Indianapolis @ Houston
Houston suffered a devastating blow on Thursday when rookie quarterback phenom Deshaun Watson tore his ACL in practice. This will almost assuredly derail the Texans' offense with Tom Savage returning to steer the ship. When reached for comment DeAndre Hopkins had this to say. Meanwhile the Colts have officially ruled Andrew Luck out for the season. As a result this game has been canceled so that the teams can just meet on the field and hug for three hours. There are no winners here, thus there will be no winners here.
Cincinnati @ Jacksonville
With the aforementioned injury to Deshaun Watson, the AFC South has now become a two-horse race, and one of those horses is the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is the first time the Jags have been in a race in November since that Thanksgiving weekend in '09 when some hot rods from the next town over boasted about having a faster car. The ensuing drag race resulted in the death of 6 Neptune Beach teens. Look, it was reckless to have that many people in one car, and they shouldn't have held the race so close to Deceased Man's Cliff, but the real lesson to be learned here is that that's what you get when you mess with he Jags this late in the season (most every season notwithstanding).
Tampa Bay @ New Orleans
The Bucs ... suck! And I'm not just saying that because it's a very clever and catchy slogan. Look at any number you want folks. Or just do what I did, which is look at their record, grimace, then say, "2-5? Yuck, the Bucs suck! Oh man, that's good I should write that in the picks this week." Shit! I forgot the yuck part. That's what sold the whole thing! Everybody knows three rhymes is better than two. In much the same way, three wins are better than two, and once Tampa figures that out they just might be able to turn their season around. If it doesn't happen this week though they're most likely doomed. Not surprisingly, I don't think they'll get the win, because yuck, these Bucs (every reader shouting at the same time I assume) suck! Now you're starting to get it!
Los Angeles Rams @ New York Giants
New York starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been suspended indefinitely by the team. It's the second time in three weeks that the Giants have made such a move. Ben McAdoo is suspending people like he's the ornery police captain in an action movie. I wouldn't be surprised if he handed down the discipline by demanding the player's "playbook and helmet on my desk by the end of the day!" We should've seen this coming when he started slicking back his hair, I mean he's basically made himself into a lame William Forsythe. Of course, if this were a cop movie Jenkins would keep working the case on his own then show up to MetLife stadium on Sunday and take matters into his own hands. He'll run onto the field in the 4th quarter, pick off a Jared Goff pass, and take it to the house. Of course it won't count because he won't even be in a uniform or on the active roster; plus the Giants will be down by 20 anyway. When he gets back to the sideline McAdoo will kick him off the team for good for being a dangerous loose cannon whose got more guts than brains.
Atlanta @ Carolina
After scratching and clawing their way to a 4-3 record so far, one thing is clear, these are not the same Falcons that went to Super Bowl LI. But of course they're not, that would require some sort of alternate plane in which time does not move forward, or the NFL has no salary cap. What's more though is that this year's Falcons barely resemble last season's. So what's the problem? A lot of people would point to the obvious: the change at offensive coordinator from Kyle Shanahan to Steve Sarkisian. But me? I'd say it's the change at offensive coordinator from Kyle Shanahan to Steve Sarkisian. So in other words, I agree with everybody else. This Sunday Atlanta will face the Panthers, whose season has been so up and down it's as if they've been riding on some sort of roller coaster! No, really! One thing I do know is that their defense has only given up 3 points in consecutive games (Chicago scored 17 total points on them in Week 7, but 14 came from defensive TDs). And with a sputtering Steve Sarkisian offense coming to town you have to like their chances.
Denver @ Philadelphia
The Eagles are 7-1, good enough for the best record in the NFL. However, they no longer have their all-pro left tackle Jason Peters. Philly managed to get by San Francisco last week with little drama, but now they face the Denver Broncos and, most notably, Von Miller. Going up against Von Miller with a backup left tackle is like trying to defend yourself from a bull with only a cape. Oh, I guess that's what bull fighters do all the time, and they're usually successful. I'm not sure if I should rethink my analysis or my analogy. Probably both actually. I guess my point was that even though the Broncos have looked terrible lately they just might ... What's that? Denver is starting Brock Osweiler? At quarterback? Very well. They'll definitely lose now. I mean they probably would've anyway, so why not have a little fun, right? (I expect Vance Joseph to say that at the postgame press conference).
