NFL Week 16 preview: Pittsburgh Steelers to honor Franco Harris on bittersweet day for franchise
When the Pittsburgh Steelers host the LA Raiders on Saturday, it will likely be a kind of uncommon moments in sports activities the place the end result will not actually matter.
As an alternative, the thought can be with the Steelers legend Franco Harris who died earlier this week aged 72.
Harris’ loss of life got here simply days earlier than the fiftieth anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception,” a game-winning landing catch from Harris that led the Steelers to a well-known victory over the Oakland Raiders.
The Steelers will nonetheless have a good time the anniversary however will honor Harris’ life by retiring his No. 32 jersey at halftime of the sport.
“We’re all heartbroken, however we’re wanting ahead to honoring him and his legacy this weekend,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin informed ESPN.
“And clearly, the place we have to focus is on the preparation wanted to place collectively the sort of efficiency befitting an incredible man like Franco.”
On the sphere, the Steelers will hope to maintain their slim playoff probabilities alive with another win – the franchise has just lately impressed by successful three of its final 4.
It is a comparable story for different groups across the NFL, which guarantees to be an thrilling weekend of motion over the Christmas interval.
For Chase Younger, Christmas will come a day early and the 23-year-old is predicted to make his long-awaited season debut for the Commanders on Saturday.
Younger hasn’t performed since struggling a severe knee harm in November of final yr, however coach Ron Rivera mentioned he is excited to lastly get again into it in opposition to the 49ers.
“He practiced with confidence,” Rivera mentioned, per NFL.com, speaking about Younger’s progress.
“He confirmed us a willingness to stay that foot within the floor and roll off of it, plant it and reduce it. He had a very good week, so we’re fairly enthusiastic about that.”
The defensive finish returned to apply final week however is already slowly ramping up his exercise after a prolonged rehabilitation course of.
The Commanders can be hoping for a right away affect from the 2020 second total draft choose as they give the impression of being to maintain their playoff hopes alive after a disappointing loss to the New York Giants on Sunday night time.
With common season races on the enterprise finish, there is not a lot room for an additional loss.
The Eagles (13-1) and Cowboys (10-4) meet on Saturday. The stakes are excessive for these division rivals, with postseason positioning on the road.
The Eagles have an opportunity to win the NFC East and have the highest total seed within the NFC, thus incomes a first-round bye and home-field benefit within the playoffs.
Successful the NFC East can be an enormous problem for Dallas. Jacksonville misplaced to the Jaguars, however they made the playoffs final week. However to win the division, they not solely should win on Saturday, however the remainder of the season and the Eagles should lose their remaining video games. It is a tall order, however not not possible.
The final time these groups met, the Cowboys performed with out beginning quarterback Dak Prescott. This time, the Eagles can be with out their beginning quarterback, Jalen Harts.
Hurts suffered a sprained shoulder throughout final week’s win over the Bears. The harm isn’t thought-about long-term and he’s anticipated to return for the postseason. Gardner Minshew will take over as sign caller in his absence.
Between having house benefit and dealing with a backup quarterback, this sport is a superb alternative for the Cowboys to get moving into the correct path. They want this win greater than the Eagles, particularly after final week’s loss; They want as a lot momentum as they will get heading into the playoffs within the remaining weeks of the common season.
Tune in to the NFC East showdown on Saturday at 4:25 pm ET
It is shaping as much as be a nail-biting spectacle on Christmas Day with each groups seeking to maintain their wafer-thin postseason hopes alive.
The Dolphins can clinch a playoff berth by successful all three of their remaining video games however head into Sunday’s conflict on the again of three straight losses.
The Packers, in the meantime, are coming off back-to-back wins however their playoff destiny remains to be out of their palms.
They should win their remaining three video games and hope the New York Giants or Washington Commanders transfer up.
“The underside line is we’re nonetheless enjoying a significant soccer sport on Christmas and we have quite a bit forward of us,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers informed reporters.
“We have got to return down and get a win, and I mentioned a few weeks in the past, we simply received one, then we received one other one and issues appeared a bit totally different on this sport. And we received it, going into the following one issues look a bit totally different.”
The Bears (3-11) will welcome the Payments (11-3) to Chicago.
The forecast predicts freezing temperatures, gusty winds, and harsh winter climate, which could possibly be a significant factor within the final result of this sport. Whereas each groups are used to enjoying in opposed situations, their gameplans will have to be adjusted for the weather.
This sport options two quarterbacks who can create each the run sport and the passing sport. Nonetheless, they’re best within the reverse manner.
Bears quarterback Justin Fields is simpler dashing, whereas Payments quarterback Josh Allen has the sting within the air. With a transparent lack of weapons on the receiving finish, the Bears are going to attempt to run the ball as a lot as attainable. Their play on the bottom is not going to be affected as a lot by sturdy winds and winter climate.
However, the Payments will not have the ability to depend on their superior passing sport as a lot; Allen has to regulate to how the wind impacts his accuracy. Due to this, the Bears have a barely increased probability of handing the upset Payments.
Kickoff is ready for Saturday at 1 pm ET.
Lastly, the Bengals (10-4) have a shot at clinching a playoff berth in opposition to the Patriots (7-7).
They win or tie or the Jets lose or tie to safe their spot within the postseason. The Patriots are wanting on the skin of the playoff image They want a win on Saturday to maintain their hopes alive
The Pats will host the Bengals at below-freezing Gillette Stadium. They enter this sport recent off an embarrassing last-second loss to the Raiders in Week 15. They’ve struggled this season because of inexperienced management and questionable teaching choices.
Cincinnati is on a scorching streak of the season with wins of their final six contests. Quarterback Joe Burrow hit his stride in crucial a part of the common season, on the brink of energy by means of the postseason.
In an effort to win this sport, the Bengals might want to come out sturdy and begin early. They have to surpass New England. The Patriots can be enjoying with out three starters, which suggests they’re already working at a drawback. If the Bengals come out of the gate and rating factors early, it will likely be troublesome for the Pats to return out of the deficit.
To see who comes out on prime, tune in Saturday at 1 pm ET.
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