The 2014 NFL regular season comes to a close this weekend, and we know you don’t want to miss seeing which teams lock up a trip to the playoffs. We’re also well aware many of you either don’t want to shell out the dough for new TVs, don’t have a sports bar nearby carrying your favorite team’s games, or have one roadblock or another which prevents you from catching all the action.
If this sounds like you, keep reading and we’ll show you how to easily catch games this season using your PC or Mac.
|Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||Despite jumping out to a 7-2 record through the first ten weeks of the season, the Philadelphia Eagles find themselves out of the playoff race having gone just 2-5 since. The New York Giants, winners of three straight games, look to end their season on a high note by beating the rival Eagles. Look for the Giants to lean on the ridiculously talented Odell Beckham Jr. in this NFC East rivalry match.Prediction: Eagles 24 Giants 21|
|Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||With news of Josh Gordon’s Week 17 suspension breaking out of Cleveland camp Saturday, finishing the season at .500 seems a whole lot harder for the surprising Browns. The 9-6 Ravens enter Sunday’s game needing a win, and a Kansas City win over San Diego, to punch their postseason ticket. Standing in their way is undrafted quarterback Connor Shaw who looks to make his first NFL start under center for Cleveland Sunday. This should be all Joe Flacco and Baltimore.Prediction: Ravens 17 Browns 3|
|Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||It seems Dallas’ December monkey finally jumped off the back of Tony Romo and company as the team enters Week 17 winners of the NFC East, and a spot to the playoffs already locked up. For Washington, a win Sunday helps Robert Griffin III assure the Washington faithful he’s the answer at quarterback and that he deserves another shot at the starting gig in 2015. With not much to play for for Dallas, it’s likely Washington ends the season with a two game winning streak.Prediction: Redskins 24 Cowboys 17|
|Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||After enduring their worst loss of the season – a 42-7 drubbing at the hands of Dallas – Andrew Luck and the Colts head to Tennessee to face the hapless 2-13 Titans. With the No. 1 overall pick in their sights, don’t expect much of a fight from a Tennessee team that hasn’t looked competitive much all season. It’s a must-win for the Colts if they want to achieve any semblance of a playoff team before the elimination games begin.Prediction: Colts 27 Titans 10|
|Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||Although a trip to the postseason remains out of reach for the Houston Texans, a chance at finishing an up-and-down 2014 season at 9-7 is well within their grasp. Jacksonville’s win over Tennessee last week may have pushed them out of the running for the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft but gave the team much needed faith that Blake Bortles has the look of a franchise quarterback. If Arian Foster plays, look for him to have a field day with the Jacksonville defense.Prediction: Texans 20 Jaguars 14|
|San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||Kansas City enters Sunday’s game against the Chargers needing much more help to punch its postseason ticket than the rival Chargers. A win Sunday, plus unlikely losses by Baltimore and Houston, would push the Chiefs to a second straight playoff berth. All San Diego needs to do is beat Kansas City to earn its own spot in the postseason; a much easier, and likely task.Prediction: Chargers 24 Chiefs 17|
|New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||With impending doom on the horizon for Jets head coach Rex Ryan (and his whole staff), Sunday’s game against Miami is a capstone for Ryan’s tumultuous time leading New York. On the other sideline, reports have circulated for weeks Joe Philbin’s time may be up as well, but a win Sunday gives the Dolphins their first winning season since 2008. Miami is much more together than New York and should roll Sunday.Prediction: Dolphins 27 Jets 16|
|Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||Although Bears head coach Marc Trestman benched quarterback Jay Cutler prior to last week’s game, a concussion to backup Jimmy Clausen forced the coach to re-insert the oft-frustrating Cutler. Cutler faces a Vikings team looking for its seventh win of the year, which seemed incredibly improbable after the team lost All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson in Week 2. Teddy Bridgewater looks better and better each week and seems poised to send the Bears to their 11th loss in 2014.Prediction: Vikings 21 Bears 13|
|Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||Having locked up the top seed in the AFC playoffs, as well as the AFC East crown, little rides on Sunday’s game for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. For Buffalo, they’ll look to end a 13-game losing streak in Foxboro, and aim to give New England its first home loss on the year. This could get interesting if New England decides to throw a team of backups at Buffalo.Prediction: Patriots 23 Bills 20|
