Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
The Steelers are going to Baltimore for a big game against the Ravens. It is currently unsure if Ben Roethlisberger will play or not for the Steelers, but it shouldn’t make a huge difference in the result. Both of these teams are coming off of a bye week and had a bit of a losing streak before that. The key for the Steelers is to get the ball to Le’Veon Bell. If Bell is effective, then it doesn’t matter who is playing quarterback and the Steelers should win. The key for the Ravens is to stop the run, especially if Roethlisberger isn’t playing. If the Steelers have to rely on Landry Jones, then the Ravens should have a decent chance. The Steelers should win regardless of the quarterback, but with Jones, the game should be a little bit closer.
PIT 21 – 19 BAL
Dallas Cowboys @ Cleveland Browns
The Cowboys are travelling to Cleveland this Sunday for a potential trap game against the Browns. The Cowboys have been one of the three best teams in the league and the Browns have been one of the three worst, if not the worst team in the NFL. Dallas had two big injuries on defense when Morris Claiborne and Barry Church both went down in the Philadelphia game and it looks like both of them will be out for at least the next month. That is Cleveland’s key to the game. Josh McCown has looked decent when he has played and will be getting another weapon this week with Corey Coleman returning from injury. Being able to take care of the Cowboys beaten up secondary is the only way for them to win the game. The key for the Cowboys is to continue to run the ball effectively and control the ball. Cleveland has given up 144 yards per game and Ezekiel Elliott should be able to get that and then some. Dallas should win this game pretty easily.
DAL 31 – 18 CLE
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Jaguars are going to Kansas City to face one of the hottest teams in the league. In their last three games, the Chiefs have been able to outscore their opponents by 38 points, but might have trouble with Alex Smith and Spencer Ware looking like they will be out for this game. The key for the Jaguars is to run the ball as often as possible. The Chiefs are giving up 113 rushing yards per game and Blake Bortles hasn’t been very effective so far this season. The key for the Chiefs is to not allow Nick Foles to make mistakes. If they can control the ball and not give the Jaguars easy points, then they should be able to win. The Chiefs should win this game pretty easily, even without some of their key players.
JAX 14 – 27 KC
New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
The Jets and Dolphins are facing off in the battle for the worst of the AFC East. Both teams are riding a two game winning streak and the Dolphins are coming off of a bye week. The key for the Jets is for them to not turn the ball over. Ever since Ryan Fitzpatrick has comeback, he hasn’t turned the ball over and the Jets have won twice. The key for the Dolphins is to keep feeding the ball to Jay Ajayi. The Jets have a good run defense and Ryan Tannehill hasn’t shown the ability to win games so Ajayi is their only hope. The Jets should be able to stop the Dolphins offense and come away with the win.
NYJ 23 – 20 MIA
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
The Eagles are going to MetLife Stadium for a battle for second place in the NFC East. The Eagles lost a close game against the Cowboys last week and the Giants are coming off of a bye. The key for the Eagles is to let Carson Wentz throw the ball more and loosen up the playbook. Wentz has been checking the ball down a lot and keeping the game manageable and that is fine, but they need a few big plays to incorporate that. The Giants are only giving up 94 yards per game on the ground and the Eagles running game isn’t that good anyway so focusing on the pass is their best chance. The key for a Giants win is for their defensive front to get to Carson Wentz. The Giants payed a lot of money for their defensive line and it is time for them to see some dividends for their investment. The Eagles have one of the better offensive lines in the league, but if the Giants can’t get to Wentz then their chances of winning or weakened. The Eagles should be able to come away with a win against one of their rivals.
PHI 23 – 17 NYG
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
The Lions are going to Minnesota for a big NFC North game. The Vikings are coming off of a two game losing streak and need to turn things around quickly before the rest of the top NFC teams run away from them. The Lions are also coming off of a loss and need to win so they can compete for at least a wildcard spot. The key for the Lions is for them is to not turn the ball over. The Vikings were unable to force a turnover against the Bears last week and did not look good on offense because of that. The key for the Vikings is to run the ball effectively and make Matthew Stafford beat them. If Stafford doesn’t have much time to make a play, then he is more likely to make mistakes. The Vikings defense should be a little too much for the Lions to handle and will be the reason that the Vikings win.
