Updated: Oct 22
13. Browns vs. Colts
Is There More
The Browns and Colts have both had exciting but rocky seasons. The Colts have outperformed expectations, but last week, they could have looked better with Minshew at QB. Anthony Richardson is out for the season, so nobody is coming to save them. Have the Colts hit a wall, or do they have to show more?
The Browns have just beaten one of the last two undefeated teams without their star QB or running back. Did they get lucky, or can they keep this up? Will Watson be able to come back and establish the Browns as the Super Bowl contenders they should be? The Browns should be doing what the Lions are doing, but can they get there?
12. Packers vs. Broncos
Getting Out of the Mudd
Both of these teams are very meh right now. The Packers go back and forth between looking like they have an average QB or a special one. He is exactly what I thought, which is average with an above-average ceiling. Justin Fields and many other QBs have had great days against the Broncos. Jordan Love has a chance to clarify how good he is with his performance against this rippable Broncos defense.
The Broncos are once again in a hole. They need to start stacking some wins, or heads are gonna roll again. Hey, if the Raiders can beat the Packers, why not the Broncos? At the very least, maybe with each game, the Brocnos can improve and get closer to being a good team.
11. 49ers vs. Vikings
Back to Earth
The 49ers had an unlikely loss last week, and the Vikings had an unlikely win. The 49ers came into Cleveland playing a shorthanded Browns team, thinking they would cream them. Instead, the Browns delivered the 49ers their first loss. Now, the 49ers could be shorthanded. Will they bounce back harder and reestablish their dominance, or will their losses compound?
The Vikings were shorthanded against a hot Bears team and ground out a victory. Now they play the 49ers, who have injuries but are one million times better than the Bears. Can the Vikings find a way to win again, or will they come crashing back down to earth?
10. Giants vs. Commanders
Looking for Hope
The Giants had the most encouraging loss of their five. Tyrod Taylor had the offense looking great. The 45 million dollar question is whether or not Tyrod should be the starting qb. Daniel Jones hasn't been ruled out, but he isn't trending well either. Either way, the question will be answered. Either Daniel Jones comes back and plays well and moves or plays poorly, and the Giants look better off without him, or Tyrod comes back and looks good again or struggles, making the Bills game look like a fluke.
It has been a bumpy ride for the Commanders, but here they are. Depending on the week, they waffle between being considered a league punching bag or a frisky team. Now they face a Giants team who went to the playoffs and won last year, and it's the Commanders who walk in with the advantage in personnel and the better record. Who will climb the NFC East ladder this week?
9. Bucs vs. Falcons
Moment of Clarity
The Bucs and Falcons are both teams with excitement around them. The Falcons may actually be good for the first time in years. The Bucs look like Baker will stop them from falling off a cliff like most people suspected they would. However, this is a divisional rivalry, and only one of these teams will likely make the playoffs. This game is significant as it could come up later. Will the Falcons announce themselves as the air to the divisional throne, or will the Bucs maintain dominance over the NFC South?
8. Bears vs. Raiders
Battle of the Backups
It's a tough life for fans of the Chicago Bears, and the organization seems dedicated to ensuring it never gets better. After two back-to-back great games by Justin Fields and the offense and the best game of the season for the Bears offensive line, the Bears regressed. The Bears' line had their worst offensive line showing of the year on the same day that Luke Getsy put one of his worst game plans together. As soon as Getsy was off the hot seat, he tried to go right back to what got him there in the first place, which also explains how the Bears looked so terrible to open the season. On top of all that bad, Justin got injured trying to throw the ball out, and now he's out for an undetermined amount of time with an injury to his throwing hand.
The Raiders, on the other hand, have been a pleasant surprise. They don't look like world-beaters, but they are watchable and scrappy. They are at 3-3, and their defense is really coming along, which is something the Raiders have needed for a long time. However, Jimmy G is down with a back injury, and now the reliable but older Journeymen QB Brian Hoyer will have to pick up the slack. Luckily, the Bears will most likely be starting their backup QB as well. In this battle of the backups, anything could happen. Who will be able to survive their losses?
7. Jaguars vs. Saints
Under the Radar Contenders
The Jaguars and Saints both have tons of good pieces on their offense and suffocating defenses. However, outside of their fanbases, they are causing little excitement. These teams aren't being talked about mainly because of their QBs. Both Quarterbacks are talented and have decent personal journeys, but they don't stand out from the pack.
