from a Cleveland defense that is allowing the seventh-most yards per rush (4.87) in the NFL.

Between Weeks 12 and 15, only Miles Sanders (5.98) averaged more yards per carry than Robinson (5.69) among running backs. He hit a large speed bump in the Bay Area but, back in the friendly confines of FedEx Field against an opponent already eliminated from playoff contention, Robinson is in a good position to get back on track in a must-win game for the Commanders.

Wide Receiver: Garrett Wilson, New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks

Wilson's production was submarined by the struggles of namesake Zach Wilson against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week.

In a game the Jets cannot afford to lose, they will have Mike White back at quarterback in Seattle, setting Wilson up for a bounce-back game against an opposing defense that is very amenable to passing attacks.

Since Week 12, Wilson has racked up 24 receptions for a first down, tied for the third-most in the NFL. The Seahawks have allowed the seventh-most passing plays of at least 20 yards (49) and, despite possessing some talented rookie cornerbacks, do not have the means to stop White and Wilson rekindling their rapport.

Tight End: Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans

Engram received one of the more modest deals during the Jaguars' free agency splurge, but his signing has paid dividends over the last three games, in which only two players – Justin Jefferson and A.J. Brown – can claim to have tallied more receiving yards than his 337.

The Texans are playing hard down the stretch and claimed only their second win of the season in Tennessee last weekend, but their defense is still the 10th-worst by yards per pass play allowed. Look for Jags quarterback Trevor Lawrence to take advantage with an aerial attack that will heavily involve Engram.

Defense/Special Teams: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Despite being very inexperienced in the secondary, the Chiefs' defense sits an impressive 11th in the NFL by yards per play and, as Kansas City look to keep pace with the Buffalo Bills in the race for the one seed in the AFC, gets a favourable matchup with Denver's dismal offense.

The Broncos' 33.9 per cent Success Rate on offensive plays is the worst in the NFL and a Chiefs defense that has forced the third-most negative plays (103) in the league should relish going against Denver's beleaguered attack.

Mike White will return as starting quarterback for the New York Jets in the Week 17 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.

White has been sidelined for the past two games due to a rib injury suffered during the defeat to the Buffalo Bills in Week 14, with the Jets losing the two games since as part of a four-game losing streak that has hindered their playoff push.

However, first reported by the New York Post, White has been cleared by doctors and will be back to lead the offense in Sunday's road trip against the Seahawks – in which both teams will essentially be in must-win mode as they seek to clinch a Wild Card berth.

His return provides a welcome boost for the Jets, who saw last year's second overall pick Zach Wilson continue to struggle when placed back in as starter in last Thursday's defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Wilson was benched for practice squad quarterback Chris Streveler in the second half of that loss.

In order to clinch a spot in the postseason, the Jets must win against the Seahawks and in their following trip to face the Miami Dolphins, but they also require at least one defeat from the New England Patriots from their two remaining games.

The Jets sit at 7-8 for the year and have not had a winning season since 2015 (10-6), while their last playoff appearance came 12 years ago.

The New York Jets are reportedly ready to move on from Zach Wilson after losing "all confidence" in the second-year quarterback.

Selected as the second-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Wilson's rookie year showcased growing pains as he threw nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions, but the hope was he would kick on in 2022.

That has not been the case, however, with Wilson dropped in November following his disappointing showings in two defeats to the New England Patriots – throwing three interceptions in a 22-17 defeat in Week 8, then having a pass completion of just 40.9 per cent in a 20-17 loss in Week 11.

Mike White was elevated to starter, but his rib injury led to Wilson's return in Week 14, and 317 passing yards in the 20-17 loss against the Detroit Lions provided some encouragement.

However, in Thursday's 19-3 defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars, he was benched again with just nine completions and 92 yards, with Chris Streveler replacing him.

While the injury to White means Wilson could feature in the final two games of the season, NFL insider Jay Glazer has reported he will not be the team's starting quarterback for 2023.

"They [the Jets] have lost all confidence in Zach Wilson. Zach lost confidence in himself going into that last game and came out with even less confidence. Expect the Jets to move on from him after this season," he said on the NFL on Fox pre-game show.

Sat last in the AFC East on 7-8, a four-game losing streak has seen New York's playoff hopes plummet, with road games against the Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins to end the season.

Evan Engram and the Jacksonville Jaguars were urged to enjoy their Christmas by coach Doug Pederson after beating the New York Jets 19-3 to clinch a third straight win.

Tight end Engram was the top offensive weapon for the Jaguars on a wet night, tallying 113 receiving yards from seven catches to continue his terrific form, having entered the contest with 19 catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns from his previous two outings.

With the win, the Jaguars are 7-8 with two games remaining, which is the exact same record as the Jets following their fourth consecutive loss.

Engram praised the team's coaches for making "great calls" in the difficult weather conditions as rain came down in a deluge.

After an early field goal from the home team, the Jaguars took charge, with Jets quarterback Zach Wilson having a night to forget, completing just nine of 18 passes and being booed before being replaced.

Coach Pederson said of the Jacksonville display: "It's a mark of a team that's beginning to play good football, meaningful football, at the end of the season. We've talked a lot about having meaningful games down the stretch. These guys are battling through a lot, they're battling through their own injuries. It's a sign of our team coming together at the right time."

He described the weather as "a challenge", adding: "It was going to be one of those days, it was going to be physical, it was going to be tough, we were going to have to run the football because throwing it was going to be hard. We were efficient in the passing game; we made some plays. I'm proud of the guys."

Looking at Engram's efforts, Pederson said: "He's gotten better with the offense, learning the details that we teach. He's very unselfish, he works extremely hard in practice, he wants to be good, he loves being coached, and it shows on the field, he's a really good team-mate to have and a leader of the team."

The Houston Texans are next for the Jaguars on New Year's Day, and Pederson urged his players to come back with purpose after their short break.

"The message is we haven't done anything, we haven't clinched anything, we haven't won anything," Pederson said. "We've still got two division games left. I do want them to enjoy the holidays, enjoy Christmas with their family and friends, and it's time to heal and get healthy for this final two-game stretch.

"But I also want them to come back in the right frame of mind and get ready for a team that beat us a couple of months ago."

Engram said he had assessed the conditions and "made a choice to play hard".

"The coaches made great calls and we managed the weather really well, took care of the football and I just made plays when my number was called," Engram said on the Jaguars' post-game show.

Looking at the skill involved in catching a wet football, Engram said: "It's just mechanics. I work on those every single day. Catching tennis balls to make sure my hand placement's right. Doing all sort of distraction drills to not let elements get in the way of making plays with the football.

"With the rain, you've got to shoot your hands together. Shoot your hands together and we'll be all right, and I had success."

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