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3 Non-Vikings Games to Watch in Week 16

The penultimate week of the 2019 regular season is here, and there are plenty of games with playoff implications littered throughout the schedule.

Entering Week 16, four of six playoff spots have been claimed in each respective conference. That number could change Saturday, Sunday and/or Monday and could include the Vikings punching their ticket to the postseason dance.

Minnesota can get into the playoffs with a win Monday night over Green Bay. But, as you'll find out below, the Vikings may already be in the postseason by the time Border Battle No. 119 kicks off.

There are three Saturday games on the slate in Week 16, with one of the utmost importance to the Vikings. There are a dozen games on Sunday and one on Monday.

Here's a breakdown of the Rams-49ers, Saints-Titans and Cowboys-Eagles games:


Los Angeles Rams (8-6) at San Francisco (11-3)

7:15 p.m. (CT) Saturday | Levi's Stadium | NFL Network

Outlook: The scenario is simple here for the Vikings: a Los Angeles loss means Minnesota is in the playoffs. The Rams need to win out and hope the Vikings lose out in order to be a Wild Card team. While Los Angeles is fighting for its playoff lives, San Francisco has already clinched a playoff spot. But with the 49ers still hoping for a No. 1 seed and an NFC West title, San Francisco can stay in the race for both of those things while also eliminating a division rival from playoff contention. The 49ers close out the regular season with a Week 17 road game against the Seahawks.

Rams Notes

The Rams are averaging 23.7 points per game in 2019, which ranks 13th in the NFL. Los Angeles averaged 32.9 points per game in 2018, which was second.

Los Angeles is 4-3 both at home and on the road in 2019. The Rams are at the 49ers in Week 16 and finish the regular season at home against the Cardinals.

The Rams defense has struggled in the red zone, having allowed opponents to score touchdowns on 63.64 percent on their trips inside the 20-yard line. That mark ranks 29th in the NFL.

49ers Notes

The 49ers rank second in the NFL in rushing yards per game (147.0), total rushing attempts (451) and total rushing yards (2,058). They are tied for third — with the Vikings — with 18 rushing touchdowns.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has completed 295 of 427 passes (69.1 percent) for 3,445 yards with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His passer rating is 102.8.

San Francisco had four players — defensive end Nick Bosa, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, tight end George Kittle and cornerback Richard Sherman — selected to the 2020 Pro Bowl.


New Orleans (11-3) at Tennessee (8-6)

Noon (CT) Sunday | Nissan Stadium | FOX

Outlook: The Saints have already clinched the NFC South and are playing for postseason seeding purposes. New Orleans can still get any of the top three seeds. The Saints finish the regular season at the Panthers in Week 17. Tennessee is still alive for the AFC South, especially because the Titans play the division-leading Texans in Week 17. The Titans are also in the mix for a Wild Card spot with Pittsburgh (8-6).

Saints Notes

Drew Brees is now the NFL's all-time leader with 541 passing touchdowns and 76,884 passing yards. Brees set the touchdown mark on Monday night.

The Saints have won double-digit games in three straight seasons, and have reached that mark eight times since 2006.

New Orleans is 5-1 on the road in 2019, scoring an average of 25.2 points per game away from home.

Titans Notes

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill ranks second in the NFL with a passer rating of 114.6 in 2019. Tannehill's previous career-best passer rating was 93.5.

Running back Derrick Henry has set new career highs with 1,329 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Henry has now recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

If the Titans win out, they will have their first season of double-digit wins since 2008. Tennessee went 13-3 that season.


Dallas (7-7) at Philadelphia (7-7)

3:25 p.m. (CT) Sunday | Lincoln Financial Field | FOX

Outlook: We know the winner of this one at least won't have a sub-.500 record. Dallas can claim the division with a road win Sunday in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia can take the division by winning its final two games. Dallas can still win the division with a loss Sunday, but would then need a win over Washington in Week 17 coupled with a Philadelphia loss to the New York Giants. There should be plenty of drama between teams that have both been up-and-down in 2019.

Cowboys Notes

Dallas scored a season-high 44 points in a Week 15 win over the Rams. The Cowboys offense had 475 yards of offense, the fifth-best output of the season.

There hasn't been a repeat winner of the NFC East since the Eagles won in 2003 and 2004. The Cowboys can break that streak Sunday with a win.

Dallas leads the all-time series between the teams with a 69-52 record, including a 3-1 mark in the postseason.

Eagles Notes

Philadelphia is currently on a two-game win streak, its third such streak of the season. The Eagles do not have a three-game win streak in 2019.

The Eagles offense ranks second in the NFL on third downs with a success rate of 47.0 percent.

Carson Wentz has thrown seven interceptions in 14 games in 2019. He threw seven picks in 13 games played in 2017, and seven interceptions in 11 games played in 2018.