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NFL Week 14: Divisional rivals clash with playoff implications

By Hannah Brewitt, CNN

(CNN) — Week 14 of the NFL season kicked off with the New England Patriots’ Thursday Night victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The action continues on Sunday with an excellent slate of showdowns and concludes on Monday with a primetime double-header, all with playoff implications on the line.

Here’s what to look for in Week 14 of the 2023 season.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET

Week 14’s most highly-anticipated matchup features divisional rivals Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.

The NFC titans squared off just one month ago in Philadelphia where the Eagles took home a hard-fought 28-23 victory that, at the time, gave them a two-game lead in the division.

This time around, the pair will meet in Dallas as the Eagles look to get back in the win column and the Cowboys seek to extend their home winning-streak to 15 games. On the line is temporary control of the NFC East and a major step towards the NFC’s No.1 overall seed.

As the postseason quickly approaches, the stakes are higher than ever for these Super Bowl hopefuls. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy described the implications rather simply.

“It’s the Cowboys and the Eagles,” McCarthy said. “I don’t think you have to say anything more than that.”

As McCarthy pointed out, the relationship between Cowboys and the Eagles requires little explanation. The rivalry between the divisional foes stems back decades. This season, both teams have their sights set on the NFL’s biggest stage.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to play in playoff type games without playoff consequences.” McCarthy told reporters. “December football is something that you know, personally, I’ve always enjoyed. I think it’s a great indication of where you are as a team and what you need to do to get into the playoffs.”

Dallas enters this week’s matchup riding a 15-game winning streak at home and a four-game winning streak altogether. While they’ve been able to maintain positive momentum over the last month, their path hasn’t been without adversity.

Just last week, McCarthy was away from the team midweek due to an emergency appendectomy and although he expects to be on the sideline on Sunday, taking time away from the team ahead of a crucial matchup is never ideal.

In the midst of McCarthy’s absence, quarterback Dak Prescott said the team hasn’t skipped a beat and hopes to gift a win to their coach.

“These are the moments we’ve prepared for, to be honest with you,” Prescott said. “It’s not that we didn’t for all of those past games, but we understood that this is the stretch in the season when you look at the schedule that you have to be excited about.”

Philadelphia enters the matchup fresh off a dramatic 42-19 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The 2022 playoff rematch served the Eagles just their second loss of the season.

“You have to drag yourself through the mud in order to grow,” Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni said. “It’s not comfortable, but it’s necessary. But then it’s about understanding why you’re here in the first place and having that confidence going into the next game.”

Quarterback Jalen Hurts echoed those sentiments after having a season-low 57.7% completion percentage in the loss.

“We’ve definitely been challenged and stretched out in a ton of different ways,” Hurts said. “It’s about remaining resilient through it and always responding the right way, whether it’s a win or a loss.”

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m. ET

The AFC’s premier battle of the weekend sees the Kansas City Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills.

The conference rivals are no strangers to the spotlight. Back in 2020, the pair squared off in an epic AFC championship showdown that fell in favor of Kansas City. The following year, the two teams met again in the divisional round for yet another nail-biting Chiefs victory.

In both of those years, the two teams were neck-and-neck at the top of the conference for the majority of the season. This time around, circumstances look quite different.

The Chiefs still reside towards the top of the AFC with a record of 8-4, but they have not been nearly as dominant.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, however, doesn’t appear concerned.

“I’ve been on a team that was 6-4 and we won the Super Bowl,” Mahomes noted. “We have confidence every week that we’re going to find a way to win the football game. Obviously, these last few weeks we’ve lost a couple, and we understand the challenge that’s in front of us. But, at the same time, all you can do is go to work every single day and get better and give whatever you can on the football field.”

The Bills, meanwhile, have fallen to the middle of the pack at 6-6 and have struggled to win close games. Now 11th place in the AFC conference race, they are just outside the postseason picture.

“We understand what’s in front of us and what situation we’re in,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said, “but we’ve got a lot of guys in this locker room that are very excited to be back, and we have a very good feeling in this locker room right now for what we need to do.”

It’s nearly impossible to mention the Chiefs without mentioning Taylor Swift. The global superstar confirmed her relationship timeline with tight end Travis Kelce in her recent interview for Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” edition.

Now on break from her “Eras Tour,” Swift attended last week’s game in Green Bay and could be in attendance on Sunday, though neither Swift nor Kelce have publicly commented.

Across the five games the pop icon has attended this season, the Chiefs are 4-1.

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m. ET

The late afternoon slate also features an NFC West rematch between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.

The pair met just two weeks ago in Seattle. San Francisco won the matchup 31-13, led by Christian McCaffrey’s 19 carries for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Seattle’s offense crumbled under the pressure as quarterback Geno Smith was sacked six times.

While the Seahawks will look to get revenge on their divisional rival, the 49ers will look to earn their fourth straight win against Seattle. Despite San Francisco’s recent dominance, Brock Purdy says Seattle is not to be underestimated.

“It’s always a challenge when we play [Seattle] every single time,” 49ers quarterback Purdy said.

“They’re a team right now who needs to win and so do we. It’s going to be a dog fight like it always is. We respect the heck out of Seattle and anytime we play them we know it’s always going to be a dog fight.”

For both teams, injuries could play a major factor in this week’s matchup. The 49ers’ injury report lists three players as doubtful and three players as out for Sunday’s game, including defensive lineman Arik Armstead, tight end Ross Dwelley, and wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud.

The Seahawks’ injury report lists seven players as questionable, including Smith who was limited in practice this week due to a groin injury.

“He just tweaked his groin a little bit … He kind of stumbled over somebody,” head coach Pete Carroll said.

Whether or not Smith will start on Sunday could be a game time decision.



Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Rams @ Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 p.m. ET

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. ET

Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m. ET

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m. ET

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints, 1:00 p.m. ET

Houston Texans @ New York Jets,  1:00 p.m. ET

Minnesota Vikings @ Las Vegas Raiders, 4:05 p.m. ET

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m. ET

Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m. ET

Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. ET

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m. ET


Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins, 8:15 p.m. ET

Green Bay Packers  @ New York Giants, 8:15 p.m. ET

How to watch

Here’s how to catch these teams in action, from wherever you are.

Australia: NFL+, ESPN, 7Plus

Brazil: NFL+, ESPN

Canada: NFL+, CTV, TSN, RDS

Germany: NFL+, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN

Mexico: NFL+, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports

UK: NFL+, Sky Sports, ITV, Channel 5

US: NFL+, CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN, Amazon Prime

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