Fresh off an exciting College Gameday yesterday, it’s time to prepare for seriously full day of NFL action starting at 9:30am EST when the Colts and Jags do battle in London and running all the way 8:30pm EST tonight when the Vikings take on the New York Giants.
Today is full of divisional matchups, so if your team is looking to get a leg up on the competition, today could be the day.
Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguars in London 9:30am CBS
This AFC East contest could be renamed “Battle for Lost Potential” as both teams have failed to deliver on the high expectations of the off-season. While the Colts lead the series 21-9 and have taken six of the last seven meetings, Jacksonville is arguably the better team on paper. While Colts head coach Chuck Pagano may not be on the hot seat, Jacksonville’s Gus Bradley has to be feeling the pressure from starting off 0-3 after owner Shahid Khan opened up the checkbook and brought in bevy of big dollar players in free agency. No matter the outcome, one of these teams will be labeled as under performing when the afternoon games begin.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons 1:00pm FOX
Fresh off a serious shootout with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, NFC South division leader Atlanta is looking to fend off the reigning NFC Champ Carolina Panthers this week to show the world their finally back on track. Carolina, reeling from the beating their offense tok at the hands of the Minnesota Viking defense last week, is looking for answers and hoping the Vikings and Broncos haven’t shown the rest of the league how to take them out.
Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Colts 1:00pm CBS
It’s a rematch of the inaugural game for the Baltimore Ravens, this time without Vinny Testaverde or Tim Brown. Oakland’s high flying offense will need to overcome the historically bad Silver and Black defense who has given up more yards so far this season than any Raider unit ever at this point. Meanwhile Baltimore is trying to capture it’s first 4-0 start since 2006. While the Ravens lead the series 6-2, their last meeting left Derek Carr in charge with 351 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears 1:00pm Fox
The third inter-divisional matchup on the day pits the wounded Lions against the far more wounded Bears in what may simply come down to a war of attrition. In the 172nd meeting between these storied franchises, the Bears are pinning their hopes on Brian Hoyer who has taken the lead role in relief of injured QB Jay Cutler. Detroit leads Chicago in n early ever meaningful category, including key players down with injuries, but it’s a Black and Blue division dog fight where anything goes and more often than not anyone can win.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans 1:00pm CBS
The second AFC South battle of the day has the Titans, arguably a team on the rise, against the Texans, a team seemingly in a state of constant free fall. Tennessee’s running game in one of the best in the league and Houston rush defense one of the worst. Overall, Houston has more talent on the roster and coaching staff, but the loss of all-world defender J.J. Watt, an offensive line missing two of the starters and a young quarterback struggling to figure out his new offense doesn’t bode well for the Texans to remain on alone on top of the division by the end of the day.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots 1:00pm CBS
In what has almost become a comical David vs Goliath battle of Rex Ryan against Bill Belichick, Buffalo enters the lair of Tom Brady while he still sleeps, hoping they can steal a win without all-star wideout Sammy Watkins who was just placed on injured reserve this week. No one seems to know who will be under center for the Patriots with injuries to both of their quarterbacks landing them on the injury report, but with the way they’ve been winning it seems like Belichick could grab the first beer vendor he finds and shove him under center to blow Rex Ryan back down to Buffalo with his tail between his legs.
Seattle Seahawks at New York Jets 1:00pm FOX
In one of the few inter-conference games of the day the Seahawks attempt to fly into the Jets home field and snatch a victory from a New York team still stinging from the embarrassing loss to Kansas City last week. If Ryan Fitzpatrick can stop his attempts to complete the most interceptions in the first four weeks in NFL history, the New York will have a chance to take out a hurting Seahawk team fighting pain, a major time zone change possibly a large dose of Jet lag.
Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins 1:00pm CBS
One of the other inter-conference matchups on today’s card should almost be an after thought. Sure, the Any Given Sunday rule is a rule for a reason, but the odds of Cleveland actually beating anyone this season are pretty slim. Let’s just cut to the chase, pencil them in as 0-16 and give them the first pick in next year’s draft now so they can trade it to someone else for a pile of more picks.
Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4:05pm CBS
Some are actually predicting Tampa Bay will upset the reigning Super Bowl Champs this week with their nitro-loaded offense carried by rising star signal caller Jameis Winston. Those predictions weren’t vetted by Von Miller and company who most likely view Tampa Bay as Panther-lite and will quickly harass and harangue Winston worse than they did Cam Newton on opening weekend.
Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals 4:25pm FOX
This week’s “How did that happen?” game features the improbable NFC West division leading Los Angeles Rams taking on their bottom dwelling division rival Arizona Cardinals. While Todd Gurley and the Rams have been over-achieving so far this year, the Cardinals (a preseason Super Bowl favorite) can’t seem to get it together. If the Rams leave Glendale, Arizona with a win, start rolling the Dennis Green “They Are Who We Thought The Were” post game presser and bring Bruce Arians the want ads.
New Orleans Saints at San Diego Chargers 4:25pm FOX
The 0-3 Saints had little time to recover from their Monday Night Football shootout with the Atlanta Falcons before heading to sunny southern California to take on a Chargers team that kept it close in their losses to Kansas City and Indianapolis. While many may try to make a big deal about Drew Brees returning to San Diego, the real story is whether or not this is his last season marching in with the Saints.
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers 4:25pm FOX
Twenty years ago this was a certain NFC Championship game preview. Now it’s a game riddled with off-the-field drama that gets front page treatment due to the teams back page performances of late. While Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Ellliot are sure to offer up some electric moments, the odds of either of these teams making a return trip to the Championship game this year are slim at best.
Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers 8:30pm NBC
Steeler tailback Laveon Bell returns for this Sunday night rumble as the Steelers hope to put last week’s embarrassing loss to the Philadelphia Eagles behind them and return to their winning ways. Kansas City has other plans, though, as Andy Reid looks to cement his team’s place in the discussions about the top of the AFC food chain. While Reid has been gone from Philadelphia for a long time, don’t think he didn’t make some calls this week to see what his old team did to melt the Steelers last week.