Packers vs Bears
The Bears defense has been lights out this season and even more so they were lights out last week against the Rams. The Packers looked better last week in their first game since firing Mike McCarthy, but this season has been nothing short of disappointing for Green Bay. As fans, we should hope for a game anything like the one between these two in week one, which was a great game and a Packers comeback win, but I don’t see that happening with the way this Bears defense has been playing.
Lions vs Bills
This game has no real significance as both teams aren’t playing for much of anything at this point in the year. The most interesting aspect of this game will probably be seeing if Josh Allen can keep running the ball at the rate he’s been running it at. I’m going to go with the Bills in this one because they’re at home and have the better defense.
Buccaneers vs Ravens
Lamar Jackson will be starting this game for Baltimore despite a healthy Joe Flacco. Jackson has been running the ball like crazy as he is already the teams leading rusher despite his limited playing time so far this season. Tampa Bay has really seen things go downhill this season and while they have passed for the most yards in the league this season, Baltimore is really strong on defense against both the run and the pass.
Cardinals vs Falcons
This game shouldn’t be much to watch and I wouldn’t expect anyone to watch it unless you’re a fan of either of the teams.
Raiders vs Bengals
Take what I said about the game above and apply it to this one, but this one might be even less interesting.
Titans vs Giants
Ever since Odell Beckham proclaimed the Giants would win out they’ve been playing a lot better. This is a very important game for the Titans as they are positioned right in the thick of the wild card race in the AFC. Odell Beckham missed last weeks game for the Giants and he’s listed as questionable to go in this one and if he’s unable to go, that’ll make it even more difficult for the Giants to move the ball against one of the better defenses in football. This game looks like it will be low-scoring and will come down to just a few plays.
Dolphins vs Vikings
This is probably the most important game of the early slate of games when it comes to playoff positioning and really each of these two teams trying to make the playoffs at all. Miami is coming off of the emotion of beating the Patriots last week on the “Miami Miracle” but now they will have to find a way to gather themselves and go to a tough place to play to try and pick up a key win. The Vikings have really struggled on offense, but playing this Miami defense might be exactly what they need to start getting the offense going. With a new offensive coordinator I think the Vikings will look better on that side of the ball and I don’t think Miami is as good as their 7-6 record would indicate.
Redskins vs Jaguars
Washington looked like a potential playoff team before Alex Smith and then Colt McCoy both broke their legs, and since then things have gone downhill, understandably. The Jaguars have still played worse this season and their offense is absolutely anemic if they can’t get Leonard Fournette going on the ground, which they’ve been unable to do because teams can load the box against them with their lack of a passing game.
Cowboys vs Colts
Right up there with the Dolphins vs Vikings game, this is a very important game in the early slate of games. The Cowboys are looking likely to win the NFC East, but are still fighting for potential playoff seeding, while the Colts are trying to fight to get in the playoffs. It feels like the Cowboys have been at home for two months straight and now they’ll have to go on the road to try and win this one. It’s fairly simple in this game though, the Colts have been great this season at protecting Andrew Luck, while the Cowboys have been very good at putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. I think that will determine who wins this game because the chances of Amari Cooper continuing to put up the numbers he’s been putting up is small, even though he’s clearly rejuvenated since being traded to Dallas.
Seahawks vs 49ers
Seattle has been playing really well in the second half of the season and that’s thanks to their running game and defense. The 49ers are not a good team at this point in the season so I see no reason why the Seahawks wouldn’t be able to go into Santa Clara and get a fairly comfortable win.
Patriots vs Steelers
This will be a rematch of a game that was a classic last season that of course ended in controversy with the Jesse James catch/non-catch. Both teams are coming off of really tough losses. This game is important for New England because they’re trying to make sure they get a first-round bye in the playoffs and it’s important for the Steelers because the Ravens are right on their heels in the race for the AFC North. I’m expecting a lot of points in this one with both teams having very good offenses but spotty defenses. Ultimately I can’t pick the Patriots to lose back-to-back games.
Sunday Night Football
Eagles vs Rams
Before the season started this looked like a great game that would have huge playoff implications, but clearly the Eagles season has not gone as people thought it would and now Carson Wentz is out and it’ll be the Nick Foles show. Los Angeles looked terrible on offense last week in Chicago and I’m fully expecting them to look better and get a win here and keep themselves in good position for a first-round bye and potentially home-field advantage in the playoffs.