With just six weeks left of the regular season schedule, the drama in the NFL continues to ramp up.

The playoff picture is wide open and Week 13 action presents clashes between a number of sides who each boast a winning record this season.

Victories this week would provide a considerable boost for those teams' hopes of continuing beyond the regular campaign.

A huge divisional rivalry between the Washington Commanders and New York Giants is the pick of the action, while there is also a rematch from last season's AFC Championship game with the Kansas City Chiefs seeking redemption against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Stats Perform has delved into the numbers for those matchups along with some of Sunday's other big games.

New York Jets (7-4) @ Minnesota Vikings (9-2)

The Jets head to Minnesota with an 8-3 record against the Vikings, though have lost the last two meetings – including a 37-17 loss in the last meeting in 2018, which marked the most ever points scored by the Vikings in this series.

Defensive strength has been key for the Jets this season, with last week's 31-10 victory over the Chicago Bears being the fourth time this year where they have held their opponents to 10 or fewer points – the last time they had such a sequence was five games in 2010, which was also their last season with a trip to the playoffs.

The Jets defense will be tested against the Vikings' aerial threat, however, with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen each catching touchdown passes in the Thanksgiving win over the New England Patriots – the ninth time each player has had a receiving TD in the same game, which marks the most of any NFL teammates since Jefferson's 2020 debut.

A win against the Jets would see head coach Kevin O'Connell join Jim Caldwell and Jim Harbaugh as the only men this century to earn 10 wins in 12 or fewer games to start their career as an NFL head coach.

Washington Commanders (7-5) @ New York Giants (7-4)

A series sweep for Washington last season was the franchise's first against the Giants since 2011, leaving the Commanders looking for their first win streak of at least three games against New York since a four-game streak that ended in 2000.

Four consecutive wins on the road have seen Washington hold their opponents to 54 points total in those contests, marking the first time they have won four straight road games while allowing fewer than 60 points since 2001.

The Giants head into the contest having lost their last five against divisional opponents, standing just 1-7 in that regard over the past two seasons. That makes them just one of two teams without multiple wins in divisional games over that span (also Denver Broncos, 1-8).

Saquon Barkley remains the biggest threat for the Giants and sits just eight rushing yards short of his third 1000-yard season, where he would join Tiki Barber (6), Rodney Hampton (5) and Joe Morris (3) as the only Giants with at least three such seasons for the team.

Tennessee Titans (7-4) @ Philadelphia Eagles (10-1)

Philadelphia host the Titans on the back of a six-game winning run against AFC opponents dating back to last season, matching the Eagles' longest such streak in franchise history.

Last time out against the Green Bay Packers, the Eagles scored a touchdown in four of their five trips to the red zone – with Philadelphia leading the NFL in touchdown efficiency in the red zone this season, scoring in 29 of 40 trips (72.5 per cent).

Tennessee, meanwhile, have rushed for fewer than 100 yards in each of their last three games, matching their longest streak since Mike Vrabel became head coach in 2018.

In the 20-16 loss to the Bengals last time out, Derrick Henry fumbled but was it was recovered. Of the 39 players with at least 200 offensive touches since the beginning of last season, Henry, Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey are the only three to have not lost a fumble.

Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) @ Cincinnati Bengals (7-4)

Two meetings last season saw the Bengals win by three points in both contests, including in the AFC Championship game in Kansas City, with the Chiefs' last road win against the Bengals coming in 1984 – losing six straight since.

A 26-10 home victory against the Los Angeles Rams last week saw Travis Kelce catch his 12th touchdown pass of the season, with no other tight end having more than five this term. The largest all-time gap between a league leader and second place stands at six (Rob Gronkowski in 2011 and Antonio Gates in 2004).

The Bengals overcame the Titans 20-16 on the road last week, giving Cincinnati their first three-game winning streak of the season. Since 2018, they stand 3-34 when scoring 20 or fewer points in a game, but two of those wins have come against Tennessee.

Cincinnati have converted 78.1 per cent (25-for-32) of their third downs this season when needing fewer than four yards, the best mark in the league. However, they've also allowed opponents to convert such third downs at a 76.5 per cent rate (26-for-34), the worst record in the league.

Elsewhere…

The Miami Dolphins head to San Francisco with a 4-3 record on the road against the 49ers, the second-best such record by any team behind the Carolina Panthers (7-4).

The Los Angeles Rams host the Seattle Seahawks having won eight of the last 10 clashes between the two divisional rivals, with Seattle's last victory on the road in this matchup coming in Week 5, 2017.

An overtime victory over the Seahawks last week was the second in a row for the Las Vegas Raiders, having beaten the Denver Broncos in OT in Week 11. No NFL team has ever won three consecutive games in overtime going into the Raiders' latest battle with the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Dallas Cowboys host the Indianapolis Colts on the back of a four-game spell with at least 400 net yards, with only one longer streak in team history – running eight games in that regard in 2016.

Justin Herbert continues to show why he is one of the most promising young quarterbacks of his generation as he led another fourth-quarter comeback for the Los Angeles Chargers, defeating the Arizona Cardinals 25-24.

The Chargers were trailing all day, beginning with a first-quarter touchdown throw from Kyler Murray to Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins. 

Los Angeles briefly hit the front in the second quarter after touchdown passes to Keenan Allen and DeAndre Carter, but in his return from a two-game hamstring injury, Cardinals quarterback Murray scrambled into the endzone to send Arizona into half-time leading 17-14.

