Remember that thrilling Monday Night Game two weeks ago, where the Rams and Chiefs combined for 105 points? This is the complete opposite of that game. When these teams met in Week 3, the teams combined for 15 points. That loss was the first sign of trouble for the Jacksonville Jaguars, as they lost a week after beating the Patriots. Last year the Tennessee Titans swept the Jaguars and are on the way to doing it again. Both teams are struggling offensively, so expect this one to be ugly and low scoring.
The last time the New York Jets won a game it was October 14th against the Colts. Last week they played well in Tennessee but were unable to finish drives allowing the Titans to stay in the game. The hope is that Sam Darnold will be able to go in Buffalo; this should provide a slight boost for the Jets, who look to be heading into the offseason with a coaching change coming up. The Buffalo Bills embarrassed the Jets in the Meadowlands last month with a backup quarterback. Josh Allen is back but not playing well. Another ugly game will see the Jets slip b as the loser is the true winner of this one.
Things looked good for the Carolina Panthers at the midway point of their season, as they sat at 6-2 and looked to be a lock for the playoffs. However, since they have lost four straight and have begun to unravel as Cam Newton had one of the worst games of his career in Tampa last week. Add the loss of Tight End Greg Olsen and the situation looks dire as Coach Ron Rivera could be standing in the unemployment line on New Years’ Day. The Cleveland Browns already looking for a new coach have won two games since Carolina won their last game.
Two of the biggest letdowns in the NFL meet with each team being all but eliminated for the playoff hunt. Last week things hit rock bottom for the Green Bay Packers as the loss at home to the lowly Cardinals, leading to the dismissal of Coach Mike McCarthy. Clearly, a move was needed, as it appeared McCarthy lost the entire team, including Aaron Rodgers. The Atlanta Falcons have lost four straight games could be seeing some of the same changes coming as they have bungled and fumbled their way in the red zone all season.
Last week the Indianapolis Colts were slapped back to reality as their five-game winning streak came to an end with a shutout loss in Jacksonville. Also ending was Andrew Luck’s eight-game streak of three touchdowns or more. The Houston Texans have won nine straight and are looking better each week. Their streak began with a 37-34 win in Indianapolis after starting 0-3. The Colts clearly missed Ryan Kelly last week, if he is unable to go again, they could suffer another shutout as their offense was out of sync without him and the Texans are a better defense than Jacksonville.
With three straight wins, the Baltimore Ravens have played themselves into the driver’s seat for the sixth seed in the AFC, thanks to a stellar defense. These wins have come with Lamar Jackson at quarterback, winning with his legs rather than his arm. Now they face the most exciting offense in the NFL that despite dealing with the Kareem Hunt drama still dropped 40 points on the Raiders. Beating the Chiefs means being able to match Patrick Mahomes pass for pass, and while Jackson has played well, he does not have the ability to do that.
As December arrives, the New England Patriots are hitting their stride as they get set for another long playoff run. The Miami Dolphins meanwhile are stuck in purgatory at 6-6 winning games against teams that are worse than they are but having no shot against anyone with any ability. Oh, the pain, oh the pain. It never seems to end as they never find a way to gain. Oh, what a shame its very lame and with a loss in this game it’s another division title for New England a tenth in a row, oh what sorrow.
In Week 1, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went into the Superdome and stunned the New Orleans Saints 48-40. After that loss, the Saints rolled off ten straight wins, before a 13-10 loss to the Cowboys last week. Other than that loss in Dallas the Saints were scoring 40 points or more in almost every game, including handing the Rams their first loss of the season. The Saints should be able to bounce back as the Bucs defense has struggled most of the season.
Things have gone in the wrong direction for the Washington Redskins since they beat the New York Giants in the Meadowlands to improve to 5-2 at the end of October. With one win in their last five games, the Redskins are fading fast as they are down to Mark Sanchez at quarterback. Washington has lost three straight, losing both Alex Smith and Colt McCoy to broken legs. Though they are out of it the Giants are playing better as they look to at least salvage their dignity after a 1-7 start.
Last week the Los Angeles Chargers showed their guts and guile with a comeback win over the Steelers in Heinz Field. At 9-3 they are the top Wild Card in the AFC and a quality darkhorse contender for the Super Bowl. Their defense has gotten a boost recently from the return of Joey Bosa. The Cincinnati Bengals struggles have been well documented as they have lost six of seven and four straight as Jeff Driskel is playing in place of Andy Dalton at quarterback.
Don’t look now, but the Denver Broncos are back in playoff contention and on the rise after three straight wins. They started out with wins over the Chargers and Steelers and now have an inside track to the playoffs thanks to some games against some of the NFL’s worst teams. At 2-10 the San Francisco 49ers are one of those worst teams as they have become the NFL’s official slump buster as teams on losing streak play them and get a win and get to feel good about themselves.
This seems to be the week of bad games, and this is another one to miss as the struggling Detroit Lions go into the desert to play the terrible Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals won just their third game on the year last week, beating the Packers in Lambeau Field. The Lions themselves have lost five of six and have just one win outside of Ford Field. The Cardinals even in their win in Green Bay have not gotten much going offensively, the Lions defense should be able to make the key plays and get the win.
When the Dallas Cowboys faced the Philadelphia Eagles a month ago, they appeared to be a dead team walking after falling to 3-5. However, they won that game in impressive fashion and have rolled off four straight wins to rise to the top of the AFC East. The Eagles themselves appear to be on the verge of getting back in the race after climbing to 6-6 with wins over the Giants and Redskins. Logic says the Cowboys are the easy choice because of their hot play, but my gut tells me the Eagles will win, especially with first place in reach with a win.
With two straight losses, the Pittsburgh Steelers are suddenly reeling as they should have easily won both games. Now they face a must win on the road against the Oakland Raiders. Fortunately for them, the Raiders have been one of the worst teams in the NFL all season and appear to be content to tank the rest of the season. The Steelers will be without James Conner, but the Raiders pass defense is among the worst which should open the door for Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown to have a big game.
The Chicago Bears clearly missed Mitchel Trubisky last week as their comeback efforts against the Giants were thwarted in overtime at the Meadowlands. Their defense is among the best, but they can be thrown against if you are a fast and versatile offense like that of the Patriots or the Los Angeles Rams. The game on Sunday Night will be against the Rams will be at Soldier Field, giving them a slight chance, but with Todd Gurley running expect to see Los Angeles get enough offense for their 12th win.
Both the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings have had their ups and downs during the season. Both teams are in the middle of the Wild Card hunt with the winner, getting a considerable leg up. The Seahawks have been the better team as of late, especially with their impressive win in Carolina. The Vikings meanwhile have struggled on the road and against other playoff contenders. The Seahawks with the help of the 12th man will seize control and get the win on Monday Night.