Baltimore @ Tennessee
We nearly witnessed Joe Flacco die on the field last Thursday when he was obliterated on a diving hit from Kiko Alonso. Of course, Ravens fans would tell you that they've been watching the slow, on-field death of Flacco for years now, so the only shocking part would have been the suddenness. The FlacMan is still very much alive though, and he's ready to take the field this Sunday for a clash in Nashville. A clash in Nashville? Are we talking about this game or Billy Ray Cyrus's wardrobe? No, I'm not proud of it. Why did I leave it in then? Because I never delete anything! That's my policy baby. Just like it's Joe Flacco's policy to go out there and occasionally look decent. Unfortunately I'm not sure this Sunday will be one of those occasions.
Arizona @ San Francisco
Big news in The Bay Area this week, as it was announced that the 49ers acquired Jimmy Garoppolo in a trade with New England. I think at this point it's fair for C.J. Beathard to seriously question whether or not he's the quarterback of the future in San Francisco. Sure he was a big-time draft pick, but things move fast in this league and if you don't produce results teams will move on. That being said, if Ceej can go out there and get the win this week against the Cardinals, then maybe just maybe he can keep his job ... for another week while Garoppolo learns the offense. After that though the Niners have a bye week, so there's no way Beathard makes more than two more starts, possibly in his entire career. So enjoy him while you can opposing teams, because in a few weeks you won't have Beathard to beat hard anymore.
Washington @ Seattle
Earlier this week Pete Carroll told the media that we should expect to see a lot of Eddie Lacy on Sunday. I only read this in print, so without actually seeing him say it on video it's still unclear to me whether or not he was joking. Look, I hope it will work out, but right now promoting Lacy to feature back makes about as much sense as promoting him to head of stadium security. I mean sure maybe given the opportunity and time in the position he can flourish, but I'm just not sure I see the logic. Also, would that even count as a promotion? Don't get me wrong, head of stadium security is an esteemed position, but starting running back for the actual team probably carries more clout; not to mention that I have to believe there's a disparate amount of pay there in favor of the NFL player. Washington has given up just about 28 points per game on the road this season, while Seattle has put up 33 per game at home. Good enough for me.
Kansas City @ Dallas
Apparently Ezekiel Elliott's suspension has been delayed for yet another week. At this point it's nothing more than myth to me, like a free tootsie roll pop resulting from a shooting star wrapper mail-in. Sure, I've heard all about it, but until I actually see it happen with my own eyes I just ain't buying it. Wait a minute, chiefs ... stars ... is it possible this game is taking place inside the mind of a young boy looking at a tootsie roll pop wrapper? No, that's stupid, right? That being said, if the Cowboys cheerleaders show up topless on the sidelines I think we'll at least have to reconsider the possibility. And if the game just switches to Minecraft in the second quarter we'll have our answer.
Oakland @ Miami
Yikes, this does not look like the marquee match-up you might expect from a Sunday night game. But I'm sure that SNF analyst Cris Collinsworth can provide us with an interesting take that will gin up our interest in this contest:
Thanks for the help CriColl. I have no idea what will happen in this game, which puts it in the same category as most others.
Detroit @ Green Bay
Matt Prater provided all 15 of the Lions' points in Week 8's loss to the Steelers. But Prater didn't let the L get him down; rumor has it he capitalized on his Sunday night heroics by hitting the town and using the pick-up line, "I've been scoring all night, so why stop now?" And ya know what? It worked! He totally got laid! It should be mentioned that the woman in question was his wife, so it's really not that outrageous. Also, it's kind of weird that he used a pick-up line on his wife, but I guess when you have material that's that solid you almost don't have a choice. Though it seems like she didn't totally fall for it, because unfortunately for Mr. Prater, the Lions weren't the only ones who couldn't put it in the end zone that night. If the Lions can score a touchdown (or possibly even two!) this week they should be able to get the win.