A six-yard James Conner touchdown catch had the Cardinals up by seven late in the fourth quarter, and a punt would give the Chargers one more chance with one minute and 48 seconds remaining.

As he has done so often in his young career, Herbert marched downfield with the game on the line, finding running back Austin Ekeler for a one-yard score with 15 seconds on the clock – and they had no interest in sending it to overtime.

Instead of kicking the extra point, the offense stayed on the field for a game-deciding two-point conversion, and got it done with a quick pass to tight end Gerald Everett.

Herbert completed 35 of his 47 passes for 274 yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers, helping the Chargers improve their record to 6-5 and keep their playoff chances alive.

Jacobs powers the Raiders past the Seahawks

Josh Jacobs had the game of his life to carry his Las Vegas Raiders to a 40-34 overtime win on the road against the Seattle Seahawks.

Jacobs finished with 33 carries for a career-high 229 rushing yards and two touchdowns, ripping off a 30-yard score in the second quarter before ending the contest with a walk-off 86-yarder in overtime.

He now leads the NFL in rushing yards with 1,159 – 149 more than second-placed Derrick Henry (1010).

With 11 weeks down in the NFL, Week 12 presents a number of crucial matchups for sides pushing to secure their spot in the playoffs.

The Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) and Minnesota Vikings (8-2) look set to slug it out for number one spot in the NFC but the picture is far tighter in the AFC, where the 8-2 Kansas City Chiefs lead the way ahead of four sides with a 7-3 record.

Week 12's action includes a number of sides looking to boost their chances of featuring in the postseason, with the Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs all having home field advantage.

Stats Perform has taken a look at some of the more interesting numbers ahead of these and other big games on Sunday.

Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) @ Tennessee Titans (7-3)

The Bengals head to Tennessee having scored 37 and 42 points in their last two games, with a total of 79 standing as their most over a two-game span since 2005, and Joe Burrow will be looking to make an impact against an opponent he went touchdown-less against last time out.

In the playoff win against the Titans last season their franchise quarterback did not throw a touchdown pass, with that still the only game which the Bengals have won without Burrow throwing a TD when he has started.

The Titans only really got going in Week 3 this season, boasting a 7-1 record since. That stands as the joint-best across the NFL, tied with Minnesota and Philadelphia – the top two in the NFC, as it stands.

Since Week 4, the Titans have held their opponents to an average of 2.8 yards per rush, the best in the NFL, while the 387 yards rushing allowed in those seven games is the lowest tally by any NFL side in such a span since the 2014 Detroit Lions.

Chicago Bears (3-8) @ New York Jets (6-4)

The Bears have won five straight in matchups against the Jets but travel to New York on the back of a three-game losing streak, each of which has been decided by three or fewer points – the first time in franchise history they have experienced such a run.

Chicago will come up against Mike White as the starting QB for the Jets, who have benched Zach Wilson after last week's horror show against the New England Patriots, where they scored just three points despite not turning the ball over in the game.

White last started in Week 10 of last season, while his four games in 2021 saw him throw an interception on 6.1 per cent of his passes, the highest mark of quarterbacks across the NFL last season with at least 100 passing attempts.

Sunday's matchup will see two vastly different teams on the ground, with the Bears rushing for 54 first downs since Week 8, 15 more than the next-closest team over that span, while the Jets have rushed for just 13 first downs in the same period – the lowest total across the NFL.

Las Vegas Raiders (3-7) @ Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

The Raiders head to Seattle having lost their last five road games against the Seahawks, tied for their longest active losing streak on the road against a single opponent – also losing five straight at Green Bay.

Las Vegas have had no more than one takeaway and no more than one giveaway in nine straight games, the longest streak by any NFL side in the Super Bowl era, but come up against a formidable force in rookie Tariq Woolen.

Woolen has five of the Seahawks' seven interceptions in this season (71.4 per cent) and is on course to shatter the NFL rookie record for the highest percentage of a team's interceptions, which is currently held by Washington's Dan Sandifer, who had 13 of 24 in 1948 (54.2 per cent).

Quarterback Geno Smith has completed at least 64 per cent of his passes in all 10 games so far this season, tying him with Steve Young (1992), Drew Brees (2011) and Kyler Murray (2021) for the longest streak to start an NFL season.

Los Angeles Rams (3-7) @ Kansas City Chiefs (8-2)

The Rams head to Kansas City on the back of a four-game losing streak, tied with the 1999 Broncos and 2002 Patriots for the third-longest losing streak by a defending Super Bowl champion – behind only the 1987 Giants and 2009 Steelers (five straight losses).

In the past eight games, the Rams have just a single takeaway, which stands as the lowest by any side over an eight-game span in the Super Bowl era.

The Chiefs have a devastating record against the Rams, having scored 246 points (41 per game) over their last six games against Los Angeles, the second most by any NFL team over a six-game span against an opponent since the 1970 merger.

Having fought back from behind to beat the Chargers last time out, the Chiefs have now won six in a row when trailing at halftime, dating back to last season, the longest streak by any NFL team (regular and postseason) since the 49ers won seven such games in a row from 1989-90.

Elsewhere…

All 10 of the Denver Broncos' games this season have been decided by single digits. If that happens again against the Carolina Panthers, they will tie the second-longest such streak to begin any NFL season, trailing only the 2015 Ravens (12 games).

Green Bay head to Philadelphia having won six of their last eight matchups against the Eagles. They had won just five of their previous 17 prior to that.

