Four Games to Watch In Week 11

A little bit of a format shift this week. I’m really excited about the Rams-Vikings game so I wrote a lot about that one, while the discussion for the other games are pretty short.

Los Angeles Rams @ Minnesota Vikings – 12 CT

Two 7-2 teams going at it, this should be a good one. The Vikings are once again rolling with Case Keenum at QB, and who can blame them? Keenum is coming off of a game where he threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Even the most loyal Teddy Bridgewater fans have to admit that switching from Keenum to Bridgewater would be a huge risk at this point in the season. Keenum’s success is owed in large part to receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen who have been great. The chemistry Keenum has with those guys, particularly Thielen, is surprisingly great.

Keenum

Making a switch at QB could really tank the playoff chances for the Vikings. Bridgewater has not played in a meaningful football game since January 10, 2016. Do we expect him to not be rusty coming back off of that horrific injury? Would he have the same connection with the receivers that Keenum has? And I hate to say it, but are we absolutely sure that Bridgewater is better than Keenum? Because I’m not. Bridgewater was fine when he played, and he did have moments where he looked really good, but overall I did not find him overly impressive during his first two years in the league. With Keenum playing well, there is no reason to make the switch. Stick with Keenum and keep this thing rolling.

Meanwhile, the Rams continue to put up a lot of points, crushing the Texans 33-7 last week. The Rams have the most points scored in NFL through the first 10 weeks, they are both running and passing at an elite level. Todd Gurley is one of the best running backs in the league, getting him going early could be huge for the Rams. The Vikings got burned by the Redskins last week on a few plays, making it appear like the Rams have a good chance to put up some points. However, Everson Griffen is going to play in this one, and if he can get pressure on Goff, the Rams offense will be hard pressed to put up a lot of points. The Vikings are favored by 2.5, and I’ll take them in a close one.

Washington Redskins @ New Orleans Saints – 12 CT

The Saints might be the best team in the NFL. Seven straight victories is nothing to sneeze at. The Redskins have had a brutal schedule so far, and it doesn’t get any easier this week. I believe the 4-5 Redskins are a good team, but in a really good NFC they are going to need to start winning games soon. The Saints are favored by 7.5. I think the Saints win, but fail to cover.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys – 7:30 CT (Sunday Night Football)

The Cowboys struggled with Ezekiel Elliott out last week, and Dak Prescott got sacked eight times! The Cowboys are shuffling around their offensive line, but even if Prescott can stay upright, I don’t believe they can put up the points necessary to beat the Eagles. The Eagles are favored by 4.5, and I think they easily cover.

Atlanta Falcons @ Seattle Seahawks – 7:30 CT (Monday Night Football)

Losing Richard Sherman for the year is a big blow to the Seahawks, and rumor has it that hard hitting safety Kam Chancellor might miss the regular season. The Falcons easily handled the Cowboys last week, and another win this week would be huge for their playoff hopes. The Seahawks are favored by 3, but with the injuries they have, I’ll take the Falcons.

Four Games to Watch In Week 10

Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins – 12 CT

Good news for Vikings fans: Teddy Bridgewater is back on the active roster after a horrific knee injury over a year ago. Good news for Case Keenum fans: Keenum will be starting at least one more game. It’s a tough situation, who knows how Bridgewater will look coming back from injury? Keenum hasn’t played great, but he’s played well enough for the Vikings to be leading the NFC North. Beyond the QB controversy, it should be fun to watch Everson Griffen and the rest of the Vikings front seven get after the banged up Redskins line. The Redskins beat the Seahawks last week, and are a tough team. Though they’ve been banged up, it appears like they should be getting some of their starting players back from injury. The Vikings are favored in Vegas by 1.5. I’ll take the Vikes to cover, even in Washington.

Cardinals Rams Football

Los Angeles Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 12 CT

This isn’t a matchup I expected to be talking about in week 10, but here we are. After starting the season 0-4, the Chargers have clawed their way to a 3-5 record. Not great, but I’m not ready to write them off yet. The Jaguars are one of the surprise stories of the year so far, with a 5-3 record. The Jags have a serious shot at winning the AFC South, which would snap a nine season playoff drought. The Jaguars are an old school style team; defense and running the ball are their keys to success. Leonard Fournette is having a fantastic rookie season, but he was suspended last week for violating team rules. Hopefully he will get it figured out because he is a very exciting player to watch. The Jaguars are favored by 3.5, expect them to win by a touchdown.

