After starting this season 2-6, Washington has won 3 straight games and is second in the NFC East. Meanwhile, the Raiders (6-5) find themselves in a jam-packed AFC West with a three-way tie alongside the Chargers and Broncos, putting them at third in the division. This week things don’t get much easier for Las Vegas as they take on a stout Washington defense.
Derek Carr and the offense are coming off a stellar Thanksgiving win over the Cowboys, but the defense has allowed an abysmal 30+ points in 3 straight games (1-2 record). On top of that, they have lost 3 of their last 4 games, with two of them being back-to-back losses at home. Washington simply has more momentum and has shown more signs of consistency lately…
Los Angeles has lost 3 straight games in which they have scored 18.0 PPG, allowed 31.7 PPG, alongside tallying up a -41 point diff, -5 TO diff, and a -4 sack diff. Playing a Jaguars team with a rookie QB yet to find his footing in Trevor Lawrence is exactly what this team needs right now. Jacksonville has scored fewer than 20 points in 8 games this season and has lost 15 straight games vs NFC teams dating back to last season. Expect a strong bounce-back game from the Rams.
Although the Seahawks have been playing arguably the worst football in Russell Wilson’s tenure there, a matchup against the 49ers this week feels like a trap game for San Francisco. These two NFC West rivals have their fair share of history, and Wilson has gotten the better of them in his career with a record of 16-4. However, that record could become worse this week as the Seahawks look atrocious on both sides of the ball. The team has scored 15 points or loss in their last 3 games and have converted 32.5 pct of 3rd down att this season, the lowest rate in the NFL (3-and-out on 36.1 pct of drives, 4th-highest in NFL).
Meanwhile, the 49ers’ offense has been clicking, scoring 30+ points in 4 of their last 5 games, winning each of those 4 contests. This week Kyle Shanahan’s offense will be without star WR Deebo Samuel, so expect the team to rely heavily on RB Elijah Mitchell, who has a favorable matchup this week against a Seahawks defense allowing 124.9 rush YPG, their most since 2006. It may be a slow start, but expect the 49ers to gut this one out on the road.
Although Ben Roethlisberger has won 6 of his last 7 starts against the Ravens, it doesn’t take a football aficionado to realize that something seems to be missing in both Roethlisberger and this Steeler team this season.
Pittsburgh has allowed 41+ points in 2 straight games for the first time since Weeks 1-2, 1989, but fortunately, they take on a Baltimore offense that has scored 16 points or fewer in 3 straight games for the first time since 2015. There’s certainly room for both the Steelers defense and Ravens offense to thrive in this matchup, but it’s worth noting that Lamar Jackson has 3 pass TDs and 5 INTs in 2 career starts vs Steelers. He may struggle similar to last week’s 4 interception outing against the Browns. Ultimately the Ravens still found a way to win last week and this week Jackson looks to bounce back as he is 6-2 in his career following a game with multiple turnovers.
The Chiefs are back. The league and many fans may be in dismay at that statement, but there’s no denying Kansas City sits atop the AFC West, and a win this week they could put them in a prime position to secure the division. Patrick Mahomes has a 7-0 career record vs Broncos and Andy Reid is 19-3 (.864) as a head coach coming off a bye in the regular season.
The Chiefs have won four straight and have scored 20 points or fewer in 3 of those last 4 games, with their defense allowing a mere 11.8 PPG since week 8. However, Denver’s defense has been nothing short of phenomenal as well, allowing 10.8 PPG in 6 wins this season, but 26.2 PPG in 5 losses. Kansas City’s offense has struggled lately but coming off a bye week could have given this team the rest and practice they need to get back on track offensively. It’s tough betting against Mahomes when he plays Denver, but it’s much tougher betting against Reid coming off a bye week.