Jared Goff (right) and the Rams defeated Dak Prescott (left) and the Cowboys in the playoffs last season in Los Angeles. In Week 15, the teams meet in Arlington, Texas. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week 15 matchups: Your ultimate insiders' guide

Yardbarker's Sam Robinson and Michael Nania go deep inside NFL games each week, focusing on key numbers and roster issues. 

GLOSSARY: 

DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average): A method of evaluating teams, units or players in a comparative fashion. It takes every play during the NFL season and compares each to a league-average baseline based on situation.

EPA (Estimated Points Added): The measure of a play’s impact on the score of the game. It represents the difference between a team's "expected points value" (the net point value a team can expect given a particular combination of down, distance and field position) before and after a play. 

Net Yards Per Pass Attempt: Passing yards per attempt adjusted for sack yardage. 


SCROLL DOWN OR GO TO YOUR GAME: NYJ-Balt. | N.E.-Cinc. | T.B.-Detroit | Houston-Tenn. | Denver-K.C. | Miami-NYG | Phila.-Wash.| Seattle-Carolina | Chicago-G.B. | Minn.-LAC | Jax-Oak. | Cleve.-Arizona | LAR-Dallas | Atlanta-S.F. | Buff.-Pitt | Indy-N.O.

THURSDAY

N.Y. Jets (5-8) at Baltimore (11-2), 8:20 p.m. ET

Inside Jets numbers: The Jets are as well-equipped to stop Baltimore's rushing attack as anybody, leading the NFL in fewest yards per rush attempt allowed (3.0) and rush defense EPA. New York has not allowed the opponent's lead back to rush for over 4.0 yards per carry since Week 4. 

Inside Jets roster: Le’Veon Bell has not surpassed 75 rushing yards once this season and is on pace for 740 – a number that would place him 41st in Jets history. Considering Adam Gase was lukewarm about the RB’s $13 million-per-year deal and was displeased about Bell’s bowling the night before he was an illness-related scratch, trade rumors make sense. While no team will pay a Trent Richardson-level price (a first-round pick) for Bell, his $8.5M and $8M 2020 and ’21 base salaries are not onerous. New Jets GM Joe Douglas might find a promising market for the disappointing acquisition.

Inside Ravens numbers: The Ravens are 7-1 against teams that have a winning record, giving them three more victories than any other team (San Francisco and Seattle have four each). Each of Baltimore's past four games were victories over winning teams, and it is the defense powering this stretch of dominance. Baltimore has allowed fewer than 200 passing yards in five consecutive games. 

Inside Ravens roster: Lamar Jackson has improved significantly since last season, but a familiar pattern has surfaced on an otherwise flawless offense. Jackson rendered John Brown and Michael Crabtree irrelevant last season, and the 2019 MVP frontrunner has similarly not used his wideouts much as of late. Marquise Brown has topped 50 yards once since Week 2, and Willie Snead has not exceeded 20 in a game since Week 5. The Bills limiting the Ravens’ vaunted ground game showed the AFC favorites will probably need more from their wideouts against top-tier defenses.

SUNDAY

New England (10-3) at Cincinnati (1-12), 1 p.m. ET

Inside Patriots numbers: New England has scored under 24 points in five consecutive games, the longest streak in the Brady/Belichick era (since 2001). The passing attack cannot push the ball downfield, as Brady is averaging a terrible 5.6 yards per attempt over this span (29th among qualifiers, better than only Gardner Minshew and Mason Rudolph).

Inside Patriots roster: Sony Michel enjoyed a strong 2018 playoff run, but he’s not justifying New England’s first-round investment this season. At a time when the Pats are desperate for chain-movers, Michel is averaging 3.5 yards per carry and has failed to surpass 45 rushing yards in four of the Pats’ past five games. The team’s issues up front have no doubt contributed to this, but the run downs-only player’s inconsistency is part of the Patriots’ offensive crisis.

Inside Bengals numbers: Cincinnati's red-zone offense is atrocious, ranking 31st (36.8 percent touchdown rate). That will be a major detriment against New England's sixth-ranked red-zone defense (50 percent).

