When the Seattle Seahawks faced the Arizona Cardinals in the desert, they entered the game at 5-0, looking like the class of NFC. Since then, the Seahawks have lost three of their last four games and are suddenly reeling. The Cardinals, who won the first meeting in overtime, enter the game in a three-way in the NFC West with the Seahawks and Rams. The Cardinals are coming off a last-second win with the Kyler Murry to DeAndre Hopkins Hail Mary. The Seahawks need this one badly, and Russell Wilson finds a way to get them back on track.
Neither team is playing well; the Tennessee Titans have lost three of their last four games after a 5-0 start. The Baltimore Ravens have lost two of three and are coming off a terrible Sunday night performance in Foxboro. The Titans shocked the Ravens in the playoffs last year. The Ravens had no answers for Derrick Henry in that game as Lamar Jackson struggled. Jackson has not played well recently, and if the Ravens are to get going, they need him to get back to his MVP level.
The Carolina Panthers have lost their last five games, but with injury problems, especially the loss of Christian McCaffery, they have had some hard luck. The Detroit Lions have had a habit of letting leads slip away but will reach .500 before Thanksgiving with a win. Naturally, that means the Lions will lose because they fail again any time they are about to get over a hump.
Sports can sometimes be cruel. If the season ended today, the Cleveland Browns would be going home despite a 6-3 record. The Philadelphia Eagles will be hosting a playoff game despite their 3-5-1 record. The Eagles are apart of the awful NFC East. Teams from the division have won a combined two games outside the division. That misery will continue as the Browns are a legitimate contender, especially with the return of Nick Chubb.
The New England Patriots played their best game of the season last week and can get back to .500 with a win over the lowly Houston Texans. The Texans are a lost cause this season as the trade of DeAndre Hopkins has been a disaster. The Patriots have many hills to climb to get back to the playoffs, but getting to .500 is the first step. After sitting at 2-5, it is one win away. There is no way that this team does not get that win.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are the NFL’s only unbeaten team at 9-0, the Jacksonville Jaguars have not won since Week 1, and sit at 1-8. The Steelers have a rematch with the Ravens on Thanksgiving, and this could be a trap game. Despite losing his first two starts, Jake Luton has played well at quarterback for Jacksonville. The Steelers will win, but the Jaguars will keep things interesting.
You can throw out the records when these teams play. The New Orleans Saints will be without Drew Brees, who is expected to win two games with a rib injury. Jameis Winston, who is familiar with the NFC South, will get the start. The Atlanta Falcons have played much better since Raheem Morris was named interim coach. A win here would help him get the interim tag removed.
The Cincinnati Bengals have struggled on the road, winless in five games. Washington played well last week as Alex Smith nearly led a second-half comeback against the Lions. In most games, the Bengals have fought tooth and nail and have been in a position to win the game in the fourth quarter. This seems to be the perfect set up for Joe Burrow to get his first road win.
Things are going great for the Miami Dolphins. With five straight wins, they are sitting at 6-3, with Tua Tagovailoa winning his first three games as a starting quarterback. The fear of a letdown is real, and the Dolphins need to be on guard. The Denver Broncos quarterback situation is a mess as Drew Lock is banged up and may not play. Brian Flores will able to help the Dolphins in this game avoid the dreaded letdown.
Despite the 2-7 record of the Los Angeles Chargers, Justin Herbert has played well in his first year at quarterback. Often the Chargers have been felled by fourth-quarter comebacks and experienced quarterbacks knowing how to win close games. This game is the opportunity for the Chargers to get a laugher as they play the hapless horrible New York Jets, who seemed to be flying to a winless season.
Last week the Green Bay Packers won despite a lackluster performance against the Jaguars at Lambeau Field. A game like that will not result in a win this week. The Indianapolis Colts are coming off a big road win in Tennessee and have a second game against the Titans next week. If the Colts can win both, they will be in the driver’s seat for the Divison title. The Colts defense will create problems for Aaron Rodgers, enabling a big win on Sunday.
The bye week was good for the Dallas Cowboys as Andy Dalton is able to return from his concussion. However, Dalton will not solve the Cowboys defense, which has been terrible all season. The Minnesota Vikings are suddenly on fire with three straight wins and can get back to .500 with a win in Dallas. The running of Dalvin Cook has been key for Minnesota, as has improved defensive play. Both will be essential if they are to stay in playoff contention.
The entire starting defense of the Las Vegas Raiders is in COVID protocol due to contact tracing. The Kansas City Chiefs’ only loss this season came at the expense of the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium. What becomes of the Raiders’ defense will be determined by further testing. Either way, you can expect a motivated Chiefs team looking for revenge and shining again under the primetime lights.
Coming off one of the worst games of his career, Tom Brady showed again that he still has the arm to lead his team to victory. The Los Angeles Rams have also had their ups and downs. Each team has three losses and can get one of the top seeds in the NFC with a good second half. The Buccaneers have played several times under the lights and have struggled, but this time it will be different as the sail to victory.