Can New Orleans establish itself?
Blowing out Carolina in New Orleans two weeks ago is one thing. Going to Carolina and handling the Panthers in the same manner is another. If the Saints want to move back into discussions of which team could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, they need to take care of things Sunday in Carolina.
An answer for pretenders and contenders
The Indianapolis Colts head to Kansas City to face the Chiefs on Sunday. Which Colts team shows up could dictate what kind of playoff run is in front of Indianapolis. Both teams are in the playoffs. But, both need to get things together as the regular season closes. The Colts used last week's demolition of the Texans to move into a positive point differential. That's not a good sign this late in the season.
That's (likely) all for Candlestick Park
The San Francisco 49ers are likely playing their final game at Candlestick Park this Sunday before moving to fancier digs in Santa Clara, Calif., next season. Most things -- like lamp posts and newspaper boxes -- are fancier than Candlestick. Peeling paint, rust and angry fans are the norm. The fans may stay the same, but a desperately needed move to an improved venue can only help the 49ers.
Will Chicago establish itself?
The Bears are off to Philadelphia to face the NFC East division-leading Eagles. At 8-6, Chicago holds a half-game lead on the Green Bay Packers. The Bears have won consecutive games for just the second time this season and host the Packers to finish the regular season. A win Sunday in Philadelphia would put Chicago in a prime spot to host a playoff game.
Manning on the verge
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has a shot at two NFL records this season: Manning has 4,811 pass yards, trailing Drew Brees' record of 5,467 set in 2011. That's a distant mark. But, Manning is just three touchdowns away from Tom Brady's record of 50 regular-season passing touchdowns set in 2007. With two weeks to play, it's likely Manning takes over that record.
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