Updated: Oct 27
14. Dolphins vs. Vikings
The Vikings just got away from the Bears with a win, and now they are at the top of the division. Luckily for the Vikings, their first test at the top is a Dolphins team that is starting their third-string QB, Skylar Thompson. This is a chance for the Vikings to pick up a dominant win and create a tidal wave of momentum. However, this is also a chance for coach Mike McDaniel to steal the Vikings momentum by pulling off a huge upset with his third-string QB.
13. Rams vs. Panthers
How Far Have We Fallen?
The Rams just lost to a backup QB, so why not lose to another one? The Panthers are starting PJ Walker instead of Baker Mayfield, and they have fired their head coach, Matt Rhule. Nobody knows what to expect from the Panthers this week. They have a chance to shock the Rams. However, if the Panthers come out and play poorly against the Rams and lose, it could crush the team's morale going forward. However, if the Rams lose back-to-back games to backup QBs, it could start a pretty bad slump.
12. Bucs vs. Steelers
The Bucs have been sleepwalking through the season. There isn't a single game where the Bucs have played well in all phases. Last week, the Bills massacred the Steelers. Could this be the game the Bucs finally wake up? The Steelers have a good QB in Kenny Pickett. Pickett gives all of the Steelers offensive playmakers a higher upside. However, the offensive playcalling has come under serious fire. Also, the defense is in shambles right now. The Steelers are missing some critical pieces on defense due to injury. If the Steelers start stealing victories, it has to be because of their offense. Also, the Bucs are good candidates. They are not in their final form, and they almost let the Falcons beat them just last week.
11. 49ers vs. Falcons
Rebound or Rerun?
The Falcons had a tough loss last week, where the refs pretty much screwed them. Will the controversial loss fuel the fire in the Falcons and lead them to upset the 49ers? It would certainly be a big win for the team to beat the coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, with whom the Falcons went to the Super Bowl. However, the 49ers have found their identity, and they are operating like a well-oiled machine. Can the Falcons knock the 49ers off course?
10. Browns vs. Patriots
Both the Browns and the Patriots are shorthanded. The Patriots are missing their QB, Mac Jones, and number one RB, Damien Harris. The Browns are missing their star QB, Deshaun Watson. It's the coach who abandoned the Browns, Bill Belichick, versus the coach who is trying to revive the Browns, Kevin Stefanski. Coach Stefanski has to find a way to keep Jacoby Brissett from throwing away the game at the end. Jacoby has made critical mistakes in pretty much every loss. This will be his greatest test yet because Bill Belichick can make way better QBs than Jacoby want to tear their hair out. Hopefully, Jacoby's experience playing for the Patriots will help. The Patriots defense needs to put on a clinic for them to come away with a win. This game should be an excellent chess match between coaches.
9. Giants vs. Ravens
Something to Prove
The Giants proved they were a playoff level team last week. However, if they beat the Ravens, the Giants will prove that they are a playoff team and a team you don't want to play in the playoffs. If the Giants win, that will put the Giants on the map, but a Ravens win would solidify the Ravens. The Ravens also have a lot to prove and they are trying to prove that they are true Super Bowl contenders.
Plus, Lamar Jackson is trying to play for a contract. Lamar is in a tough position because his running game is nothing to write home about, and his number one receiver, Rashod Bateman, is hurt. However, Lamar still has opportunities, and he has hit them. Lamar can still win the Super Bowl and be an MVP, but he has to beat teams like the Giants. This is also a game for the Ravens defense to step up because Daniel Jones can be taken advantage of.
8. Jets vs. Packers
Packers vs. New York Rematch
The Giants have proved they should be taken seriously by beating the Packers. Can the Jets be the next New York team to beat the Packers and prove they are for real? Coach Robert Saleh said he would be keeping receipts on people who wrote the Jets off. So far, he has lived up to that mentality. The Jets look good on both sides of the ball, and they are a winning team. The Jets could upset the Packers. It comes down to whether or not the Packers lean into who they are this year. The Packers don't run through Aaron Rodgers anymore. The Packers run through Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion. Once they accept that, they will win again.