The 49ers host the Saints having recorded at least one sack in 37 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL and the longest streak for San Francisco in the Super Bowl era.

The Falcons travel to Washington with six wins in their last seven against the Commanders. Atlanta have scored at least 24 points in nine straight games against Washington – the franchise's longest streak against any opponent in team history.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers strengthened their grip on first place in the NFC South as they survived a fourth-quarter fightback from the Seattle Seahawks to prevail 21-16 in Munich.

Tampa Bay went into the NFL's first regular-season game in Germany having got back on track with a last-gasp 16-13 win over the Los Angeles Rams and on top in their division despite an underwhelming 4-5 record.

For three-and-a-half quarters, there was little sub-par about the Buccaneers' performance at the Allianz Arena, where they led 21-3 with under nine minutes remaining.

Geno Smith threw touchdowns to Tyler Lockett and Marquise Goodwin to cut their advantage to 21-16, but Tom Brady delivered a clock-killing final drive to seal the game for the Bucs, who improve to 5-5, a game ahead of the 4-6 Atlanta Falcons with a tie-breaking head-to-head win in the NFC South. The Seahawks drop to 6-4.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Bucs took the lead at the end of a 13-play drive, Brady connecting over the middle with Julio Jones, who galloped into the endzone for a 31-yard touchdown.

While Smith and the Seahawks' offense continued to struggle, Brady looked increasingly comfortable and led another 13-play drive that was capped by a Leonard Fournette rushing touchdown to put Tampa Bay up 14-0.

Seattle responded in the third quarter with a 55-yard field goal but did not look like stopping the Bucs' offense until a remarkable trick play saw Fournette intercepted by Tariq Woolen while trying to throw to Brady.

But Smith fumbled in the red zone on the subsequent drive and Brady's four-yard touchdown pass to Chris Godwin seemingly put the game beyond doubt.

Smith connected with Lockett to give Seattle hope that was furthered by Goodwin's diving touchdown grab after a Cody Barton interception.

However, the Bucs gained three first downs on the final drive to end any prospect of a turnaround in Bavaria.

The Seattle Seahawks are keen on signing quarterback Geno Smith for next season after his stellar campaign so far.

Arriving as part of a trade deal with the Denver Broncos that saw franchise QB Russell Wilson depart after nine years in the Pacific Northwest, Smith edged fellow new arrival Drew Lock to a starting berth and has excelled in 2022.

A campaign that began with a surprise win against the Broncos has seen Seattle stand 6-3 for the year and top of the NFC West ahead of Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Munich.

Smith has been a major part of the Seahawks' success, completing 73.1 per cent of his passes and throwing for 2,199 yards, with the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport stating Seattle are keen to secure him to a new contract.

An offer is yet to be made to Smith, who is a free agent in 2023, but discussions are set to take place following the conclusion of the season – which may be later than was initially expected given the team's surprise playoff push.

Victory against the Bucs on Sunday would extend the Seahawks' win streak to five, with only the Philadelphia Eagles (eight) and Minnesota Vikings (six) on a longer run.

We are somehow already at Week 10 in the NFL season, all wondering where the time actually does go.

Two of the shining lights of the campaign face off in Buffalo as the Bills host the Minnesota Vikings.

History will be made in Munich as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers face the Seattle Seahawks in the first-ever regular season NFL game played in Germany, while the San Francisco 49ers will look to continue their return to winning ways against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Stats Perform takes a closer look at the numbers behind some of Sunday's NFL clashes.

Minnesota Vikings (7-1) @ Buffalo Bills (6-2)

The Vikings have played eight games at Highmark Stadium and have held the Bills to 23 points or fewer in each one, which is the longest streak of allowing 23 points or fewer by a visiting team in the stadium's history.

Minnesota have won six straight games, all by eight points or fewer, tied for the second-longest streak of one-possession wins in NFL history, behind a seven-game streak by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020.

T.J. Hockenson boasted nine catches on his Vikings debut last week, tying the Bills' Keith McKeller (October 18, 1987) for the most receptions by a tight end on debut with a team in the Super Bowl era.

The Bills have allowed 21 points or fewer in 12 straight regular-season games, the longest streak in franchise history and the second longest by any NFL team over the last 15 seasons (Baltimore Ravens, 13 straight from 2019-20).

Buffalo are allowing just 4.6 points per game in the second half this year. No NFL team has allowed fewer than 5.0 points per game in the second half over a full season since the Carolina Panthers in 1996 (3.5).

Seattle Seahawks (6-3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-5)

It should be a great experience in Bavaria, but the Bucs are 0-3 in games played outside the United States (all in London), having been outscored 96-51 in those games. The Seahawks, meanwhile, are 2-0 outside the U.S. (one in Toronto, one in London), outscoring their opponents, 77-20.

Pete Carroll is in his 17th season as an NFL head coach and has had at least six wins in each campaign. The only other coach to have six or more wins in each of his first 17 seasons was Don Shula, who did so in all 33 seasons of his career.

Kenneth Walker III is the first NFL rookie to rush for a touchdown and have his team win in each of his first four career starts since Robert Edwards for the New England Patriots in 1998.

Tom Brady has thrown at least 40 passes with no interceptions in seven consecutive starts. No other QB in NFL history has done that in more than four straight starts.

The Bucs have rushed for 75 or fewer yards in eight straight games, the second-longest streak in the Super Bowl wera behind a nine-game streak by the Cardinals from 1991-92.

