There is no hotter team in the NFL than the Baltimore Ravens, who have won nine straight as Lamar Jackson has risen to become the front runner for MVP. In most of their nine consecutive wins, the Ravens topped 30, even going over 40. The New York Jets will likely be without two of their top defensive players with Jamal Adams and Quinen Williams nursing injuries. This one will get ugly fast.
It has been crash and burn for the Carolina Panthers, as they have dropped five straight, costing coach Ron Rivera his job. The Seattle Seahawks coming off their first road loss of the season will be looking to rebound. They should have little trouble as little has gone right in the last six weeks in Carolina, as any talk of Kyle Allen being the long-term quarterback has been laughing tossed aside with each Panthers defeat.
Like old times the New England Patriots are being accused of spying on opposing teams, while they struggle with everyone saying this is the end for Tom Brady’s bunch. Once again, after a loss to the Chiefs, all the Patriots and Bill Belichick can say is they are on to Cincinnati. It cannot be denied the Patriots were spying, though it was not to get an edge on the Cincinnati Bengals, it was to get a good laugh. After all, isn’t that the only reason to watch the Bengals these days?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finishing the season on a strong note, as they look to have something to build on for next season. The Buccaneers have played well the last month, winning three straight and four of their previous five games. The Detroit Lions are looking to see if they need to start over, as things have not gone quite as well, as they have lost two quarterbacks to injury and have won just once since Week 3.
The Chicago Bears are making a late push for the playoffs, winning their last three games as Mitchell Trubisky is coming off the best game of his career. The Green Bay Packers are currently in first place with their biggest game lying one week away in Minnesota. The Packers could be caught looking ahead as their offense has not been that sharp over the last few weeks. This one will be close, and the Bears will have a shot to win, but Aaron Rodgers will do just enough to get the win for the Packers.
Drew Lock has impressed in his first two starts, but the Denver Broncos rookie quarterback faces his first real test this week as he heads to Arrowhead and takes on the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are feeling good after two strong games coming off their bye, including last week’s win in Foxboro. Lock could be the quarterback the Broncos have been waiting for, but he will have to put up some big numbers if Denver was going to have a chance to beat Patrick Mahomes.
If the New York Giants wanted to throw a bone to their fans, they would let Eli Manning start this game, as Daniel Jones’ status remains a question following an ankle injury. Manning played well Monday before the Giants went back to the Pat Shurmur playbook and lost their ninth straight game. The Miami Dolphins in the Meadowlands for the second straight week will always play hard, no matter the lack of talent. The same can’t be said for the rudderless Giants.
This game could go a long way in determining the AFC South as both teams enter the game at 8-5. The Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans have yet to meet this season and will play each other twice in the final three weeks. This game in Nashville seems to have an edge to the Titans as they come in with four straight wins and Ryan Tannehill playing the best in his career. The Texans are coming off a flat and disappointing home loss to the Broncos as they got caught in the trap. Expect the game to be close, with the Titans winning.
Although they lost last week, the Washington Redskins continued to play well last week as they gave the Packers all they could handle. The Philadelphia Eagles meanwhile have to consider themselves fortunate to have won on Monday Night as they benefited from a second-half no show from the Giants to win in overtime. Look for Washington to get a second straight home win as they look to get some pride back from a lost season.
What a meeting for Heisman Weekend. The 2019 winner will be revealed on Saturday, while the last two winners, both transfers who won representing Oklahoma meet for the first time on the NFL gridiron. After showing flashes early in the season, Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals have tumbled like a tumbleweed in the desert, losing their last six while Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns have inched back near .500. This one seems like a law of averages take over, and the Cardinals do enough to get the win.
This one could be tricky for the Minnesota Vikings as they should be able to beat a mediocre team like the Los Angeles Chargers easily. However, with a huge game against the Packers next week, this could be that trap game, where they get caught looking ahead. Kirk Cousins always seems to be the quarterback that gets caught in these traps, and the Chargers always seem to come up and sneak up on these teams and steal wins, especially when playing at home.
There can be no other way to describe what the Jacksonville Jaguars have done the last few weeks other than quit. Not only has Jacksonville lost its previous five games, but they have also been non-competitive and have shown little to no effort. The Oakland Raiders themselves have played ugly football the last three weeks, but the Jaguars look like something is wrong on a deeper level.
Don’t look now, but here come the Los Angeles Rams. After playing lackluster football most of the season, they appear to be finally hitting their stride, coming off a strong home win over the Seahawks. The Dallas Cowboys meanwhile seem to be heading for mass changes as everyone around Dallas is sick of their underachieving ways under Coach Jason Garrett. Dallas has yet to beat a team with a winning record this season, and last I looked the Rams were 8-5.
The San Francisco 49ers beat the Saints last week in what could be remembered as the NFL’s game of the year, as the teams tallied up nearly 100 points and traded the lead back and forth. This week back at home, the Niners can put it cruise control as the Atlanta Falcons have neither the offense to match the 49ers nor the defense to keep the game close.
For the first time in a dozen years, the Buffalo Bills will be waiting all day for Sunday Night as they look to clinch a playoff berth. The task will not be easy as the Steelers have played well since Duck Hodges took over at quarterback. While the Bills are Sunday Night neophytes, the Steelers are old pros on Sunday Night. This one should be close, with the Steelers shining under the lights again.
The Indianapolis Colts have fallen on hard times, losing five of their last six games, as the loss of Andre Luck has seemed to have caught up to them. With the playoffs now a longshot, the Colts need to begin evaluating over the final three games. The New Orleans Saints meanwhile already have won their division and are looking to bounce back from a tough loss last week as they hope to get a bye or home-field in the NFC. Expect the Saints to win big.