7. Colts vs. Jaguars
Do the Jaguars Still Own the Colts?
It's been ugly for the Colts every time they have stepped up to the Jaguars. However, the Colts just got an ugly win against the Broncos. Could they get another? Also, the last time the Colts faced the Jaguars, they had some key injuries. Now, we get to see if the Colts have made the necessary corrections to finally beat the Jaguars. The Jaguars are on tilt, and they just gave the Texans their first win. It seems like when the team puts the ball in Trevor Lawrence's hands, and he has to go win the game, the Jaguars lose. Can the defense smother the Colts, or will the Colts finally break through?
6. Bengals vs. Saints
The Red Rifle Returns
Andy Dalton will be starting against his old team, the Bengals. You can bet Dalton wants to get a win over the new young QB, Joe Burrow, and remind the Bengals fans who brought them to the playoffs first. The Bengals have some questions to answer as well. Through five weeks, it's hard to say the Bengals are definitely a good team. I had high hopes for the Saints, but they have to start racking up some wins soon. Hopefully, they can get healthy soon too.
5. Cardinals vs. Seahawks
NFC West Shootout
Coming into this season, people would have assumed the Cardinals would be the overwhelming favorite in this game, and the Seahawks would be trying to get their first or second win. In actuality, the Seahawks have been playing well, and the Cardinals and Seahawks have the same record. This game is unofficially for third place in the division. If the Cardinals lose to the Seahawks, we will have to consider the possibility that the Cardinals won't make the playoffs this year. If the Seahawks win, we will have to consider the fact that they might be a playoff team this year.
4. Chargers vs. Broncos
Who Will Live Up to Their Potential?
Injuries have ravaged the Chargers, and their coach has hindered them from success. Last week, the Chargers beat the Browns because of a missed field goal. But honestly, it feels like a loss. Despite having many defensive acquisitions and a defensive coach, the Chargers defense is a liability again. The offense isn't at full strength, and it feels like there is no consistency with the Chargers. The Broncos main problem has been Russell Wilson not playing like himself. However, I believe Russ will recover and get back to himself. The Broncos defense gives them a chance to win any game. They are just waiting for the offense, and this is the game Russ comes back. He was humbled against the Colts. Russ will be efficient this week and make better decisions.
3. Bears vs. Commanders
The Commanders and the Bears have struggled so far this season and are considered bottom tier teams in the league. The Bears were criticized for running a leather helmet offense, but they have recently opened the playbook up, and Justin Fields is getting better week after week. The Commanders are the team that saw Carson Wentz get dumped by two consecutive teams and then said I can change him. Now, Ron Rivera, who helped pick Carson, has thrown Carson Wentz under the bus for the team's troubles. Will Washington bounce back in a winnable game or continue to implode? Will the Bears progress finally manifest in a win?
2. Cowboys vs. Eagles
Streak vs. Streak
The Eagles are undefeated this year, and they are the only team in the NFL to win five straight games. The Eagles play the Cowboys, who the Eagles have struggled against during Jalen Hurts tenure as QB. If Jalen Hurts has truly arrived, he will have to prove it by getting over the Cowboys hump. However, Jalen isn't the only QB with something to prove. Cooper Rush is undefeated as a starting QB, and his only way to hang on to his starting job is to remain undefeated. If he can be the one, in 5-1, for the Eagles, he gets that much closer to keeping the Cowboys starting job. Whose streak will end?
1. Chiefs vs. Bills
Who Are the Top Dogs?
Last year, the Bills beat the Chiefs in the regular season and damn near beat them in the playoffs. However, the Chiefs escaped with a win, and Patrick Mahomes defended his title as the best QB. This week, we are going to find out if Josh Allen and the Bills have surpassed the Chiefs. If the Chiefs lose, they can regain their crown in the playoffs, but the Bills will be the top dogs. Everyone already thinks the Bills are better, and that's why the Chiefs are three-point underdogs at home. Now, it's just time to see if everyone is right or if the Chiefs will prove everyone wrong.