Los Angeles Chargers (5-3) @ San Francisco 49ers (4-4)

The Chargers are looking to win their sixth-straight game against the 49ers, which would make them the first team to do so since the Seahawks (nine games from 2014 to 2018).

Justin Herbert was not sacked in the Chargers' recent win against the Atlanta Falcons. The Chargers have allowed the fewest sacks in the league this season (10), and have not allowed 10 or fewer sacks through eight games since the 2008 season (also 10).

Through 40 career starts, Herbert has played a part in 90 touchdowns (82 passing, eight rushing). Only Patrick Mahomes (107), Dan Marino (95) and Kurt Warner (91) accounted for more scores in their first 40 starts.

San Francisco's last five games have all been decided by at least 14 points (3-2 record). They have not had six consecutive such games since an eight-game streak in 1999.

Christian McCaffrey threw for, rushed for and caught a touchdown in San Francisco's win over the Rams. He was the first player to do so since the Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson completed the feat in Week 6 of the 2005 season.

Elsewhere...

The Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) will need a plan to deal with Chiefs (6-2) QB Mahomes, who attempted 68 passes (completing 43) in last week's win over the Tennessee Titans, both of which set single-game team records. The only player to attempt more passes in a win in the NFL since 1950 was Drew Bledsoe with 70 in Week 11 of the 1994 season.

Former Chief Tyreek Hill has 1104 receiving yards this season for the Miami Dolphins (6-3), the most by any player through his team's first nine games in the Super Bowl era. Prior to this year, there had only been 11 times a Dolphins receiver recorded 1100 yards in an entire season, and Hill will look to add to those against the Cleveland Browns (3-5).

Last week was Cooper Kupp's 20th career game with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, the most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2017. The only other players with more than 15 such games in that span are Davante Adams (19) and Hill (18), and the Los Angeles Rams (3-5) will need their star to step up again against the Arizona Cardinals (3-6).

Aaron Rodgers' passer rating is at 89.0 this season after posting 111.9 in 2021. The decrease of 22.9 is the largest by a Green Bay Packers quarterback (min. five games played) since Bart Starr from 1966 to 1967 (105.0 to 64.4). With a record of 3-6, the Packers will hope he can improve that against the Dallas Cowboys (6-2).

Tom Brady showed once again why he is considered the greatest player in the history of the NFL after another miraculous game-winning drive to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 16-13 win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

It was not a good offensive game from either team, with the only touchdown from the first 59 minutes of action coming from a 69-yard pass by Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford to reigning Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp in the second quarter.

But after a fourth-quarter field goal trimmed the margin to 13-9 with eight minutes on the clock, all eyes turned to Brady as he looked to break the all-time record for game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime.

His first attempt saw Brady lead the Bucs 53 yards, before failing to convert a fourth-down at the seven-yard line. Luckily for Tampa Bay, they would get another chance after a quick stop forced the Rams to punt the ball with 50 seconds remaining.

In just 35 seconds, Brady completed four passes and drew a pass-interference penalty to take the ball to the one-yard line with 15 seconds to play.

Brady then swung a quick pass out to tight end Cade Otton, slipping past a potential tackler for the score with nine seconds on the clock.

It was Brady's 55th game-winning drive, breaking his tie with Peyton Manning to take sole possession of the all-time lead.

With the win, the Buccaneers move to 4-5, and now lead the NFC South as they own the tiebreaker against the 4-5 Atlanta Falcons.

Walker carries the Seahawks

Rookie running back Kenneth Walker III was the star of the show in the Seattle Seahawks' 31-21 road win against the Arizona Cardinals.

Walker carried the ball 26 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns, making it five consecutive games where he has found the endzone after also tallying 167 yards and two touchdowns in Week 7 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Both of the Seahawks' starting receivers also scored, with quarterback Geno Smith completing a four-yard touchdown pass to D.K. Metcalf and a nine-yarder to Tyler Lockett.

Seattle are now 6-3, while Arizona fall to 3-6.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith is the real deal according to head coach Pete Carroll after he kept them into first place in the NFC West with their third straight win on Sunday.

Smith threw two touchdowns, completing 23 of 34 passes for 212 yards with no turnovers, in the Seahawks' 27-13 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday. He should have had a third TD pass if not for a Tyler Lockett drop on a would-be score.

The 32-year-old Seahawks quarterback has been a revelation this season, having spent the past seven years primarily as a back-up, before taking over from Russell Wilson after his trade to the Denver Broncos.

Smith has already this year matched his career-best 13 touchdown passes in a single season from 2014, with nine games remaining.

"He's the real deal, we're seeing it," Carroll told reporters. "There's no mystery or, 'Oh, he's going to run out of gas or something.' It's not like that.

"He knows exactly what he's doing and he shows you week in, week out, throw after throw after throw. There's nothing for us to hold him but in the highest of expectations, really.

"What a thrilling story for the kid. He just hung in there so tough and outlasted it and now he's enjoying all the fun of it. He did great."

Smith has completed 181 of 249 attempts with a 72.7 completion rate for 1,924 yards with three interceptions this season.

The Seattle QB has also rushed for 158 yards with one touchdown, but would not get caught up in the universal praise coming for him as the surprise of he season.

"Man, we just got a win today," Smith said. "We only got a chance to play one game today, and we won it.

"We've got to continue to play hard throughout the season. Every single game is going to be a test. We know that.

"We always talk about each game being a championship opportunity and so we're just going to continue to focus on it day by day, not get caught up in the outside noise - and just do what we do."

