Updated: Jan 15
15. Bills vs. Patriots
Reaction (Thursday Night Football)
The Bills and the Patriots are no longer a rivalry. The Patriots have completely fallen off. They had a whole year to avenge one of the worst playoff losses of all time. However, when the Bills came to town, the Patriots had nothing. The worst part was that the Patriots didn't even look like themselves. They made stupid mistakes, threw the ball too much, and barely ran it. They didn't take away the Bills best weapon and make them win another way. The Bills offense and defense didn't even look dominant. They just took what the Patriots gave them, which was everything.
Predicted: Bills; Winner: Bills
14. Cowboys vs. Colts
Level One Boss
The Colts are just a level one boss. They will offer some resistance and some people will lose to them, but most teams will beat them. This a chance for the Cowboys to prove they are real contenders. If they can be trusted, the offense should play efficient football and get a lead. Then, the defense should completely wreck the game for the Colts. The Colts line is way worse than the Vikings, and we saw what the Cowboys did to the Vikings.
The Colts have a slim path to victory. The Cowboys have struggled with the run this season. So if Jonathan Taylor can pull off a Herculean effort, it will open up the pass and give the Colts a chance to win. Plus, Jeff Saturday is 0-2 against coaches with at least one year of experience with a team and 0-1 against Super Bowl winning head coaches. Will he be able to even the score against Mike McCarthy? Or will the Cowboys ride on to another victory?
13. Ravens vs. Broncos
The Ravens have been struggling to close out games. They have no problem getting leads, but the defense can't close out games. As much as I hate to say it, Russell Wilson has been terrible this year. It's just a fact at this point. If Ravens are going to prove they can close out games, then it should be done against this team. If they can't close out the Broncos, they have serious problems.
The Broncos are down bad. The coach looks incompetent and Russell looks washed. Now, there are rumors that Russell has lost the locker room. The Broncos season is over, but that doesn't mean that there is nothing to play for. If the Broncos can finish the season strong, that will give Broncos fans hope that Russell and the Broncos could bounce back next year. Russell balling out against the Ravens could restore faith in him from the locker room.
12. Packers vs. Bears
I Just Need a Win
The Bears are a bad team. The fans and organization are well aware of that. Nobody really cares about winning or losing as long as Justin Fields is growing. The fans and the organization want a high draft pick to accompany the cap space they have cleared. However, if it's one win, the Bears fans wouldn't be mad at beating the Packers. Plus, Justin Fields has been working so hard and almost overcoming the Bears bad roster every game. I'm sure he is ready for his historic performances to finally equal a win. Plus, he is very passionate about beating Green Bay. It's really unfortunate that when the Packers are at their worst, the Bears are somehow worse.
The Packers are still trying to pretend they have a chance at getting into the playoffs when everyone else knows they are all but eliminated. However, Jordan Love played well against the best team in NFL when Rodgers was knocked out of the game with an injury. The Packers should be playing Jordan Love to see if he is any good before they have to make a decision. However, Rodgers doesn't want to give Love the chance to have a big coming out party against a terrible Bears defense. Rodgers would rather take that opportunity to beat up on the Bears himself to make people forget about how he has been playing lately. Also, this game isn't just about the players involved. This game is historic. The winner of this game will be the NFL's all-time leader in franchise wins.
11. Texans vs. Browns
The Texans are playing in the only game that will make them relevant all year. They are trying to prove they have moved on from their former franchise quarterback, even though they are clearly in shambles. For Deshaun Watson, this is where it all started. Texans are where he got drafted and where he asked for a trade after the organization's dysfunction ruined the relationship. Now, after his suspension and successful defenses in two grand jury hearings, Watson returns as the highest paid QB in the NFL to play the team that paid every one of his accusers and their neighbor who represented them. Will the Texans spoil Watson's homecoming and debut, or will they be a stepping stone on his way back to the top?
10. Seahawks vs. Rams
NFC West Rivalry
The Seahawks have been playing great, but, now that they have lost the division to the 49ers, they are currently out of the playoffs. It would be such a shame if, after all this, the Seahawks didn't make the playoffs. The Rams are completely done. Not only have they been eliminated and terrible, but now their star players are all injured or turning down for the season. Can the Rams drag the Seahawks down, or will the Seahawks capitalize off the Rams misfortune and get back into the playoffs?
9. Steelers vs. Falcons
It doesn't feel like they should be, but the Falcons playoff hopes are still alive. If they win this week and the Bucs lose, the Falcons will be in control of the division and into the playoffs for the moment. The Steelers are 4-7, and they are fresh off a victory against the Colts. The season is not lost. The Steelers can still have a winning season, but the Falcons are a must-win game. Of the last six games, the Falcons are one of three light games that the Steelers have to win to give themselves a chance to get to a winning record. Also, Kenny Pickett is developing well. He has stopped turning the ball over and is now giving the offense life without giving the ball away. Kenny hasn't thrown a pick in three games. Can he keep it up?
