NFL Game Previews: Lions-Packers Matchup
NFL Game Previews: Lions-Packers Matchup

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

Detroit (+4) at Green Bay, 47.0 o/u – Monday, 8:15 p.m. EDT

Coming out of their bye, it's still hard to tell if the Lions are legit as contenders. The win over the Eagles in Philly looks more impressive now than it did at the time, and they nearly toppled the Chiefs. On the other hand, they couldn't put away the Cards in Week 1 and probably should have lost that game. What they do have in their favor here is a shockingly good recent record against Green Bay, although it becomes less shocking when you consider how little they've seen of Aaron Rodgers. He did come up short in Week 5 last year but barely played in the Packers' Week 17 loss, and he wasn't healthy for either meeting in 2017. Before that, he'd beaten the Lions in three straight – you may have heard about one of those. This seems like a different Lions squad, though. The defense has been stouter under Matt Patricia, and Detroit stands fifth in QB rating against, which is amazing considering a quarter of their schedule so far has been against Patrick Mahomes. Matthew Stafford also has a career-high 8.0 YPA and Kerryon Johnson broke out against KC, so this isn't just a one-dimensional attack. Then again, neither is the Pack's. Aaron Jones' huge four-TD game against the Cowboys gives the opposition more than just Rodgers to worry about, and their own defense has been pretty good too – Detroit may be fifth in QBR against, but Green Bay is fourth.

The Skinny

DET injuries: WR Danny Amendola (questionable, chest), TE T.J. Hockenson (questionable, concussion), CB Darius Slay (hamstring)

GB injuries: QB Aaron Rodgers (questionable, knee), WR Davante Adams (questionable, toe), C Corey Linsley (questionable, concussion), CB Kevin King (questionable, knee)

DET DFS chalk: none

GB DFS chalk: none

DET DFS tournament plays: none

GB DFS tournament plays: none

Key stat: GB is 27th in third-down offense at 30.5 percent; DET is 27th in third-down defense at 45.6 percent

Head-to-head record, last five years: 6-4 DET, average score 26-20 DET, average margin of victory 12 points. DET has won four straight meetings by an average score of 32-13, scoring at least 30 points in each game

Weather forecast: cloudy, temperature in the low 40s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop

Johnson piles up 120 scrimmage yards and a score. Stafford throws for 250 yards and a TD to Kenny Golladay. Jones runs for 80 yards. Rodgers throws for 280 yards and touchdowns to Jamaal Williams and Jimmy Graham, and a missed PAT in the first half by Matt Prater proves to be the difference. Packers 23-22

Carolina vs. Tampa Bay (+2) in London, 47.5 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

The season's first early Sunday game from London features a surging Panthers squad that's won three straight under Kyle Allen against a Bucs team that can't seem to gain any traction. Despite Carolina's success, the shine is actually wearing off Allen quickly as a passer – he's 30th in average air yards per completion and 29th in air yards differential (the gap between intended air yards and completed air yards, a rough measure of accuracy on deeper routes), and while he hasn't thrown a pick he's put the ball on the carpet six times in three games, losing four of those fumbles. Cam Netwon's job seems very safe once he gets healthy. As a guy who gets the ball to Christian McCaffrey as often as possible, though, Allen's been a hit. CMac is on pace for a massive 435 touches and 2,771 scrimmage yards – a figure that would shatter Chris Johnson's NFL record 2,509 from 2009 – and while the maintenance days are starting to pile up during the week due to accumulated bumps and bruises, the Panthers may only go as far as McCaffrey can take them this year. As for Tampa, Jameis Winston's entire game plan seems to be to chuck it downfield to Chris Godwin or Mike Evans and hope something good happens – fortunately for him, it often does. One of those WRs has topped 120 receiving yards in each of the last four weeks (three for Godwin, one for Evans) and the duo has accounted for 10 of Winston's 11 TD passes this season. The Panthers did hold the QB to his worst numbers of the year to date in Week 2, but Godwin still hit for 8-121-1 on nine targets and the Bucs walked away with a 20-14 win. The key to this one may be whether Carolina's front seven can make Winston uncomfortable, after bringing him down three times in the first meeting. His 63.5 QB rating when under pressure is 27th in the league per PFF, the right side of his offensive line is banged up, and the Panthers are second in sacks despite not blitzing much (26th in blitz percentage).