The Seahawks are top of the NFC West with a 5-3 record, ahead of the San Francisco 49ers (4-4) and the Los Angeles Rams (3-4) and the Arizona Cardinals (3-5).

Christian McCaffrey accomplished a feat not seen in 17 years as he delivered a starring performance in the San Francisco 49ers' 31-14 road win against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

After being acquired in a trade from the Carolina Panthers less than two weeks ago, McCaffrey showed exactly why he is considered arguably the best running back of his generation.

Against the reigning champions, he became the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005 to score a rushing, receiving and passing touchdown in the same game.

His first score came through a trick play in the second quarter, as what appeared to be a regulation toss play to the right-hand side turned into a halfback pass as McCaffrey dialled up a 34-yard rainbow pass to Brandon Aiyuk in the end zone.

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford had his side leading 14-10 at half-time after a one-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown and a 16-yard toss to Cooper Kupp, but McCaffrey put the 49ers ahead with a nine-yard touchdown catch late in the third period.

It was followed by a quick Rams punt, before McCaffrey put the exclamation point on his day by punching in a one-yard touchdown to begin the fourth quarter.

The 49ers offense fired on all cylinders, with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo completing 21 of his 25 passes for two touchdowns and no turnovers, as Aiyuk and George Kittle also caught touchdown passes.

McCaffrey finished with 18 carries for 94 yards on the ground, eight catches for 55 yards through the air, and completed his only pass attempt for 34 yards.

King Henry continues to own the Texans

Tennessee Titans workhorse Derrick Henry was unstoppable against the Houston Texans, carrying the ball 32 times for 219 yards and two touchdowns in a grinding 17-10 win.

Incredibly, it is the fourth consecutive matchup against the Texans where Henry has posted at least 200 yards and two touchdowns, and the sixth total time of his career against all teams. No other player in the history of the league has more than three career games of at least 200 yards and multiple touchdowns.

With his second touchdown, Henry – who had such a significant workload due to rookie quarterback Malik Willis making his debut start in place of the injured Ryan Tannehill – broke the Titans' career touchdown record with his 75th.

The Seattle Seahawks are hoping to have DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett – their leading two pass-catchers – available against the New York Giants on Sunday.

The Week 8 matchup pits two of the NFL's surprise packages against one another, with the Giants 6-1 in the NFC East as the Seahawks lead the NFC West at 4-3 despite trading quarterback Russell Wilson.

Seattle have received a boost ahead of welcoming the Giants to Lumen Field, as both Metcalf and Lockett could feature.

Metcalf was carted off in last week's win against the Los Angeles Chargers with a patellar tendon injury, prompting fears he could miss an extended period.

But the wide receiver avoided surgery, and ESPN's Adam Schefter reported he would face the Giants, while NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said he has "a good chance".

Metcalf has caught only two touchdown passes this season after a career-high 12 last year, although his 418 receiving yards rank in the league's top 25.

He trails team-mate Lockett, who has 468 yards and two TDs and also should play on Sunday.

Lockett has been managing both hamstring and rib injuries, but Schefter expects him to play. Rapoport described him as "a game-time decision" but with "some optimism he goes".

Elsewhere in the NFL, early reporting on Sunday had Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams and Dallas Cowboys pass rusher Micah Parsons both on course to play despite previously being listed as questionable.

Adams, whose Raiders go to the New Orleans Saints, was ill, while Parsons has been dealing with a shoulder injury ahead of the Cowboys hosting the Chicago Bears.

The big boys are back in Week 8 as the NFL season edges its way closer to the playoffs.

The Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings all return after a bye week, as do the defending champion Los Angeles Rams, who will look to increase the pressure on the San Francisco 49ers.

The Eagles are aiming to maintain their 100 per cent record when the Pittsburgh Steelers come to town, while the Bills host Aaron Rodgers and his wobbling Green Bay Packers.

Stats Perform has taken a look at the numbers ahead of Sunday's games, starting in the city of brotherly love.

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-5) @ Philadelphia Eagles (6-0)

It promises to be a tricky trip for Pittsburgh, as the Eagles own a nine-game winning streak at home against them, a streak that started in 1966 (Pittsburgh's last win there was Week 6, 1965). It is the Eagles' longest home winning streak against a single opponent in franchise history.

The Steelers lost 16-10 at the Miami Dolphins last week, and are averaging just 15.3 points per game, the second fewest in the NFL (Denver Broncos, 14.3). The last time they finished in the bottom two of the NFL in scoring was 1969 (15.6 points per game, second worst).

The Eagles have held a lead of at least 14 points in each of their six games this season. The last team to do so in seven straight games to begin the season was the 2007 Patriots (eight straight).

Philadelphia have won Jalen Hurts' last nine starts, tied for the longest quarterback win streak in franchise history with Carson Wentz (2017), Donovan McNabb (2003) and Norm Van Brocklin (1960). The Eagles were 6-10 in Hurts' first 16 career starts in the NFL.

San Francisco 49ers (3-4) @ Los Angeles Rams (3-3)

Including a 24-9 home win in Week 4, the 49ers have won seven straight regular-season games against Los Angeles, their second-longest streak against the Rams all-time (17 straight from December 1990 to December 1998). However, the Rams beat the 49ers in last season's NFC Championship Game at SoFi Stadium.

San Francisco lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 44-23, at home last week. It was the first time they have lost back-to-back games by at least 14 points since Weeks 9-10 in 2020. They followed those games up with a 23-20 win against the Rams in Los Angeles.

