As the NFL schedule winds down, the stakes throughout the league are rapidly going up.
The Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers can all clinch their respective divisions in the coming days, while the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys can secure playoff spots of their own.
The New York Jets and Detroit Lions will cross paths in an interconference battle with surprisingly significant ramifications. Both teams are currently trying to end lengthy playoff droughts and battling to move into wild-card position … but a loss will almost certainly bury one of them Sunday. The same seems to be true of the New York Giants‘ visit to the Washington Commanders, the NFC East rivals re-engaging two weeks after a 20-20 tie in the Meadowlands.
And then there are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The only team currently leading a division with a sub-.500 record, the Bucs (6-7) need to get on track quickly if they’re to hold off the charging Carolina Panthers. But that won’t be easy with Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals, owners of an AFC-best five-game winning streak, coming to Florida’s Gulf Coast. Let’s, uh, go, Tom Brady …
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL picks Week 15: Tom Brady, Buccaneers face Bengals, Joe Burrow