Also, these teams have yet to be featured heavily. The Jaguars played twice overseas, and for the crowd across the pond, that was great, but for everyone in America, that game was early and probably didn't get the most eyeballs. The Saints had a Monday night game, but there were other games on a night where you are supposed to be the only game. This Thursday, things will be different. The Jaguars and Saints will be in prime time as the first taste of week seven football. All eyes will be on them and only them. Who will break out, and who will shrink under the bright lights?
6. Bucs vs. Patriots
The Patriots are on the worst run in recent memory. Bill is trying to break the all-time wins record, but now he is on track to break the all-time record for regular season losses and career losses. The Patriots look helpless, and now they have to play the team that demolished them in the 2021 playoffs.
However, the Bills can be really inconsistent at times. The Jets were able to beat the Bills, so why can't the Patriots? The Patriots are the only ones with the power to change the course of their season. Can they start here with a shocking win over a division rival, or will this be more dirt on their grave?
5. Seahawks vs. Cardinals
The Seahawks and Cardinals are doing very differently by record. However, they have one very important thing in common. Both of these teams can play with anybody. If this were a videogame, they would have the Evenly Matched ability. They can play with anybody, regardless of record, any given week. The Seahawks are a little better, so they have been on the right side of those games. However, the Cardinals are just as likely to come out on top in this kind of matchup.
4. Rams vs. Steelers
The Rams and Steelers are two teams that have been surprisingly good this year. The Steelers lead their division, which most Steelers fans didn't even see coming, and the Rams are way more viable than people believed they would be. Both these teams have excellent Super Bowl-winning head coaches, and they both have tough defenses and explosive talent on offense.
Sean Mcvay may have to leave the game if his wife goes into labor, and the Steelers fanbase and some players wish Matt Canada would leave the game early. However, plenty of great matchups are on the field regardless of what's happening with the coaching staff. Will Allen Robinson show the Rams how they should have used him? Will Stafford light up the Steelers defense? Who will have a better day, Dionte and Pickens or Kupp and Puka? Who's gonna be the best defender on the field, TJ Watt or Aaron Donald? This is going to be a fight, and the toughest team will win.
3. Lions vs. Ravens
How The Times Have Changed
The last time the Ravens and Lions faced off it was 2021. The Ravens were a contending team that fell apart after injury after injury nipped away at the season. The Lions were a three-win team. Still, the Ravens only made it by the Lions in 2021, thanks to a record-breaking 66-yard field goal. Fast Forward to 2023, and the Ravens are still having some injury difficulties and are winning physical, ugly-looking games. The Lions, however, are the number-one team in the league. Will the Lions establish their dominance or get humbled by the Ravens?
2. Chargers vs. Chiefs
As we prepare to watch another shootout between Herbert and Mahomes in the AFC West, let's look back at the history. Mahomes is undefeated in the Chargers house during Justin Herbert's time as a Charger. Justin has beaten the Chiefs two times in his entire career, even though they play twice a year every year. Herbert had one legit win and another against the Chief's backups when the Starters sat out to prepare for playoffs.
Herbert set the market this year with his deal, but he hasn't looked great so far. People question whether he is just a good QB or an elite player. There is no better way for Herbert to get everything back at once than beating Patrick Mahomes in front of Taylor Swift and the World. Likewise, the Chiefs are doing a lot better than the Chargers, but they have yet to look like themselves. If they could dominate the Chargers with an electric offensive performance, it would really energize the team and give them something to build off. They have basically owned the Chargers, but is that still true?
1. Eagles vs. Dolphins
Who's The Realist?
Last year, the Eagles steamrolled their opponents and went nearly undefeated. Everyone was talking about them. Are they legit, or is it a weak schedule? How does the GM keep acquiring these elite players? Where should Jalen Hurts be ranked? Is Jalen Hurts the MVP? This year, the Eagles have struggled more than their record shows.
However, the Dolphins seem like the more interesting team this year. Last year, Tua got hurt, which makes people forget the Dolphins were putting together a great season with amazing numbers and a near 100 percent success rate with a healthy Tua under center. Both teams have a lot to prove, but it's more about the Dolphins than the Eagles. Whereas last year, the Dolphins would have been a test for the Eagles, this year, the Eagles are a test for the Dolphins.
Can the Dolphins game plan survive a talented, physical team like the Eagles? Can the Dolphins go toe to toe with the reigning NFC Champions? This game will tell us a lot about how far the Dolphins can go. Also, as the reigning NFC champions, it would be easy for the Eagles to snatch the attention back with a big win over a hot team. Can the Eagles get back on track after a rough loss to the Jets?