sundays are for football
December 8, 2019

Only four weeks remain in the 2019 NFL regular season, and Sunday's slate of games is a doozy.

It'll be a particularly telling week for the AFC East, where the New England Patriots might actually have a real challenger for the division crown for the first time in what seems like forever – and people are excited.

New England, behind quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichik, has won the last 10 division titles, but the upstart 9-3 Buffalo Bills, who were mostly an afterthought before the season, are right there.

Here's the thing, though: Neither team has done much against quality opponents this year, aside from New England's hardfought 16-10 victory in Buffalo way back in Week 3. New England is 10-2, but they were beat convincingly in their two most challenging games this year — road matchups with the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans — which has led to questions about whether the Brady-Belichik partnership might be winding down.

Buffalo, meanwhile, has only beat one team that currently has a winning record, and it's fair to say that the Tennessee Titans were nowhere near as good as they are now when that happened.

Both teams will be up against a major test Sunday with a chance to buck the trend. New England will host the Kansas City Chiefs and reigning MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes, while the Bills have the luxury of playing the Baltimore Ravens, the hottest team in the league thanks to potential 2019 MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson. Per The Ringer, New England will need its statistically-impressive defense to play like it has against its non-Houston and Baltimore opponents, while Buffalo will need its improving quarterback Josh Allen to step up against Jackson. Tim O'Donnell

December 1, 2019

Week 13 of the NFL season showcases some crucial intra-division matchups, and a possible Super Bowl preview. Here are four games to watch:

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennesee Titans, 1:00 p.m. E.T. on CBS — Tennessee has transformed since Ryan Tannehill took over at quarterback. The veteran is finally living up to his potential, and he's got the 6-5 Titans looking like a playoff contender. The 6-5 Colts are coming off a tough division loss to the Houston Texans, but they'll look to bounce back against their other AFC South rivals.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m. E.T. on CBS — These AFC North rivals played just two weeks ago, and, well, it wasn't pretty. Both teams have said the drama won't carry over from that game, and many of the players involved in the previous kerfuffle are suspended for this week's festivities. Regardless, this is a big game for two wild card contenders. Pittsburgh's defense will need to continue its stellar play, since the offense is in shambles.

Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers, 1:00 p.m. E.T. on Fox — This rematch of the 2013 Super Bowl, when Baltimore edged the Niners, could also be a sign of things to come. The 9-2 Ravens are probably the best team in the league right now behind their quarterback — and MVP frontrunner — Lamar Jackson, who is worth watching no matter the opponent. But San Francisco is an elite team, as well. These two could very well see each other again in February.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders, 4:25 p.m. E.T. on CBS — The 6-5 Raiders received a dose of reality last week when they were trounced by the lowly (but improving) New York Jets. Still, they only trail the AFC West-leading Chiefs by one game. It's been a sloppy season for the 7-4 Chiefs, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes is back in full gear after an injury, so there's every reason to believe they'll cement their playoff position soon enough. A win Sunday would go a long way. Tim O'Donnell

November 24, 2019

Week 12 in the NFL features a few tantalizing potential postseason matchups. Here are four games to watch Sunday:

Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos, 1:00 p.m. E.T. on CBS — This game doesn't jump out at you on paper, but it's a big one for the playoff-hopeful Bills. After this, they've got four straight games against playoff-caliber teams before closing out the season against the New York Jets. Buffalo could obviously win at least a couple of those games, but they could also be looking at a late season collapse if they don't take care of business against Denver at home. The Broncos, while 3-7, have been competitive in most of their games, so it won't be an easy win for the Bills.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1:00 p.m. E.T. on Fox — The Eagles can't quite get a run going, but they continue to hang around. Defeating a team as talented as the Seahawks would be a huge boost as they chase the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East. Seattle, meanwhile, will look to keep pace with the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West. They're also very much in the running for homefield advantage.