8. Eagles vs. Titans
Outrunning the Competition
The Titans don't need to win this game. They have a comfortable lead in their division, and one loss won't put that in jeopardy. However, they are in third place in the whole division. They have a chance to recapture the one seed. For that, they need to beat the Eagles. If they are going to beat the Eagles, Derrick Henry needs to have a big day running the ball. Also, the Titans were the ones who decided they didn't need A.J. Brown. Now, we get to see if they were right.
You can bet A.J. Brown is going to have a little extra in the tank to exploit the Titans weak secondary. He is ready to show the Titans what they missed out on. The Eagles, as a whole, are ready to show the NFL what they are made of. The Eagles have the best record in the NFL. But. in order to keep that distinction, they will have to keep winning. The Chiefs, Vikings, and Bills are right behind them. Can the Eagles mow through the Titans and outrun the competition?
7. Jaguars vs. Lions
The new Jaguars are coming off the best win of the season. They now have the same record as the new Lions. The Lions are coming off a close loss to the Bills. Both of these teams are in play to climb up the ladder and get the last playoff spot in their respective conferences. One of them will be knocked to the bottom of the ladder, and one of these teams will take another step up. Which historically bad franchise is better?
6. Bucs vs. Saints
The Bucs lost a tough one against the Browns, but remain in control of their playoff chances. The Saints lost in an embarrassing shutout against the 49ers. The Saints are trying to stay alive in the playoff race. The Bucs are trying to stay on top of the NFC South and in the playoffs. The Saints and Bucs always play each other hard. As bad as the Saints are, they almost always find a way to win in the regular season against the Bucs. Will the Bucs get past the Saints, or will the Saints beat Tom Brady in the regular season again?
5. Jets vs. Vikings
The Jets and Vikings are two teams that have risen from the ashes and have become seemingly serious playoff contenders. The Vikings have a suspect defense, the Jets have a great defense. The Vikings have an above average QB who struggles in primetime, and the Jets have replaced their starter with Mike White. Can Mike White show up against a better NFC North team than the Bears? The Vikings have the better running back, but the Jets have the better running game. The Vikings have a new coach that seems to be doing very well for himself. The Jets have a second year coach who has rebuilt their team. The Vikings have a great receiving core and a new explosive tight end. The Jets have a great receiving core and the Vikings old tight end, Tyler Conklin. Who is the better team?
4. Commanders vs. Giants
NFC Beast Division
The Commanders and Giants are both surprisingly in the playoffs right now. They are literally playing for each other's spot. If the Giants win, they protect their spot and knock the Commanders out of the playoffs. If the Commanders win, they will be taking the Giants spot in the playoffs and putting the Giants on the bubble. Who wants it more?
3. Dolphins vs. 49ers
Prove It Game
The Dolphins and 49ers are two of the most talented teams in the NFL. The 49ers are considered better than their record because they are late bloomers. However, they haven't beaten anybody great lately. The Dolphins are the best team the 49ers have faced in weeks. Will the 49ers be able to hold up against a top team?
The Dolphins have dominated their opponents and have not taken a single loss with Tua Tagovailoa starting and finishing the game. However, the Dolphins have also played middling teams. If the Dolphins come out and dominate the 49ers, then nobody can doubt them.
These are two teams that get a lot of credit for their offenses because they both have so many explosive players, but I think the defense will determine this game. The 49ers are banged up. Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel are hurt so their offense isn't going to be as explosive as it could be. The Dolphins are missing two tackles so they are going to have a very hard time protecting Tua. The defense that plays better will be the winner.
2. Chargers vs. Raiders
Game of the Year Grudge Match
Last year, the Chargers played the Raiders in the last game of the season for a playoff spot. They left everything they had on the field and played the Game of the Year. The game went to overtime. But when all was said and done, the Raiders made the playoffs, and the Chargers were denied entry to the playoffs two years in a row. The Chargers have to want to pay the Raiders back for that. The Raiders want to beat the Chargers once again. They are both talented teams and real rivals.
Once again, it's near playoff time, and the Chargers are on the edge of the playoff bubble. The Raiders are a little farther back, but they are still in the hunt. Will the Chargers enter the playoff picture, or will Derek Carr and the Raiders knock them away from the playoffs two years in a row?
1. Bengals vs. Chiefs
Conference Championship Rematch
The Bengals and the Chiefs genuinely don't like each other. Last year, Eli Apple, Tyreek Hill, and Mecole Hardman were chirping back and forth. This year, Chiefs safety Justin Reid took some shots at the Bengals. Ja'Marr Chase and Hayden Hurst sent some shots back as well. We will see who can back up their tough talk on Sunday.
The Chiefs have dominated everybody at some point or another, but not the Bengals. The Bengals beat the Chiefs in the regular season, and then they beat them in the playoffs as well. This a big matchup for both teams. Will the Bengals go 3-0 against the Chiefs, or will the Chiefs instill some fear in the Bengals? Who is the hunter, and who is the hunted?