As we get to the quarter point of the unusual 2020 NFL Season, COVID-19 continues to affect not just NFL players and staff, but games as well. As Pittsburgh vs. Tennessee is rescheduled to Week 8, more games are shifted around for this weekend, which are Buffalo vs. Tennessee moving to Tuesday night and Denver vs. New England postponed to next week, causing another schedule shakeup! Time to see who is more likely to win this weekend:
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans (1pm): This may finally be the week Deshaun Watson gets his win for Houston this season, and it comes following their Week 4 home loss to Minnesota and the firing of their head coach Bill O’Brien. Even so, the Texans almost had a chance to tie the game late in the 4th quarter had Will Fuller not dropped a TD in the endzone on 4th & goal. While the Jaguars are coming off an 8-point loss at Cincinnati, the Jaguars’ defense is starting to become a problem with the injuries they have. With the Texans’ offense, they can start to gel, even though they’re still missing Hopkins.
PREDICTION: Texans win 31-21
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens (1pm): Baltimore is receiving a scare, as Brown, Jackson, and Andrews were deemed questionable to play with injuries. However, they are slated to play and should shine once more. The Ravens had a decent win in D.C. against the Washington Football Team. The Bengals have given Joe Burrow his first career win in the NFL after defeating Jacksonville, and even though the Ravens may win, Burrow can still play a tough game with the weapons he has, such as Green, Higgins, and Boyd. Also, the running game is tough as Joe Mixon had a great performance despite being questionable from a minor injury.
PREDICTION: Ravens win 34-24
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons (1pm): A most amusing NFC South rivalry game is upon us. Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers face Matt Ryan and the Falcons. While the Panthers are coming off a 10-point hosting Arizona and Atlanta comes off a 14-point loss at Green Bay, a game like this may not only be close, but a shootout. The Panthers may still not have McCaffrey, bur Mike Davis has been doing well enough in his absence, while the Falcons are still looking for answers offensively while the defense appears M.I.A. with injuries they have. Julio Jones is questionable to play, but assuming he’s active, it’ll give the Falcons enough weapons as well as hosting the game despite not actual crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
PREDICTION: Falcons win 33-27
Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs (1pm): A game like this will draw more attention than people think. The Chiefs did well enough in their rescheduled 26-10 win vs. Newton-less New England. Derek Carr and the Raiders have looked questionable after starting the season 2-0 then losing 2 straight to the Pats and Bills. The offense continues to remain sharp with Josh Jacobs solid in the run game. For Kansas City, rookie Edwards-Hilaire continues to impress at his RB role while Mahomes continues to be himself with Hill, Watkins, and Kelce as his main weapons. With limited attendance at Arrowhead, the Chiefs are ready for more wins.
PREDICTION: Chiefs win 38-20
Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets (1pm): It’s looking pretty rough for both the Cardinals and Jets, as Arizona tries to get back in a competitive NFC West race, while the lifeless Jets are still searching for their first win. For the Jets, Sam Darnold is inactive for the game, so Joe Flacco will get his first start as a Jet and even though Breshard Perriman and Mecki Becton are inactive, Le’Veon Bell will be suited up as he and Flacco, two former rivals from the AFC North, will be starting with each other for the first time in their career. For the Cardinals, Murray has started to struggle with utilizing his weapons with Hopkins, Fitzgerald, and Captain Kirk. If the Cardinals want to get back in the win column, their defense must step up as the Jets don’t appear to improve yet.
PREDICTION: Cardinals win 30-20
Philadelphia Eagles @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1pm): The Eagles get their first win of the season and are 1-2-1, and that record has allowed them to take sole possession of 1st place in the NFC East. Philadelphia appeared to luck out last week in the Bay Area against a depleted-49ers team, but will face a much healthier team in Pittsburgh. After COVID-19 gave them an inadvertent bye week, Big Ben and Steelers return to action and are looking to avenge a horrible loss to Wentz from 2016. The Steelers host the Eagles this time, and with a healthy look in the running and passing game, as well as a tough defense consisting of Dupree, Heyward, Fitzpatrick, and Watt, the Steelers are in prime position to go 4-0 after this week.