New England Patriots vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. E.T. on Fox — The Patriots are trying to pick up their second straight win over a team from the NFC East in the hopes of improving to 10-1. Dallas, behind the play of quarterback Dak Prescott, is seeking a signature win on the road in Foxborough, Massachusetts, which would also keep them ahead of the Eagles for the time being.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. E.T. on NBC — Sunday night's primetime game features two of the best teams in the NFC. San Francisco continues to roll, while Green Bay is coming off a loss and another iffy performance in which they scraped out a win. But they're still one of the teams to beat in a loaded conference. This could be a thriller. Tim O'Donnell

November 17, 2019

Hopefully most of Sunday's NFL drama stems from tightly contested games, rather than any dangerous extracurricular activities after the whistle. Here are four Week 11 games to watch.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. E.T. on CBS — This might be one of the best games of the season let alone this week. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has entered the MVP conversation, but Houston's signal caller DeShaun Watson has also emerged as one of the game's best players. On paper, this one projects to be a joy to watch as two of the game's brightest young stars go at it for the 7-2 Ravens and 6-3 Texans.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. E.T. on CBS — These two division rivals will face off with the playoffs on their minds and their quarterbacks returning to the field. Jacksonville will get prized free agent acquisition Nick Foles back after he suffered a broken collar bone in the first game of the season. Jacoby Brissett will slot back in under center for Indianapolis after missing last week's humbling loss to the Miami Dolphins. The 4-5 Jaguars and 5-4 Colts are two talented teams that have had up-and-down seasons so far, so this game could turn the tide for either.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots, 4:25 p.m. E.T. on CBS — The Patriots will look to avenge their first loss of the season against Baltimore two weeks ago while simultaneously paying the Eagles back for beating them in Super Bowl LII. The Eagles, meanwhile, are seeking their third straight win as they look to duplicate last year's late season surge.

Los Angeles vs. Chicago Bears, 8:20 p.m. E.T. on NBC — The primetime game features two teams suffering through disappointing seasons. But there's a ray of hope for each side, as they aim to repeat their playoff runs from last season. After four straight losses, the 4-5 Bears finally got a win against the Detroit Lions last week, while the 5-4 Rams are coming off a loss where they were stifled by the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Tim O'Donnell

November 10, 2019

The NFL playoffs are inching closer, and Week 10 should serve as a showcase for a few teams to prove their worthy of a spot. Here are four matchups to watch:

Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1:00 p.m. E.T. on CBS — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is expected to return to the field for this one, which is great news for Kansas City. The team performed admirably in his absence, but a division title is no longer a foregone conclusion with the Oakland Raiders breathing down their necks in the AFC West. There's no time for funny business anymore for the 6-3 Chiefs.

Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers, 4:25 p.m. E.T. on Fox — The Packers were rolling along until they were stifled by the Los Angeles Chargers last week. They're still in a good spot at 7-2, but the 5-3 Panthers should provide a challenge. Still, Carolina is the team that's really on the ropes in a crowded NFC playoff picture. A win at daunting Lambeau Field would be quite the statement.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Los Angeles, 4:25 p.m. E.T. on Fox — The 4-4 Steelers, despite being banged up, have won three straight games, including a thriller against the Indianapolis Colts last week. The 5-3 Rams, who have won two in a row, are in a similar position to Pittsburgh. Both teams are currently on the outside looking in, but the playoffs are far from out of reach at this point. Winning this one will make the path to January football a whole lot easier for both teams.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 p.m. E.T. on NBC — The primetime game highlights two teams that have their sights set on a division crown. Minnesota trails Green Bay in the NFC North, and was unable to capitalize on the Packers' loss last week when they failed to secure a victory in Kansas City. They'll look to bounce back against the Cowboys, who are trying to hold off the Philadelphia Eagles in the AFC East. Tim O'Donnell

November 3, 2019

The main draw of Sunday's slate of NFL games is probably the Sunday night matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots, but while the two division leaders should put on a show, this week is defined by a series of games which could have playoff ramifications for a few middling teams. Here are four to watch:

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. E.T. on Fox — In a rematch of last season's NFC Wild Card game, the 3-4 Bears will head to Philadelphia to take on the 4-4 Eagles. Neither team has played particularly well this year in the face of high expectations, though the Eagles are coming off a dominant win against the Buffalo Bills. The Bears likely need to win this game to have a realistic shot in the competitive NFC North.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1:00 p.m. E.T. on CBS — The 3-4 Steelers have performed better than anticipated since quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went down for the season in week two, but they're still two games back of the Ravens in the division and 2.5 out of the Wild Card. It wouldn't be an insurmountable deficit to overcome if they lose to Indianapolis, but it's still a crucial game. The 5-2 Colts, on the other hand, will look to maintain their AFC South lead.

