New England (-7) at N.Y. Giants: This is a rivalry game of sorts for the Patriots, who have two Super Bowl losses to the Giants since the 2007 season.
There are two ways of looking at this course of experience. Can the Patriots go 16-0 again?
The Jags' passing game keeps this inside the number. The Patriots always seem to be the better team, but the Giants have a tendency to play to the level of their competition. The Cardinals are leading the NFC West with a 6-2 record, while the Rams and the Seahawks are 4-4 ahead of the 6-6 San Francisco 49ers. That was a misread as the two teams join the Patriots, which are still 2.5 games away from their over/under 10.5 wins, as the last standing unbeaten in the NFL. Prediction Machine ran 50,000 simulations of the rest of the season and gave the Patriots a 5.9% chance at going undefeated, with the Bengals and Panthers both at 1.4%. Now they face Calais Campbell, impressive rookie pass rusher Markus Golden and a smothering Arizona secondary.
The Broncos will be without Aquib Talib and Demarcus Ware for this one as the defense takes a step back, but Peyton gets that offense going and throws three touchdowns all to different receivers to guide the Broncos to a win. "To me, the greatest team that ever played in the National Football League", Brady said. Everything St. Louis does well directly corresponds with things that give the Bears serious trouble. The Bears rank 31st in DVOA defending the run, giving Rams rookie running back Todd Gurley his most favorable matchup of the year. Giants WR, Odell Beckham, caught three of Manning's touchdown passes along with five more completions totaling 130 yards on the day.
In other games, a last-gasp 38-35 win for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Oakland Raiders was overshadowed by a fresh injury to veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Gabbert took over the starting job and the 49ers won. "We believe in each other and for us moving forward, that's what we need". The Packers are giving the visiting Detroit Lions 11.5 points.
Green Bay comes off, by far, its worst performance of the season, a 29-10 drubbing at Denver in which even Aaron Rodgers looked pedestrian. The Lions' remaining schedule does not include any of the teams now with two victories. That would be the only victory Detroit tastes.
Actual accountability in the Lions organization? 500 by season's end would be an accomplishment for the Ravens after the way things have gone. The Jaguars will take advantage of that and surprise the Ravens in Baltimore. So can Ryan Mathews out of the backfield. And Darren Sproles, who could be poised for a big fantasy week.
Redskins (+1) over Saints: Washington struggles when Kirk Cousins turns the ball over. Another season without a playoff appearance would likely mark the end of Tom Coughlin in NY, but thanks to the Boys' 6 game skid, the Giants now control their own destiny.
The Houston Texans are 3-5 and their quarterback Brian Hoyer, undefeated against the Bengals in two starts with the Browns, has plenty of praise for this week's opponents: "They're a tough team, and they're winning big games and close games".
Just a reminder, if you ever wanted to see what Vegas thinks each team's "chances of winning" use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. Both teams exchanged field goals in overtime until Luke Kuechly came up with the game-winning interception in overtime that led to a Graham Gano 52-yard field goal.
Minnesota Vikings at Oakland Raiders: This could be the game of the week. To his credit as a diehard Packer fan, he lost the game because he started the Green Bay defense in place of a better option. The Giants have one great corner in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and they move him around the formation.
Steelers (-4.5) over Browns: Landry Jones played well in the second half against Arizona, and made one big play to help beat the Raiders.
Could be plenty of transplanted Midwesterners at this one as San Diegans wonder where the Chargers will call home after this season.
If Teddy plays, Vikings win 30-26. Kansas City is taking a salad shooter into a knife fight. They just do. Steelers, 27-24.
Another team chasing the record is the Cincinnati Bengals.