The NFL season is in full swing and the storylines are beginning to take shape. Do the Giants need to give up on Eli? Is Patrick Mahomes the frontrunner for MVP? Are the Steelers contenders in their division? These are some of the questions that will move closer to an answer this week. Here are my top 5 most interesting matchups of the week.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) at New York Giants (1-4) (Thursday 7:20 PM)
This is one of the most important matchups of the week. This game has major implications on the NFC East standings. The Giants can go from the very bottom, to tied for either second (if the Cowboys lose) or third (if the Cowboys win). This is most likely the last chance that New York has to regain the ground that they have lost. On the other side, this is a GREAT chance for Philly to essentially kill the Giants chance at the playoffs. The Eagles are coming off a loss to the Vikings at home, in which they didn’t look all that good. This game is a MUST win for both teams, but only one will.
Prediction: Philadelphia 24 New York 17
Pittsburg Steelers (2-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-1) (Sunday 12:00 PM)
This AFC North matchup is incredibly interesting to me. Not many people predicted the start to the season for both of these teams. The Bengals come into Sunday’s contest at 4-1 and are in sole possession of first place in the division after Cleveland’s overtime win over the Ravens. For the Steelers, this game is a must win. With the Browns actually being competitive, it is vital for the Steelers to steal a couple of games on the road. This is the perfect opportunity for that to happen.
Prediction: Pittsburg 23 Cincinnati 10
Baltimore Ravens (3-2) at Tennessee Titans (3-2) (Sunday 3:25 PM)
Both of these teams had lack luster performances in week 5. The Ravens suffered a sloppy 12-9 loss to the Browns while Tennessee fell to the Josh Allen led Bills. For the Ravens this is an opportunity to keep the Browns and Steelers at an arms length in the AFC North. They would like to get back to the physical style of play that they are known for. The Titans have an opportunity to stay in first place in their division. The offense looked, to be blunt, bad. There were certain balls that Marcus Mariota threw that were severely unadvised. We’ll see how he plays this week, but in the grand scheme of things, I don’t think that it will matter.
Prediction: Baltimore 17 Tennessee 10
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2) at Dallas Cowboys (2-3) (Sunday 3:25 PM)
This is a recipe for disaster for Dallas. The Cowboys are struggling offensively at this point in the season, and now they get play host to the best defense in the league. It will be vital for Dallas to get Ezekiel Elliot involved from the first snap. The running game will open up opportunities for the play action pass for Dak, and he needs all the help he can get. For Jacksonville, the only thing I think they need to worry about is the offense. I know that they gave up 30 points to the Chiefs, but the defense will take care of itself. The offense just needs to be able to score the ball at an effective rate.
Prediction: Jacksonville 21 Dallas 14
Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) at New England Patriots (3-2) (Sunday 7:20 PM)
This is no doubt the most anticipated game of the week. Hotshot Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will march into Foxborough with a perfect record to face the 5-time champ Tom Brady and the Patriots. This game has the potential to be one of the best games of the year. The most important factor, to me, is how effectively the Patriots keeps this explosive KC offense off of the field. KC has one of the most potent offenses of recent memory, led by the 2nd year gunslinger Patrick Mahomes at the helm. Mahomes has been nothing short of electric all season long, but this will be a tall task for he and his teammates. For New England needs to dominate the time of possession in order for them to have a chance to come out with a win. Look, the Patriots aren’t going to simply outscore this Kansas City team at this point, but if they are able to put up points on the majority of their drives, they might just have a chance. This task shouldn’t be that hard, considering that this KC defense is one of the worst in the league. In the end, I think that Andy Reid is just too creative and Mahomes is just too good for this New England defense.
Prediction: Kanas City 33 New England 21