Another Sunday filled with football means another week of things to watch for. Two teams will be starting new quarterbacks with Blaine Gabbert starting for the Cardinals and Nathan Peterman starting for the Bills. The Saints and Eagles will be looking to win their 8th straight game against NFC opponents to keep pushing for a first round bye. The Rams and Vikings will be going head to head in a crucial NFC matchup at 1pm in the U.S. Bank National Stadium. Now let’s get into it.
Washington Redskins @ New Orleans Saints; 1:00pm
1. Redskins O-Line Vs Saints D-Line
The Redskins O-line will be without starting center in Spencer Long while left tackle Trent Williams and right guards Brandon Scherff will be playing through their knee injuries yet again. Washington is tied for 16th in total sacks allowed on Kirk Cousins while the Saints rank 10th in total sacks on opposing quarterbacks. This matchup will be key to the outcome of the game.
2. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram Vs Redskins Run Defense
Both running backs have run for a combined 1,089 yards and are coming off a performance where they both rushed for at least 100 yards and rushed for a combined 4 TDs against the Bills. They won’t have nearly as good a performance as last week but they’ll certainly be effective this week against a Redskins defense that ranks 13th in rushing yards per game allowed with 109.6. Expect another 100 yards on the ground from both of these running backs on Sunday.
3. Drew Brees
Brees is coming off a game in which he threw for less than 200 yards but didn’t have to throw for more than that as they racked up nearly 300 yards on the ground. This week, he’ll be facing a Redskins pass defense that ranks 18th in average passing yards per game allowed with 235.0. Expect Brees to throw for more than 200 yards this time around against a banged up Redskins defense.
Bold Prediction: The Saints offense racks up 500 yards of total offense against Washington’s defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Miami Dolphins; 1:00pm
1. Ryan Fitzpatrick Vs Dolphins Pass Defense
Fitzpatrick had a Fitzpatrick type of performance throwing a TD pass and also throwing an interception against the Jets last week. This week the Dolphins defense could pose a bigger challenge as they rank 15th in pass yards per game allowed (225.0). If Fitzpatrick doesn’t turn the ball over, the Bucs could pull off an upset against Miami.
2. Jay Cutler
Cutler will look to have a much better outing against the Bucs this Sunday. The Bucs defense this season ranks 29th in passing yards per game allowed (266.4). Look for Cutler to have a much better performance against the Bucs ans look for the Dolphins ro pull out a win as well.
3. Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers
These two running backs have combined for 498 yards on the ground on the season and are going against a defense that allowed the Panthers to run for nearly 300 yards so these two could have a solid day. Now Miami’s run defense ranks 20th in the league allowing an average of 116.2 yards per game.
Bold Prediction: Jay Cutler throws for 300 yards and 3 TDs.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Giants; 1:00pm
1. Kareem Hunt Vs Giants Run Defense
Kareem Hunt currently ranks 2nd in the league in rushing yards on the season with 800 and could surpass Le’Veon Bell’s 886 yards against a Giants defense that ranks 30th against the run allowing an average of 132.6 yards per game. Hunt will have a chance to eclipse 100 scrimmage yards against a bad Giants defense.
2. Giants O-Line Vs Chiefs D-Line
The Giants O-line has been porous for the past few years and will most likely struggle against this Chiefs defensive line especially with Justin Pugh out for the season. They have only allowed 19 sacks in the season (ranking 19th) while the Chiefs defense ranks 22nd in total sacks with 19.0. It could turn out to be a good matchup and key to the outcome of this game
Bold Prediction: Kareem Hunt racks up 175+ scrimmage yards.
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears; 1:00pm
1. Mitch Trubisky Vs Lions Pass Defense
Trubisky will look to have a similar performance this week against the Lions as he threw 297 yards and 1 TD last week against the Packers. This week, he could have a better performance against a Lions defense that ranks 25th in passing yards per game allowed with 247.4. If he doesn’t turn the ball over, the Bears could squeeze out a win against Detroit.
2. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen Vs Lions Run Defense
These two running backs will need to have a big performance against this Lions defense in order to keep the pressure off of Trubisky. However, it won’t be easy against this Detroit Lions defense that ranks 11th against the run allowing 102.2 rush yards per game. The Lions will be looking to load the box to stop the run and force Trubisky to throw a lot.
3. Matt Stafford Vs Bears Pass Defense
Matt Stafford has been playing well as of late and will look to throw 3 more TDs against a Bears pass defense that ranks 10th with 204.8 passing yards per game allowed. Stafford could have a tough time throwing against this underrated defense.