Inside Bengals roster: Considering the totality of Joe Mixon’s third season, he will enter an interesting offseason. The Bengals can extend Mixon after this season, but their offensive line futility has limited the would-be standout back, with the ex-Oklahoma runner entering Week 15 with a 3.8-yard average after ending last season at 4.9 per carry. But Mixon is probably Cincinnati’s most talented back since Corey Dillon, and his 146-yard day in Cleveland illustrates he can probably push for a near-top-market extension despite this seemingly lost year. One season remains on Mixon’s rookie contract.

Tampa Bay (6-7) at Detroit (3-9-1), 1 p.m. ET

Inside Bucs numbers: Jameis Winston is on pace for 28 interceptions, which would be the most in one season since Brett Favre tossed 29 in 2005. However, he averages 9.8 yards per attempt over his past three games (best in the NFL over that span). 

Inside Bucs roster: A reality in which Winston leads the NFL in touchdown passes and interceptions is in play, which will produce one of the most unusual extension cases in years. Winston’s positives, 67-year-old Bruce Arians’ unlikely desire to start over at quarterback and GM Jason Licht still standing four-plus years after drafting the inconsistent QB point to a new deal. The Bucs have a $25 million-plus franchise tag to deploy, though they may need that for Shaq Barrett. A Winston extension could price in at between Nick Foles’ $22M-average annual value deal and the true franchise passers’ values.

Inside Lions numbers: The Lions are atrocious under QBs Jeff Driskel and David Blough, going 0-5 and averaging 16.6 points per game. With Matthew Stafford in the lineup, Detroit averaged 25.5 points. 

Inside Lions roster: Stafford’s injury will likely buy Matt Patricia a third season in Detroit, but the second-year coach is 9-14-1 with the strong-armed passer in the lineup. Jim Caldwell never finished worse than 7-9 with the Lions; his successor will be 2-for-2 in such conclusions. The Lions spent big to upgrade their pass rush and secondary yet still rank 24th in defensive DVOA. Patricia poses as a stealth Black Monday candidate, and his work through nearly two seasons has an experienced roster well off course compared to where Caldwell had the team two years ago.


Titans QB Ryan Tannehill Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Houston (8-5) at Tennessee (8-5), 1 p.m. ET

Inside Texans numbers: Houston has serious questions to answer defensively, as its ranks 28th in points allowed per drive (2.24). The Texans are awful in the clutch, ranking 31st in the red zone (67.5 percent) and 32nd on third down (48.5 percent). 

Inside Texans roster: After Lamar Miller’s season-nullifying injury, Houston possessed the NFL’s thinnest backfield corps. But the team turned that into a strength, thanks to a slight overpay in a trade for Duke Johnson (5.2 yards per carry) and a gem of a trade for Carlos Hyde (4.6). The latter has 973 rushing yards in 13 games and is on pace to eclipse the best of Miller’s Houston seasons. The Chiefs have done little on the ground since trading Hyde for Texans backup tackle Martinas Rankin, but the Texans have this dimension covered as they attempt to shake off a bizarre upset loss.

Inside Titans numbers: Tennessee has been spectacular offensively since Ryan Tannehill took over, averaging 28.6 points. The Titans have scored a touchdown on 35.1 percent of drives since Tannehill's first start in Week 7, second best behind only the Ravens over that span.

Inside Titans roster: Tannehill’s stunning success will create an offseason issue for the Titans, who now have three marquee free agents in Tannehill, Derrick Henry and right tackle Jack Conklin. Tannehill’s stretch has given Tennessee its best passing run since Steve McNair’s prime, and if he can exit this season without more injury trouble, he will become an attractive commodity. The Titans have begun negotiations with the 31-year-old passer, and it’s imperative the team extend him before the March 10 franchise tag deadline. The Titans need their tag for Henry, with the running back tag price far lower than a QB tender.

Denver (5-8) at Kansas City (9-4), 1 p.m. ET

Inside Broncos numbers: Rookie Drew Lock's 111.4 passer rating is the best by a Broncos quarterback over the first two career starts. Denver has done a great job keeping Lock clean, as he has been sacked just once over his two starts.

