Pittsburgh Steelers @ Atlanta Falcons
T.J. Watt could very well be the key to this Pittsburgh Steelers team, as in three of the four games he has played this season they have won. When he hasn’t played it led to six of their seven losses. The Falcons have continued to be good at not allowing pressure, they have only allowed 66 on the season. This help from the offensive line has led to the second best rushing attack in the NFL with 1,920 yards. Take away that rushing attack though and forcing Marcus Mariota to throw should be the plan for Pittsburgh, and they can do so. The Steelers have only allowed 1,144 rush yards on the season and only six rushing touchdowns.
Kenny Pickett has shown some glimpses of growth over the last three games, as he has thrown zero interceptions during that time. Pickett has been efficient enough to lead the team down the field and into the red zone, where the ground game takes over. The current status for Najee Harris is up in the air, but if he can’t go, look for Benny Snell to take over after contributing 62 yards and a touchdown to the team’s 172 total rushing yards on Monday. Between Snell and Pickett they can very likely find success against the Falcons who are allowing 127.5 rush yards per game and lack the push from their defensive front to get to the backfield.
The Steelers are better equipped to take away what the Falcons want to do and get the win while doing so. — Marissa Myers
Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens
The struggling Denver Broncos head to Baltimore for a matchup with the Ravens. Baltimore is coming off a tough loss on the road to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week and will be looking for some redemption. They know they lost a game they shouldn’t have and now face a Denver team that is reeling.
The Broncos struggle to move the ball on offense and will likely have a tough time again against a tough Ravens front. I don’t see this being a particularly close contest. Give me Baltimore at home. — Matt Levine
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears
The Packers and Bears square off for their second matchup of the season this week. The two division rivals met previously in week two, where Green Bay took care of business with a 17 point victory. However, tides have turned since then. Chicago has created some newfound offensive momentum with Justin Fields’ ever-developing dual-threat ability. Meanwhile, the Packers season has been on a downward spiral, as they’re 1-7 in their past eight games. With that being said, I still believe the Packers have the better roster, and Aaron Rodgers still has a chip on his shoulder to keep up his dominance over Chicago. I’ll take the Packers for a season sweep. — Aidan Maher
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Detroit Lions
The Jaguars are coming off a last second win against the Baltimore Ravens and will be seeking to get their season back on track. Detroit is coming off a tough loss on Thanksgiving to the Buffalo Bills. While these two teams aren’t the best, they compete and that will likely make this a good game to watch.
Both offenses can be explosive while the defenses are a bit questionable. I think the Lions do just enoough here to earn another win for themselves. Give me the home team to hold serve. — Matt Levine
Washington Commanders @ New York Giants
It is a battle between NFC East rivals trending in opposite directions. The New York Giants have lost three of their last four games, and Saquon Barkley has looked like he has run out of steam. In the last four games, Barkley has seen 10 or more carries in each, but was only able to put together one game with over 60 rushing yards. The Commanders have only allowed 108.4 rush yards per game, and their pass defense has turned things around as well, only allowing 201.6 yards per game.
The Commanders have won three of their last four games as their offense has become balanced, and their defense has started to trend in the right direction. In five of their last six wins as well, they have gone over 120 yards on the ground thanks to their running back duo of Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. It just happens to be the run is something the Giants have struggled with, allowing 138.9 rush yards per game and 11 rushing touchdowns. Just last week against the Dallas Cowboys, the Giants faced the duo of Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott who combined for 152 yards. Taylor Heinicke has been good since taking over as the starting quarterback, and in this matchup, he just has to take what the Giants give him and allow the run game to take over and lead them to a win. — Marissa Myers
Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans
The return of Deshaun Watson is here and how convenient for the schedule makers that he returns in Houston. Many people have their thoughts on the Watson situation, including myself, but on a football level, he will bring a new sense of play to Cleveland.
