Updated 12:14 a.m. ET, Sunday, Dec. 23
ATLANTA FALCONS at DETROIT LIONS on Saturday night
Normally we give you an Injury Wrap in this space on Fridays, and we will get to plenty of injuries after the jump. But with less in-flux injury news than usual this week, and a few non-injury situations worth discussing, we're broadening the scope of today's piece. Good luck to everyone in their playoff games. I've enjoyed the Danario Alexander run as much as anyone. I picked him up where I could, started him aggressively, blogged about him constantly. Until the Week 15 bagel, it was a fun and rewarding ride. But in Week 16, a one-game season, there's no time for sentimentality and future speculation. If you don't like someone's chances at points this weekend, you cut the cord. And with that in mind, Alexander is no longer part of my roster for the championship game in the Stopa Law Firm 5K League. Alexander's shutout against the Panthers last week is part of the thought process, of course. But this decision is also about three other players: Malcom Floyd, Antonio Cromartie and Philip Rivers. Floyd (ankle) went on injured reserve this week, which probably guarantees Cromartie, New York's surging corner, will be on Alexander most of Sunday. Cromartie is the No. 4 coverage corner this season according to Pro Football Focus . And I don't have a lot of confidence in the accuracy and decision making of Rivers these days; his YPA has dwindled to 6.3 over the second half, and he stands 24th in fantasy points per game at the quarterback position. Trust the Chargers passing game at your own risk, and the same goes for Alexander.
1. Three divisions — the AFC North, NFC East and NFC West — remain up for grabs. And it just so happens that there are a few head-to-head divisional matchups that will help shape those races occurring in Week 16. None are bigger than Bengals-Steelers in Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon and 49ers-Seahawks in Seattle Sunday night. Although the Eagles are out of it (like way, way out of it), for the second season in a row they can serve as Week 16 spoilers. Last season, they stunned the Cowboys in Dallas; this year, they have the first-place Redskins in D.C. ...
CLINCHED: New England (AFC East); Denver (AFC West); Houston (AFC South); Baltimore (playoff spot).
 1. San Francisco 49ers: All four of Kaepernick’s TD passes traveled 24 yards or longer.  2. Denver Broncos: Hard to tell by the score, but they had four three-and-outs in first half. 3. New England Patriots: Ridley’s ball-security issues returned in rare December loss. 4. Houston Texans: Amazing to think Sunday was J.J. Watt’s best game of the season. 5. Atlanta Falcons: Silenced many doubters, but still will have some until a postseason win. 6. Green Bay Packers: Almost an offseason cast-off, James Jones grabs three TD catches. 7. ...
The Ravens are in the playoffs, but they hardly look like contenders. Meanwhile, the Steelers and Bengals prepare for the biggest game of their seasons. We explore in the AFC North "Spin cycle."
Updated 11 a.m. ET, Thursday, Dec. 13
Updated 11 a.m. ET, Thursday, Dec. 13
The playoffs are drawing near, and so much is at stake in what appears to be a tremendous slate of games in Week 15. Here are the biggest story lines in the week's action, which really boils down to one outstanding day:1. Might want to skip the holiday shopping this Sunday. Few weeks in the NFL season — in any season — feature this much drama, this many story lines. ...

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