Inside Broncos roster: Denver has searched for Julius Thomas’ successor since his March 2015 exit, and the franchise’s biggest tight end investment in decades (Noah Fant at No. 20 overall) has paid off. The first-round pick has shown rare run-after-catch skills, and his big games with Lock and Brandon Allen throwing to him point to the 2020 Broncos’ offense featuring him as Courtland Sutton’s top complement. Fant is on pace to become the fourth rookie tight end this century to surpass 600 receiving yards, joining Jeremy Shockey, Evan Engram and ex-Seahawk John Carlson.

Inside Chiefs numbers: The defense is coming alive, allowing only 14 points per game over its past three outings. Takeaways are a huge key, as the Chiefs have racked up eight of them over this three-game defensive hot stretch.

Inside Chiefs roster: Kansas City has allocated at least one lucrative veteran contract to every defensive position group except cornerback, where rookie-deal players Kendall Fuller and Charvarius Ward (and Bashaud Breeland’s low-end veteran pact) reside. This group has developed, however, and won its battles with both Oakland and New England’s receiving corps. The Chiefs rate as DVOA’s No. 6 pass defense. Kansas City should still catch flak for trading Marcus Peters for second- and fourth-round picks, but the group it has assembled is undeniably better than the one it took to the 2018 playoffs.

Miami (3-10) at N.Y. Giants (2-11), 1 p.m. ET

Inside Dolphins numbers: The Dolphins entered Week 14 as the fourth-best red zone offense, but they fell to 16th after going 0-for-6 against the Jets. The loss of WR DeVante Parker midway through the game was a big negative, as Parker has four red-zone touchdowns since Week 6 (tied for fourth most over that span). 

Inside Dolphins roster: Miami’s last chance to land the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft hinges on Brian Flores’ pesky team allowing Eli Manning one last home win. If the Dolphins want to stop other teams from jumping into the top spot where non-Joe Burrow quarterbacks could be drafted, they need to own this selection. It has taken the No. 2 or No. 3 slot to acquire the draft’s second-best quarterback prospect in three of the past five years, and with the Redskins also 3-10 and the 3-9-1 Lions and Cardinals in freefall, the odds suddenly could be against the NFL’s least talented team.

Inside Giants numbers: Eli Manning started hot in his return game Monday night, but ultimately he could not spark the Giants' offense, which scored only 17 points and went 2-for-12 on third down in Philadelphia. On the plus side, the Eli-led Giants offense recorded its first game of the season without a turnover. 

Inside Giants roster: GM Dave Gettleman seems likely to be retained, despite his controversial moves and his coaching hire Pat Shurmur losing nine straight games. The embattled exec can salvage this nightmare season if the Giants land the No. 2 pick. This Dolphins contest would otherwise represent one of the season’s most uninteresting games, but with Big Blue passing on defensive end Josh Allen to take Daniel Jones last year, the prospect of backing into a better edge-rushing prospect in Chase Young a year later is certainly interesting. A win here, considering the Redskins’ position, may nix that reality.


Eagles tight end Zach Ertz  Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia (6-7) at Washington (3-10), 1 p.m. ET

Inside Eagles numbers: TE Zach Ertz has stepped up as Philadelphia's receivers have gone down, catching 42 passes for 403 yards (80.6 per game) and four touchdowns over his past five games. Ertz ranks seventh in the NFL with 79 receptions, which leads all tight ends. 

Inside Eagles roster: Philadelphia’s wide receiver situation is the much-hyped team’s biggest problem. Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are out of the picture until 2020, and third-round rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has caught eight passes for a team with plenty of playing time available. The Eagles ended Monday with ex-college quarterback-turned-practice squad-veteran Greg Ward playing a key role. This problem becomes more complex soon, with the now-onerous contracts of a soon-to-be 33-year-old Jackson and almost-30 Jeffery set to anchor Philly’s 2020 payroll.

Inside Redskins numbers: Since Week 6, the defense has forced a turnover on 14.5 percent of drives (eighth best). DE Ryan Kerrigan has picked it up after a rocky start, posting 11 pressures and 3.5 sacks over his past three games. 

