Which NFL teams could emerge as Super Bowl contenders before end of season?

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When the calendar turns to December, we should know the lay of the land in the NFL, right? Of course.

Take last year. After 12 weeks, the Steelers were 11-0, the clear number one team in the league. Tampa Bay, on a two-game losing streak with some internal grousing about the dysfunctional offense making the rumor rounds, was 7-5, not a top 10 team as the calendar flipped to December.

This year, well, I’m going to give you the five teams who could be this year’s Bucs.

The best team in football heading into December: Green Bay, by an immunized pinky toe (thanks, Joe Buck) over Arizona.

The team that could be the ultimate spoiler: San Francisco. (You thought I’d say Cincinnati, and I almost did.)

Three points to consider:

 Look at the schedule. Who loves psycho 5-6 Minnesota? Not me, particularly with Dalvin Cook headed for the MRI tube this morning to check his troubled shoulder. But the Vikings play Chicago twice and Detroit once in the final six weeks. So abandon faith in the Vikings at your own risk.

• Envy teams with the late bye. In 2018, New England had a Week 11 bye and won the Super Bowl. In 2019, Kansas City had a Week 12 bye and won the Super Bowl. In 2020, Tampa Bay had a Week 13 bye and won the Super Bowl. I sense a trend. So many of my top teams have byes in Weeks 12, 13, 14 this year—KC, Arizona, Tennessee, Green Bay and New England. Kyler MurrayJulio Jones, the pinky toe of Aaron Rodgers, and maybe Derrick Henry will all benefit by the December break. Remember last year, when the Bucs used the first week of December to modify their offense so it wasn’t a bunch of guys just running around? Worked. They were 8-0 the rest of the way, fresh as daisies.

• Beware of teams peaking too soon. The Steelers went 1-5 after Week 12 last year, getting embarrassed in the wild-card game by Cleveland. New England, 10-1 after 12 weeks in 2019, went 2-4 after that, including the ugly Tom Brady swansong wild-card loss to Tennessee. So should you really love New England on a six-game winning streak? Should you really give up on the Rams, on a three-game losing streak? November football matters. December and January football really matters.

Now for the teams that could get hot—could, I say—and make trouble in the next six weeks:

San Francisco 49ers (6-5) 

Strong run game with the Niners’ last pick in the 2021 draft, Elijah Mitchell, forced into action and playing great (693 yards, 4.8 per rush), under the tutelage of 72-year-old running backs coach Bobby Turner. And Jimmy Garoppolo, the undisputed starter, has turned it over once in the last three games—not coincidentally, all wins. The Niners cannot afford Deebo Samuel’s groin injury to be serious. He’s turned into a first-class phenom, averaging 18.0 yards per catch and 8.1 yards per rush. Road games at the Bengals, Titans and Rams will test them, but I see the Niners as a threatening sixth seed in a weakened NFC.

49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel. (Getty Images)

Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) 

We knew Joe Burrow would be a threat, and he’s made beautiful music with a quartet of strong young pass-catchers. But the defense is what’s going to determine this team’s fate. In seven of 11 games, the D has allowed 21 points or less. Tough schedule to finish, with the Chargers, Niners, Ravens and KC at home. I thought Burrow would be this generation’s Dan Fouts, and the Bengals have the kind of bombs-away attack that could beat anyone, home or away. You better have a healthy secondary if you want to compete with this offense in January.

Indianapolis Colts (6-6) 

Dangerous as heck, but they’ve got to make it first. After Houston this week and the bye, the Colts are home with New England and at Arizona. Miami is hot, and six other non-division-leaders have six or seven wins in the AFC. So the Colts will likely need to win one of those toughies—Pats or Cards—to be a factor in the playoffs.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) 

Young quarterbacks are up and down, and I’d have told you before Sunday in East Rutherford that Jalen Hurts has a chance to stave off the front office from going quarterback-shopping in the offseason. Now, who knows. But Hurts leads an offense that averaged 34.5 points a game in the previous four. His run ability helps. This also helps: Four of the last five games for the Eagles are against teams under .500. Imagine a win-and-in home game to close the season against the Cowboys, with Hurts’ future on the line. Must-see TV.