New Orleans Saints @ Buffalo Bills – 12 CT

Another surprisingly good matchup. Think that the Jaguars have it bad that nine season playoff-less streak? The poor Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999! The Bills were 5-2 entering last week, and they managed to lose to the Jets on Thursday night. Thursday night games are tough for any team and weird things happen, but that must have been a heart breaker for Bills fans. On the other hand, the Saints have won six straight, and are doing it in some surprising ways: with a balanced offensive attack and solid defense. Drew Brees isn’t having one of his insane seasons statistically, but RBs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara have stepped up in a major way and have been great. The Saints are favored by 3, and with the way they have been playing, how can you pick against them?

Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons – 4:25 CT

Last week, I said it looked like the Ezekiel Elliott suspension saga had finally ended and that he was suspended for good. I was wrong. A judge allowed Zeke to play, and he helped propel the Cowboys over the Chiefs. Now, Zeke is suspended. For what seems to be the hundredth time this season. I’m so sick and tired of this, it’s pretty ridiculous. It looks like Zeke is finally suspended for the full six and that he’ll miss this, but who knows at this point? The Falcons are struggling in a major way and are at 4-4. There’s something about them that makes me what to believe in them as a playoff team though. But if that’s the case, a win this week would be huge. Atlanta is favored by 3 at home, and I think this is the toughest line yet. How will the Cowboys play without Ezekiel Elliott? Can the Falcons turn their season around? I’m going with all of the favorites this week, I’ll take the Falcons to cover.

Two Games to Watch In Week 9

Yuck, what an ugly slate of NFL games we have for week 9. Usually, I write about four games to watch, but this selection of games is so awful I’m only writing about two of them. If you have errands you’ve been putting off, this Sunday would be a good one to finally get those done. Next week is looking better, but for now, here are two games to watch in week 9.

Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers – 12 CT

It’s been a tough few weeks to be a Falcons fan. After starting the season with three straight wins, the Falcons lost three in a row. Last week, they narrowly beat the Jets (who were leading the game entering the final quarter), and now the roof of the brand new Mercedes-Benz Arena has to be closed for the rest of the season due to leaks. Ouch. Meanwhile, things aren’t very rosy for the Panthers either. After a 4-1 start, the Panthers have dropped two of their last three. In addition to that, they just traded away Kelvin Benjamin (their best receiver) for draft picks, a move that shocked everyone. The Panthers offense hasn’t exactly been electric, and that was with Benjamin. Without him? Well, it’ll be interesting to see how the Panthers plan to adjust. Atlanta is favored in Carolina by a single point, which seems a bit strange to me. I’ll take the Panthers just because they are at home, but I worry about their ability to put points on the board after dumping Benjamin.

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Kansas City Chiefs @ Dallas Cowboys – 3:25 CT

Last week it looked like Ezekiel Elliott was set to play the rest of the season with the Cowboys. Now, the endless saga of appeals has come to an end and Zeke will be serving a six game suspension. The Cowboys are currently sitting at 4-3, second in the NFC East. Can Dak Prescott step up and take control of a Zeke-less offense and lead the Cowboys to the playoffs? If I had to wager, I’d say probably not. Without Elliott, this game has lost some luster. On the other hand, the Chiefs haven’t been looking as stellar as they were during their five game winning streak. Andy Reid has a tendency to get too cute with the offensive play calling at times (the Tyreek Hill pass in the red zone was terrible), but overall the Chiefs still look good. The game is a pick ’em in Vegas, and I’ll happily take the Chiefs.

Four Games to Watch In Week 8

Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills – 12 CT

Just when I thought the Raiders were having a bad year, they give an impressive performance and beat my Super Bowl favorite, the Kansas City Chiefs. Derek Carr looked fully healthy, and Amari Cooper stepped up and made big plays. The win over the Chiefs may have saved the Raiders season, but now they travel to the other side of the country to face off against the 4-2 Buffalo Bills. The Bills four wins have come against the Jets, Broncos, Falcons, and Buccaneers, but those wins seem less impressive with each coming week. The Buffalo defense is going to need to come out strong to hold the Raiders explosive offense to a minimum. This past game against the Buccaneers was the first time the Bills allowed an opponent to score more than 20 points, and if the Bills can keep the Raiders around that number they will be in a good position to win the game. Vegas has the Bills favored by 2.5, and I’d put my money on the Bills. It’s tough for a California team to travel all the way to Buffalo and play at noon. I expect the Bills to win by a touchdown.