Inside Redskins roster: During his brief window of health, Derrius Guice looked like a potential standout. If healthy, he will be back to reprise his role as Washington’s starting running back next season. But the second-year back’s latest injury – an MCL sprain – should force the Redskins to carry an insurance policy next year, possibly leading to another Adrian Peterson season. The soon-to-be 35-year-old back is under contract through 2020 at $2.25 million and has insisted he does not plan to retire at season’s end.

Seattle (10-3) at Carolina (5-8), 1 p.m. ET

Inside Seahawks numbers: Seattle has lost three games by more than eight points. All three defeats came against a winning team (New Orleans, Baltimore, L.A. Rams), a worrying sign as Seattle prepares for the playoffs. 

Inside Seahawks roster: While Jadeveon Clowney has flashed at key junctures, the trade acquisition has not moved the needle for Seattle’s defense. The Seahawks, who as recently as 2017 rolled with a Michael Bennett-Cliff Avril-Frank Clark trio, rank 29th in sacks (23) and total defense. No Seahawk has more than three sacks, and 2018 inside-rushing standout Jarran Reed has 1.5 since returning from his six-game suspension. Clowney, Reed and mid-offseason flier Ziggy Ansah are 2020 free agents.

Inside Panthers numbers: The Panthers have allowed league-worst marks of 24 rushing touchdowns and 5.3 yards per rush attempt. Their 24 rushing scores allowed is fifth worst through a team's first 13 games in the Super Bowl era (since 1966), and the worst since the 2000 Cardinals..

Inside Panthers roster: Carolina’s four-year, $54 million extension for LB Shaq Thompson checks off a key offseason task early, but it creates an issue. Luke Kuechly entered this season underpaid, with his $12.4M-per-year deal well off the new market’s pace set by C.J. Mosley’s $17M-average annual value deal and Bobby Wagner’s $18M-per-year contract. A future Hall of Famer and All-Decade lock, Kuechly is now the second-highest-paid linebacker on his own team. Despite Kuechly being under contract through 2021, the 28-year-old star should force the Panthers to rectify this in the 2020 offseason.

 Chicago (7-6) at Green Bay (10-3), 1 p.m. ET

Inside Bears numbers: Chicago has been excellent defensively, allowing the fifth-fewest points per drive (1.54). It has allowed 24 points or fewer in 12 of 13 games. 

Inside Bears roster: Chicago is now down both of its upper-echelon inside linebackers, with Roquan Smith landing on IR after a torn pectoral injury. The Bears have been without Danny Trevathan for a month, and while head coach Matt Nagy has not yet declared eight-year vet’s season over, Trevathan has not practiced since suffering a significant elbow injury. Kevin Pierre-Louis will join Nick Kwiatkoski in Chicago’s starting lineup for a do-or-die game in Green Bay. The former has played on four teams since being a fourth-round Seahawks pick in 2014 and has made one career start – a 2015 game with Seattle.

Inside Packers numbers: Green Bay's 5.8 percent turnover rate is second best, behind only New Orleans. Since Week 7, the Packers have two turnovers, fewest in the league over that span. 

Inside Packers roster: Green Bay’s edge-rushing Smiths, Za’Darius and Preston, have justified their high prices with 21.5 combined sacks. But after a defense-powered start, the Packers now more closely resemble the offense-dependent teams they’ve deployed for most of the 2010s. Mike Pettine’s unit has dropped to 26th in pass-defense DVOA and ranks 21st in rushing yards allowed. The Packers have thrown money and first- and second-round draft picks at their pass defense over the past two offseasons, and to avoid a sobering offseason assessment, their defense must bounce back soon.


Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota (9-4) at L.A. Chargers (5-8), 4:05 p.m. ET

Inside Vikings numbers: The offense has emerged as one of the league's best, ranking second in the red zone (68.2 percent) and fourth in points per drive (2.39). Kirk Cousins and Stefon Diggs have spearheaded an elite passing attack, which ranks second in net yards per attempt (7.6), behind only Dallas (7.7). 

