SUNDAY

New Orleans at Dallas

1 p.m. Line:

Cowboys by 21/2

This game is critical for the Cowboys, who are in a three-way tie with the Giants and Redskins in the NFC East. Dallas controls its fate, but a loss would complicate its postseason possibilities.

San Diego at N.Y. Jets

1 p.m. Line: Jets by 2

The underachieving Jets will start neither Mark Sanchez nor Tim Tebow, but rather Greg McElroy. There is similar frustration in San Diego, where coach Norv Turner's six-year run is likely to end.

Tennessee at Green Bay

1 p.m. Line: Packers by 121/2

The Packers clinched the NFC North, but they are still competing for a bye. That will give Green Bay something to play for in the final two weeks.

Indianapolis at Kansas City

1 p.m. Line: Colts by 7

The Colts can clinch a playoff berth. They could become the second team in NFL history to win at least 10 games the year after losing at least 14.

Buffalo at Miami

1 p.m. Line: Dolphins by 41/2

The Bills have sealed a league-high 11 seasons without a postseason berth. The Dolphins have a remote shot at the playoffs if they win their final two games.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh

1 p.m. Line: Steelers by 31/2

The Bengals dominated the Eagles 10 days ago and now revisit Pennsylvania in an effort to eliminate the Steelers and clinch their second consecutive playoff appearance.

St. Louis at Tampa Bay

1 p.m. Line: Buccaneers by 3

Both of these teams have improved in their first season under new coaches. Rams running back Steven Jackson is 91 yards away from becoming the sixth rusher in NFL history with eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

Oakland at Carolina

1 p.m. Line: Panthers by 9

Few NFL players are hotter than Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who has 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions in the last five games.

New England at Jacksonville

1 p.m. Line:

Patriots by 141/2

The Patriots have not lost consecutive games in December since 2002, and it won't happen this year. After last week's loss to the 49ers, a visit to the two-win Jaguars should give New England its 11th victory.

Minnesota at Houston

1 p.m. Line: Texans by 8

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is 88 yards from a 2,000-yard rushing season, and the Vikings are thinking playoffs. The Texans need a victory to clinch home-field advantage.

Cleveland at Denver

4:05 p.m. (CBS3) Line: Broncos by 121/2

The Broncos have nine consecutive wins and play losing teams in their final two games. Barring an upset, Denver will enter the postseason 13-3.

N.Y. Giants at Baltimore

4:25 p.m. (Fox29) Line: Giants by 21/2

These two teams entered 2012 as Super Bowl contenders, but late-season slumps have imperiled their playoff chances.

Chicago at Arizona

4:25 p.m. Line: Bears by 51/2

Bears coach Lovie Smith is suddenly on the hot seat as the Bears have lost five of six games. The Cardinals stopped a long losing streak by blowing out the Lions last week.

San Francisco at Seattle

8:20 p.m. (NBC10) Line: Pick

The two best teams in the NFC West play in the best game of the weekend. Seattle is undefeated at home and would clinch a postseason berth with a win. The 49ers would secure the division crown with a win.