Updated: Oct 24, 2021
Last week, I went 10-4 on predictions. Let's see if I can get them all right on a murky week of games.
13. Texans vs. Cardinals
Story: Hopkin's Revenge
This is a terrible draw for the Texans. After taking a decisive loss to the Colts, you would hope for a get-right game. However, a game against the undefeated Cardinals is not that. On the other side, Hopkins is in a great position. He comes into this game feeling grand, undefeated, and balling out. His ex-coach fired his ex-team with one win—his former QB about to be traded. Hopkins would love just to pile on, and the Texans would love to be the one in the 6-1 position.
12. Rams vs. Lions
Storyline: Who Got the Better of the Deal?
Matthew Stafford has been balling out of control all season, and Jared Goff has been suitable at times. However, now they get to go head to head, side by side, we can compare them. Nobody knows Goff better than the Rams, and nobody knows Stafford better than the Lions. Both QBs want to hand a fat L to their old organization and show them what they are missing out on. This is the last gasp for Goff. If he ties or beats the Rams, the door is still open on if McVay was wrong about him. But, if he loses, or worse gets blown out, that door is shut.
11. Panthers vs. Giants
Story: Are these QBs Any Good?
Daniel Jones got a King's ransom of weapons, and everyone was just waiting to see if he could hold up. Is he the guy, or does New York need to move on? Honestly, he has been good, but I think the jury is still out. Somehow all of his weapons are injured. It's the damnedest thing I have ever seen, like what are the odds? However, if Daniel Jones can play well and steal a win here, it would go a long way in showing he is the guy in New York. The Giants need the QB to cover some holes for them. Can he do it? On the other side, Darnold looked good when they were playing bad teams, and he had CMC, but now that he does not. The other teams have gotten tougher, he has been struggling. This would be an excellent time for Darnold to get back on track, but the Giants defense will not make it easy.
10. Broncos vs. Browns
Story: Stop the Bleeding
Both of these teams need to stop the bleeding. The Browns just lost both of their running backs somehow to the same injury in different games, and Baker Mayfield is out with a shoulder injury. The Broncos just have not been playing well. Last week, I chose to believe in them, and they burned me. This week, I am not going to lie, I was prepared to pick anybody over the Broncos because they just have not looked right. However, all of the injuries for Browns definitely give me pause. This is a winnable game for the Broncos, but the Browns still have a good defense and backups.
9. Patriots vs. Jets
Story: Revenge Game
Wilson was absolutely exposed in their last match-up. He has to have this game circled on his calendar. Add to that, this is a divisional game, and the Jets would love to get back on the radar. The Patriots cannot let them though. They have been in some close games with contenders, but they have not beaten anyone of consequence. The Patriots need to beat them by a lot and prove they are not in the same tier.
8. Saints vs. Seahawks
Story: Second Chance U
Who would have thought a year ago we would be watching Geno Smith vs. Winston on Monday Night Football. This game means a lot to both guys, who have a lot to prove. Winston is trying to fill the shoes of Brees and show that he can be the guy for years to come. Geno is playing for his career, trying to show every team that he still has it. Unfortunately, the Seahawks are not built very well and they are dealing with injuries, and the Saints are well built.
7. Packers vs. WFT
Story: Who is Gonna Wreck the Game?
Rodgers has a chance to get back in the MVP race with this game. The team has been struggling on defense. However, this front seven could come alive and give Rodgers trouble. Either Rodgers will return to his MVP ways, or the defense has a resurgence.
6. Eagles vs. Raiders
Story: Shootout in the Death Star
Both teams have suitable defenses, but I don't think either team has a defense good enough to be the deciding factor in this game. It is going to come down to Carr and Hurts. Both guys have a lot to prove. Hurts is trying to prove he is the franchise, and so is Carr. Also, Carr is trying to prove he can play well consistently. On the Eagles side, it's not just Hurts who is trying to prove he is the future, but the coach is too. The most important thing the coach needs to show is that he can run the ball.
5. Dolphins vs. Falcons
Story: Tua Time
Big trade rumors are going around about Tua being traded to the Texans and Watson coming to play for the Dolphins. This might be Tua's last chance to make the Dolphins reconsider this move. He played well last week, but lost to the Jags. I understand that is not a great look, but Tua was not the problem. The Dolphins were missing both corners and had no running game. Still, I believe Tua will show out this week. The Falcons actually have a decent offense, but are struggling on defense. If the Falcons can muster some defense against a Dolphins team with no run game, they can play spoiler and string together another win.
4. Bears vs. Bucs
Story: Brady Revenge Game
Last year, Nick Foles and the Bears made the immortal Tom Brady look mortal. He has not forgotten, he even talked a little trash. He called Rodgers a shareholder of the Bears. I bet the Bears are looking to stick it to Brady and continue to be the Kryptonite of the Bucs. As much as I would love to see it, I don't think it's going to happen. The Bears do not match up with the Bucs well at all. The Bears are a run-first team, and Bucs are the best run stoppers. The Bucs are weak in the secondary, but the Bears have struggled to get in sync in the passing game. If Antonio Brown and Gronk don't play, then the Bears have a chance. Otherwise, I think the Bucs will continue to roll.
3. 49ers vs. Colts
Story: Buckner Revenge Game
It has been reported that DeForest Buckner was willing to meet the 49ers halfway on his contract, but they still got rid of him. The Colts have struggled, and so have the 49ers, but I will bet Buckner would love to help the Colts climb up over the 49ers. I think The Colts are way closer to being a good team than the 49ers, but the 49ers have the pieces.
2. Ravens vs. Bengals
Story: Future of the North
Lamar Jackson takes on another new emerging star QB, Joe Burrow. Can he put the smackdown on him like he did to Herbert? Or Will Burrow distinguish himself? Also, this is a divisional game, so they are fighting for playoffs, and who will own this AFC North division for years to come? I think the Ravens defense gives them an edge. Plus, Jackson is another level right now.
1. Chiefs vs. Titans
Story: Reclamation Project
The Bills beat the Chiefs and stole their thunder, but then they lost to the Titans. If the Chiefs beat the Titans, it will give them a lot of momentum back. Both teams have pretty bad defenses, but I would say the Titans defense is better. However, they had many injuries on both sides of the ball in the Bills game. I think this will be an exciting game with lots of lead changes, but I think the Chiefs will walk out with the W. However, Derrick Henry does give the Titans the chance to keep Mahomes off the field.