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2013 NFL Week 17 Preview — 5 Intriguing Storylines to Watch

Aaron Rodgers
Getty Images

It’s the final week of the 2013 regular season in the NFL. By Sunday night, we’ll know which teams are moving on to the post-season, and which are not. Here are five storylines we’ll be watching:

The Muddled AFC Wild Card Race

Various sites — Sun. Dec. 29

Baltimore Ravens v Miami Dolphins
Getty Images

The Ravens, Dolphins, Chargers and Steelers are still alive for the AFC’s sixth and final playoff spot. Each contender has a crucial intra-divisional game to win before claiming the conference’s second wild card spot. Miami (8-7) hosts the N.Y. Jets (7-8). The Dolphins need a win and a loss by San Diego or Baltimore to lock up the playoff spot. Baltimore (8-7) plays at Cincinnati (10-5), but the Ravens must beat the AFC North champs and hope for a loss by San Diego. The Chargers (8-7) host Kansas City (11-4) and need a win, plus losses by Miami and Baltimore to advance to the post-season. Pittsburgh (7-8) hosts Cleveland (4-11). The Steelers must win and hope the Dolphins, Ravens and Chargers all lose. Miami advances if all four teams win; Baltimore advances if all four lose. Confused? Just wait until Sunday.

 

The NFC North Race Rests on Aaron Rodgers’ Shoulder

Soldier Field, Chicago — Sun. Dec. 29 at 4:25 p.m. (ET)

Aaron Rodgers
Getty Images

Green Bay (7-7-1) travels to Chicago (8-7) where the Packers will welcome back quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who hasn’t played since breaking his collarbone in his team’s Nov. 4 loss to the Bears. The winning team captures the NFC North crown and a playoff spot; the loser goes home. Chicago blew a chance at winning the NFC North title outright last weekend when the Bears lost to the Eagles, 54-11.

 

The Seahawks Chase Home-Field Advantage

CenturyLink Field, Seattle — Sun. Dec. 29 at 4:25 p.m. (ET)

Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks
Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks (12-3) host the St. Louis Rams (7-8) with a chance to clinch the NFC West and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win (or a loss by San Francisco). A Super Bowl favorite for weeks, the Seahawks are at risk of falling to the No. 5 seed — and having to play on the road — in the event of a loss and a 49ers win over the Cardinals.

 

Can the Saints March Into the Playoffs?

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans — Sun. Dec. 29 at 4:25 p.m. (ET)

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Getty Images

New Orleans (10-5) hosts Tampa Bay (4-11) on Sunday with an opportunity to wrap up an NFC playoff spot. Drew Brees and the Saints’ high-powered offense will be heavily favored over the Bucs, but they only squeaked out a 16-14 win over Tampa in Week 2. If New Orleans wins and Carolina loses at Atlanta, the Saints would claim the NFC South and the No. 2 seed.

 

The NFC East Title Game

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Tex. — Sun. Dec. 29 at 8:30 p.m. (ET)

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles
Getty Images

Philadelphia (9-6) visits Dallas (8-7) for a game that will decide the NFC East title. If the Cowboys can duplicate their 17-3 win over the Eagles in Week 7, they’ll capture the division crown. If not, they’ll sit home for the playoffs. Dallas may have to do so without starting quarterback Tomy Romo, who may be out with a back injury. If Romo can’t go, backup QB Kyle Orton will get the start against a Philadelphia defense that has been solid recently save for an ugly loss at Minnesota in Week 15.

Win McNamee, Getty Images
Win McNamee, Getty Images
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Governor Perry Is Sending Troops To The Texas-Mexico Border

Governor Rick Perry announced Monday he was sending a thousand troops to the border with Mexico to combat the border crisis, and said that process will happen over the next month.

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Malaysian Airlines Flight Reported Missing On Route To Beijing
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Malaysian Passenger Jet With 295 Onboard Crashes Near Ukraine-Russia Border [UPDATED]

A Malaysia Airlines jet carrying nearly 300 people crashed near the border between Russia and Ukraine, according to Reuters and Interfax. The airline company has confirmed that it has lost contact with the plane, a Boeing 777.

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Category: News, World News
Stuart Scott
ESPN, YouTube
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Watch Stuart Scott’s Heartbreaking Speech at the ESPYs [VIDEO]

Longtime ESPN personality Stuart Scott literally took center stage at Tuesday night's ESPY Awards when he accepted the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. And his speech did not disappoint.

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Category: News, Sports, Television Tags:
McAllen Police Dept
McAllen Police Dept
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Texas Judge Arrested for DWI

Late Saturday night, Nora Longoria, a justice with the 13th Court of Appeals in McAllen was arrested and charged with suspicion of DWI. 

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Category: Texas News Tags:
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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Thousands Help Lone Survivor After Her Family Is Killed in Spring, TX

After her family was killed execution style last Wednesday near Houston, people are coming out in droves to help the 15-year old sole survivor.

Cassidy Stay's parents and four siblings were killed in the shootings at their home, but Cassidy survived after a bullet grazed her head and she played dead until the violence ended. Now almost $300,000 has been raised for her benefit, as she starts her new life without her family.

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Getty Images-Online USA
Getty Images-Online USA
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Lone Ranger Outfit Brings In Big Bucks at Texas Auction

The family of a late businessman and collector decided to put the original Lone Ranger outfit on the auction block, and it brought in $195,000 at the auction in Waco Saturday.

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Monkey Business
Monkey Business
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Three Weeks Left To Nominate a Lufkin Small Business Of The Year

Do you have a favorite ice cream shop, burger joint, lawn service or barber?  Tell everyone about them!

Now is the time to nominate your favorite Mom or Pop shop for Small Business of the Year with the Lufkin Chamber of Commerce.

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Category: East Texas News, News Tags: ,
David McNew/Getty Images
David McNew/Getty Images
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Game Wardens Have Been Targeting Lakes Looking for Drunk Boaters

If one of your favorite things to do during the summer is pack some frosty beverages on ice and head to the lake, be safe when you hop on the boat!

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Category: East Texas News, News Tags:
Texas Tech Cheerleader Hunter Kendall Jones
Facebook
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Facebook Deletes Hunting Pics Posted By Texas Tech Cheerleader

Pictures on Texas Tech Cheerleader Kendall Jones' Facebook page went viral recently, and now Facebook has deleted some of them.

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Deadly Mosquito
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There May Be A Reason Why Mosquitoes Target You And Not Others

If you feel like mosquitoes love you, there may be a scientific reason behind it.

And how can you encourage them to leave you alone?

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