Carolina Panthers vs. Tennessee Titans, 1:00 p.m. E.T. on CBS — These two teams aren't talked about frequently when it comes to playoff contenders, but they're both hanging around. It's an important game for both sides, as Carolina was humbled by the San Francisco 49ers last week, dropping to 4-3, while Tennessee is coming off two straight wins behind quarterback Ryan Tannehill to get back to 4-4.

Oakland Raiders vs. Detroit Lions, 4:05 p.m. E.T. on Fox — Like Carolina and Tennessee, Oakland and Detroit are mostly flying under the radar. The playoffs don't seem likely for either team, but with a win the Raiders would improve to 4-4, and Detroit could get to 4-3-1, which is a reasonable position to be in at this point of the season. Tim O'Donnell

October 27, 2019

Week 8 in the NFL is not short on storylines — the league's remaining undefeated teams will look to keep their streaks alive and a familiar face returns to the field in New Orleans. Here are four games to watch:

Buffalo Bills vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. E.T. on Fox — The Eagles are coming off a dismal loss against a division rival which dropped them to 3-4 on the year, but rebounding will be tough against the vaunted defense of the surprising Bills. If Buffalo wins, they'll improve to 6-1 and may even strike an ounce of fear in the heart of New England Patriots fans. It's a big test for both teams.

New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1 p.m. E.T. on CBS — Drew Brees is expected back under center for the Saints, who did nothing but win in his absence. Backup Teddy Bridgewater did his job while Brees was injured, but New Orleans likely isn't complaining about getting the Hall of Famer back in time for the season's second half. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have quietly won three in a row and may even be a longshot playoff contender behind rookie quarterback Kyler Murray.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Carolina Panthers, 4:05 p.m. on Fox — The 49ers are still undefeated and they've looked pretty dominant doing it, but the Panthers have won four in a row even with quarterback Cam Newton out. San Francisco won't take Carolina's second-year backup signal caller Kyle Allen lightly.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. on NBC — The primetime game would be even more exciting if injured Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes was in action, but fans will have to settle for watching just one elite passer in Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. It wouldn't be a complete shock if these two teams meet again at full strength on Feb. 2, 2020. Tim O'Donnell

October 20, 2019

We're almost at the midway point for the NFL season. Here are four games to watch for Week 7:

Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m. E.T. on CBS — The Texans are playing at a high level behind quarterback DeShaun Watson. They're coming off a victory last week in Kansas City, which may be one of the biggest wins of the entire season. Watson and company face another big test this week in Indianapolis, and this time the stakes are even higher as the two teams race for the AFC South title.

Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans Saints, 4:25 p.m. E.T. on Fox — Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will reportedly return to action this week as Chicago looks to stay afloat in the competitive NFC North. The Saints, who are already without quarterback Drew Brees, will be without their versatile star running back, Alvin Kamara, and tight end Jared Cook. But the 5-1 Saints have shown a lot of resilience so far this year, so don't expect them to fold.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Baltimore Ravens, 4:25 p.m. E.T. on Fox — Any game with Russell Wilson is worth watching right now. The Seahawks quarterback has been one of the best players in the league all season, and he'll look to keep Seattle rolling along against a talented, but inconsistent Ravens team. Ravens safety Earl Thomas will make his return to Seattle, where he starred for several years as the centerpiece of one of the most dominant secondaries in NFL history.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m. E.T. on NBC — It's been a weird season for these longtime rivals, who will face off during primetime Sunday evening. Dallas got off to a hot start against bad competition, but has now lost three in a row, while the Eagles have been up and down all season en route to their own 3-3 record. The winner should emerge as the favorite in a weak NFC East. Tim O'Donnell

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