– Matt Magill
Game of the Week:
Oakland at Kansas City – Thursday at 825. There are actually quite a few games this week that should be classics. Oakland and Kansas City are arguably two of the hottest teams in the league right now, and the fact that this is also a divisional matchup just heightens the excitement.
Time to do Yardwork Game of the Week:
New York Jets at San Francisco – Sunday at 405. Any game that involves the 49ers is always going to be in the running for worst game of the week. At least the Jets might win a game!
Storylines for the Week:
Buffalo and Pittsburgh are going in two different directions, and they get to meet this week. One more loss and the Bills are certainly out of the playoff picture, and a win would keep Pittsburgh on pace to possibly steal the division from the Ravens.
Tennessee is going to be fresh off their bye, but they will also be playing a Denver team that can be justifiably terrifying on defense at times. If the Titans can lean on their running game, they have a chance, but this might be too tough a test for the young Titans.
Washington and Philly are both on the outside looking in in terms of the playoffs. The Redskins can still get in with some help, and the Eagles have been thinking about next season since about week six this year. Philly’s defense has started to fall apart, which should open things up for Kirk Cousins to exploit it.
No one knows what they are going to get when it comes to the Arizona Cardinals from week to week. Miami hopes it’s the old and slow Cardinals team that has been out of the playoffs for most of the season, not the Cardinals team that has lately liked to play spoiler to potential playoff contenders.
I think it’s safe to say that San Diego is a better team than Carolina this year. It’s also safe to say that on any given Sunday, Carolina could put things together and beat almost anyone. Unfortunately, I don’t think Carolina has the mental fortitude for that to happen, this week or again this season.
Cincinnati is coming off a win, and Cleveland is coming off a bye, which kind of feels like a win if you’re a Browns fan. Who is the hotter team at the moment, then?
Detroit is one of the hotter teams in the league at the moment, but you never know when it comes to a divisional matchup with a sneaky Bears team, with nothing to play for. Detroit should win this, but it might be closer than most people think.
Houston and Indianapolis are both just riddled with disappointment. Whether either can put it together over the final month of the season to make the playoffs remains to be seen. This matchup should be about as watchable as paint drying.
Minnesota has been unlucky for most of the season. Between injuries and lackluster play from those on the field, the Vikings went from a favorite to start the year, to an afterthought. Their luck is about to change though, because they get the Jaguars this week! How many interceptions will Blake Bortles throw? How about all of them.
I’d like to say that the Tampa Bay/New Orleans game this week will be a high scoring offensive masterpiece, but we’ve thought that about games involving the Saints before. Regardless, it should be interesting to see if Drew Brees is ready to pass the mantle of preeminent NFC South quarterback on to Jameis Winston just yet.
After a tough game against the Chiefs last week, the Falcons can find their footing this week against the terrible Rams.
Another matchup that looked a lot less one-sided at the beginning of the year, the Packers and Seahawks should be an interesting game, and if anyone can take advantage of Earl Thomas being gone, it would be Aaron Rodgers and his cadre of offensive weapons.
The Cowboys and Giants for all the marbles. The NFC East is on the line. If things break the Cowboys’ way, even a first round bye and/or the #1 seed will be on the line. Can Dallas, who nearly crumbled against the Vikings last week, avenge their only loss of the season and laugh in the face of that pressure? As a Cowboys fan, I remain skeptical.
Baltimore is playing better at the right time, and they may be the right team to take advantage of a Gronk-less Patriots team. That being said, Brady could just go nuts and put up 60 points on them out of spite. You never really know.
Cleveland is 0-12. Their remaining games are:
Do you see a win in there at all? I sure don’t.