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NFL Schedule Week 14: Bills vs. Steelers gives us an early NFL playoffs preview

How does the NFL schedule for Week 14 shape up? Which Week 14 games have the biggest implications as we head towards the 2020 NFL playoffs?

NFL Schedule Week 14: Bills vs. Steelers give us an early NFL Playoffs preview
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 15: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills throws a pass during the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the game at Heinz Field on December 15, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

A turbulent Week 13 is behind us, and we can look forward to things getting back to relative normality with Week 14 of the 2020 NFL schedule. Week 14 contains a number of intriguing games on the schedule, which will have significant implications both for the 2020 NFL playoff race and the 2021 NFL Draft.

NFL Week 14 featured games

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1) at Buffalo Bills (9-3) | Sunday, December 13, 8:20 PM ET

Following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ loss on Monday, this game on the NFL Week 14 schedule takes on particular importance. A Week 14 victory will put the Bills just one game behind the Steelers in terms of playoff seedings. They would still need a major stumble from the Chiefs down the stretch to claim the top seed, but beating the Steelers out for the second seed would assure the Bills of a home-field game in the second round.

The Steelers will be desperate to bounce back as they now have no cushion over the Chiefs. This game will have huge playoff implications and could be a crucial head-to-head tiebreaker if these two teams end up on the same record in a few weeks’ time.

Baltimore Ravens (6-5) at Cleveland Browns (9-3) | Monday, December 14, 8:15 PM ET

When the first meeting between these two teams was over back in Week 1, things looked completely different from how they do now. The Ravens prevailed 38-6 in a scoreline that suggested the Ravens were set for another incredible year, while the Browns looked doomed to disappoint all over again.

However, the NFL standings tell a very different story entering Week 14. Since then, the Browns have gone 9-2 and currently hold the fifth seed in the AFC. As for the Ravens, they were cruising along at 5-1 but have lost four of their next five to enter Week 14 at 6-5. This matchup will shape the AFC wild-card race. Victory for the Ravens keeps them well and truly alive while dragging the Browns back into the mix. A win for the Browns all but locks in their playoff spot. However, perhaps just as importantly, it also deals a huge blow to their big rivals.

Week 14’s crucial playoff head to heads

All of the featured games have playoff implications, but two head-to-heads have playoff implications on a head-to-head basis. With the NFL’s top tiebreaker between two teams being the head-to-head result, the teams that win these two matchups would have a very real advantage in the playoff race.

Minnesota Vikings (6-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) | Sunday, December 13, 1:00 PM ET

Entering Week 14, both the Vikings and Buccaneers sit in one of the seven NFC playoff spots. However, this game has a lot riding on it, with a further five teams at 5-7 or 6-6. The winner of this game will have the comfort of knowing they had a head-to-head tiebreaker over one of their possible rivals for a 2020 playoff spot.

While there are still a lot of permutations in the final four weeks of the NFC, this single matchup could have lasting effects. If the Buccaneers get to 8-5, they have a superb of going to the playoffs. However, 7-6 would leave them in a potentially very dangerous position if they stumble again down the stretch. As for the Vikings, dropping to 6-7 could see them slide outside the playoffs spots and put them on the back foot all over again.

Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (7-5) | Sunday, December 13, 1:00 PM ET

The Colts currently sit as the seventh seed in the AFC standings, while the Raiders are eighth. A win for the Raiders in this game would see the two teams flip spots. A loss for the Colts could also see them slip a game back on the Titans for the AFC South.

With three teams at 8-4, two at 9-3, two teams at 7-5, and the Patriots at 6-6, there will be a number of permutations. Head-to-head record and record within the conference could be the difference between a playoff spot or not when January rolls around.

Full NFL Week 14 Schedule

After an odd-looking Week 13, which saw Tuesday Night Football replaces Thursday Night Football, the Week 14 NFL schedule has a more familiar feel surrounding it. Here is the full list of Week 14

Week 14 Thursday Night Football

New England Patriots (6-6) at Los Angeles Rams (8-4) | 8:20 PM ET

Week 14 early Sunday games | 1:00 PM ET

Houston Texans (4-8) at Chicago Bears (5-7)

Dallas Cowboys (3-9) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-9-1)

Kansas City Chiefs (11-1) at Miami Dolphins (8-4)

Arizona Cardinals (6-6) at New York Giants (5-7)

Minnesota Vikings (6-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5)

Denver Broncos (4-8) at Carolina Panthers (4-8)

Tennessee Titans (8-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-11)

Week 14 Sunday afternoon games

Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (7-5) | 4:05 PM ET

New York Jets (0-12) at Seattle Seahawks (8-4) | 4:05 PM ET

New Orleans Saints (10-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-8-1) | 4:25 PM ET

Atlanta Falcons (4-8) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-9) | 4:25 PM ET

Washington Football Team (5-7) at San Francisco 49ers (5-7) (in Arizona) | 4:25 PM ET

Week 14 Sunday Night Football

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1) at Buffalo Bills (8-3) | 8:20 PM ET

Week 14 Monday Night Football

Baltimore Ravens (7-5) at Cleveland Browns (9-3) | 8:15 PM ET

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