PREDICTION: Steelers win 31-17
Los Angeles Rams @ Washington Football Team (1pm): The Rams are ready to stay hot while Washington faces a new QB change. After Haskins has lost 3 straight following their Week 1 win vs. Philadelphia, Kyle Allen has been named the new starting QB with Alex Smith elevated to backup, having closer and closer to playing on the field once more. As Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurain are ready to get themselves going again, the Rams remain lethal on offense with the passing game, and the defense, led by Aaron Donald, may even put a lot of pressure on Allen.
PREDICTION: Rams win 34-20
Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers (4:05pm): Following a hard loss to Philadelphia last week, Jimmy G and Raheem Mostert are finally active after suffering injuries in Week 2 vs. Jets. The only problem for the 49ers is their depleted defense, as there has been no answer on Ziggy Ansah’s status, leaving Arik Armstead the only viable option to lead the defensive linemen while the rest of the defense looks almost healthy. The Dolphins have Fitzpatrick once more, but the more the losses come, the more likely Tua may come if Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t lead them to another win soon.
PREDICTION: 49ers win 31-17
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (4:25pm): An NFC East rivalry game like this has become unpredictable as even though the Giants’ offense has not looked good to start the season, the Cowboys’ defense has faltered hard, as proof of them giving up 49 points to Cleveland at home last week. Whatever becomes of a game like this, Dallas’ offense is their only hope as that has been their only bright side that barely gave them their lone win of the season. Both sides of the field for both teams is pivotal in a game like this, but Dallas still has some fans in attendance and the offense may bail them out in the end.
PREDICTION: Cowboys win 27-20
Indianapolis Colts @ Cleveland Browns (4:25pm): As their 3-1 record indicate, both teams are on the rise. Phillip Rivers has given the Colts a big push with rookie RB Jonathan Taylor and weapons like T.Y. Hilton and Mo-Allie Cox to help lead the way. For Cleveland, Baker Mayfield has appeared to have finally found a rhythm with his weapons leading the way such as Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham, Jr. Nick Chubb is out for a while, but Kareem Hunt is still dangerous and D’Ernest Johnson can play well in the backup role. With a depleted-looking defense, Indianapolis may not be able to bring down Cleveland similar to how they brought down Chicago.
PREDICTION: Cleveland wins 35-24
Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks (SNF @ 8:20pm): This primetime game looked a little better to start the season than it did at this point. As Seattle continues to stay hot with potential MVP candidate Russell Wilson, Minnesota ahas just captured their first win at Houston. The only problem for the Seahawks is their defense, as Jamal Adams is once again inactive at CenturyLink Field. For the Vikings, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson have been the best weapons for Kirk Cousins as Dalvin Cook continues to perform well on the ground. The Vikings’ defense has not looked any better, so that may lead to a shootout with Wilson getting his 2nd-straight one-score win to stay in the MVP race.
PREDICTION: Seahawks win 38-35
Los Angeles Chargers @ New Orleans Saints (MNF @ 8:15pm): The Saints etched out Detroit in the end last week to get back in the win column, while Herbert’s success has not yet led to his first NFL win. In a game like this, anything’s possible as Michael Thomas is questionable to play, and with his return, the Saints’ offense may be more scary than it already is with Sanders and Smith. Herbert has weapons that can help, as Keenan Allen continues to back him up, and Mike Williams may be set to return to the field as well. However, the defense botched their 24-7 lead in the second quarter against Tom Brady last week, so facing the Saints’ offense may be no easier.
PREDICTION: Saints win 34-24
Buffalo Bills @ Tennessee Titans (Tuesday @ 7pm): After inadvertently on a bye last week due to COVID-19, Buffalo and Tennessee return to action. The Bills have a 2-game lead over New England for first place in the AFC East, and can add a half-game lead with a win since the Patriots have been placed on bye for this week. They play against a Titans team that has won close games to remain perfect up to this point. The Bills have kept their offense rolling and Josh Allen has emerged as a potential MVP candidate with weapons like Diggs, Brown, and Beasley to help him. Derrick Henry can still work the ground game, but not too many weapons for Tannehill may cost them a high-profile game like this.
PREDICTION: Bills win 30-20