The last time the Lions won in Green Bay, was the last time they swept the season series against the Packers. A month ago this looked like an easy win for the Pack, but since their win in Lambeau Field the Lions have been red hot, winning three straight, while the Packers are stumbling with three losses in their last four games. The Packers have sorely missed Jordy Nelson as Devonte Adams has had a tough time making the clutch catch. This has left Aaron Rodgers frustrated calling out this team for caring more about video games. To which the Packers responded thank go another Thursday Night game, weekend Madden Tournament.
The Texans roll into Buffalo with a head of steam winning four straight to get back into playoff contention. Defense has been the story behind the Texans turnaround as J.J. Watt who struggled early is starting to take over games like he did last season. The Bills also have a solid defense and typically play well at home. The Bills have gotten steady play from Tyrod Taylor and Sammy Watkins, and need a win to have any realistic hope of staying in the Wild Card Hunt. With the Texans facing the Patriots next week, it would not be shocking to catch them looking past the Bills, which could open the door for a Buffalo stampede.
Don’t look now, but the Bears could reach .500 with a win on Sunday. Coming off a Thanksgiving Night win in Lambeau Field the Bears are suddenly in the playoff race, as Jay Cutler has silenced some of his critics by playing solid football all season. The 49ers meanwhile can’t wait for the season to end. At 3-8 the Niners have been particularly bad away from Levi’s Stadium. This game looks like it has blowout written all over it as the 49ers will barely even show up for the early kickoff.
Tim Couch, Ty Detmer, Doug Pederson, Spergon Wynn, Kelly Holcomb, Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Ken Dorsey, Bruce Gradkowski, Colt McCoy, Sencea Wallace, Brandon Weeden, Thad Lewis, Jason Campbell, Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manzeil, Connor Shaw, Josh McCown, and now Austin Davis. Those are the 24 men who have started a game at quarterback since the Browns returned in 1999. Davis gets the start with Josh McCown on the shelf and Johnny Manzeil in chateau le bow wow with a fine port and a fifth of jack.
One thing that is likely to happen is the game will be decided by one score, as the Ravens seem to go down to the wire every game. Both teams are in the midst of disappointing seasons at 4-7. The Dolphins are heading for a major shakeup, while the Ravens just hope the season can end without any more injuries. The Dolphins have now fired Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor completely transforming their staff. None of the people in charge no will be in Miami in September. Though with this game at home, they will get a slight edge considered the Ravens are without nine key starters, including their four most important players.
Over .500 for the first time all season, the Seahawks season could go either way from here. Their defense has been a major let down all season allowing 30 points last week despite beating the Steelers at home. The offense meanwhile has dealt with several issues and now is starting to suffer key injuries. Jimmy Graham is out for the season following a knee injury, while Marshawn Lynch remains on the shelf following groin surgery. The Vikings meanwhile just continue to win. With the exception of a loss at home to the Packers, the Vikings have been the best team in the NFC North all season thanks to the running of Adrian Peterson.
Met Life Stadium is a battle ground for New York bragging rights as both the Jets and Giants need to win the game to stay in the playoff chase. The Jets may have the better record, but the Giants at 5-6 have the easiest path thanks to the horrendous NFC Least. The Jets should be able to move the ball against the Giants lackluster defense, while the loss of Darrelle Revis, likely out again with a concussion will open the way for Eli Manning and Odell Beckham to have a big game. The Giants will get the shot out win with Penguin Boy passing for 400 yards, with Beckham creating his own highlight reel.
The only thing the Cardinals need to be on guard for is the letdown, as the Rams are sinking like a stone, with the coaching staff completely losing faith in Quarterback Nick Foles. The Rams could get big games from Todd Gurley and their strong defense, but unless Foles shows up or Carson Palmer struggles it is hard to imagine the door opening wide enough for the Rams to win the game. The Rams have dropped four straight and are looking worse every week along the way.