Inside Vikings roster: Danielle Hunter’s season-high three sacks Sunday made the 25-year-old defensive end the youngest player to reach 50 for a career. Of all the extensions the Vikings completed over the past three years and change, the Hunter deal looks like the best of the bunch. GM Rick Spielman authorized a $14.4 million-per-year payment to Hunter before his 2018 contract year, and the deal came two months before Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack’s $23M-average annual value-plus pacts reset the pass rusher market. Hunter, who has three 12-sack seasons, is signed through 2023 at an amazingly team-friendly rate.

Inside Chargers numbers: Despite their 5-8 record, the Chargers' plus-38 point differential is sixth best in the AFC and 12th best in the NFL. Los Angeles has struggled to win close games, but it has been solid on both sides of the ball, ranking ninth in points per drive (2.19) and 13th in points allowed per drive (1.83). 

Inside Chargers roster: Amid a lost season, the Bolts have seen positive signs from rookie linebacker Drue Tranquill. The fourth-round rookie has usurped Denzel Perryman as the team’s starting middle ‘backer and made 49 tackles (four for loss) despite being a first-stringer for three games. Perryman was sent home before the Chargers’ blowout of the Jaguars, and the fifth-year veteran looms as a possible 2020 cap casualty. Los Angeles could save $6.5 million by releasing the injury-prone defender.

Jacksonville (4-9) at Oakland (6-7), 4:05 p.m. ET

Inside Jaguars numbers: All five of Jacksonville's losses over its five-game skid have been by 17 points or more. The Jags' minus-117 point differential since Week 9 is by far the worst in the NFL over that span, 50 points worse than the Raiders'.

Inside Jaguars roster: Austin Ekeler’s 100-yard rushing, 100-yard receiving day knocked Jacksonville’s once-feared defense down another peg. A year after ranking as DVOA’s No. 6 defense (and two years after sporting the NFL’s best unit), the current Jaguars sit 29th. They are 31st against the run, despite still deploying 2017 starters Calais Campbell, Abry Jones and Yannick Ngakoue up front, along with 2018 first-round pick Taven Bryan and ’19 first-rounder Josh Allen. Marcell Dareus is on IR, but with the Jags being able to save $20 million by cutting him in 2020, count on him being gone. It’s incredible how quickly this operation fell apart.

Inside Raiders numbers: Oakland's is cold, averaging 11 points, 298.7 yards, and two turnovers over its past three games. Derek Carr has reverted to his conservative ways of old, averaging 10.2 yards per completion over the losing streak (league average: 11.4).

Inside Raiders roster: With the run game probably Oakland’s best facet around which to build, it would seem illogical to trot out the centerpiece of that group after he admitted to playing through a fractured shoulder. Risking rookie Josh Jacobs, who took a painkilling injection Sunday before being ruled out, to move closer to .500 is ill-advised. The Raiders have a capable backup in DeAndre Washington, who profiles as a buy-low free agent candidate due to sporadic productivity when given time during his four-year Oakland run.

Cleveland (6-7) at Arizona (3-9-1), 4:05 p.m. ET

Inside Browns numbers: Baker Mayfield ranks last among qualified quarterbacks in passer rating at 77.6 (league average 91.2). Odell Beckham's production continues to dwindle, as he is posting career-lows in receiving yards per game (64.9), receptions per game (4.5), touchdowns per game (0.15), and catch rate (54.6 percent).

Inside Browns roster: Cleveland management signed up for this, so it should be little surprise Beckham has voiced frustration given how poorly his season has gone. The superstar talent has played hurt and appears to want no part of Cleveland; he avoided northeast Ohio largely until training camp this year. If Beckham attempts an NBA-style ultimatum, the Browns have a unique trade chip – a contract with no guaranteed money left – even if the 27-year-old’s stock is down. But Beckham's status is yet another black mark for the Freddie Kitchens regime.

Inside Cardinals numbers: The offense has been dormant since its bye week, averaging 12 points, 217 yards, and two turnovers over a pair of losses to the elite Rams and Steelers defenses. However, Kyler Murray's accomplishments have him poised for success, as his average of 235.4 passing yards per game is on track to be the sixth most by a rookie (min. 14 starts), behind Carson Wentz, Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, Baker Mayfield, and Andrew Luck. 

