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Five Pivotal Games

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Posted: Tuesday November 03, 1998 05:47 PM

By Peter King

Sports Illustrated The rest of the season is set up just the way the NFL likes it: More than half the games left on the schedule have playoff implications. Here are a handful of critical matchups.

Nov. 16: Broncos at Chiefs
About 10 months after knocking Kansas City out of the playoffs and propelling themselves to the Super Bowl, the Broncos return to Arrowhead for a Monday-nighter and the first of two meetings between the teams in 21 days. The Chiefs figure to be playing for their playoff lives against a Denver team that should be looking to go 10-0.

Nov. 26: Packers at Vikings
In the wake of Minnesota's loss to the Bucs on Sunday, the top seed in the NFC playoffs could be riding on the outcome of this game. The Vikings, who have already beaten the Packers in Green Bay, have won five of the last six meetings between the teams at the Metrodome.

Dec. 21: Broncos at Dolphins
Through a scheduling quirk John Elway plays in Miami for the first time in his 16-year career and against Dan Marino for only the second. On a cold September 1985 afternoon at Mile High, Marino threw three touchdown passes while Elway threw none in a 30-26 Miami win. The Dolphins handed the Bears their only loss in '85. They could be looking to do the same against Denver in this Monday night game.

Dec. 27: Patriots at Jets
As if the Pats' coming into the Meadowlands to face former boss Bill Parcells wasn't enough, this AFC East game figures to have playoff implications for both teams.

Dec. 28: Steelers at Jaguars
The seeding for the AFC playoffs comes down to this Monday-nighter, the final game of the season. Want a favorite? The road team has never won in this series.

Issue date: Nov. 9, 1998  

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