RDS and the RDS.ca feature three playoff-defining games on Sunday, starting with the one between the Bills and the Patriots.
Also follow all the action of this last week of the regular season thanks to NFL Red Zone.
ORCHARD PARK – Whatever happens on Sunday, when the buffalo bills will close their regular season by hosting the New England Patriots and once the NFL playoffs begin, general manager Brandon Beane can’t be disappointed.
In a year the Bills suffered a snowstorm that disrupted their schedule, mourned the sudden death of the tight end’s younger brother Dawson Knox in August, rallied to community support following a shootout and won games with little to no practice, Beane couldn’t be prouder.
And he has reason to believe that resilience will manifest itself again after a week in which the Bills went from a state of emotional shock upon seeing Damar Hamlin to be resuscitated on the ground in Cincinnati on Monday eveningto a state of joy after the marauder has addressed to his teammates by videoconference on Friday.
“I love you guys,” Hamlin said softly.
“I probably get emotional if I talk about it too much, but I’m so proud of our organization, our team, so many people, how we’ve dealt with so much this year,” Beane said. It’s definitely not the way you plan things. I don’t know what’s going to happen the rest of the season on the pitch, I really don’t. What I do know is that they are a group of winners, and I will always remember this team and this season. »
For Beane, Sunday’s game is more than a season-ending showdown against an AFC East Division rival. It’s more of a celebration of life knowing that Hamlin is on the road to recovery.
The Bills (12-3) are motivated even if the outcome of the game does not matter as much as for the Patriots (8-8). The Bills clinched their third straight division title, but their chances of finishing first in the AFC overall standings dwindled. The NFL’s decision to cancel the Bills’ game against the Bengals from Cincinnati allowed the Chiefs of Kansas City (13-3) to pass the Bills, for the moment.
The only consolation is that the Goodell Circuit has ruled that the All-American Championship game will be played at a neutral site if the Chiefs win first place and face Buffalo, whether the two teams win or lose on Sunday.
In New England, the Patriots need just one win to clinch their 13th playoff berth in 14 seasons. The Patriots can also secure a spot if the Dolphins de Miami and the Steelers the Pittsburgh lose.
To the Eagles to close the door
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PHILADELPHIA — It’s a familiar refrain these days in Philadelphia.
Everything the Eagles have to do is win a game and they’ll be the National Association (NFC) East Division champions, they’ll secure first place in the NFC and they’ll get a week off, same as home field advantage in the playoffs.
The Eagles (13-3) couldn’t achieve those goals two weeks ago when they lost to Dallas.
They then failed again last week when they lost at home to New Orleans.
In case of defeat this afternoon against the Giants de New York (9-6-1), a team they crushed 48-22 last month, the Eagles would open the door to dallas cowboys or to San Francisco 49erswho could take the top spot in the Association.
There are myriad scenarios that could cause this to happen, and all of them start with the Eagles losing at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles will however be able to count on the return to play of the quarterback Jalen Hurts, reports the ESPN network. Hurts has missed his last two games with a right shoulder injury.
Hurts led the Eagles to 13 wins this season and established himself as a contender for NFL Most Valuable Player with 35 total touchdowns. Without him, the Eagles offense faltered with Gardner Minshew the controls. Last week, she was shut out in the first half against the Saints and ultimately scored just 10 points, his worst performance of the season.
Green Bay under pressure, Detroit motivated
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GREEN BAY – Les Packers de Green Bay know they will advance to the playoffs if they win on Sunday night. Scenarios are a bit more complicated for Detroit Lions.
Even if Detroit (8-8) beats Green Bay (8-8), the Lions can only qualify if the Seahawks de Seattle (8-8) lose against Los Angeles Rams (5-11) earlier in the day. A Seahawks victory would eliminate the Lions.
Still, the Lions insist they’ll still be motivated to beat their NFC North Division rivals, even if it doesn’t impact their own playoff fate.
“There are other things at stake, like finishing with a winning season and beating a division opponent who doesn’t respect us at all in my opinion,” the cornerback said. Amani Oruwariye. “There are a lot of other motivating factors.
“Duels have been one-sided for a long time, but this year we have reversed the scenario. Everyone can realize that. They may still feel like they are the old Lions. »
A lot has changed for both teams since the last time they played each other.
In losing 15-9 in Detroit on November 6, the Packers suffered the last of a series of five losses. The Lions, meanwhile, were 1-6 going into this game.
The Packers followed that up with four straight wins, thanks in part to a defense that specialized in the art of making interceptions. The Green Bay offense believes it has also improved since generating its season-low point total on that trip to Detroit.
“We’re just a much more confident team,” the receiver said. Allen Lazard. “We have our identity now. We know what we are capable of. If we go out there and play our style, if we play hard for four quarters, we’re more than sure the results will take care of themselves. »
The Lions have won seven of their last nine games and are coming off a 41-10 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Detroit has come a long way after going 3-13-1 last year in head coach Dan Campbell’s first season. The Lions are looking to secure their first playoff berth since 2016 and have the chance to end a streak of four straight losing seasons.
“It’s basically a playoff game for us,” the Lions receiver said. Amon-Ra St. Brown. “We’re going to see the Seahawks’ game result, so we’ll know before our game if we’re playing for a playoff spot or to ruin Green Bay’s season.
“We want to win to have a positive record. It would mean so much after seeing how we started the season and going 3-13-1 last year. It shows how far we have come. And for us, the future is now. »