You can usually throw out the records when these two NFC South rivals meet. Two weeks ago, the New Orleans Saints laid a whoopin’ on the Atlanta Falcons in the Superdome. This was without Drew Brees, who still is unable to play. The Falcons bounced back last week and crushed the Raiders, while the Saints got a free win in Denver. The Saints have not lost since Week 3, winning their last eight games. The Falcons are desperate and find a way to get the split with their archrivals.
Both of these teams are an absolute mess. The Chicago Bears started 5-1 but have lost their last five games. The Detroit Lions are 4-7 with a new coach as Matt Patricia was tossed out with turkey carcass after a loss on Thanksgiving. Detroit had a shot at winning in Week 1 but collapsed in the fourth quarter. The Bears could be next to change coaches as Matt Nagy is in trouble with the Bears’ offense sputtering. Every team that has changed coaches this year has won their first game with a new coach. Look for that trend to continue.
The Indianapolis Colts have historically dominated the Houston Texans. In 18 meetings in Indianapolis, the Colts have 15 wins. The Texans have not faired much better at home. Coming off a tough loss to the Titans, the Colts are looking for a bounce-back. They had some trouble with the COVID last week and should have their defense back to full strength against Houston, who comes in playing their best football after wins in their last two games.
This was supposed to be a meeting of the two top quarterbacks in this year’s draft. Joe Burrow will not play for the Cincinnati Bengals, having suffered a knee injury two weeks ago. Tua Tagovailoa is expected to be a game-time decision for the Miami Dolphins after missing last week with a sprained thumb. The Dolphins defense has been on a hot streak, especially in the turnover department, having taken the ball away in 17 straight games. With a tough schedule on the horizon, expect Miami to ride their defense to victory again.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have not won since Week 1 and appear to be heading for an off-season of changes after firing GM David Caldwell. Coach Doug Marone survived the ax for now but likely will be next. Mike Glennon played well in his first start last week but lost as a two-point try failed. Glennon may be able to keep this close, but the Minnesota Vikings, still holding out hope for a playoff push, gets the win to get back to .500.
Last week the Las Vegas Raiders suffered an embarrassing loss in Atlanta. The Raiders had an embarrassing loss last season in the Meadowlands against the New York Jets. This year the Jets come into this game with an embarrassing record of 0-11. The Raiders are bound for a bounce back, and the Jets are just a sheer shit show. Look for another embarrassment with the Raiders winning with ease.
The Cleveland Browns are one win away from their first winning season since 2007. At 8-3, they are close to a playoff berth. However, they are coming off a lackluster effort against the Jaguars last week and look primed for a fall. The Tennessee Titans are flying high after a big game back Derrick Henry to regain first place in the AFC South. Henry is having an MVP type season and will again have a big day to beat the Browns.
Both teams are coming off gut-wrenching losses. Two weeks ago, these teams were in a three-way tie for the NFC West. The Arizona Cardinals are in a dire situation with two straight losses and hanging at 6-5. The Los Angeles Rams have issues at stopping teams that can run the ball. The Cardinals can run the ball. Look for Kyler Murray to make the big plays to get the Red Birds back on the winning track.
Not all first-place teams are equal. The Seattle Seahawks look like a first-place team at 8-3, the New York Giants at 4-7 are a product of the NFC East. New York comes in with three straight wins but will likely be without quarterback Daniel Jones who pulled a hamstring in Cincinnati last week. The Seahawks defense has played better in the past few weeks and are getting their offense back running, with Chris Carson leading the rushing attack.
When the Philadelphia Eagles were clawing their way to a Super Bowl title in 2017, Carson Wentz played at an MVP level before suffering a knee injury. Since then, Wentz has struggled as he appears shell shocked with the Eagles losing their last three games. The Green Bay Packers are running away with the NFC North as Aaron Rodgers is having a fantastic season. Look for the Packers to win this one easily.
Justin Herbert has had a fantastic rookie season, but the Los Angeles Chargers can’t buy a break. The New England Patriots are close to getting back to .500 after their dramatic win over the Cardinals last week. This is despite less than stellar play from Cam Newton. The quarterback is key, but so is coaching, and the Patriots will always have that edge with Bill Belichick, while the Chargers’ Anthony Lynn has everyone scratching their heads.
The Denver Broncos will have an actual quarterback this week after last week’s disaster. It likely will not matter as they face the red hot Kansas City Chiefs, who are 10-1. Patrick Mahomes is playing like an MVP, Tyreek Hill is spreading defenses, and the Chiefs look every bit like a team that can repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Now that Hail to the Redskins is gone, I Don’t Like Mondays can be the theme of the Washington Football Team as they are 5-24 on Mondays since 2000 and 3-18 in their last 21 games. This means after death and taxes, a Washington loss on Monday is the next sure thing. The Pittsburgh Steelers at 11-0 are the last unbeaten team in the NFL. Hard to see Washington’s Monday failures reversing themselves.
The San Francisco 49ers have been sent packing to the Arizona desert due to the draconian COVID rules in Santa Clara banning contact sports. This means they can’t practice or play at Levis Stadium. This has been a trying season for the Niners as they have been ravaged by injuries. Some of their key players are back, as they hold out faint hope to get back in playoff contention. The Buffalo Bills are in the lead for the AFC East and looking well but sometimes have trouble on the road, which opens the door for the 49ers to get a Monday Night win.
With three losses in their last four games, the Baltimore Ravens face a must-win against the Dallas Cowboys. Last week’s COVID mess has had a fallout as this game has moved from Thursday to Tuesday. The Ravens should have Lamar Jackson back, which will help, as the Cowboys are a complete mess. There loss on Thanksgiving and the decision making of Mike McCarthy have the Cowboys at 3-8 in last place in the worst division in football.