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Baltimore out of the playoffs? San Francisco as a wild-card? The New York Jets as an AFC wild-card?

Starting with today’s games, those are some interesting scenarios possible in the remaining three weeks of the National Football League regular season.

The Ravens have been in first place in the AFC North since the start of the season, but there is a strong possibility they could lose their last three games — home games against Denver and the New York Giants and a road game at Cincinnati. That would open the door for the Pittsburgh Steelers or Bengals to sneak in and win the division title. The Steelers and Bengals meet next Sunday in Pittsburgh.

The Jets and one of three AFC North teams (Steelers, Bengals and Ravens) are contending for the second wild card in the AFC. It’s not difficult to foresee New York (6-7), unimpressive and troubled as they are, winning out against Tennessee, San Diego and the Bills. A 9-7 record would put the Jets in the wild-card picture with a tiebreaker deciding things.

The 49ers lead second-place Seattle by 1½ games in the NFC West. But look at what’s ahead: a game tonight New England. If the Niners lose that and the Seahawks defeat the Bills in Toronto today, next week’s San Francisco-at-Seattle game will be for the division lead.

Game of the day

49ers (9-3-1) at Patriots (10-3)

TV: Ch. 2, 8:20 p.m.

The line: Patriots (-4½)

The scoop: The 49ers can clinch a playoff berth with a win and take the division title with a win tonight and a Seattle loss. … New England has not lost a December game at home since 2002 (20-0). … There is not much history between these two franchises. The Niners lead the all-time series, 7-4, but New England has won the last three.

Outlook: We’ll see how good that 49er defense (No. 2 in the league) really is. If they can dominate Tom Brady (19-1 TD-INT the last seven games) and Co., we’ll be convinced. Patriots, 27-17.

Top attractions

Broncos (10-3) at Ravens (9-4)

TV: Ch. 4, 1 p.m.

The line: Broncos (-3)

The scoop: Panic in Baltimore. How many 9-4 teams in first place fire their offensive coordinator in Week 15? Second-half play of quarterback Joe Flacco and limited use of RB Ray Rice last week against Washington led to Cam Cameron’s dismissal. … Denver has won its last eight, longest streak going in NFL. However, the Broncos are 0-4 against the Ravens in Baltimore. … Peyton Manning of Broncos leads AFC with 30 TD passes.

Outlook: Defense can’t carry Ravens any more. Denver, 31-21.

Steelers (7-6) at Cowboys (7-6)

TV: Ch. 4, 4:25 p.m.

The line: Steelers (-1½)

The scoop: A huge game between franchises that were powerhouses back in the ’70s, when they twice met in the Super Bowl. Whoever loses will be in an uncomfortable situation regarding playoffs. ... Ben Roethlisberger returned to Steelers lineup last week but was a bit rusty. Tony Romo of Cowboys pulled out win at Cincinnati, but may not have WR Dez Bryant (broken finger) for this one.

Outlook: Dallas in must game at home. It adds up to Cowboys, 24-21.

Colts (9-4) at Texans (11-2)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Texans (-9½)

The scoop: First of two games remaining between the AFC South rivals. Colts have to win today to stay alive for division title. Otherwise, Houston clinches and moves closer to gaining first-round playoff bye. Indy can clinch a playoff spot with a win.

Outlook: Houston was exposed in rout at New England, but should be able to stave off an Andrew Luck fourth-quarter charge. Texans, 27-13.

Giants (8-5) at Falcons (11-2)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Falcons (-1½)

The scoop: Eli Manning has won last four against the Falcons, including wild-card round win last season. Atlanta’s John Abraham has 14½ sacks in his last 16 games, but Manning is least-sacked quarterback in league based on sacks per play.

Outlook: Giants have one-game lead in NFC East to protect while Falcons have wrapped up division. Big Blue has more urgency. New York, 31-27.

Packers (9-4) at Bears (8-5)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Packers (-2½)

The scoop: Two teams headed in different directions. Green Bay (seven wins in last eight) is coming on while Bears (four losses in last five) are slipping. … Packers have won last 11 division games in a row, and Aaron Rodgers has won five in a row against Bears, including postseason. … Green Bay may get LB Clay Matthews back for this one, but not Charles Woodson. Bears missing Brian Urlacher, the heart of their defense.

Outlook: Bears WR Brandon Marshall versus Pack corners should be fun to watch. Green Bay, 20-10.

Best of the rest

Seahawks (8-5) at Bills (5-8)

TV: Ch. 29, 4 p.m.

