Sunday, Dec. 13
Denver Broncos (4-8) at Carolina Panthers (4-8), 1:00 pm
Broncos: The Broncos’ running game made a big dent on the Chiefs’ defense twice in 2020 but the club was limited to exactly 16 points in each loss to Kansas City. The combination of Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon could have a big impact in this contest. All told, Vic Fangio’s team has run for 175-plus yards in three of their last seven contests.
Panthers: Per ESPN’s David Newton, running back Christian McCaffrey’s availability for the team’s interconference clash with the Broncos remains in doubt. The Panthers have had an extra week to prepare for Denver’s potent ground game and despite some struggles, the club has limited three of its last four foes below 100 yards rushing.
Houston Texans (4-8) at Chicago Bears (5-7), 1:00 pm
Texans: The club was in position to notch a third straight win last week before a botched snap cost them a chance vs. the Colts. It’s been a big year for quarterback Deshaun Watson, who’s thrown for 24 scores, committed only seven turnovers while running for 331 yards and TDs. But the Texans’ running game remains the NFL’s worst.
Bears: After not allowing at least 30 points in each of their first 10 games, the Bears surrendered 41 points to the Packers in prime time and 34 points in last week’s home setback to the Lions. Matt Nagy’s club has really struggled in interconference tilts the last year or so. Chicago is 1-5 vs. AFC teams since 2019, including 0-2 this season.