Week 13 was a disappointment in my eyes; there were a ton of really fun match-ups, but they didn’t live up to the hype. The three games of the week, in my opinion, were Vikings/Falcons, Seahawks/Eagles and Panthers/Saints. While they weren’t terrible watches, I expected them to be much more exciting. Alas, the week is over and we’re on to week 14.
Thursday Night Football
Saints @ Falcons
- The Falcons have to win this football game at home to keep their playoff aspirations fully alive. They’re not dead with a loss, but their chances increase greatly with a big win over the NFC-South-leading New Orleans Saints. Besides the playoff implications, this is a great game regardless between two scary NFC foes that know each other well.
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Vikings @ Panthers
- I think everybody is waiting for the Vikings to fall apart, but it’s just not happening. They’re a good football team with not many holes. On the other side, a late-season Panthers’ collapse is more plausible. Getting a huge win at home Sunday vs. the Vikings would be a big step forward in avoiding that. I’m interested to see how they respond to a tough loss last week in their second-straight tough game.
Raiders @ Chiefs
- The AFC West has officially become must-watch, as the Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers (!!!) are now tied atop the division at 6-6. The Chiefs have completely fallen apart after starting 5-0, as the Chargers have made an incredible run to get themselves back in the hunt after starting 0-4. The Raiders, on the other hand, have just been hanging around. I think the loser of this game is drawing dead for a playoff spot, and I give the edge to Kansas City to pull it back together at home.
Sunday, 4 p.m.
Seahawks @ Jaguars
- Last night was a big win for Seattle against Philly. Sunday feels like it could be a let down week. The Jags’ defensive line is ferocious, but so is the Eagles. Russell Wilson is simply a magician for escaping pressure, but I think it’s going to be tougher to make plays on his feet against a JAX defense that’s been so good everywhere. I expect a low-scoring game that’s won on defense.
Eagles @ Rams
- This is a great NFC matchup and one that we can see again in the postseason. Sunday night was the Eagles’ first tough loss of the season, and I’m excited to see how they respond against another tough team.
Sunday Night Football
Ravens @ Steelers
- The Ravens are quietly right in the mix at 7-5 in the AFC North and, probably more importantly, the AFC Wildcard picture. I was impressed by their win over Detroit, and think they may be clicking at the right time. This division game is always good — these teams hate each other and play old-school, hard-nosed football. It caps off another solid Sunday slate.