The Texans are a mess and their offense is terrible. Look for the Browns to pick up another win here in Watson’s return. — Matt Levine
New York Jets @ Minnesota Vikings
The Jets and Vikings are both making strong bids for a playoff spot, sitting at 7-4 and 9-2 a piece. Minnesota has an array of explosive playmakers & great play-calling on offense, and coming off a week and a half of rest, at home, that may be the edge that pushes them to victory in this one. However, the Jets looked much better with Mike White at quarterback last week. He got this passing attack going, while also providing far more leadership than Zach Wilson. I’m not fully bought in on the Mike White hype train, but this is a very gettable Vikings secondary, and this elite Jets defense should at least neutralize Minnesota’s offense, offering a bit of a cushion. One of the toughest games to predict this week, but give me the Jets. — Aidan Maher
Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers
This is going to be a matchup of two offenses looking in the mirror at each other. With two similar offenses, it will be up to the defense to even this out. The 49ers have the best defense in the league, allowing only 3,099 yards of total offense, and a league-low 15.7 points per game. They now face Tua Tagovailoa and a Dolphins’ offense that scores the sixth most points per game with 25.6. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are the go-to guys for Tagovailoa, and the 49ers will have Charvarius Ward, Talanoa Hufanga, and Deommodore Lenoir in the secondary for this challenge. What San Francisco will have to make a focal point on defense is to get pressure with Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, and others against this Dolphins offensive line allowing 103 pressures.
The 49ers offense may see their run game stifled again this week against the Dolphins, who are allowing only 3.7 yards per carry. So, it will be up to Jimmy Garoppolo to find Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle through the air to run up the score. That may be simple with the Dolphins allowing a 67.8% completion percentage for 2,572 yards. While Xavien Howard is typically their top guy in the secondary, he has allowed the most yards in coverage with 454. Between their top defense and an offense willing to slow the game down and run the clock, the 49ers will get the victory. — Marissa Myers
Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams
The Seahawks have dropped two straight after a 6-3 start to the season, but to cut straight to the chase, Seattle will get back in the win column this Sunday. This season has been a disaster for the Rams, and they’ll be without Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, Allen Robinson, and possibly no Matt Stafford this week. Yes, their defense is good, but no Aaron Donald is a massive loss, and this offense is dysfunctional. — Aidan Maher
Kansas City Chiefs @ Cincinnati Bengals
Here we’ve got ourselves an AFC Championship rematch between two of the best teams in the league. Cincinnati got the season sweep over Kansas City last year, so for possibly the first time in his career, Patrick Mahomes will be looking to match his opponent, rather than the latter. Yes, the Chiefs are due to beat the Bengals at some point, but I don’t believe week 13 of the 2022 season is that time. I believe this Joe Burrow led Bengals team is shaping up to be the Patrick Mahomes kryptonite. Especially with Ja’Marr Chase back, Cincinnati will have too many different ways to score on this mediocre Chiefs defense, and the bulletin board material Chiefs safety Justin Reid has given the Bengals this week will only add more fire. — Aidan Maher
Los Angeles Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders
The Chargers are coming off their improbable last second win over the Arizona Cardinals. They are right in the thick of the playoff hunt but need to keep winning games to stay there. They have been inconsistent at times this year due to injuries and poor management. Luckily for them, the Raiders have been bad for most of the year as well.
Las Vegas has picked up their play lately but it remains to be seen if they can continue it. However, I think they do and Las Vegas gets the upset of the week and downs the Chargers. — Matt Levine
Tennessee Titans @ Philadelphia Eagles
This is easily one of the games of the week. You have this tough Titans team heading to Philadelphia to take on the 10-1 Eagles. It has the makings for a great game. Derrick Henry was held in check last game so he will be looking to get back on track. I see him having a strong game for the Titans this week.
As for the Eagles, they are the best team in the NFL right now and continue to find ways to win. They have an explosive offense and defense, making them a tough cover. I think the Titans battle but the Eagles find a way to come out with the win here. — Matt Levine
Indianapolis Colts @ Dallas Cowboys
It was a rough Monday night performance for the Indianapolis Colts after the first two games showing promise under Jeff Saturday. Matt Ryan was sacked three times, completed only 22-of-34 passes for 199 yards, a touchdown, and threw an ugly interception. The ground game also couldn’t get going as Jonathan Taylor ran 20 times for 86 yards. The Cowboys’ offense has continued to look better each week as Dak Prescott gets more comfortable back off his injury and should find ways to score on the Colts. The main factor in this game is the Cowboys defensive line leading the NFL in pressures with 124 while the Colts are allowing 127 pressures. Yeah, this won’t be a great day for the Colts offense. — Marissa Myers
New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Both teams sit under .500 heading into this Monday Night Football matchup, yet due to the nature of the NFC South, they’re both very much in the running for a playoff spot. The Buccaneers are fresh off an extremely disappointing blown lead to the Browns, but regardless of that slip-up, they’re defense should be able to shut this Saints offense down, and I believe Tampa Bay’s up and down offense will have just enough juice to outpace New Orleans in this one. — Aidan Maher