Inside Cardinals roster: GM Steve Keim’s three first-round picks prior to Murray have produced wild misfires, with Haason Reddick’s descent following Josh Rosen and Robert Nkemdiche exits from the lineup. The Cards initially turned Reddick into a part-time player, after benching the linebacker midseason. But the 2017 No. 13 overall pick played a combined six defensive snaps over the past two games. The Cardinals will not pick up his fifth-year option in May, and Keim’s recent Round 1 mistakes have undercut the seventh-year GM’s second- and third-round success.


Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has failed to produce more than 24 points in any of the past three games -- all Dallas losses. David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

L.A. Rams (8-5) at Dallas (6-7), 4:25 p.m. ET

Inside Rams numbers: Jared Goff is back on track, averaging over 9.0 yards per pass attempt in three of his past four contests. Robert Woods has been Goff's favorite target; over the last three weeks, he leads the NFL in targets (36) and receiving yards (367). 

Inside Rams roster: After a nondescript three-plus seasons, Tyler Higbee has become a key weapon for Sean McVay’s retooled offense. In shifting from his tried-and-true three-wideout looks to more double-tight end sets as this season’s progressed, McVay has seen his blocking tight end break out for 223 yards over the past two games. Filling in for the injured Gerald Everett as Los Angeles’ top pass-catching tight end, Higbee has authored a fourth-year emergence to help explain why the Rams extended the former fourth-round pick in September.

Inside Cowboys numbers: Dallas is 0-5 against teams ranked in the top-12 of scoring defense per drive, including losses in each of the past three weeks. The Cowboys averaged only 18.8 points in those games, versus 30.0 per game in all others. The Rams enter Week 15 ranked sixth in fewest points allowed per drive (1.63), having held opponents to 17 points or fewer in six of their past seven games. 

Inside Cowboys roster: Over the past 32 years, Dallas has seen just one kicker – Dan Bailey – make it through more than three full seasons with the team. The team cutting 60-yard field goal maven Brett Maher, who was shaky from most other parts of the field, continues a trend that predates Jimmy Johnson’s tenure. Tom Landry-era kicker Rafael Septien was the Cowboys’ previous long-term specialist before Bailey, and Maher (20-for-30 on field goals this season) joined the parade of short-term legs to come through Dallas.

Atlanta (4-9) at San Francisco (11-2), 4:25 p.m. ET

Inside Falcons numbers: After recording four takeaways over their first nine games, the Falcons have collected 10 takeaways over their past four. Since returning from their bye in Week 10, the Falcons have been one of the better defenses in the NFL, allowing the fourth-lowest touchdown rate (14.8 percent).

Inside Falcons roster: Not that it matters much at this point, but Atlanta has gone from its elite Julio Jones-Mohamed Sanu-Calvin Ridley receiver trio to Jones and spare parts after the Sanu trade and Ridley’s season-ending injury. Ridley’s sophomore campaign, however, showed he can be a viable Jones wingman. The 2018 first-round pick has 1,687 yards and 17 touchdown catches in two seasons, with his 66.6-yard average besting his rookie-year mark by 15 yards. Given the trouble the Falcons are dealing with at many other positions, it helps they are solidified at wideout.

Inside 49ers numbers: The 49ers are not just a defensive team — they are proving they can score with the best of them as well. San Francisco is third in points per drive (2.45), ranking third on third down (45.9 percent), fourth in net yards per pass attempt (7.4), and 10th in yards per rush attempt (4.6).

Inside 49ers roster: With games against the Rams and Seahawks upcoming, the 49ers have little margin for error but will need to navigate that stretch without key starters. Dee Ford (again) and Richard Sherman may miss the rest of the regular season with hamstring injuries, and center Weston Richburg is out for the season. Ex-Falcons guard starter Ben Garland will take over at center on a 49ers line that has dealt with starter unavailability throughout the season. While the team has won without Ford as well, Sherman was nearly back to his All-Pro form and will be difficult to replace.