What has happened to the Atlanta Falcons? When the season began the dirty birds where just as good as the Panthers, winning their first five games. However, since they have won just once and will find themselves at 6-6 if they don’t wake up this week. The Buccaneers have already knocked off the Falcons in Atlanta, and now can reach 6-6 with a win at home. Offense has been the biggest reason for the Falcons sudden failures as Matt Ryan as looked anything but cool under pressure. Jameis Winston meanwhile has begun to learn the league and has shown veteran type leadership. It’s hard to see that trend reversing this week.
These two featherweights meet for the second time in three weeks. Two weeks ago the Jaguars had a come from behind win on Thursday Night at home. These two teams are about even and that is not a good thing, as both teams are among the worst in the NFL. This is why the Titans should be able to get the win. Marcus Martiota has shown signs of being a capable quarterback, but on a team devoid of talent he has been a man on an island. The Jaguars meanwhile seem to be spinning their wheels with just as many questions about the future than the current team today.
The Chiefs are surging getting to 6-5 with five straight wins, after appearing to be a dead team walking at 1-5. The Raiders have had their ups and downs all season, if they want to stay in the playoff chase this is a must win at home for the Black and Silver. Last year the Raiders ended their 16 game losing streak by beating the Chiefs in Oakland. The Chiefs have always struggled in the black hole. With a strong game from Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, look for the Raiders to win a shootout.
Coming off a dramatic overtime win over the Patriots, the Broncos now have a full-fledged quarterback controversy as Brock Osweiler has proven he can win in the NFL. Osweiler is young and mobile and may fit what the Broncos want to do better than Peyton Manning who is clearly in the sunset of his career, dealing with several aches and pains including a plantar fasciitis injury. Defense is still the key to Denver and facing a Chargers team playing out the string I see that defense again having a big day to lead the way.
The Eagles have banned together and decided to buy some stamps, and mail in the rest of the season. It is clear they don’t like their coach, and are trying to get Chip Kelly fired as Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford have each torched them for five touchdowns in the last two games. Now the go to Foxboro and face Tom Brady, coming off a loss. Bill Belichick was angry after the game and like another man in green the Eagles won’t like Belichick when he is angry. This game smells like a blowout as the Eagles lay another egg with Chip wondering how he would look in burnt orange and what fingers are used to hook those horns.
Much like the Eagles, the Saints have quit. The Saints are likely playing for a lame duck coach, as Sean Payton could opt out at the end of the season. The Saints window has closed, Drew Brees is getting old and it is time to tear it down and start from scratch. Payton will likely be the first coach to get a new job in the off-season. The Panthers meanwhile, are here and now and the last of the unbeaten. The Saints defense is terrible and the Panthers defense is terrific, look for another long day for Brees as Cam Newton daps his way to another win at the Superdome.
Both teams have had their up and downs this season and come into the game with a record of 6-5. Both teams are also in the playoff chase, but the Colts are in a strong position thanks to the mediocre AFC South. The Steelers meanwhile need to go after the wild card and can’t afford a loss in this game. Health has been a big issue for both teams, with Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger each fighting injuries. Big Ben will likely play, while Luck continues to sit with Indianapolis, winning all four of 40-year-old Matt Hasslebeck’s starts. With this game in Pittsburgh it is hard to see that trend continues, as Roethlisberger has another big passing day in primetime.
The Cowboys have had an absolute nightmare season, and now must rely on Matt Cassel for the rest of the season after Tony Romo reinjured his collar bone on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys lost seven straight without Romo in his first trip to Injured Reserve. Sitting at 3-8 their faint playoff hopes will be put to an official end on Monday Night against the Redskins. The Redskins have a chance to take control of the NFC Least with a win and reach .500. At FedEx Field, the Redskins have delivered all season, winning five straight after opening the season with a loss to the Dolphins. Look for that trend to continue as Kirk Cousins has another solid game, with the Cowboys offense stuck in the mud.