We are at a point in the NFL season where playoff races tighten up and each game becomes more pivotal. In addition, the race for home field in both the AFC and NFC are heating up, between the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs. With that said, let’s look at this week’s key matchups.
Detroit Lions vs. Chicago Bears (-7): A pivotal NFC North showdown resides in Chicago this week. The Lions are trying to keep themselves in the division race while the Bears are looking to take another step forward. I see Chicago being able to defend their home field here behind a reliable offense and one of the league’s best defenses. Bears win 23-14.
New Orleans Saints (-5.5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals: One team is looking to solidify home field in their respective conference (New Orleans), while the other is simply trying to make the playoffs (Cincinnati). The Saints have won three one-possession games on the road this season, I expect that to be put on hold this week as New Orleans has too many offensive playmakers for Cincinnati to handle. Saints win 37-26.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles (-7): Aside from New York, everybody else still has a legitimate shot for the NFC East title. Dallas is coming off a frustrating loss to the Titans last Monday night, while Philadelphia is fresh off a bye week. Two weeks of preparation will come in handy in this matchup, as well as home-field. This is why I’m picking the Eagles to win in a close one. Eagles win 23-16.
Game to Avoid
Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets (-7): Both teams are embracing the tank and have inexperience at quarterback. In addition, the Bills and Jets are also in the bottom six in the league in turnover margin. This has all the makings of an ugly watch.
Lock of the Week
New England Patriots (-6.5) vs. Tennesse Titans: Despite winning at Dallas last week, Tennessee has proven to be very inconsistent this season, hence their 4-4 record. With that, I can’t see Marcus Mariota outdueling Tom Brady in this one.