Buffalo (9-4) at Pittsburgh (8-5), 8:20 p.m. ET

Inside Bills numbers: The defense continues to play at an elite level, just having held the Ravens to season-lows in rushing yards (118) and total yards (257). While they are ranked second in fewest points allowed per drive (1.29), the Bills can still improve in the red zone, where they are ranked 20th (58.8 percent). 

Inside Bills roster: After being a trade candidate for years, Shaq Lawson has become Buffalo’s most productive edge rusher in his contract year. Although the former first-round pick remains an off-the-bench player, he has 5.5 sacks and lately has played more than starter Trent Murphy. Lawson’s 15 quarterback hits lead the Bills, and although the team declined his fifth-year option in May, the Clemson alum is making a case to be a free-agency priority for a team with a murky edge defender situation.

Inside Steelers numbers: Mike Tomlin's pass rush is ferocious, leading the NFL in quarterback hits (96) and ranking second in sack rate (9.8 percent). DE T.J. Watt is having a season worthy of Defensive Player of the Year consideration. He is tied for the league lead in quarterback hits (29) and ranks fourth in sacks (12.5) and pressures (70).

Inside Steelers roster: Sunday night will feature a showcase for one family’s genes, with all three of the Edmunds brothers – Terrell, Trey and Tremaine – set to suit up in Pittsburgh. The Steelers employ the oldest of ex-tight end Ferrell Edmunds’ sons, fullback Trey Edmunds, and drafted middle-child Terrell in the 2018 first round. Both Terrell and 21-year-old Bills linebacker Tremaine have been two-season starters. While Minkah Fitzpatrick has been the headline-garnering Steelers safety, Terrell has surpassed his rookie-year tackle total in 13 games with 83 and looks like a long-term starter.

MONDAY

Indianapolis (6-7) at New Orleans (10-3), 8:15 p.m. ET

Inside Colts numbers: Jacoby Brissett has been mediocre over his four games since returning from injury, posting 6.8 yards per attempt and a 3.2 percent touchdown pass rate (league average 4.5 percent). The offense has lacked explosiveness under Brissett, who has averaged no more than 8.4 yards per attempt in any one of his 11 fully played starts this season. 

Inside Colts roster: Chase McLaughlin’s work the rest of the way could force the franchise to make a tough decision in the offseason. Adam Vinatieri’s season-ending knee surgery has not yet deterred the future Hall of Famer from planning to attempt a 25th NFL season. The soon-to-be 47-year-old kicker is not signed beyond 2019 but has inked six Colts contracts – the most recent a one-year, $3.9 million deal – and was a reliable performer from 2006-18 in Indianapolis. Vinatieri has not kicked well in 2019. Would the Colts opt to bring him back if McLaughlin, who can be controlled through 2022, fares well this month?

Inside Saints numbers: Cameron Jordan has been dominant for the defense, leading defensive ends with 13.5 sacks and ranking second in the NFL with 73 pressures. Jordan's efforts have helped power the Saints to eighth in sack rate (8.0 percent), fifth in pressure rate (26.5 percent), and fourth in quarterback hits (90). 

Inside Saints roster: With New Orleans’ defense – the 49ers shootout notwithstanding – performing like one of the NFL’s better stoppage groups, this might be the most complete team Sean Payton has fielded. The Saints’ offense has also benefited from rookie return man Deonte Harris, a 5-foot-6 Division II product added as a UDFA in May. Harris’ 213 all-purpose yards Sunday added to his resume, one that includes an NFL-most 269 punt-return yards and a touchdown. Succeeding fellow diminutive return man Tommylee Lewis, Harris has given the Saints shorter fields this season.

Michael Nania writes about the NFL, focusing mainly on statistical analysis. His work can also be found at Gang Green Nation and Elite Sports New York. On Twitter, Michael can be found @Michael_Nania.

Sam Robinson is a Kansas City, Mo.-based writer who mostly writes about the NFL. He has covered sports for nearly 10 years. Boxing, the Royals and Pandora stations featuring female rock protagonists are some of his go-tos. Occasionally interesting tweets @SRobinson25.



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