Last week, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 303 yards, the 11th game in his career with at least 300 yards. The 49ers won the first seven of those games but are just 1-3 in the last four. The only win in that span came on the road against the Rams in Week 18 last season.

Rams QB Matthew Stafford is 1-6 in his regular season career against the 49ers, his worst record against any NFC opponent. He has thrown four touchdown passes and five interceptions in his three games against them since joining the Rams, losing each one.

Green Bay Packers (3-4) @ Buffalo Bills (5-1)

The Packers have won their last four home games against the Bills, but are 0-6 all-time in Buffalo, most recently losing a 21-13 game there in Week 15, 2014. The Bills are the only active franchise the Packers have never beaten on the road.

Green Bay lost 23-21 to the Washington Commanders last week, and have lost three straight games for the first time since Weeks 11-13 in 2018. They have not lost four straight since Weeks 8-11 in 2016. The last time they lost four of their first seven games was in 2006 (also 3-4).

The Bills are coming off their bye week following a 24-20 win in Kansas City in Week 6. Since the Bills' last Super Bowl appearance in 1993, they have begun a season 5-1 four times – 1995, 2008, 2019, and this year.

Buffalo's offense has faced a blitz on 35.3 per cent of its passing plays this season, the fourth highest in the league. The Packers have faced a blitz just 20.2 per cent of the time, second lowest in the league (Miami, 18.2). The Bills have blitzed opponents just 12.9 per cent of the time, the lowest in the league.

Elsewhere…

Dak Prescott should face the Chicago Bears (3-4) after making his return in the Dallas Cowboys' (5-2) win over the Detroit Lions last week, moving his career record as a starter to 54-33 (.621). Since 2016. The Cowboys are 9-8 when Prescott does not start (.530) while averaging almost 60 total yards fewer per game when he is not the starter (382.3 with, 322.9 without).

The New York Jets (5-2) enter their clash with the New England Patriots (3-4) with a chance to break their current 12-game losing streak against them, which dates back to the 2016 season. With a loss, the streak would match Denver's 13-game losing streak to Kansas City as the longest active one in the NFL.

Saquon Barkley (110 rushing yards) and Daniel Jones (107) each ran for over 100 yards last week, the third time a New York Giants (6-1) duo has eclipsed that mark. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw did so in Week 14, 2010 and Week 16, 2007. The only other team with such a duo this season was the New Orleans Saints in Week 5 against the Giants' opponents for Week 8, the Seattle Seahawks (4-3).

The Tennessee Titans (4-2) own a four-game win streak after a 19-10 win at home against the Indianapolis Colts. This is the Titans' sixth-straight season with a winning streak of at least four games, and it could go to five with a win at the Houston Texans (1-4-1).

There is no such thing as a sure thing in sport, and certainly not in fantasy football.

Every week, expected stars underperform while big-time contributors come out of nowhere.

But for this week's fantasy picks, Stats Perform has dug through the data to identify four offensive players and a defense that represent extremely strong bets for productive fantasy performances in Week 8.

If any of these selections disappoint, don't blame us!

Quarterback: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins @ Detroit Lions

The Lions defense finally showed some fight last week against the Dallas Cowboys, but they still represent a favourable matchup for the Dolphins and Tagovailoa.

Detroit's defense is allowing 7.33 yards per pass play, the most in the NFL, and the Dolphins are coming off an efficient performance on offense against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Though they only scored 16 points in their Week 7 win, the Dolphins averaged 7.5 yards per pass play, and surely would have scored more points with better efficiency on third down, on which Miami went four of 14.

It was an encouraging return for Tagovailoa, who should find third-down joy much easier to come by against this porous Lions group. Back Tua and the Dolphins for an explosive showing in Week 8.

Running Back: Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams

McCaffrey only had 10 touches in his 49er debut last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, but he averaged 6.2 yards on those touches, showing the burst and the vision that led San Francisco to trade much of their 2023 draft for the former All-Pro.

With a full week to get to grips with the playbook, McCaffrey will be an integral part of San Francisco's gameplan in a critical division matchup with the Rams.

The Rams have a top-10 run defense by yards per rush allowed (4.17), but this is less about matchup and more about opportunity. McCaffrey will get rushing opportunities and he will get targets against an opponent the 49ers have dominated in the regular season, winning the last seven meetings. Los Angeles will have designs on ending that streak, but the volume McCaffrey figures to receive makes him a must-start.

Wide Receiver: Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks vs. New York Giants

The matchup between the 6-1 Giants and the 4-3 Seahawks is one between two of the NFL's most surprising teams, and it promises to be a compelling one.

Though the Giants have given up only seven passing touchdowns this season, their defensive approach could play into the hands of the Seahawks.

In 2022, the Giants have blitzed 43.1 per cent of the time when defending the pass, according to Stats Perform data, well above the league average of 30.6 per cent.

When faced with five or more rushers or with a defensive back blitzing, Geno Smith has delivered a well-thrown ball on 85.7 per cent of attempts, the second-best among quarterbacks with at least 10 such passes.

In other words, he is excelling against the blitz and, with D.K. Metcalf out, Lockett will be a safety net who should be the beneficiary of a plethora of pass attempts.

Winning his matchup with a defender on 67.9 per cent of targets this season – the average is 61.7 for wide receivers with 25 or more targets – Lockett remains a supremely talented pass catcher who can take advantage of those opportunities and enjoy a huge fantasy day.

