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NFL Week 15 Tripleheader: Watch Saturday’s Games


Our N.F.L. playoffs calculator has an up-to-date have a look at the newest playoff picture.

You recognize the school football season is winding down when N.F.L. games pop up on a Saturday. For years, the N.F.L. and the N.C.A.A. have had stayed out of one another’s way, with Saturdays devoted to varsity football and Sundays for N.F.L. games.

But with only bowl games left on the school calendar, the N.F.L. will host three matchups on Saturday that may help make clear its playoff picture. All three games can be carried on NFL Network in addition to by local broadcast networks within the teams’ home markets.

The Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1), whose postseason aspirations have all but vanished, will visit Minneapolis to tackle the Vikings (10-3), whose recent performance raises questions on whether or not they can last through a couple of weekend of the playoffs.

The Baltimore Ravens (9-4) will travel to Cleveland to play the Browns (5-8), an A.F.C. North division rival attempting to salvage a lost season.

Within the prime-time finale, the Miami Dolphins (8-5), who’ve lost their past two, tackle the Buffalo Bills (10-3) in a game that may affect A.F.C. seeding.

All six teams are technically still within the playoff hunt, though the chances that the Colts or the Browns will make the postseason are in the one digits, in accordance with The Times’s playoff simulator.

All times are Eastern.

The Vikings have built a four-game lead within the N.F.C. North the hard way: Seven of their 10 wins were by one rating or closer. However the team has lost two of the past 4 games in embarrassing fashion — a 40-3 trouncing by the Cowboys at home in Week 11 and a 34-23 loss to the Lions last week — raising questions on whether Minnesota can advance within the playoffs.

With Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook at skill positions, it’s never clear why the Vikings’ offense goes dark for long portions of games. Through Week 14, the defense had given up probably the most yards from scrimmage within the league, commonly letting opponents back into games.

Still, the Vikings can clinch the N.F.C. North with a win over the Colts, who’re a large number. The team benched after which reinstated quarterback Matt Ryan, and the team’s owner, Jim Irsay, fired Coach Frank Reich and replaced him with a former Colts center, Jeff Saturday, whose only prior coaching experience was with a highschool team. The shake-up has resulted in just one win under Saturday.

The Ravens could possibly be without their star quarterback, Lamar Jackson (who sprained the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee), and his backup, Tyler Huntley, who left last week’s game with a concussion. Jackson is such an integral a part of the team — he can also be the leading rusher — that the Ravens will now must lean on their defense if he isn’t available. Luckily, that defense — ranked eighth within the league — is allowing just 13.4 points per game, in accordance with ESPN, because it added middle linebacker Roquan Smith in Week 9.

The Browns may be the best matchup for the Ravens this week. Cleveland has given up the fifth most points this 12 months, and its games can go sideways in a rush. Quarterback Deshaun Watson, who was suspended for the primary 11 games of the season after greater than two dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct during massage appointments, has been underwhelming in his first two games back. And while running back Nick Chubb has 1,153 yards rushing, Kareem Hunt has been subpar, and receiver Amari Cooper (874 yards, seven touchdowns) has been solid but not great.

This prime-time game is probably the most compelling of the day’s matchups. After a few messy losses to the Jets and the Vikings, the Bills have righted their ship and are again tied with Kansas City for one of the best record within the A.F.C. Buffalo would qualify for the playoffs by beating Miami and would keep itself within the running for a first-round bye.

The Dolphins are second within the division and hold the second wild-card spot, but their high-powered offense, led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, has cooled recently, losing their past two games after winning their previous five.

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