Yahoo Sports NFL senior writers Terez Paylor, Charles Robinson and Kimberley A. Martin select games this week that will leave us buzzing heading into Monday.
Dallas Cowboys at Indianapolis Colts
The suddenly unstoppable Cowboys are 5-1 since they acquired Amari Cooper. So far, the 24-year-old receiver has been worth the 2019 first-round pick Dallas surrendered.
Cooper had 10 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns last week against Philadelphia, and this week’s showdown against the high-scoring Colts is the type of game they acquired him for. At 8-5, the Cowboys are closing in on a playoff berth, but they’ll need to score plenty of points to hold off the 7-6 Colts, who have a resurgent Andrew Luck at quarterback and one of the league’s better play-callers in Frank Reich.
This is a game made for offense, and with the Colts very much in the AFC playoff picture, you can bet both offenses will be calling their A-1 plays. That’s a win for fans, who should be treated to a fun watch this weekend.
Cowboys at Colts
This might as well be a playoff game, given the stakes. While a loss to the Colts doesn’t devastate the Cowboys, it could be the pivot point that makes or breaks a potential (and almost unbelievable) 11-5 finish. Not to mention entering the postseason as the hottest team in the NFC.
As for the Colts, they’ve got to have this one to keep from falling behind in the mashup of 7-6 teams trying to secure the last AFC wild card. Dallas has to prove it can win a big playoff-caliber game on the road and Indianapolis has to prove it can beat a Super Bowl-caliber defense. Buckle up.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
At 5-7-1, the Packers’ playoff hopes are slim. But not entirely dead.
Anything is possible when Aaron Rodgers is your quarterback, and if Green Bay can pull off the improbable — close out the regular season on a four-game winning streak — they’ll be in the hunt for an NFC wild-card spot.
Rodgers first has to get through the Bears, who are more than eager to disrupt the Packers’ plans. He struck a nerve with members of the Chicago defense when he referenced Soldier Field as a “place we’ve won a number of times.”
The Bears (9-4) certainly didn’t need any added motivation. If they win, they’ll clinch their first division title since 2010.
Last week, they suffocated the Los Angeles Rams’ explosive offense and now they’re eager to shut down their longtime rival. But here’s a stat Bears fans won’t like: Rodgers & Co. have won eight straight at Soldier Field.
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