Los Angeles Chargers @ New England Patriots – 12 CT

After starting the year 0-4, the Chargers have rebounded and won three straight. The Chargers should have been dead in the water at 0-4 in what many people thought was the toughest division in the NFL, but now they have a serious shot at making a run at the playoffs. Speaking of three straight victories, the Patriots have done the same. After a shaky start to the season, the Patriots are 5-2. Their defense looked atrocious in the beginning of the season, but on this three game win streak they’ve given up an average of less than 13 points per game. The Patriots are favored by 7, and that line seems pretty fair. I’ll take the Patriots to cover, but I would not be surprised to see the Chargers put up a good fight.

Houston Texans @ Seattle Seahawks – 3:05 CT

The Seahawks made news this week by signing Dwight Freeney, formerly one of the best pass rushers in the league. Freeney is unlikely to be a major contributor, but he might be able to give the Seahawks already tough defense a little boost. Last week, the Seahawks handled the Giants, and have a three game winning streak of their own. On the other sideline, Deshaun Watson is the Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite. Watson and the Texans are third in the NFL in points per game, but can they score on a menacing Seattle defense? The Seahawks are favored by 5.5. While I really like what Watson and the Houston offense has been doing, I think playing in Seattle is just too much to overcome. Seahawks cover.

Watson

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins – 3:25 CT

The Eagles have a solid lead in the NFC East, but don’t sleep on the Cowboys and Redskins as playoff contenders. After a confounding number of appeals, it appears once again as if Ezekiel Elliott will play out the season with the Cowboys. The Cowboys crushed the lousy 49ers last week, but they get a good test this week against the Redskins. While the Redskins don’t have a very impressive record (4-3), I believe they are better than their record indicates. The Redskins have only lost to the Eagles (twice) and Chiefs so far this season, two of the very best teams in the league. Dallas is favored in Washington by 2, but I’ll happily take Washington to win outright.

Four Games to Watch In Week 2

The novelty of the NFL season returning hasn’t quite worn off yet. Football is football. In some respects, all games are worth watching. That said, here are the five games you should keep an eye on in week 2 of the NFL season.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs – 12 CT

Both the Chiefs and Eagles impressed in week 1. Alex Smith and the Chiefs tore apart the Patriots defense, with rookie running back Kareem Hunt going for 246 yards plus three touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Eagles defense forced four turnovers against the Washington Redskins, and Carson Wentz showed some incredible poise. The Chiefs are favored in this game by 5.5 points. It should be a good one, both defenses looked good last week, and the Chiefs offense sure was impressive. I’ll take the Chiefs to cover.

Minnesota Vikings @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 12 CT

Sam Bradford took home NFC Offensive Player of the Week after he lit up the Saints on Monday night, but can he match that performance on the road against a better defense? There is no denying the Vikings offense looked good, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were open all game and killed the Saints. On the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings only allowed a touchdown in garbage time to an offense lead by one of the best QBs in the game. The Steelers struggled against the Browns, but it was the first time the offense with Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Martavis Bryant had all been on the field together in over a year. That offense should be one of the best in the league when it gets going. The Steelers are favored by 5.5 points, but I think that’s a little high. I’m not saying the Vikings will win, but I expect it to be closer than 5.5 points.

Dallas Cowboys @ Denver Broncos – 3:25 CT

The Broncos nearly blew a 24-7 lead, but through the power of icing the kicker, they managed to come away with the victory. Through three quarters, the Broncos looked great. The defense was flying around the field making tackles, and Trevor Siemian actually looked like a good QB. The Cowboys destroyed the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football. Adam Schefter is reporting that Ezekiel Elliott will not have to serve his suspension this season, which is great news for the Cowboys. The Giants offense looked awful against the Cowboys, lets see how the Broncos can do. Dallas is favored by 2 points, but I like Denver and the points.

Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons – 7:30 CT

Oh boy, this should be a good one. This is the game I’m looking forward to the most this week. The Packers are coming off of a win against a tough Seahawks team, and the Falcons struggled with the Bears. I don’t think either of those games are indicative of what will happen Monday night though. The Packers and Falcons both had offenses that struggled to get going in week 1, but I’m expecting a shootout in this one. On top of the potential offensive fireworks, this is the opening game in the Falcons’ new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Unfortunately,┬ásince the game is on a Sunday, fans will not be able to experience the Chick-fil-A stand in the stadium. The Falcons are favored by 3, and I think that’s a pretty fair line. However, I’ll take the Packers in this one.