Tight End: Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh defense is not the force it once was, especially without T.J. Watt. 

The Steelers are giving up 6.91 yards per pass play, the fifth-most in the league, and Goedert can capitalise on their vulnerability.

He has been targeted at least six times in four of his six games this season and has a big play rate of 34.8 per cent that is fifth-best among tight ends with at least 20 targets.

Goedert clearly has the trust of Jalen Hurts, with this matchup the perfect mix of opportunity and opponent for him to flourish and put up big fantasy points.

Defense/Special Teams: Buffalo Bills vs. Green Bay Packers

Starting a defense against Aaron Rodgers?! 

That's how far the Packers have fallen, and fantasy owners should have no hesitation in starting the Bills against Green Bay's dismal passing attack.

Rodgers' average depth of target this is season is just 6.4 yards, with Green Bay lacking the ability to test defenses downfield with any kind of consistency.

Only two teams have more takeaways than the Bills (13), and the Buffalo defense – which has allowed a successful offensive play just 38 per cent of the time; the average is 39.4 – has the formula to frustrate Rodgers once again.

The Bills lead the league with a pressure rate of 45.4 per cent but blitz on just 15.1 per cent of passing downs. Simply put, they consistently get pressure with four pass rushers, giving them the resources in the back seven to rally to the ball and limit the impact of the short passing game on which Rodgers is suddenly reliant.

Buffalo can stop the Packers gaining yards and have a proclivity for taking the ball away. It promises to be a painful game for Rodgers and a productive one for the Bills' defense and those who start it in fantasy.

Geno Smith believes he can play even better after leading the Seattle Seahawks to a victory that lifted them to the top of the NFC West.

Unfancied and seen as a rebuilding team after the decision to trade nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos in the offseason, the Seahawks are now 4-3 after the latest success authored by Smith.

The former first-round pick of the New York Jets is penning a remarkable comeback story having beaten Drew Lock to the starting quarterback job in Seattle. 

Smith went 8-8 as a rookie with the Jets in 2013 but saw his career fall apart from there as poor play, a fractious relationship with former coach Rex Ryan and a now infamous locker room fight in 2015 derailed his hopes of being the long-term answer in New York.

He spent seasons with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Chargers before eventually landing in Seattle as Wilson's backup in 2019, playing three games in relief of the injured starter last season.

The Seahawks won only one of those starts, and there was little to suggest he could lead them to playoff contention in 2022. However, they have now won three of their last four games, with Smith leading the NFL with a completion percentage of 73.5.

Sunday saw him complete 20 of his 27 passes for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception as the Seahawks saw off the Chargers 37-23.

Asked by Peter King for his Football Morning in America column what surprises him most about his and Seattle's success, Smith replied: "Nothing. Nothing has surprised me. In fact, I know I can play a lot better.

"In my rookie year playing with the Jets, we went 8-8 and missed the playoffs by one game. The reality is it's hard to win the NFL with a young quarterback. That's just the reality of the NFL.

"So much goes on that you have to know in order to be successful. Quarterbacking is a skill more than just a talent. I'm just happy I've just continued to develop.

"I know I might've struggled out the gate in pro football. That's just the reality of the NFL. Sometimes they give up on you fast.

"The numbers at the beginning of my career are kind of skewed, if you ask me. If you look at Peyton Manning, if you just judge his rookie season, you'd never think Peyton Manning would've become what he became. Steve Young, too. Troy Aikman. The list goes on and on and on.

"[You have] just got to have patience with young quarterbacks. You have got to find the right young quarterbacks with the right mentality who are going to continue to work and have a great attitude about the game and the struggle.

"Over the years, not playing was heartbreaking. I’m so competitive, and I love playing so much that I really wanted to be out there every single game. But what's that cliche? 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger'?

"I know I’m better for all those years. Coming into this year, I wasn't sure what would happen [after the trade of Wilson to Denver].

"When [Seahawks coach] Pete Carroll hit me up and was like, 'Hey I'm giving you opportunity to compete for the job,' I mean, that’s all you have to say to me. That was awesome. He's shown faith in me. That's just what I need.

"You ask me: what am I focused on during the week? Playing hard, doing what I'm coached to do. It's that simple. I don't think about failure.

"My thought process is I need to run on the field with my linemen and play just as hard as they're playing and do exactly what I'm coached to do and then let my talent take over after that. It's that simple in my mind.

"Our success so far starts with the trust and belief of our head coach. Not many coaches would start two rookies on the offensive line, a rookie running back, two rookie cornerbacks.

"Not many coaches would be comfortable starting a quarterback who hasn't played in many years. But Pete does it because he knows what he's looking at. He's played young guys before, lots of times. He's taken chances on players, lots of time. He knows how to coach ball. You can see that this year.

"I think we're built to last for this season and many seasons. But ultimately, it comes down to what we do, not what we say. It's about the work we put in. It's about the consistency. And our preparation and consistency and our togetherness. That's all that matters.

"As long as we continue to build together, the sky's the limit. It takes work. It takes hard work. We have got to embrace that part of it."

The Kansas City Chiefs are the highest scoring team in the NFL through Week 7 after a convincing 44-23 road win against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

San Francisco were in the headlines this week after pulling the trigger on a big trade for superstar running back Christian McCaffrey, but it was Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes controlling the contest.

Mahomes threw an interception on the Chiefs' first drive, but turned things around quickly and ended up completing 25 of his 34 passes for 423 yards and three touchdowns.