The line: Seahawks (-5)

The scoop: Bills playing decent defense finally, but stopping third downs — especially in crunch time — remains a huge problem. … Seattle (No. 3 in the league) is building a formidable defense and 5-foot-11 rookie Russell Wilson (20 TDs-9 INTs) has been a revelation and should cause NFL talent evaluators to rethink their QB parameters for the position. … Ex-Bills RB Marshawn Lynch having a career year with 1,266 yards and nine rushing TDs for S-Hawks.

Outlook: Seattle front will be too much for short-handed Bills’ O-line to handle. Seahawks, 20-13.

Redskins (7-6) at Browns (5-8)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Redskins (-1)

The scoop: Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III (knee) won’t play. Mike Shanahan made the decision Saturday. Rookie Kirk Cousins will make first career start after pulling out last week’s OT win over Ravens.

Outlook: Although they lack explosive offensive weapons, Browns are getting a little better week by week. Cleveland in an upset, 19-14.

Vikings (7-6) at Rams (6-6-1)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Rams (-2½)

The scoop: Vikings have one-dimensional offense, but what a dimension. RB Adrian Peterson has 1,600 rushing yards, 6.0 average and 10 touchdowns. … Rams are 4-2 at home including wins over Washington, Seattle and San Francisco.

Outlook: Receivers you never heard of beat Bills for Rams last week. St. Louis, 23-17.

Jets (6-7) at Titans (4-9)

TV: ESPN, Monday, 8:30 p.m.

The line: Titans (-1½)

The scoop: Drab Jets should give back last two wins (Cardinals, 7-6, Jaguars, 17-10) because they were ugly. ... New York will go to ground-and-pound against unpredictable Titans.

Outlook: Titans blew lead twice in loss to Colts last week. Jets, 20-13.

Jaguars (2-11) at Dolphins (5-8)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Dolphins (-7½)

The scoop: If you hate Dolphins, Jimmy Johnson and Dan Marino, one of your all-time favorite games was Jaguars’ 62-7 playoff rout of Dolphins in 1999. It was adios for JJ and Dan.

Outlook: Sadly, Jaguars aren’t capable of beating up the Fish this time. Miami, 28-10.

Buccaneers (6-7) at Saints (5-8)

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

The line: Saints (-3½)

The scoop: Saints players were absolved in Bountygate. Tag’s ruling simply said that punishment wasn’t appropriate. ... Each side has lost last three in a row, ending reasonable shots at making playoffs. … Saints’ defense is worst of a ton of terrible defenses in NFL.

Outlook: Saints rallied from 14 down to win first game of NFC South series. It’s New Orleans again, 42-27.

Lions (4-9) at Cardinals (4-9)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.

The line: Lions (-6½)

The scoop: One of NFL’s two longest losing streaks will end with this one. Detroit has No. 1 pass offense in league but has lost last five in a row because defense can’t protect a lead. Cards have dropped last nine and failed to score a touchdown in last two, including 58-0 loss at Seattle last week.

Outlook: Redbirds don’t have anybody who can get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald (one catch for 2 yards last week against Seattle). Lions, 30-9.

Panthers (4-9) at Chargers (5-8)

Kickoff: 4:05 p.m.

The line: Chargers (-3)

The scoop: In last three games Cam Newton has passed for 7 TDs with no interceptions and run for 246 yards. He leads Carolina with 640 rushing yards and 6.2 average. … Chargers picked up first regular season win ever in Pittsburgh, 34-24, while Panthers were upsetting Falcons.

Outlook: Carolina has played everybody close (except Giants and Broncos). Panthers, 22-16.

Dog of the day

Chiefs (2-11) at Raiders (3-10)

Kickoff: 4 p.m.

The line: Raiders (-3)

The scoop: Old AFL rivals have fallen on hard times. How many teams with worst record in conference had No. 1 rusher (Chiefs, Jamaal Charles 1,220 yards)? … Note for Chan Gailey: Sebastian Janikowski of Raiders is 4 of 6 from 50 yards and out in FG tries this season. Misses were from 61 and 64 yards.

Outlook: Long punt return by Browns’ Travis Benjamin crushed Chiefs last week. Raiders win, 20-17, probably on long Janikowski field goal.

Last week’s results: 10-5 outright, 7-8 versus spread.

Season’s record: 117-74-1 outright, 89-98-5 versus spread.

email: mnorthrop@buffnews.com