Seattle remains winless at home and has lost 3 straight in the absence of QB Russell Wilson. This week though, it’s time for Pete Carroll to wake up this group. Although the Jaguars are coming off a bye, they still have a rookie QB in Trevor Lawrence who should pose a favorable matchup for a bottom-5 defensive unit. Rookie QBs are 2-9 on the road vs Seahawks since Carroll took over in 2010. On top of that, teams coming off a Monday Night Football game against teams coming off a bye are 9-3 in the last 5 seasons. Seattle is that Monday team in this matchup against Jacksonville coming off the bye week
The Patriots head to Los Angeles for the second consecutive year to take on Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Last year a rookie Herbert fell victim to a 45-0 shutout favoring Bill Belichick’s squad. This time around it will be Herbert that gets revenge. In fact, the Chargers promising young QB has never lost to the same team twice in his career (5-0, 13 pass TD, 0 INT vs teams he previously lost to). Although Belichick is 9-2 against teams coming off a bye in the last 10 seasons, Los Angeles will be beyond ready for this matchup.
There’s no way to sugarcoat this matchup and make it more appealing than it used to be with Drew Brees against Tom Brady. Although it was a short-lived rivalry, the two future Hall of Famers gave us not only two regular-season matchups but a playoff matchup as well. Now it’s Jameis Winston against the team that infamously drafted with the No. 1 pick in 2015. Interestingly enough, former No. 1 overall QBs are 1-6 in their first start vs the team that drafted them since 2010. Although the attention may be on an overhyped QB matchup, the run game is where this contest could be decided. Here’s a look at how Leonard Fournette and Alvin Kamara stack up against one another.
Although Kamara is by far the more productive running back, he will also face the tougher matchup against a stout Bucs defense, not to discredit a Saints run defense that has not allowed one running back to have 100+ rush yards in a game since 2018. Apart from that though, Tampa Bay’s offense should be clicking with TE Rob Gronkowski back alongside WR Mike Evans, although WR Antonio Brown is sidelined. Brady should see a favorable matchup all day as the future Hall of Famer has been pressured on 17.6 pct of dropbacks this season (lowest since 2016) and New Orleans has a 27.1 pct QB pressure rate, their lowest since 2016.
Denver has lost 4 straight in a stretch that has seen Teddy Bridgewater toss five interceptions despite starting the season 3-0 with zero interceptions in each of those matchups. This week though, the Broncos could get back on track as their three wins this season have been against teams currently with a losing record compared to their 0-4 record vs teams .500 or better. On top of that, Washington is 4-12 vs non-divisional opponents since 2020 and has allowed 20+ points in each of 7 games this season. That doesn’t bode well against a Denver team eager to bounce back with WR Jerry Jeudy back in the mix.
Halloween night takes us to US Bank Stadium in Minnesota for a pivotal NFC matchup between the Cowboys and Vikings. Both playoff contenders are coming off a well-rested bye week which bodes well for Dallas as HC Mike McCarthy is 10-4 in his career following a bye week as Vikings’ Mike Zimmer is 3-4 in such games. However, if a matchup was going to come down to something as simple as records coming off a bye week, then there wouldn’t be much of the game to talk about. Zimmer’s record may say one thing but his game planning would say otherwise. Defensive units led by the Vikings head coach are 6-2 vs #1 scoring offenses (based on rank entering week) and their group has had quite the turnaround this season.
On top of that Minnesota’s defense has sacked opponents on 9.3 pct of dropbacks this season which ranks the highest in the NFL. They are going to need to bring everything they got against a Dallas offense that has scored 35+ points in 4 straight games. A big reason for that is the return of Dak Prescott, who as good as he has been, seems to have a lingering calf issue heading into this game. The Cowboys most certainly need Prescott who interestingly enough has won 4 of his 5 head-to-head matchups against Kirk Cousins. My best guess is Prescott will play, but the Vikings look ready to have a statement win, and what better way to do it on Halloween night at home?
November football is upon us in Kansas City on Monday night between the Giants and Chiefs. New York has turned some heads in surprising wins over the Saints and most recently Panthers. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have turned some heads as well with ugly losses this season against the Ravens, Chargers, Bills, and Titans (all above .500). This week they look to avoid their third consecutive home loss under Patrick Mahomes since he became the starter in 2017.
It all starts and ends with the defense. The Chiefs defense has allowed 32.3 PPG in home games this season and allowing the Giants to get off to a fast start is not going to benefit the reigning AFC champs. New York will go another week without RB Saquon Barkley and WR Kenny Golladay in the lineup and Daniel Jones has averaged a mere 194.7 Pass + Rush YPG since Week 5. Mahomes will have to get things fired up fast for the offense in primetime to get the Chiefs back on track at home.