Bold Prediction: Lions defense forces 5 turnovers and scores a TD.
Los Angeles Rams @ Minnesota Vikings; 1:00pm
1. Jared Goff Vs Vikings Pass Defense
Jared Goff has himself a big day against a banged up Texans defense. He’ll have to face a much stronger defense in the Minnesota Vikings who rank 12 in passing yards per game allowed (213.2). Certainly one of the games you’d want to watch because these two teams are playoff contenders.
2. Todd Gurley Vs Vikings Run Defense
Todd Gurley currently ranks 4th in rushing yards on the season and will have a tough task ahead of him facing a Vikings defense that ranks 3rd in rushing yards per game allowed (81.3). If the Vikings can stop Gurley, the Rams offense will become one-dimensional which would work in Minnesota’s favor.
3. Case Keenum Vs Rams Defense
Case Keenum threw 4 TDs against the Redskins a week ago and will look to have a repeat performance against the Rams who’s defense ranks 9th in passing yards per game allowed (204.1). Both quarterbacks will have a tough task ahead of them.
Bold Prediction: Vikings defense stifles Jared Goff and co. limiting them to 300 yards of offense.
Arizona Cardinals @ Houston Texans; 1:00pm
1. Blaine Gabbert Vs Texans Defense
Blaine Gabbert will get his first start in a Cardinals uniform since Drew Stanton is out with a knee injury and could have a big day against a Texans defense that ranks 27th against the pass allowing 253.8 yards per game. Lucky Gabbert for getting to face one of the worst pass defenses in the league.
2. Tom Savage Vs Texans Defense
Savage will get his 3rd start since Deshaun Watson went down with an injury and will have a tough challenge ahead of him in the aggressive Arizona Cardinals defense. The Cardinals defense currently ranks 25th in passing yards per game allowed (245.1). However, this team is a blitz-happy team and Savage has one of the worst offensive lines in the league so that could spell disaster for Savage.
3. Adrian Peterson
Peterson is coming off a game in which he only ran for 29 yards on 21 carries. He may end up running for similar numbers against a Houston defense that ranks 7th in rushing yards per game allowed (96.9). If he can’t break through this defense, Gabbert will be forced to throw the ball over 35 times.
Bold Prediction: Blaine Gabbert and Tom Savage throw a combined for 4 interceptions.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns; 1:00pm
1. DeShone Kizer Vs Sacksonville Defense
Kizer will be going against a very aggressive Jacksonville defense that knows how to get to the quarterback. Kizer ranks in the bottom five in snap to throw which means he holds onto the ball too long and could work in the Jaguars favor. Jacksonville’s defense ranks 1st against the pass (165.1 yards/game). The Jags could have themselves a field day against a struggling Browns offensive line.
2. Jaguars Run Game
The Jaguars may be without Leonard Fournette again as he is listed as questionable on the final injury report. It would be unfortunate if he’s not able to suit up, and Chris Ivory would take all of his snaps. It will not be easy to run against the Browns as they rank 4th against the rush allowing just 86.4 yards per game. Maybe Bortles will be throwing the ball a lot in this tilt on Sunday.
3. Jaguars Receivers
Allen Hurns and Arelious Benn will be out with injury meaning Marquise Lee and Dede Westbrook will be taking a majority of the snaps. Westbrook will be making his NFL debut and could have a big game in his debut. Maybe the injuries will play a role in this game against the Browns.
Bold Prediction: Sacksonville sacks Kizer 8 sacks and forces 4 turnovers.
Baltimore Ravens @ Green Bay Packers; 1:00pm
1. Brett Hundley Vs Ravens Pass Defense
Hundley had some great highlight plays against the Bears defense a week ago and now has a tougher task ahead of him in the in the Ravens defense that ranks 2nd in passing yards per game allowed (184.7). The Packers may have to rely on the run game more so that Hundley doesn’t turn the ball over.
2. Packers Run Game
The Packers will be without rookie Aaron Jones but will have the other rookie, Jamal Williams, and Ty Montgomery splitting reps against the Ravens. This Baltimore defense ranks 28th in rushing yards per game allowed (125.9) so these two could have a big game.
3. Joe Flacco Vs Packers Pass Defense
Flacco, as I’ve said over the past couple of weeks, has been disappointing so far this season. He could have a solid day against a Packers defense that ranks 20th in passing yards per game allowed (242.6). Who knows honestly, it’s difficult to predict that Flacco will play well.
Bold Prediction: Packers run game comes out of its slump and racks up 150 rushing yards.
Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Chargers; 4:05pm
1. Nathan Peterman’s 1st Start
Peterman will get his first start as the Bills quarterback after Tyrod Taylor was benched just last week. Why you may ask? Apparently he fits the offensive scheme better than Tyrod. Still, he’ll have a tough challenge going up against a Chargers defense that ranks 11th in passing yards per game allowed (208.7). Who knows? Maybe he’ll have a big game or maybe he won’t.
2. Melvin Gordon Vs Bills Run Defense
Melvin Gordon has been rather disappointing this season but he’ll be going up against a defense that allowed 6 rushing TDs and 298 rushing yards against the Saints. This Buffalo defense now ranks 22nd in the league in rushing yards per game allowed (117.0) so Gordon could possibly have a big game.
3. LeSean McCoy Vs Chargers Run Defense
Shady McCoy has been up and down this season but may have a breakout game against a Chargers defense that struggles mightily ranking dead last against the run allowing 135.1 yards per game. It would do Nathan Peterman a big favor for Shady to run all over this defense.
Bold Prediction: LeSean McCoy runs for more rush yards than Nathan Peterman throws for.
New England Patriots @ Oakland Raiders; 4:25pm
1. Tom Brady Vs Raiders Pass Defense
Tom Brady and company travel to Mexico to take on the Oakland Raiders. He will most likely have a big day against a Raiders defense that has not intercepted a pass from an opposing quarterback all season… a new NFL record. Also, this Raiders defense ranks 22nd in the league in pass yards per game allowed and struggle to get to the quarterback. Expect a field day from Brady.
2. Marshawn Lynch
Beast Mode has been looking like anything but Beast Mode with Oakland but will look to run through the Patriots defenders in Mexico City. The Patriots defense currently ranks 26th in rush yards per game allowed (121.1). Skittles could have a big day in the Estadio Azteca.
3. Derek Carr Vs Patriots Defense
Derek Carr faces a below average Patriots defense that ranks dead last in passing yards per game allowed (287.2) but are currently finding their identity as a unit. Even so, Carr could have a big game if the Patriots secondary can’t defend Amari Cooper or Michael Crabtree. Both Carr and Brady could have big games.
Bold Prediction: Tom Brady throws 5 TDs and 400 yards passing.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Denver Broncos; 4:25pm
1. Brock Osweiler
Osweiler has looked like the Osweiler that played for the Texans and Browns. He won’t have an easy day against a Bengals defense that ranks 5th against the pass allowing 197.4 passing yards per game. Also, since the offensive line is bad, the Bengals will get a ton of pressure against him. This looks to be another poor outing for Osweiler and the offense,
2. Andy Dalton Vs “No Fly Zone”
Dalton has faced this team twice over the last two years and has lost both times. The “No Fly Zone” will look to shut down the run first and then make life miserable for Andy Dalton. The Broncos currently rank 8th against the pass allowing 204.0 yards per game. Both quarterbacks will struggle in this game which could lead to a defensive battle.
3. Bengals Run Game
The Bengals run game has been nonexistent throughout the course of the season and will be going up against a Denver defense that ranks 6th in rushing yards per game allowed (89.6). Joe Mixon and Gio Bernard will have a tough time running against the Broncos defense and will only force Dalton into turning the ball over.
Bold Prediction: Bengals defense allows less than 250 yards and forces 3 turnovers with a TD.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys; 8:30pm
1. Byron Bell Vs Eagles Defensive Ends
All eyes are on Byron Bell who will be starting in place of the injure Tyron Smith. Usually Derek Barnett and Vinny Curry play in that position so they could be in line for a big game. If Bell can’t block these two defensive ends, Prescott will be under pressure all night.
2. Carson Wentz
Wentz and the Eagles are coming off a much needed bye and gets top target/receiver in Zach Ertz. Wentz will have a tough battle against a Cowboys defense that ranks 14th in passing yards per game allowed (221.2), however, they will be without Sean Lee because he suffered a hamstring injury. Even with this injury, the Cowboys are a very aggressive team and will look to make life difficult for Wentz on Sunday Night Football.
3. Dak Prescott
Prescott will not have his starting left tackle in Tyron Smith for the 2nd week in a row which could spell disaster against a ferocious Philly front seven. The Eagles currently rank 26th in passing yards per game which may look bad, but really it’s because they shut the run game down ranking first in that category. Prescott will need to carry the team on his back and we’ll see if he really is good or just good with the supporting cast around him.
Bold Prediction: Eagles defense racks up 6 sacks and forces 3 turnovers.