He tossed second-half touchdown passes to Justin Watson and JuJu Smith-Schuster, and his first touchdown pass to Mecole Hardman was the beginning of a memorable day for the speedy receiver.

After getting on the end of an eight-yard score from Mahomes in the first quarter, Hardman then took a jet-sweep 25 yards down the sideline in the second quarter for the first rushing touchdown of his career. 

Not done yet, Hardman added his second rushing touchdown and third overall score for the game with a three-yard run in the fourth period. He finished with two carries for 28 yards and two rushing TDs, with four catches for 32 yards and a receiving TD.

For the 49ers, Jimmy Garropolo was not to blame for the loss as he finished 25-of-37 for 303 yards, two touchdowns and an interception – with touchdown passes to George Kittle and Ray-Ray McCloud III.

McCaffrey carried the ball eight times for 38 yards, and caught both of his targets for 24 yards through the air.

Seahawks move above .500 with upset in Los Angeles

The Seattle Seahawks rode a spectacular performance from rookie running back Kenneth Walker III to a 37-23 upset win on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Walker rushed 23 times for 168 yards and two touchdowns, capped by a 74-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game to bed.

Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith was solid, completing 20-of-27 passes for 210 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to Marquise Goodwin as he assumed a major role following a knee injury to key wide receiver D.K. Metcalf.

Chargers star Austin Ekeler remains the top running back in fantasy football, rushing for 31 yards and a touchdown, as well as catching all 12 of his targets for 96 yards and a second score.

Belief is a powerful emotion.

Athletes from a variety of sports over the years have spoken about the power of self-belief that allowed them to overcome the odds and prevail.

In the world of fantasy football, where the stakes are substantially lower, it is easy to lose faith after a few bad weeks given the season is so short.

Still, even as the losses mount, it's important to not get discouraged, trust in your line-up decisions and, most importantly, remember that it's just a bit of fun.

Not everything is going to go right for all your players in every game, but with Week 7 on the horizon, Stats Perform has gone through the numbers and identified four offensive players and a defense deserving of your faith for the upcoming slate of games.


Quarterback: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys @ Detroit Lions

Prescott is finally set to return to the lineup after Cooper Rush kept the Cowboys firmly in the mix during his absence with a fractured thumb.

There may some reticence to roll with Prescott in fantasy in his first game since the season opener. 

Against the Lions, there's little reason to have such concerns. Their defense is allowing 7.37 yards per pass play, the second most in the NFL, while only the Cleveland Browns have conceded more offensive touchdowns than Detroit's 18.

Game flow could work against Prescott putting up a huge fantasy performance if the Dallas defense allows the Cowboys to build a big lead, but there's no reason to expect him to struggle on his return.

Running Back: Kenneth Walker, Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Chargers

Walker backed up his explosive performance against the New Orleans Saints in Week 5 with a strong showing in Week 6 as the Seahawks knocked off the Arizona Cardinals.

He racked up 97 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries versus Arizona and now gets to face a Charger run defense that has displayed no improvement despite heavy offseason investment.

Only the New York Giants (5.61) are allowing more yards per rush than the Chargers (5.56). Walker already has seven rushes of 10 yards or more this season and, if you have this exciting rookie on your roster, you can afford to believe he will deliver in a substantial way in LA.

Wide Receiver: Deebo Samuel, San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Samuel was kept relatively quiet as the 49er offense endured a difficult day in Atlanta last week, failing to score in the second half of their 28-14 loss to the Falcons.

Even so, he still managed seven catches for 79 yards and his fantasy managers who may be worried about a drop-off from the San Francisco attack should stay calm.

The 49er run game sputtered in Atlanta, gaining just 50 yards, but it looked at its best on the two carries Samuel received out of the backfield. 

Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan last season turned to putting Samuel in the backfield to give his offense a spark and it produced stunning results. Don't be surprised to see him do the same here.

With the Chiefs level with the Lions with 18 offensive scores allowed, a varied role for Samuel on Sunday could spell a highly productive effort on an offense that may benefit from the return of All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams.

Tight End: Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers @ Washington Commanders

The Green Bay offense is in dreadful shape, with some questioning whether it is broken beyond repair following a dismal defeat to the New York Jets at Lambeau Field.

Aaron Rodgers has called for the Packers to simplify their attack in the wake of that loss. Any huge schematic changes seem unlikely but what is probable is that Rodgers will focus on the few targets he trusts.

One such target is Tonyan, who was last week targeted 12 times, catching 10 passes for 90 yards.

With Randall Cobb on the sideline through injury, Allen Lazard and Tonyan will likely be Rodgers' favoured weapons in the passing game. Whether he can engineer an upturn in Green Bay's fortunes is open for debate, but Tonyan's place in the pass-catching hierarchy for the Packers gives him plenty of fantasy value against a Commanders defense that has allowed 12 passing touchdowns, the second-most in the league.

Defense/Special Teams: New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals

Is your faith in the New Orleans defense shaken by the Cincinnati Bengals' comeback against the Saints? Well here come the Cardinals to make everything all better.

The Cardinals managed nine points against a Seahawks team that has allowed 163 this season. Only the Lions have given up more.

On a per-play basis, the Steelers are the sole team to put up fewer yards (4.77) than the Cardinals (4.81).

The Saints' defense is not as fearsome as in days gone by, but it has the benefit of facing an utterly anaemic offense in Week 7 and is worthy of some belief as a result.

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