Game of the week
Cleveland in Tennessee
The Titans are a 5 1/2 point home favorite in this game of 8-3 teams. Three of the league’s top nine rushers are involved: the Titans’ Derrick Henry (first, 1,257 yards) and Cleveland’s Nick Chubb (sixth, 719) and Kareem Hunt (ninth, 706). Bet on Henry.
Titans 27, Browns 21
Philadelphia at Green Bay
The Eagles are a 9 1/2 point underdog. It should be 19 1/2. The Eagles can’t block anyone. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers needs two touchdowns to become the first player in NFL history with five years of at least 35 touchdown passes. He has three in the first half.
Packers 41, Eagles 20
Upset from the week
Detroit in Chicago
The Lions (three-point underdog) debut under interim coach / offensive game caller Darrell Bevell. The Bears have lost five consecutive games and general manager Ryan Pace / coach Matt Nagy should be in the hot seat. The Lions celebrate Matt Patricia’s firing with a win.
Lions 13, Bears 7
Around the NFC: First place – and 4-7 – Giants enter December with divisional lead
The NFC Least. And now for our weekly update on the NFC East. The Giants (4-7) keep the tie-breaker in first place over Washington (4-7). One coach who can relate is Pete Carroll of Seattle, whose team won the NFC West in 2010 with a 7-9 record (and upset New Orleans in the playoffs). “The guidelines are the guidelines,” Carroll told reporters in New York. “I don’t think it should be judged by the number of games you’ve won. If you win your division, you win your division. That’s how it was (in 2010), that’s how it is now and I don’t think there is a problem with it. “Carroll is absolutely right.
Saints road warriors. Last year, the teams were 123-132-1 (.482) on the road, the best mark since 1972 (87-90-5, .492). This year the road teams are 85-91-1 (.483). New Orleans is 4-1 on the road after last week’s walkover against the Broncos and will play in Atlanta on Sunday. Thirteen teams have set a winning road record this year.
49ers leave the house. Shame on the empty Santa Clara, California County suits for evicting the 49ers. Teams in the county, including Stanford and the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, are banned from team practice or games until December 21. That means the 49ers will “host” Buffalo and Washington at the Arizona Cardinals’ stadium and practice there too. Ridiculous on so many levels and you can’t even blame the NFL for this mess.
Buccaneers struggle. No team needs a bye week more than Tampa Bay, which saw its defense collapse in the loss against Kansas City and join a foul that’s basically toothless. The Buccaneers are in fifth place with 42 pass plays of at least 20 yards, but they are a pitiful 18-of-65 on tries of at least 21 “air” yards – a rating of 52.5 that’s 27th in the competition.
All around the AFC: Despite the record, the Jaguars General Manager opening should have appeal
Jaguar’s GM track attractive. The Jaguars fired general manager Dave Caldwell last week, hours after the team’s tenth consecutive loss. But this should be a sought-after job, especially if they are given the number 2 choice. An astute evaluator of trade value, Caldwell was given two first-round picks from the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback Jalen Ramsey and has two selections each in the first, second and fourth rounds of the 2021 draft. of cap space. The new general manager will make a decision about coach Doug Marrone and the goal should be to find an innovative attacking mind to be the main man. This is a better job than the GM openings in Detroit and Atlanta.
Bosa breaks out. It happened too late to keep the Los Angeles Chargers in the playoffs, but defensive end Joey Bosa had three sacks and six total tackles for lost distance in last week’s loss at Buffalo. Bosa had only 1 1/2 bag in the previous five games. The Chargers host New England Sunday. “He’s a one-man team,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “If you just look at the Buffalo game, he played against the run, he played close range, he rushed the passer in passing situations, he fired the quarterback in play-action situations. He’s very instinctive, he has a great bike and he plays hard. ”
Darnold’s audition. The Jets go 0-11 to Sunday’s home game against Las Vegas. The only two things left – avoid 0-16 but also secure the best overall choice (Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence). If the Jets design first, their decision is easy. What would be interesting is Sam Darnold’s trade value (the Broncos loved him in 2018). Darnold is only 23 and has a record of 11-22, but he will appeal to quarterback-needy teams outside of the top five.