|New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sunday 1 p.m. ET||With nothing to play for Sunday for either the Bucs or the Saints, Sunday’s game in Tampa figures to be a snoozer. The only interesting game note lies with Tampa Bay, who could lock up the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft with a loss to New Orleans. A win for the Saints Sunday finishes them at an underwhelming 7-9 and far from a playoff berth.Prediction: Saints 28 Buccaneers 17|
|Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons – Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET||Perhaps the most exciting matchup of the day pits two 6-win teams against each other for a shot at the playoffs. The 6-8-1 Panthers travel to Atlanta Sunday to take on the 6-9 Falcons with the winner hosting a playoff game next week, and the loser sent to the offseason. With Cam Newton back healthy after a car crash two weeks ago, look for the former Heisman Trophy winner to lead Carolina past Atlanta, and into the playoffs.Prediction: Panthers 20 Falcons 14|
|Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers – Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET||Both the Lions and Packers have positioned themselves to make the playoffs despite a victory Sunday, but the winner of this rivalry game takes the NFC North crown and has a shot at a first-round bye. Talk about a lot on the line for two teams looking to notch an impressive 12th win on the season. History doesn’t appear to be on Detroit’s side however, as Green Bay has won 22 straight regular season homes games over the Lions.Prediction: Packers 28 Lions 27|
|Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos – Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET||Though Peyton Manning and the Broncos stumbled against the Bengals in Week 16, a win over the Raiders Sunday earns them a first-round bye in the playoffs. Oakland, in search of just their 4th win this season, can at least say they’ve been better than the Eagles, Saints, Cardinals, and 49ers since Week 12. This has a Broncos blow-out written all over it.Prediction: Broncos 31 Raiders 13|
|Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers – Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET||Despite all the quarterback issues the Arizona Cardinals endured during 2014, the team still has a chance to lock up the NFC West with a win over the 7-8 49ers on Sunday. San Francisco has already been eliminated from the postseason, missing the playoffs for the first time since Jim Harbaugh began coaching the team. Rumors also indicate Harbaugh won’t be with the team in 2015, likely taking the head coaching gig at the University of Michigan.Prediction: 49ers 17 Cardinals 7|
|St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks – Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET||A win Sunday not only gives the Seattle Seahawks the NFC West crown, but also assures the team a first-round bye heading into the playoffs. For St. Louis, a win over Seattle this weekend would give them a season sweep of the Seahawks and would have them finish the 2014 campaign at 7-9. Seattle is gearing up to defend its Super Bowl title so don’t expect them to lay down in the final week of the season.Prediction: Seahawks 24 Rams 14|
|Sunday Night Football: Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers – Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET||The final Sunday Night Football game of the regular season pits the 10-4-1 Cincinnati Bengals against the 10-5 Pittsburgh Steelers with the AFC North title on the line. The winner of Sunday’s game not only wins the division title, but earns the right to host a playoff game next weekend. Cincinnati looks to ride the momentum it gained in Week 16’s huge victory over the Broncos, while Pittsburgh looks to win its fourth straight game. This could be a shootout.Prediction: Bengals 30 Steelers 27|
Monday Night Football: WatchESPN
WatchESPN is an online-only companion service and requires a cable subscription that includes ESPN. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have a cable package with ESPN, but you need to know at least someone who does and is kind enough to give you the username and password tied into their cable account. ESPN holds the rights to air Monday Night Football games, meaning this method is only applicable to Monday’s games, but the WatchESPN app is available for phones and tablets, so you can watch wherever you are on Monday night.
Sunday: NFL Sunday Ticket
Starting this season, DirecTV will allow people to buy subscriptions of NFL Sunday Ticket without having to get a TV package on top of that. That’s right, no satellite dish required! You’ll be able to choose from one of three new packages at three different price levels. One allows you to stream NFL Sunday Ticket to your computer, phone or tablet. The next step up allows you to stream directly to your video game console. The highest tier permits you to stream to all of those devices. The first tier costs $200, the next step up will run you $240, and the most expensive package will charge you $330.