Minnesota Vikings (5-6) 

Too many missed chances, too much of a chance that Dalvin Cook (shoulder) could be broken down once his test results come back today. But they beat the Packers 34-31 eight days ago and looked great doing it. The Vikings could rally to make it as the seventh seed—they have two games with Chicago, one with Detroit, one with slumping Pittsburgh—and the Vikes won’t be a team the Packers would want to see on wild-card weekend, even at Lambeau.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

What channel, time is the NFL game tonight? TV, kickoff, live stream for Colts vs Cowboys

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It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys tonight on NBC and Peacock. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America before the game gets underway.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

NBC has got you covered with all you need to know about the game including the TV channel, start time, live stream information, and more.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: How to watch Colts vs Cowboys  – TV/Live Stream info for tonight’s game

What channel is tonight’s Sunday Night Football game on?

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

          RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

Where to live stream Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys online tonight

Tonight’s game between the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys can be streamed live on multiple platforms tonight including NBCsports.com, the NBC Sports App, and Peacock.

This NFL season, Peacock will stream all of NBC’s NFL games including regular season and playoff games. More from Peacock’s website:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football with a Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here.

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

Week 13 Schedule

WEEK 13
Thursday, Dec. 1
Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video
Sunday, Dec. 4
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m., CBS
Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m., CBS
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., FOX
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Detroit Lions, 1 p.m., FOX
Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS
New York Jets vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., CBS
Washington Commanders vs. New York Giants, 1 p.m., FOX
Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m., FOX
Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Miami Dolphins vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m., NBC/Peacock
Monday, Dec. 5
New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m., ESPN

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

How to watch Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys: TV, live stream info for tonight’s game

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It’s the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock with Football Night in America. See below for additional information on how to watch tonight’s game.

RELATED: FMIA Week 12 – Josh Jacobs Takes Heckling Personally, And A Banner Week For Two-Point Conversion Risks

Indianapolis Colts

Matt Ryan and the Indianapolis Colts fell 24-17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night in their 7th loss of the season and 2nd loss under interim head coach Jeff Saturday. Saturday, a former Colts center with no professional or college coaching experience prior to this season, took over after the Colts fired Frank Reich ahead of Week 10. Reich spent 5 seasons with the Colts, reaching the playoffs just twice (2018, 2020) and finishing with a 40-33-1 record in the regular season. Indianapolis’ offensive struggles have continued this season after ranking 10th in scoring last season at 26.5 points per game. Entering Week 13, the Colts are averaging 15.8 points per game–they’re tied with the Texans who are ranked 31st in the league. Ryan went 22-of-34 for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception in Monday night’s loss. RB Jonathan Taylor rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

RELATED: Jeff Saturday on not using timeouts – “I thought we had plenty of time”

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys completed the season series sweep with a 28-20 win over the New York Giants last Thursday evening. Prescott finished 21-of-30 for 261 passing yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. RB Ezekiel Elliot, who was playing in his second game since returning from a knee injury, rushed for a season-high 92 yards and ignited the Cowboys’ offense scoring the first touchdown of the game. On defense, the Cowboys had 3 sacks–two of them were from OLB Micah Parsons who ranks 2nd in the league with 12 sacks this season. Dallas currently has one of the best defenses in the NFL and leads all teams with 45 sacks this season. The Cowboys have won 4 of their last 5 games and enter Week 13 just two games behind Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East lead.

RELATED: Dak Prescott – I am as confident as I can be in this team


How to watch the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys:

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Sunday, December 4
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the Indianapolis Colts vs Dallas Cowboys Game

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!

Football Night in America will feature a weekly segment hosted by former NFL quarterback Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Playoff Picture Week 13 – Standings, clinching scenarios ahead of Colts vs Cowboys on SNF


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!