For the first time since early in the season, 16 games are on the NFL schedule this week. It should be an exciting one. Numerous matchups will be huge in terms of playoff implications for teams right in the middle of it all. In terms of tiebreakers and their importance, some of these conference matchups can essentially be looked at as playoff games.
Check out last week’s predictions here.
Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers
Arguably the best matchup on the schedule for the week to start it off. For the Chargers to have a chance at winning the AFC West, taking this one at home will be crucial. Unfortunately, Rashawn Slater will not be good to go for this game. Along with him, Chris Jones seems unlikely to play. The Chargers’ offense against the Chiefs’ defense should be an entertaining battle. Justin Herbert should lead his team to a solid outing. The success rate of the Chiefs offense will likely dictate the outcome of this game. Running the football well with their offensive line will be key. This game will go to the wire with a Chargers win.
Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns
The first of two games scheduled for Saturday. This game is a huge one for the Browns. They enter with great unknown as the status of many of their players is up in the air. On the other hand, the Raiders played horribly last week. The Browns may simply not have enough on either side of the football to win this game. Hunter Renfrow should continue his dominance in this one. The Raiders will win this game by roughly a touchdown.
New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts
This game is another potential matchup of the week between two of the best AFC teams. Each team is coming off their bye so they will be well-rested and ready to go. Jonathan Taylor will be the key in this one. Even against a good Patriots defense, he will still have a productive game. Getting ahead and taking the running game away from the Patriots will be important. If they do so, the Colts defense can put together a winning performance. At home, the Colts will win this game by a field goal.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
A classic NFC East matchup, a pivotal one for the Cowboys. Offensively, they have got to put together a better performance. The last few weeks have been discouraging. Utilizing all their skill talent on the outside, expecting them to win their matchups can help Dak Prescott get back on track. On defense, however, the Cowboys should continue their dominance. They are getting healthy and the Giants lack the overall talent to be successful in this one. The Cowboys will win by at least a touchdown.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
Two of the worst teams in the league matched up here. This can hopefully be a game Trevor Lawrence plays well in. Featuring James Robinson and making things easy on Lawrence should be the game plan. For the Texans, it would be great if rookie skill players, Nico Collins and Brevin Jordan continue to improve. The Jaguars have a lot of turmoil surrounding their team. Expect the Texans to win this game by a touchdown.
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
One of the many important AFC battles between competing teams. Anticipate the Titans’ defense maintaining their momentum from a week ago into this one. What will be key is their offense moving the football efficiently. Big plays will be needed from Ryan Tannehill and Julio Jones in the passing game against a struggling Steelers secondary. For the Steelers, Najee Harris will once again have to control the game. Against the Titans front, that could be a challenge. This will be a close game that the Titans win by a possession.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
Expect the Dolphins to take care of business in this game keeping up their winning ways. Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle should have successful days. Defensively, across the board, the Dolphins should win against the Jets. For the Jets, getting Michael Carter back is big. Expect a heavy workload for him in this one. The Dolphins will win this division game at home by at least a touchdown.
Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles
An important NFC East battle for the wildcard. Washington lost a tough one at home a week ago and may be down a ton of players for this one. For the Eagles, they are coming off their bye. They should run the football well in this one. Defensively, their front and backfield can both be successful. Taylor Heinicke putting together a good performance will once again be key. The Eagles will win this game by one possession.
Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions
Expect the Cardinals to get the job done here and get themselves back in the win column. Their defense should have a good outing. Offensively, without DeAndre Hopkins, expect a lot of opportunities for James Conner. He should control this game. Kyler Murray and the prolific passing attack should have their ways in this one when they take their chances. The Cardinals will win this game by 10.
Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills
The Bills need to win this game and they should. The Panthers have continued to struggle and will not score many points in this game. Josh Allen will have to continue to lead his team. More opportunities should continue to be there for Cole Beasley and Gabriel Davis. This should be a game they win convincingly to propel themselves into the playoffs. The Bills will win this game by at least 10.
Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos
One of the great AFC games on the schedule for the week. This game could basically determine the playoffs for each of these teams. The Bengals are on a bit of a cold streak. The Broncos had a solid win a week ago. For the Bengals, their talented defense will need to have a big day. Getting a lead and taking away the Broncos’ dominant running game in Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams will go a long way. Offensively, the Bengals should have a productive enough day. The Bengals will win this game by one score.
Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers
Anticipate another win from the 49ers in this one. On both sides of the football, they continue to come along well. The Falcons are in contention and a win here would go a long way for them. For the 49ers, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle will be the difference makers once again. Their offense should have a successful day against the Falcons defense. The Falcons’ offense will have to create big plays to have a chance. The 49ers will win this one by a touchdown.
Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams
On a short week, expect the Rams to carry their momentum into this one at home. The Seahawks have played well as of late. However, their defense is likely overmatched here. Big games from Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp should continue against the Seahawks’ secondary. For the Seahawks to have a chance, big plays from Russell Wilson and Tyler Lockett will be needed. The Rams’ secondary played well the other night even without Jalen Ramsey. Anticipate a Rams win here by a touchdown.
Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens
A fascinating game here. The Packers are arguably the best team in the league right now. For the Ravens, their struggles continue and their season is possibly on the line. Their defense is in for a tough one against Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Davante Adams. The health of Lamar Jackson is still unknown, he will likely not be at his best for this one. The Packers defense is a talented group playing well. On the road, the Packers will win by at least a touchdown.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For the Saints to have a chance at the playoffs, they must win this one. It will be hard for them to do so. Offensively, outside of Alvin Kamara, they lack the ability to score. The Buccaneers’ talented unit defensively will have a winning performance. Tom Brady and his prolific offense should put together another great game. Relying on Leonard Fournette will once again be key. The Buccaneers will win this one by 10.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
An NFC North battle to end the week. Coming off a long week, expect the Vikings to be fresh and ready to win. The Bears continue to struggle all around. Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson should keep making things happen throughout this one. Getting a lead for their defense would be great. This is one the Vikings need as they hope to make the playoffs. The Vikings will win this game by 10.
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