Updated: Dec 12, 2021
14. Seahawks vs. Texans
Storyline: Do the Job
The Texans need to job to the Seahawks. Winning does nothing for them. Just take the L and live to fight another year. They could move up in the draft this week. The Seahawks are just coming off a big win against the 49ers. They have been gifted an easy matchup to help them run the table, but they can't be caught sleeping on the Texans. This game will also show us if Russell Wilson still has it or if he is dealing with an injury. If the Seahawks are good, they should be able to do whatever they want against the Texans.
13. Lions vs. Broncos
Storyline: Can the Lions Do It Again?
The Lions finally won a game. Now, they face a Broncos team that failed to show up against the Chiefs. The Broncos are now 6-6. Their heads are barely above water. However, here the Lions come from deep within the abyss of the NFL to drag the Broncos under .500. Will the Lions continue their losing ways, or will the Broncos have an excellent get-right game?
12. Jaguars vs. Titans
Storyline: Step up Game
Will the Titans finally figure out who they are without their stars and find a way to win? Sounds easy, but the Titans haven't proved that they are that much better than the Jags, as they currently are. This is why this is a big divisional game. Trevor Lawrence, the number one overall pick, could win this game. It's time to see what Trevor Lawrence is made of. He hasn't been spectacular, so this a game to play without excuses against an opponent of similar strength and see what Lawrence can do.
11. Jets vs. Saints
Storyline: Is Wilson a Franchise QB?
The Saints were decimated last week, and then they lost another receiver, Deonte Harris, to off-the-field issues. Kamara is coming back, but the Saints are still very weakened. This is where we find out what Zach Wilson is made of. The Saints are just like the Titans team that Wilson beat. I gave credit to Wilson for his play in the Eagles, but can he be a star this Sunday?
10. Chargers vs. Giants
Storyline: Is Jake Fromm Any Good?
Jake Fromm was a once-promising QB, who dimmed his own light with his off-the-field antics. However, he is getting a second chance due to an unlikely amount of QB injuries. He is facing a better team in the Chargers. However, the Chargers have some players on the COVID list and tend to disappear. So we will see, is Fromm any good?
9. Chiefs vs. Raiders
Storyline: Revenge Game
The Chiefs embarrassed the Raiders in their own stadium the last time they met. This is the Raiders chance to get revenge, but can they take advantage? Carr is inconsistent right now, and the team runs through him. I don't think the Chiefs defense will help him get right.
8. Bears vs. Packers
Storyline: The Young Cub Challenges the Pack Leader Again
Justin Fields gets another crack at Rodgers. He challenged him the first time, and Rodgers defeated him like he always beats the Bears. However, people didn't mention that Fields almost won that game, he played well. Now that he has had a taste of Rodgers, let's see if he can bridge the gap and beat Rodgers.
7. Ravens vs. Browns
Storyline: The Last Dance
The Browns and the Ravens tangled once, and it was super underwhelming. Neither team really showed up, but the Ravens gutted it out and won ugly. Now, they meet again, and this is that regular season matchup between them. The Browns last chance to split the matchup and avoid getting swept. The Ravens are a playoff team, and the Browns need to prove they can hang. Baker, especially, needs to prove he can still ball because the debate around him, while he is trying to get paid, is not good. The debate is, should he even be on the field right now?
6. Steelers vs. Vikings
Storyline: Who Can Climb Out of the Hole?
The Vikings just lost to the Lions. I'll say it again the Vikings just lost to the Lions. They are pushing the panic button, and they should. Dalvin Cook is coming back early, and the Vikings are ready to pull out all the stops to save their season. The Steelers are doing the same thing. They just escaped the Ravens by the skin of their teeth. They are just as desperate. The standard is the standard, and Mike Tomlin is not ready to have a losing season. Also, Ben is in his last year, and he wants to make it back to the playoffs one more time.
5. Falcons vs. Panthers
Storyline: Battle of the Birth
The Falcons and Panthers are both alive in the playoffs. The Falcons lost by double digits last week, but it definitely seems like they are clicking on offense. Now, will the Panthers finally click? Will they finally take their rightful place in the NFL? They fired their offensive coordinator. Will their offense look better? Will their defense play up to their potential? Has Cam had enough time to command the offense?
4. Cowboys vs. WFT
Storyline: Let's Get Ready to Rumble
In one corner, we have the NFL's favorite sons, the Cowboys. They have all the talent and fans, and media coverage. They were predicted to win the NFC East easily. However, now both of their running backs are injured and they need to depend on Dak. Dak has played like an MVP at times this season and has been suspect at others. Can he carry the Cowboys? In the other corner we have Washington, the scrappy team without a name who has been shrouded in scandal. Finally, they are making headlines for their on-field play, but they are still underdogs again, even though they are the reigning defending NFC East Champions. Can they sweep the Cowboys and retain their title?
3. 49ers vs. Bengals
Storyline: Super Bowl Surge
Two teams coming off loses where they could have, and should have, been victorious. Two teams on the backside of Super Bowl contention meet each other for the right to forge ahead towards their Super Bowl goals. In this game, the Bengals have the offensive upper hand, but the 49ers have the defensive upper hand. It will be interesting to see who will come out on top. The 49ers will either dominate time of possession and keep the ball out of Burrow's hands, or the Bengals will run the score up and force the 49ers to throw their way to victory.
2. Bills vs. Bucs
Storyline: Super Showdown
These two teams match up really well. The Bills excellent defense can slow down star-studded offense. Alternatively, the Bucs run defense will force the Bills to throw more than they would like to and likely make mistakes. This is a bigger test for Josh Allen than Tom Brady. If the Bucs play their game, run the ball and play-action, take what they are given, all signs show they can win. However, for Allen, the path is less clear. He has to be near perfect. He has to elevate his team without pushing so hard he forces things and costs his team. He has to be elite.
1. Rams vs. Cardinals
Storyline: Busting Stereotypes
The Cardinals are on a great run. The only thing that could stop them right now is injury, and even that hasn't slowed them down very much. However, Kyler has had trouble staying healthy and was already out this year. He needs to prove he can finish the job and complete the run the Cardinals are on. Stafford and the Rams have pushed all their chips into this team this year. They have to win this game, and the Cardinals can't sweep them. Also, Stafford has a Kirk Cousins-like perception that he can't beat good teams. He needs to disprove that right now against the Cardinals.