This battle of Heisman-winning quarterbacks will probably not get anyone too excited. These are two-win teams, though on the face of it, both should be performing better than they’ve shown at this point. Jameis Winston continues to develop as a quarterback and a leader for his team, while most would agree that Carson Palmer is entering the tail end of his career. Some of the names on these teams are known around the league, including Larry Fitzgerald, Desean Jackson, Gerald McCoy, Mike Evans, Tyrann Mathieu, and Adrian Peterson. Unless you live in Arizona, Florida, or northern Georgia, you’ll be relying on Sunday Ticket to see this one.
Young quarterbacks Blake Bortles and Jared Goff have each led their teams to 3-2 records, in what has to be a surprise for all but their fans. Both franchises have struggled for years now, but perhaps they’ve finally turned a corner and settled into becoming, if not teams that are picked for the playoffs each season, at least teams that are considered potential challengers. For several years the Rams have had one of the best defenses in the NFL, but lacked an offense to go with it. The Jags? They’ve had bleacher pools, tarps, and the best mustache this side of the Atlantic. Sammy Watkins, Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, Leonard Fournette, Myles Jack, and Jalen Ramsey should give folks some excitement. If you live in the Houston area, this is the late game you’ll be enjoying, courtesy of Fox.
Ben Roethlisberger shat the bed last week. He admitted as much to the media. But even with Big Ben’s five interceptions against the Jags, he still put up 351 passing yards and Antonio Brown had 157 receiving yards, both the best in that game. The Steelers won’t be able to make the same mistakes against the Chiefs that they made against the Jags. The 5-0 Chiefs are not an impressive team, but they’re well-managed and take advantage of mistakes and sloppy play. Almost everyone in the country will get to see this game on CBS (except if you’re in California or Arizona).
The 1-4 Chargers are traveling north to face the 2-3 Raiders this afternoon. Philip Rivers continues to lead his hapless team, despite years of ineptitude in coaching and management. Derek Carr will reportedly return from a back injury that caused him to miss the last game to try to give Oakland fans something to cheer about. This may be a game about the running backs. Marshawn Lynch should be counted on to run roughshod over opposing defenders, while Melvin Gordon III doesn’t inspire the same fear in opponents, he’s actually averaging more yards per carry (3.7 to 3.4) than the living legend. I’d say this should be a defensive matchup, but no one in the right minds fears the Chargers’ defense. If you’re on the west coast, south of Washington, this is your game.
Four games to pore over as we wind down from Texans football for the week. Enjoy!