DET 21 – 24 MIN
Carolina Panthers @ Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are facing off with Cam Newton and the Panthers in Los Angeles this week. The Panthers won a big game last week and the Rams had the week off. Both of these teams need to win in order to stay in the playoff race in each of their divisions. The Panthers looked good last week coming off of a bye, but travelling across the country could be tough, especially with the Rams defense up front. The key for the Panthers is to run the ball effectively. If they can run the ball and control the ball and the clock, then it will be hard for the Rams to keep up. The key for the Rams is to get to Cam Newton. Newton seems to get flustered the more that he gets hits and might make a few more mistakes against this defense. The Panthers are still desperate and talented to lose to the Rams.
CAR 23 – 21 LA
New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers
The Saints are travelling to San Francisco to take on the rested 49ers. The Saints were able to beat the Seahawks in New Orleans and the 49ers had their bye. The Saints are still in contention for their division and the 49ers are not. The key for the Saints is to make key stops against Colin Kaepernick. They should be able to move the ball effectively and score a lot of points, but they should avoid a shootout because they don’t want San Francisco to get the ball last. The key for the 49ers is to run the ball and slow down the game. If they are unable to do this, then they will run out of gas and won’t be able to keep up with the Saints. This should be one of the highest scoring games, but the Saints should pull out the victory.
NO 37 – 29 SF
Tennessee Titans @ San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are welcoming the Titans to San Diego this week. This is another big AFC matchup with two teams fighting for their playoff lives. The Titans are only a game behind in their division and the Chargers are in contention for a wild card spot. The key for the Titans is to continue to run the ball effectively. DeMarco Murray has been their best player offensively and there is no reason to change something now. The Chargers have been good against the run so far this year, but they haven’t faced a team that runs the ball like the Titans do. The key for the Chargers is to rely on Philip Rivers. Rivers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and should be able to take care of the Tennessee secondary. The Chargers are a more desperate team and should be able to win a close game against the Titans.
TEN 19 – 21 SD
Indianapolis Colts @ Green Bay Packers
The Colts are going to Lambeau this week to face off against the Packers in a battle of two really good quarterbacks. The Packers are coming off of a heartbreaking loss against the Falcons and the Colts are coming off of a big loss to the Chiefs. The key for the Colts is to protect Andrew Luck so he has time to make a play. The Packers secondary is still rather weak and if Luck can take advantage of that then they should have a chance to win. The key for the Packers is to shut down the Colts receiving squad. They should be able to slow down the Colts running game pretty easily and if they can eliminate Luck’s weapons then they should win the game. The Packers are just a better team at this point and should be able to win this one at home.
IND 21 – 27 GB
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders
The Broncos and the Raiders are going to battle in Oakland for first place in the AFC West. This will be a big matchup of the Oakland offense and the Denver defense. the key for the Broncos is to cause as many turnovers as possible. Derek Carr had only thrown three interceptions so far this season and the Broncos need to take the ball out of his hands as much as possible. The key for the Raiders is to not give up as many penalties. Last week, they had a record number of penalties and they are going up against one of the most disciplined teams this week against the Broncos. If the Raiders give up yards, then they won’t be able to pull this one out. This should be the best game of the weekend and the Broncos should pull out this close one.
DEN 24 – 23 OAK
Buffalo Bills @ Seattle Seahawks
The Bills are stumbling into Seattle to face the Seahawks in what should be a pretty good defensive matchup. Both of these teams have had bad luck recently and the Bills need this win in order to stay in the AFC playoff picture and the Seahawks need this win to maintain their lead in the NFC West. The key for a Bills win is for LeSean McCoy to have a monstrous game. He should be back this week, but there are no other weapons on the Bills offense and if he can run the ball effectively, then they might have a chance. The key for the Seahawks is to keep Russell Wilson upright. He still doesn’t look right and he needs time to make some things happen. Ultimately, Seattle’s defense should be able to stop the Bills lack of weapons and cause them to win.
BUF 10 – 20 SEA
Bye Week: Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, Houston Texans
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