LOS ANGELES--At 2-13, the Houston Texans have the inside track on the No. 1 overall pick in May's NFL draft.
But if the Texans were to win at Tennessee on Sunday, and Washington were to lose at the New York Giants, the Redskins, who had a weaker schedule, would get that prime pick and the honor of turning it over to the St. Louis Rams as part of the Robert Griffin III deal.
For the 11th year in a row, the league will have at least one team go from worst to first in consecutive seasons. Either Carolina or New Orleans will win the NFC South, and both of those teams were in a three-way tie for last in the division in 2012. Philadelphia has a chance to win the NFC East after being in the cellar last season.
One of Peyton Manning's favorite receivers, Baltimore's Brandon Stokley, is retiring after suffering what is reported to be his 13th concussion. The strangest part? He wasn't hit in the head, but the chest, and that jarred him enough to cause it.
The Dallas Cowboys signed Jon Kitna this week to figure into their quarterback mix. He had been teaching math at Lincoln High in Tacoma, Wash. He told play-by-play man Brad Sham that he will donate the $53,000 he'll be paid to the school. That's a cool teacher.
Buffalo won't reach the playoffs, but at least the Bills are finally getting more productivity out of their big-money defensive front. With a game to play, they have 20 more sacks than last season.
Miami's Ryan Tannehill was sacked seven times by the Bills last Sunday. Dolphins tackle Bryant McKinnie said defenses are getting a jump on the snap because Tannehill has been too predictable with his cadence.
Hard to overstate how weird it is that, heading into Week 17, no NFC team has clinched its division.
Who's the only active player signed by late Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh? Defensive end Andre Carter, picked up by New England last week.
Eli Manning and Matthew Stafford have something in common other than being fellow No. 1 picks and being out of the playoffs. They are the only quarterbacks in their divisions who will have started every game this season.
The five teams with the most players on injured reserve: Green Bay, 16; Indianapolis and Carolina, 15; Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, 14.
Arizona's Bruce Arians has an outside chance of winning coach-of-the-year honors in consecutive seasons. The last coach to do that was Washington's Joe Gibbs in 1982 and '83. If Arians wins, he would be the first to win in consecutive years with different franchises.
Before he was injured, the Packers' Aaron Rodgers had 15 touchdown passes in eight games. His replacements -- Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn -- had eight in seven-plus games.
All the focus, including that of Las Vegas, has been on Rodgers' status. But even if they were to get to the playoffs, the Packers would face an insanely tough postseason path without linebacker Clay Matthews.
Pittsburgh kicker Shaun Suisham has seven tackles on kickoff returns this season, including two last week against Green Bay. That's the kind of stat a coach hates to see.
San Diego has the AFC's longest winning streak, at three games. San Francisco leads the league with five in a row.
Sunday could be Maurice Jones-Drew's last game with Jacksonville. He's scheduled to hit the open market along with several other running backs, among them Oakland's Darren McFadden, Denver's Knowshon Moreno, Minnesota's Toby Gerhart, and Indianapolis' Donald Brown.
Washington ended the 2012 regular season with a seven-game winning streak. The Redskins are on a seven-game skid.
New England, Cincinnati and New Orleans are 7-0 at home, each with a finale Sunday in front of a friendly crowd. Last season, Seattle was the only team to be 8-0 at home.
Minnesota was the only team to be winless on the road this season. But the Vikings didn't lose all of those games. They tied Green Bay at Lambeau Field.
Pittsburgh is 16-1 against Cleveland with Ben Roethlisberger starting at quarterback. The Browns haven't picked off any of his passes in the last three meetings.
For only the second season in his career, the first being 2008, Roethlisberger will start all 16 games.
The Vikings will pull the plug on the Metrodome after Sunday's game. Literally. When the power is cut off Jan. 18, the roof will deflate.
The top 10 best-selling jerseys this season on NFLShop.com: 1. Colin Kaepernick, 2. Peyton Manning, 3. Russell Wilson, 4. Adrian Peterson, 5. Griffin, 6. Tannehill, 7. Tom Brady, 8. Rodgers, 9. J.J. Watt, and 10. Drew Brees.
If the 15 favorites were to win Sunday, and San Francisco were to beat Arizona in a pick-'em game, the first round of the playoffs would be Miami at Cincinnati, Kansas City at Indianapolis, New Orleans at Philadelphia, and San Francisco at Green Bay.
Were the favorites to win, along with Arizona, the NFC's first round would be San Francisco at Philadelphia, and New Orleans at Green Bay.
The marching bands from Rutgers and Syracuse will perform before the Super Bowl. As for the halftime show, here's one vote for the monkey riding the dog.
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