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Sunday will be the end of an era for one of NFL's iconic franchises – USA TODAY

16 min read

It’s Week 15, and the Ravens kicked it off with a big night while it will be an end of an era in Oakland. But before we dive in, enjoy these:

  • Big truss! Woo woo! Lamar Jackson is the new single-season rushing record-holder among QBs.
  • The Raiders prepare for their final home game in Oakland.
  • We count down the top 10 greatest moments for the Oakland Raiders.
  • Jason Garrett tried to motivate his struggling Cowboys. Think it’ll work?
  • The Week 15 picks are in! Who wins the huge Texans-Titans showdown?
  • As head coaches are fired near the end of the season, here’s a break down of the potential candidates that could be in line for one of the opening. 
  • As always, we’re here to help you set that fantasy football lineup.

Now for a closer look at the action: 

Week 15’s best and brightest

About last night: Ravens 42, Jets 21 — It was a banner night for Baltimore, as the Ravens clinched the AFC North and Lamar Jackson set the single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback. The Ravens have won 10 consecutive games, extending the franchise record.

Quick look at Week 15

  • Game of the Week: Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys — The Rams are in must-win desperation mode to remain in the playoff race. The Cowboys, well, they are just desperate.
  • Playoff Picture Game of the Week: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans — These two teams are tied atop the AFC South and will meet twice in the season’s final three weeks. While the Titans have won four straight and six of seven, the Texans enter this one after having experienced the classic letdown game a week after a resounding win over the Patriots.
  • Sneaky-Good Game of the Week: Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Chargers — The Vikings are trying to keep pace with the NFC North-leading Packers, but could Minnesota suffer the same fate as their division rivals did when they visited Carson, Calif.?
  • Draft Order Game of the Week: Miami Dolphins at New York Giants — In “if the season ended today” scenarios, the Giants and Dolphins would hold the No. 2 and 4 overall selections, respectively, in the 2020 draft.
  • Dud of the Week: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions — Hope is gone for the Lions, who have lost six straight. The Buccaneers have won four of five, but a late-season surge won’t end a playoff drought that dates back to 2007.

TOP PICS: Ravens-Jets | Cheerleaders | NFL at 100

Week 15 essentials: Picks and more

  • Week 15 picks: USA TODAY Sports’ panel of experts makes prognostications for every NFL game this weekend.
  • Lorenzo’s locks: Listen up as Lorenzo Reyes makes his picks against the spread for some of the biggest games of Week 15.
  • Playoff picture: The Ravens won the AFC North on Thursday night, and can clinch home-field advantage on Sunday. 
  • Cautious with Lamar?: Now that they’ve clinched the division, should the Ravens think about being cautious with their star QB?
  • Patriots in another videotaping controversy: After Spygate and Deflategate, the Patriots shouldn’t get a pass in this latest videotaping incident at the Browns-Bengals game Sunday, writes Jarrett Bell.
  • Cowboys coach tries to motivate his struggling team: Jason Garrett wanted to remind the Cowboys what they are capable of, so he showed the team at its best in a carefully curated highlight reel.
  • Mike Tomlin builds case as NFL coach of the year: After an 0-2 start and losing Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers looked left for dead. Tomlin, however, has delivered a masterclass on coaching, writes Mike Jones.
  • College teammates square off as coaches: When the Steelers host the Bills on Sunday night, Mike Tomlin and Sean McDermott — who were college teammates at William & Mary — will be on opposite sidelines.
  • 2020 NFL draft first-round order: If the season ended today, the Bengals would be on the clock. Could Heisman Trophy favorite Joe Burrow be the No. 1 pick?
  • 13 draft sleepers to watch during college bowl season: Many of the marquee names who will enter the NFL draft have not announced whether they will play in bowls, but keep an eye on these sleepers.
  • Power rankings: See how each team stands entering Week 15. Quite frankly, can’t remember the last time the Patriots were rated so low.
  • Weekly Pulse on YouTube: Stay up-to-date on the latest hot-button NFL topics, such as why the Packers are a lock against their longtime rival.

End of an era in Oakland

On Sunday, the Oakland Raiders will play their final home game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, ending a 47-season run for one of the NFL’s iconic franchises as it prepares to relocate to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.

  • Raiders fans brace for team’s final game in Oakland: More than football, a spirit of camaraderie with fellow Raiders faithful is what many say they’ll miss most when the team moves Las Vegas next season.
  • Top 10 moments for the Oakland Raiders: We count down the 10 greatest moments for the Raiders ahead of the franchise’s final game in Oakland.
  • Jaguars coach shares stories about Raiders ties: The Raiders’ opponent Sunday is the Jaguars, whose head coach — Doug Marrone — shares some common bonds with the Raiders and particularly their enigmatic owner, Al Davis.

Fantasy football: Get your lineup right

If you’re fortunate enough to have advanced in your league’s fantasy football playoffs, we’re here to help you set that lineup right.

  • Fantasy rankings for Week 15: For your convenience, these position-by-position rankings were updated for this week’s collection of games.
  • Waiver wire: Get that roster in proper order for a deep playoff run. 
  • Studs, duds and sleepers: Here we examine players with good Week 15 matchups (Ryan Tannehill), bad matchups (Josh Allen) and non-stars you might want to consider starting (Ryan Fitzpatrick).

Week 15 schedule

(All times Eastern)


Ravens 42, Jets 21


New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Miami Dolphins at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)

Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)

Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. (CBS)

Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)


Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)


As the NFL celebrates its 100th season, we are unveiling our all-time 100 lists:

  • 100 greatest players ever: Reporters from across the USA TODAY Sports Network compiled a list ranking the greatest NFL players of all time.
  • Greatest players ever for every team: The USA TODAY Sports Network unveils the best players for each NFL team.
  •  100 greatest teams in league history: 2013 Seattle Seahawks. 1994 San Francisco 49ers. 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers. 1949 Philadelphia Eagles. 1929 Green Bay Packers. Which is the greatest ever?
  • 100 worst teams in league history: 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 2008 Detroit Lions. 2017 Cleveland Browns. 1944 Card-Pitt. 1920 Muncie Flyers. Which team set the all-time low?
  •  Greatest players ever by jersey number: From No. 00 Jim Otto to No. 99 J.J. Watt, these are the best players at 100 different uniform numbers.
  •  Greatest players from HBCU programs: The HBCU schools have a storied history and have produced many Pro Football Hall of Famers. These are the 100 greatest NFL players from HBCU programs.  
  •  100 biggest draft busts ever: The NFL draft has an extensive history of top picks who would only be remembered as busts.
  •  NFL’s best and worst uniforms ever: Throughout the NFL’s history, there have been some fantastic uniforms, and there are some that have been widely scorned.
  • The best NFL broadcasters of all time: From John Madden to Joe Buck, here are the 50 greatest NFL broadcasters. 

NFL Facebook group: Join now!

If you love talking football (and, who doesn’t?), we have the perfect place for you. Join our Facebook Group, The Ruling Off the Field, to engage in friendly debate and conversation with our NFL insiders and other football enthusiasts just like you.

Enjoy the football, sports fans!

Want to keep the NFL conversation going? Head to Facebook, and/or give a Twitter follow to your friendly neighborhood football guy who put together this newsletter, @jimreineking.

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