The differences between the packages don’t end there though. The $200 package won’t let you stream to your console, but also omits the Redzone Channel, and Fantasy Zone, which “gives live looks at fantasy plays.” The $240 level also doesn’t include the Red Zone Channel or the Fantasy Zone, but lets you do everything else while restricting your streams to game consoles. The $330 deal wipes away all those restrictions, and simply checks “all of the above” on everything.Keep in mind that blackout restrictions apply, and your eligibility for the service may vary.
According to Forbes, the service won’t be available to addresses that DirecTV feels can “easily” get their full TV + NFL Sunday Ticket packages. However, it’s unclear what DirecTV means by “easily.” For what it’s worth, the service seems to be widely available to those living in apartments. Those who live in apartment buildings might be categorized by DirecTV as people who can’t get DirecTV so easily, considering that attaching a satellite to an apartment building isn’t the simplest of endeavors, as Forbes notes.
We spoke to DirecTV, and they confirmed you won’t be able to use the NFL Sunday Ticket streaming package to watch Monday Night Football games, or Thursday Night Football contests. Sorry folks.
Sunday Night Football: NFL Mobile (Verizon)
Unfortunately, this is a mobile app that’s specific to Verizon. If you have a Verizon mobile subscription, you can download NFL Mobile, plug your phone into your computer or TV via a micro USB to HDMI cable, and watch Sunday Night Football that way. NFL Mobile will also stream the Super Bowl in 2015. On top of that, for Verizon Premium and MORE Everything subscribers, NFL Mobile has been updated to include live streams of local games that are broadcast on CBS and FOX. Therefore, it doesn’t sound like local blackout rules apply here. However, if we read differently elsewhere, we’ll issue an update. Don’t underestimate the value of this method.
If you want to go straight to the source, the NFL Network offers access to streaming and RedZone, depending on your established plan and broadcast company. RedZone is the best way to watch all the Sunday games at the same time, and will roll through when teams are close to making a scoring play, often splitting the screen between two games. If you’re a fantasy guru this is a great way to stay on top of all your games, and you’ll never miss a touchdown. You have to be able to watch the NFL Network on your provider (sorry Comcast) but you could probably convince one of your friends on Verizon to let you use their account.
Questionable streaming sites
Keep in mind that most of the illegal streaming options available come loaded with unwanted spam and a barrage of pop-up windows. Leaning on such links can be frustrating, particularly when it comes to finding quality video and audio feeds with little buffering.
Related: How to connect your laptop to a TV
However, you must also keep in mind many of these sites illegally broadcast the content, and your computer is at a high risk of malware when using them. Nevertheless, you’ll notice the deep selection of links available to you once you find an adequate streaming site on the Web. Notorious sites — though technically legal given they only provide links to various broadcast streams instead of broadcasting the copyrighted content — fall upon the gray areas of the law.
Note: As a rule of thumb, never click on any link which asks you to download any HD Players, update your streaming software, or to install any “required” media players. These are often just spam links which could infect your computer with viruses.
An incredible resource for information about almost anything, Reddit has more than enough NFL information each week to satisfy any fan of the sport. Reddit’s loyal user base generates the site’s wealth of content, which is both a blessing, and a curse. You’ll find a slew of NFL-themed pictures, videos, and even alternative streaming sites on game days.
While Reddit is an excellent resource for anything and everything NFL, it’s incredibly easy to waste many an hour poking around the rest of the site. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Though not a video option, ESPN does offer its signature play-by-play Gamecast presentation for each NFL game every week. Just navigate to the NFL scoreboard page via the ESPN website, click the game you’d like to follow, and a Gamecast window opens. This feature shows real-time events including every completed pass, interception, sack, or long TD run. Gamecast also lists each team’s stats, every game’s box score, and provides links to all other currently playing games.