The Skinny

CAR injuries: QB Newton (out, foot), RG Trai Turner (out, ankle), LB Shaq Thompson (questionable, ankle), S Eric Reid (questionable, ankle)

TB injuries: RG Alex Cappa (out, forearm), RT Demar Dotson (out, hamstring), LB Shaquil Barrett (questionable, oblique)

CAR DFS chalk: none

TB DFS chalk: none

CAR DFS tournament plays: D.J. Moore / Curtis Samuel (TB 28th in DVOA against deep throws)

TB DFS tournament plays: none

Key stat: TB is first in passing DVOA vs. RB and held McCaffrey to a season-low 53 total yards in their Week 2 win, and are the only defense so far this season to keep him out of the end zone

Head-to-head record, last five-plus years: 7-4 CAR, average score 23-17 CAR, average margin of victory nine points. All four TB wins during that stretch have been by a single score

Weather forecast: overcast, temperature in the low 60s, 15-18 mph wind, 90 percent chance of rain

The Scoop 

McCaffrey gains a relatively modest 80 combined yards and a TD. Allen throws for 220 yards and touchdowns to Moore and Greg Olsen. Ronald Jones leads the Bucs backfield with 90 yards, but Peyton Barber scores a short TD. Winston throws for 260 yards and a score to Evans but gets sacked five times and throws two picks. Panthers 24-23
 

Washington at Miami (+3.5), 41.5 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

Jay Gruden got the boot this week as Washington decided it was his fault the team has alienated its Pro Bowl left tackle, couldn't keep a young running back healthy, and generally failed at the task of assembling NFL-caliber talent to stock the roster. Long-time offensive line guru Bill Callahan takes over as interim head coach, a position he hasn't held in the NFL since he replaced Jay's brother Jon in Oakland 17 years ago. That two-season stint in charge of the Raiders started with a trip to the Super Bowl, and ended with him being run out of town on a rail after losing the locker room and being accused by veterans like Tim Brown and even Jerry Rice of sabotaging the team. In other words, given the usual chaos in Dan Snyder's organization, he should fit right in. Even with the team being winless, Callahan seems likely to give us his best Hue Jackson impression and stick with Case Keenum at quarterback rather than give rookie Dwayne Haskins the start in what will be the easiest matchup he could have all year. Washington may be terrible, but Miami is historically awful. To pick just one stat to illustrate how out of step they are even with the other bad teams this season, the Dolphins have allowed a 137.6 QB rating so far. The Falcons are 31st, but their 117.0 mark is closer to the Browns in 21st than it is to Miami's level of futility. On the offensive side of the ball, the Jets have managed to eclipse them for the bottom rung in some categories, but it took multiple injuries and working with a third-string QB to do it. This game could end up deciding who gets the top pick in next year's draft, but until they show they can even hang with another team for four quarters, it's the Dolphins' spot to lose.

The Skinny

WAS injuries: TE Jordan Reed (out, concussion), TE Vernon Davis (out, concussion), LT Trent Williams (out, contract dispute), LT Donald Penn (questionable, hamstring) 

MIA injuries: RB Kalen Ballage (questionable, foot), WR Albert Wilson (questionable, calf), LT Jesse Davis (questionable, elbow), CB Xavien Howard (questionable, knee), S Reshad Jones (questionable, ankle)

WAS DFS chalk: Adrian Peterson (MIA 32nd in rushing yards allowed, t-29th in rushing TDs allowed), Terry McLaurin (MIA 32nd in DVOA vs. WR1, 32nd against deep throws)

MIA DFS chalk: none

WAS DFS tournament plays: Keenum (MIA 32nd in QB rating against, t-29th in passing TDs allowed), Chris Thompson (MIA 32nd in passing DVOA vs. RB), Jeremy Sprinkle (MIA 32nd in DVOA vs. TE)

MIA DFS tournament plays: Preston Williams (WAS 31st in DVOA vs. WR2)

