Updated: Nov 19, 2022
13. Eagles vs. Texans
Game Reaction (Thursday Night Football)
The Texans are probably feeling mixed emotions. The Texans came out strong, and they moved the ball against one of the best defenses in the league. Davis Mills had his best game. The Texans defense was able to stifle the Eagles offense for most of the game, but the Texans still lost. The Eagles fans should be encouraged because the Eagles finally finished strong. They are undefeated, so they will always get their opponent's best shot, but the Eagles overcame adversity and beat the Texans. The Eagles defense shaped up and ruined Mills's day with two interceptions. When it was all said and done, there was no evidence on the scoreboard of the first half battle.
12. Bills vs. Jets
Battle of New York
The Jets have finally become a force in the AFC East. The Jets have a strong running game and a stifling defense, with eight interceptions through eight weeks. If the Jets defense can hold up their end of the bargain, they can salt the game away with their running attack. The Bills defense gave up a lot of running yards to the Packers in Week 8 so there is running room for the Jets. The Patriots proved they are still above the Jets, but the Jets are back and ready to show the Bills that the glow-up is real.
For the Bills, the game plan is simple. They want to run away with the game early, and they have the firepower to do it. The question marks from their perspective: Can they get a run game going with Nyheim Hines, and can the Bills finish strong?
11. Jaguars vs. Raiders
Defeat or Be Defeated
The Jaguars and Raiders are like two starving scavengers fighting over scraps. The Raiders are down bad. If they had skipped their last game, they would have still scored the same amount of points. They need this win not just for the season, but for the coach's job, and the sanity of the players and fan base. The Jaguars are in the same boat. They have the same amount of wins and one more loss than the Raiders. Also, Trevor Lawrence hasn't been good this year, and now people are starting to wonder if he is the right guy. The Raiders defense is pretty bad against QBs. If ever there was a time for Lawrence to have a signature game, it's now.
10. Colts vs. Patriots
The Patriots are back on track. It was shaky, but their offense found some rhythm against the Jets. More importantly, their defense returned to form. The Colts, on the other hand, have made a QB change and still lost to a team they should have beaten. Will the Colts new QB survive Bill Belichick's defense? One of these teams will bounce back from their early season struggles, but which one?
9. Vikings vs. Commanders
Taylor Heinicke made late game magic and engineered a comeback against the Colts. However, despite the fact that Taylor always plays well when he is given a chance to play, some people still aren't convinced. So will Taylor pull another rabbit out of the hat or turn into a pumpkin against the Vikings? The Vikings have the same perception problem. They are one of the winningest franchises this year, but everyone is waiting for them to fall back to Earth. If the Vikings really are as good as their record says, the Commanders should be light work.
8. Chargers vs. Falcons
On one side, we have the division leaders who have been playing exciting games all year. On the other side, we have the Chargers. The Chargers have had injuries on offense and defense, and they have not lived up to the off-season hype. Still, they have gotten enough wins to stay relevant. They will be looking for another one so that Justin Herbert can make the playoffs for the first time in his career. The Falcons are trying to hang on to their slim division lead. The Chargers should win, and Austin Ekeler should have a field day. The Falcons need to win. Which factor will win out?
7. Bears vs. Dolphins
Ryan Poles has severely damaged the Bears defense in preparation for next year's team, and that will be great in 2024. However, this year I don't expect the Bears to be able to stop many offenses consistently. Now, the hope is that every game goes like the Dallas game. The Bears lose, but Justin Fields and the offense look great. Bears fans should be incredibly excited to see what Chase Claypool does for the offense. The Dolphins are undefeated with Tua Tagovailoa, and I don't expect that to change this week. The Dolphins prolific offense would have already been a tough challenge for the Bears, but they have to also contend with Bradley Chubb, who was added to the Dolphins stingy defense. The Bears should be a speed bump for the Dolphins.
6. Panthers vs. Bengals
Timing is Everything
The Bengals are coming off a terrible loss, in which they lost to the Browns with their backup QB in prime time. Truth be told, they were never even in the game. The Bengals offense has suffered without Ja'Marr Chase. This is not a good time for them to face the Panthers, who have found an offensive rhythm, and were a missed field goal away from being division leaders. Most importantly, the Panthers have a robust defense, which could give the struggling Bengals offense a very hard time.
5. Packers vs. Lions
How Bad Could It Be?
The Lions and Packers have always had a weird rivalry. Even though the Packers have generally been good, and the Lions have not, they have had some close games. The Lions offense looked back on track against the Dolphins. The Packers offense seems to have finally conceded that they need to run through their running backs. Will the Packers start rumbling back with a divisional win, or will the Lions leapfrog the Packers in a down year?
4. Titans vs. Chiefs
Fire and Ice
The Chiefs got the firepower. They were already a high-powered offense, but now they are adding Kadarius Toney, who will make his debut against the Titans. However, the Titans have a great ground attack to counter the Chiefs air attack. The Titans want to control the clock with Derrick Henry and keep the ball out of Patrick Mahomes's hands. The Chiefs want to do the exact opposite. They want to run the score up right away, and make the Titans running game obsolete and force them into a situation where they have to throw. Whose philosophy will win out? Will the Chiefs burn through the Titans, or will the Titans freeze out the Chiefs offense?
3. Cardinals vs. Seahawks
Gut Check Time
The Seahawks outcoached and outplayed the Cardinals the last time they met. The Seahawks are in control of the division, and they have a chance to sweep the Cardinals in the division. They can't slip up now. The Cardinals are back, and this time they have DeAndre Hopkins. They have one shot, one opportunity to tie this series up against the Seahawks. Will they capture it or just let it slip?
2. Saints vs. Ravens
Super Bowl Preview?
These are my Super Bowl picks, and while it doesn't look like the most likely outcome, I haven't given up. The Saints just shut out the Raiders. Their defense is legit, and they have lots of weapons on offense. The Saints are a threat to anybody they face. The Ravens seemed to find the right balance of run and pass on offense, and their defense just got scary with the addition of Roquan Smith. Which team will complete their turnaround?
1. Rams vs. Bucs
Super Bowl Bowl
The Rams and the Bucs have made a huge impact on the NFL. Tom Brady relocated to Tampa Bay after years of playing with the Patriots and then won a Super Bowl. Tom brought Rob Gronkowski "Gronk" out of retirement, and reversed the trajectory of Leonard Fournette and Antonio Brown's careers. Now, everybody wants to do the same. The NFL has had more turnover than ever. Russell Wilson, Christian McCaffrey, Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, and Matthew Stafford all moved teams to contend for a championship and get paid. Brady led the way with that.
Matthew Stafford actually won a Super Bowl as well. Tom Brady changed things for NFL players. Stafford completed the turn into the Super Team Era when the Rams went all in on their roster to win it all and succeeded. Now, we have players moving around to contend, and organizations trading for those players and spending top dollar to get them immediately at the cost of the future. The Rams and Bucs both took their best shot and won big, but their organization took a hit. Currently, they are both struggling. Who has enough left in the tank to climb back up the mountain to the promise land?