This week is a extremely curious one within the NFL. There aren’t a ton of “gimme” video games on the schedule, and as a substitute we’ve obtained some competitions between struggling groups, extra video games between middling organizations, after which these 4 video games, that are actually spectacular or attention-grabbing matchups.
Whether or not or not these video games really find yourself being good is kinda of immaterial. Even a foul sport can actually inform us one thing within the story of the 2021 season. So these are the video games I’m watching to try to fill within the chapters of this 12 months.
No. 1: Packers vs. Bengals, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET — Fox
For those who advised me this is able to be a must-watch sport a month in the past and I might have laughed at you. That’s why this season has been so stunning. The belief earlier than the season started is that the Packers could be dominated the NFC whereas the Bengals would stay within the cellar of the AFC North as they proceed to construct off their younger expertise, however now with each groups at 3-1 I kinda can’t wait to see what occurs.
The story of the Packers is well-known at this level. Their embarrassing Week 1 struggles gave method to Aaron Rodgers and Co. discovering their groove and working via the competitors. Nevertheless, a lot much less is thought or mentioned in relation to the Bengals.
Cincinnati has been quietly glorious this season. Joe Burrow has been excellent this season exterior of a Week 2 SNAFU towards the Bears which pulled his season numbers down. Burrow has picked up his rapport with Ja’Marr Chase the place the pair left off at LSU, and Tyler Boyd has turn out to be an ideal goal in his personal proper.
That is all backed up by a “bend don’t break” protection that has solely given up eight touchdowns on the season, and is permitting the offense room to shine. A win over Inexperienced Bay would elevate the Bengals into the bigger dialog among the many high groups of the AFC.
No. 2: Browns vs. Chargers, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET — CBS
One other battle of 3-1 groups, Browns vs. Chargers is the right instance of how groups can construct and evolve within the NFL. The place each groups have been as soon as laughing shares, now they’re legit threats to win their respective divisions.
That is shaping as much as be purely an offensive vs. defensive affair. The Chargers are 3-1 proper now due to the stellar play of Justin Herbert, who in a single 12 months has utterly modified the way forward for this franchise. In the meantime, actually, the Browns passing offense has been spectacularly common, and Baker Mayfield actually hasn’t been good in 2021.
Fortunately for Cleveland they boast the most effective dashing assaults within the NFL, and a protection that’s solely giving up 275 yard per sport. It’s an old-school building that’s working for them, and offers them loads of room to win soccer video games.
No. 3: 49ers vs. Cardinals, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET — Fox
The 49ers may solely be 2-2, however they’re a harmful 2-2. In the meantime the Cardinals, the final undefeated workforce within the NFL, seems to be damn-near excellent on offense, with a protection ok to maintain them in video games.
That is simply going to be a enjoyable battle, and I type of actually wish to see Arizona preserve this run alive — simply because they’re so entertaining.
No. 4: Payments vs. Chiefs, Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET — NBC
AFC Championship rematch … nuff mentioned.
Effectively, there may be extra we will discuss right here. Particularly that the Chiefs are trying actually, actually shaky this season and are in dire want of a win. In the meantime the Payments are on the lookout for revenge for conserving them out of the Tremendous Bowl.
The Kansas Metropolis protection is so spectacularly dangerous this season I actually don’t know if they’ll cease Josh Allen. I’ve much more religion in Buffalo successful this one, however ought to Kansas Metropolis fall to 2-3, nicely, that’s positively a gap to dig out of.
That’s sufficient drama for me to tune in.