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NFL Week 16 preview: Pittsburgh Steelers to honor Franco Harris on bittersweet day for franchise



When the Pittsburgh Steelers host the LA Raiders on Sunday, it is going to be one in every of those rare moments in sport where the result won’t really matter.

As an alternative, thoughts will probably be with Steelers legend Franco Harris who died earlier this week on the age of 72.

Harris’ death got here just days before the fiftieth anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception,” a game-winning touchdown catch from Harris which led the Steelers to a famous win over the Oakland Raiders.

The Steelers will still have a good time the anniversary but additionally honor Harris’ life by retiring his No. 32 jersey at halftime of Sunday’s game.

“We’re all heartbroken, but we do look ahead to honoring him and his legacy this weekend,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said, per ESPN.

“And clearly, where our attention must be is on the preparation required to place together the variety of performance that’s fitting of an amazing man like Franco.”

On the sphere, the Steelers will hope to maintain their slim playoff probabilities alive with one other win – the franchise has impressed these days by winning three of its last 4.

It’s the same story for other teams across the NFL, with this promising to be an exciting weekend of motion through the Christmas period.

For Chase Young, Christmas will come a day early with the 23-year-old expected to make his long-awaited season debut for the Commanders on Saturday.

Young hasn’t played since he suffered a serious knee injury in November last yr but coach Ron Rivera says he’s excited to finally get back amongst it against the 49ers.

“He practiced with confidence,” Rivera said, per NFL.com, speaking about Young’s progress.

“He showed us a willingness to stay that leg in the bottom and roll off of it, plant it and cut off of it. He had a superb week, so we’re pretty enthusiastic about that.”

Chase Young has not played for over a year.

The defensive end had returned to practice last week but has been slowly ramping up his activity after an already lengthy rehabilitation process.

The Commanders will hope for an fast impact from 2020’s second overall draft pick as they give the impression of being to maintain their playoff hopes alive after a disappointing loss to the Latest York Giants on Sunday night.

There isn’t much room for an additional loss because the regular season races to the business end.

The Eagles (13-1) and Cowboys (10-4) face off on Saturday. The stakes are high for these divisional rivals, with postseason positioning on the road.

The Eagles have the chance to win the NFC East and the general top seed within the NFC, subsequently earning a first-round bye and home-field advantage within the playoffs.

It will be a much greater challenge for Dallas to win the NFC East. They clinched the playoffs last week, despite losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars. But to win the division, they would wish to not only win on Saturday, but additionally win out the remainder of the season and see the Eagles lose their remaining games. It’s a tall order, but not inconceivable.

The last time these teams met, the Cowboys played without starting quarterback Dak Prescott. This time around, the Eagles will play without their starting quarterback, Jalen Hurts.

Hurts suffered a sprained shoulder during last week’s win over Bears. The injury shouldn’t be considered long-term and he is anticipated to return for the postseason. In his absence, Gardner Minshew will take over as signal caller.

There is always interest when the Dallas Cowboys play the Philadelphia Eagles.

This game is an amazing opportunity for the Cowboys to get on the appropriate track, between having the house advantage and the good thing about facing a backup quarterback. Especially after last week’s loss, they need this win rather more than the Eagles; they need all of the momentum they’ll get in the ultimate weeks of the regular season to hold into the playoffs.

Tune into the NFC East showdown on Saturday at 4:25 p.m. ET.

It’s going to be a nail-biting spectacle on Christmas Day with each teams trying to keep their wafer-thin postseason hopes alive.

The Dolphins can guarantee a playoff berth by winning all of their three remaining games but go into Sunday’s clash on the back of three consecutive defeats.

The Packers, meanwhile, are coming off back-to-back victories but their playoff destiny remains to be not of their hands.

They have to win all three of their remaining games and hope either the Latest York Giants or Washington Commanders slip up.

“What’s crucial thing is that we’re still playing a meaningful football game on Christmas and got a probability to have loads of things in front of us,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers told reporters.

“We’ve got to go down and get a win, and I said a number of weeks ago, we just get one, then we get one other one, and things look a bit of bit different going into this game. And we get this one, things look a bit of bit different going into the subsequent one.”

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is looking forward to the crucnh game.

The Bears (3-11) will welcome the Bills (11-3) to Chicago.

The forecast predicts below freezing temperatures, gusting winds, and harsh winter weather, which could play a significant component within the final result of this game. While each teams are acclimated to playing in unfavorable conditions, their gameplans must be adjusted for the weather.

This game features two quarterbacks who can produce in each the run game and the passing game. Nevertheless, they’re best in opposite ways.

Bears’ quarterback Justin Fields is more practical rushing, while Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen has the sting within the air. With a transparent lack of weapons on the receiving end, the Bears are going to attempt to run the ball as much as possible. Their game on the bottom won’t be as impacted by the heavy winds and winter weather.

The Bills, then again, won’t have the option to rely as much on their superior passing game; Allen can have to regulate to how the winds impact his accuracy. For these reasons, the Bears have a rather higher probability of handing the Bills the upset.

Kickoff is ready for Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

Finally, the Bengals (10-4) have a shot at clinching a playoff berth against the Patriots (7-7).

They may secure their spot within the postseason in the event that they win or tie, or if the Jets lose or tie. The Patriots are on the surface of the playoff picture looking in. They would wish a win on Saturday to maintain their hopes alive.

The Pats will host the Bengals at a below-freezing Gillette Stadium. They enter this game fresh off an embarrassing last-second loss to the Raiders in Week 15. They’ve struggled this season, largely as a consequence of inexperienced leadership and questionable coaching decisions.

Cincinnati is within the midst of their hottest stretch of the season with wins of their last six contests. Quarterback Joe Burrow has hit his stride at crucial a part of the regular season, on the brink of power through the postseason.

To win this game, the Bengals will need to come back out strong and get ahead early; they have to outpace Latest England. The Patriots will probably be playing without three starters, which suggests they’re already operating from a drawback. If the Bengals come out the gate and get points up early, it is going to be difficult for the Pats to crawl out of a deficit.

To see who comes out on top, tune in on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

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