Mountaineers in the NFL: Week 15

WVU Football
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Second half action between West Virginia and Tennessee at the belk College Kickoff in Charlotte, NC.

With two weeks remaining in the regular season, eight spots have been clinched in the playoff race with four remaining.

The Baltimore Ravens extended their winning streak to ten games and clinched the AFC North with a 42-21 victory over the New York Jets on Thursday night. This is the second year in a row that the Ravens have won the division.

The Kansas City Chiefs have run away with the AFC West after dominating the Denver Broncos in the snow Sunday, 23-3. The New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills are both going to the playoffs after the Patriots defeated the Bengals 34-13 and the Bills defeated the Steelers 17-10.

This is the second time in three years that Buffalo has qualified after not reaching the playoffs for 20 years. The Steelers remain the No. 6 seed in the AFC despite the loss, but they need to win their last two games of the season to make the playoffs.

However, the Tennessee Titans lost to the Houston Texans to fall behind in the AFC South race. This has given Pittsburgh some breathing room as the Titans play the Saints and Texans in their final two games of the year.

Green Bay picked up an important win on Sunday against Chicago to clinch a spot in the playoffs. The NFC North is still up for grabs as the Vikings are just one game behind the Packers with the two teams meeting on Monday Night Football in week 16.

The Seattle Seahawks won a close game against the Panthers on Sunday to remain in contention for the NFC West. The San Francisco 49ers have yet to put the division away after losing to the sub-.500 Falcons on Sunday evening.

For now, the NFC East remains open. The Cowboys and Eagles each won their respective games on Sunday to remain tied at 7-7 overall. The two teams meet on Sunday afternoon with the Cowboys having an opportunity to win the division.

Now, here are the former Mountaineers who had the biggest impact for their teams over the weekend.

Defensive Player of the Week

NICK KWIATKOSKI (Chicago Bears LB): Kwiatkoski continues to dominate for the Bears after an impressive performance a week ago. He finished third on the team with 5 total tackles to go along with one sack and a tackle for loss.

Offensive Player of the Week

TAVON AUSTIN (Dallas Cowboys WR): Austin recorded only one reception, but it was for a 59-yard touchdown in an impressive Dallas victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

Surprise Player of the Week

BRUCE IRVIN (Carolina Panthers DE): Irvin record 4 total tackles, one tackle for loss and a sack. This was his 6.5th sack of the year to tie him at 39th in the NFL.

BIG NEWS: Rookie quarterback Will Grier will make his first career NFL start on Sunday for the Carolina Panthers. Grier will be the third different quarterback to start for the Panthers this season.

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