NFL Week 16 preview: Pittsburgh Steelers to honor Franco Harris on bittersweet day for franchise


When the Pittsburgh Steelers host the LA Raiders on Sunday, it will likely be a type of uncommon moments in sport the place the outcome gained’t actually matter.

As a substitute, ideas will probably be with Steelers legend Franco Harris who died earlier this week on the age of 72.

Harris’ demise got here simply days earlier than the fiftieth anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception,” a game-winning landing catch from Harris which led the Steelers to a well-known win over the Oakland Raiders.

The Steelers will nonetheless rejoice the anniversary but in addition honor Harris’ life by retiring his No. 32 jersey at halftime of Sunday’s recreation.

“We’re all heartbroken, but we do look forward to honoring him and his legacy this weekend,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin mentioned, per ESPN.

“And obviously, where our attention needs to be is on the preparation required to put together the type of performance that’s fitting of a great man like Franco.”

On the sphere, the Steelers will hope to maintain their slim playoff possibilities alive with one other win – the franchise has impressed currently by successful three of its final 4.

It’s an identical story for different groups across the NFL, with this promising to be an thrilling weekend of motion in the course of the Christmas interval.

For Chase Younger, Christmas will come a day early with the 23-year-old anticipated to make his long-awaited season debut for the Commanders on Saturday.

Younger hasn’t performed since he suffered a severe knee harm in November final 12 months however coach Ron Rivera says he’s excited to lastly get again amongst it in opposition to the 49ers.

“He practiced with confidence,” Rivera mentioned, per, talking about Younger’s progress.

“He showed us a willingness to stick that leg in the ground and roll off of it, plant it and cut off of it. He had a good week, so we’re pretty excited about that.”

Chase Young has not played for over a year.

The defensive finish had returned to observe final week however has been slowly ramping up his exercise after an already prolonged rehabilitation course of.

The Commanders will hope for an immediate influence from 2020’s second general draft decide as they appear to maintain their playoff hopes alive after a disappointing loss to the New York Giants on Sunday evening.

There isn’t a lot room for one more loss because the common season races to the enterprise finish.

The Eagles (13-1) and Cowboys (10-4) face off on Saturday. The stakes are excessive for these divisional rivals, with postseason positioning on the road.

The Eagles have the chance to win the NFC East and the general high seed within the NFC, due to this fact incomes a first-round bye and home-field benefit within the playoffs.

It might be a a lot greater problem for Dallas to win the NFC East. They clinched the playoffs final week, regardless of shedding to the Jacksonville Jaguars. However to win the division, they would want to not solely win on Saturday, but in addition win out the remainder of the season and see the Eagles lose their remaining video games. It’s a tall order, however not inconceivable.

The final time these groups met, the Cowboys performed with out beginning quarterback Dak Prescott. This time round, the Eagles will play with out their beginning quarterback, Jalen Hurts.

Hurts suffered a sprained shoulder throughout final week’s win over Bears. The harm shouldn’t be thought-about long-term and he’s anticipated to return for the postseason. In his absence, Gardner Minshew will take over as sign caller.

There is always interest when the Dallas Cowboys play the Philadelphia Eagles.

This recreation is a superb alternative for the Cowboys to get heading in the right direction, between having the house benefit and the good thing about going through a backup quarterback. Particularly after final week’s loss, they want this win far more than the Eagles; they want all of the momentum they’ll get within the closing weeks of the common season to hold into the playoffs.

Tune into the NFC East showdown on Saturday at 4:25 p.m. ET.

It’s going to be a nail-biting spectacle on Christmas Day with each groups seeking to preserve their wafer-thin postseason hopes alive.

The Dolphins can assure a playoff berth by successful all of their three remaining video games however go into Sunday’s conflict on the again of three consecutive defeats.

The Packers, in the meantime, are coming off back-to-back victories however their playoff future remains to be not of their fingers.

They need to win all three of their remaining video games and hope both the New York Giants or Washington Commanders slip up.

“What is the most important thing is that we’re still playing a meaningful football game on Christmas and got a chance to have a lot of things in front of us,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers informed reporters.

“We’ve got to go down and get a win, and I said a few weeks ago, we just get one, then we get another one, and things look a little bit different going into this game. And we get this one, things look a little bit different going into the next one.”

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is looking forward to the crucnh game.

The Bears (3-11) will welcome the Payments (11-3) to Chicago.

The forecast predicts under freezing temperatures, gusting winds, and harsh winter climate, which might play a significant component within the final result of this recreation. Whereas each groups are acclimated to taking part in in unfavorable situations, their gameplans need to be adjusted for the weather.

This recreation options two quarterbacks who can produce in each the run recreation and the passing recreation. Nevertheless, they’re best in reverse methods.

Bears’ quarterback Justin Fields is simpler dashing, whereas Payments’ quarterback Josh Allen has the sting within the air. With a transparent lack of weapons on the receiving finish, the Bears are going to attempt to run the ball as a lot as attainable. Their recreation on the bottom is not going to be as impacted by the heavy winds and winter climate.

The Payments, then again, won’t be able to rely as a lot on their superior passing recreation; Allen should regulate to how the winds influence his accuracy. For these causes, the Bears have a barely greater probability of handing the Payments the upset.

Kickoff is about for Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

Lastly, the Bengals (10-4) have a shot at clinching a playoff berth in opposition to the Patriots (7-7).

They are going to safe their spot within the postseason in the event that they win or tie, or if the Jets lose or tie. The Patriots are on the surface of the playoff image wanting in. They would want a win on Saturday to maintain their hopes alive.

The Pats will host the Bengals at a below-freezing Gillette Stadium. They enter this recreation contemporary off an embarrassing last-second loss to the Raiders in Week 15. They’ve struggled this season, largely on account of inexperienced management and questionable teaching choices.

Cincinnati is within the midst of their hottest stretch of the season with wins of their final six contests. Quarterback Joe Burrow has hit his stride at an important a part of the common season, on the point of energy via the postseason.

To win this recreation, the Bengals might want to come out sturdy and get forward early; they need to outpace New England. The Patriots will probably be taking part in with out three starters, which implies they’re already working from a drawback. If the Bengals come out the gate and get factors up early, it will likely be tough for the Pats to crawl out of a deficit.

To see who comes out on high, tune in on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET.

Right here’s the best way to catch these groups and others throughout the league in motion, from wherever you’re.

Australia: NFL Recreation Go, ESPN, 7Plus

Brazil: NFL Recreation Go, ESPN

Canada: CTV, TSN, RDS, NFL Recreation Go on DAZN

Germany: NFL Recreation Go, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN

Mexico: NFL Recreation Go, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports activities, Sky Sports activities

UK: NFL Recreation Go, Sky Sports activities, ITV, Channel 5

US: NFL Recreation Go, CBS Sports activities, Fox Sports activities, ESPN, Amazon Prime