Key stat: Both teams rank in the bottom three in converting third downs (WAS 31st at 24.5 percent, MIA 30th at 26.0 percent) and in stopping third-down conversions (MIA 32nd at 57.8 percent allowed, WAS 30th at 56.5 percent allowed)

Weather forecast: cloudy, temperature in the low 80s, 12 mph wind, 0-5 percent chance of rain

The Scoop

Peterson rumbles for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Keenum starts and throws for 270 yards and a TD to McLaurin, who tops 100 yards. Kenyan Drake manages 80 combined yards and a score. Josh Rosen throws for 230 yards and a TD to Williams. Washington 27-17
 

Philadelphia (+3) at Minnesota, 44.0 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

The Eagles appear to have turned the corner, winning in Lambeau before thrashing the undermanned Jets last week, and surprisingly it's been Jordan Howard anchoring the offense. The bruising RB has scored five times in the last three games, including his first receiving score since 2016, and his revival has allowed Philly's backfield committee to click and taken the pressure off Carson Wentz to win every game himself. The defense, however, remains a work in progress – the Eagles have given up at least 24 points to every quality offense they've faced, which could make it tough for Wentz and company to keep pace against a Vikings defense that's allowed 16 points or less in four of five contests, and only 21 in the fifth. Coach Mike Zimmer let the passing game off the leash a little last week, but Dalvin Cook remains the engine of Minnesota's offense and has topped 100 rushing yards in four games already – he only had two such performances in his career coming into the season. The Eagles' front seven have been stout against the run though, standing first in rushing yards per game allowed (63.0) and second in yards per carry allowed (3.2), so if the unit can keep Cook from cooking and force Kirk Cousins to be more than a complementary player, they could steal this one – although the team's injuries in the secondary add an extra level of difficulty to that plan.

The Skinny

PHI injuries: RB Darren Sproles (out, quad), WR DeSean Jackson (out, abdomen), CB Ronald Darby (out, hamstring)

MIN injuries: RG Josh Kline (out, foot)

PHI DFS chalk: none

MIN DFS chalk: none

PHI DFS tournament plays: none

MIN DFS tournament plays: none

Key stat: PHI is fifth in red-zone offense, scoring a TD on 68.4 percent (13-for-19) of RZ possessions; MIN is fifth in red-zone defense at 46.2 percent (6-for-13)

Weather forecast: dome

The Scoop

Howard manages 50 yards, while Miles Sanders leads the PHI backfield with 70 combined yards. Wentz throws for 270 yards and a TD to Alshon Jeffery. Cook breaks through for 90 yards and a score. Cousins throws for 250 yards and a touchdown to Adam Thielen, while Danielle Hunter returns a Wentz fumble for a TD after an Everson Griffen strip sack. Vikings 21-16

Houston (+4.5) at Kansas City, 55.0 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

Deshaun Watson's huge performance last week against the Falcons was downright Mahomesian, but the Texans' QB hasn't been able to build any real momentum this season, alternating big games with flat ones. The key against Atlanta was a relatively clean pocket – he didn't get sacked once after being brought down 18 times in the first four games, just the second time in his career he's avoided being sacked for an entire game. If Laremy Tunsil and the rebuild Houston offensive line can continue to gel and keep Watson upright – the unit currently ranks 29th in sack percentage allowed, a deep hole to climb out of – those offensive eruptions from the passing attack could become more frequent. Weirdly, the Chiefs' passing game has been sputtering. Maybe the league was bound to figure out what Andy Reid was up to eventually, or maybe it's because Patrick Mahomes is missing his most dangerous weapon in Tyreek Hill, or maybe it's the ankle injury the QB has been nursing, but a 1:0 TD:INT over the last two games is decidedly un-Mahomesian, even if he did throw for more than 300 yards in each. Hill could be back Sunday though, and you just know the Kansas City quarterback is eyeing Watson's mammoth numbers from last week and wondering if he can do better.

The Skinny

HOU injuries: WR Kenny Stills (questionable, hamstring), CB Johnathan Joseph (questionable, wrist)

KC injuries: WR Hill (questionable, collarbone), WR Sammy Watkins (doubtful, hamstring), LT Eric Fisher (out, sports hernia), LG Andrew Wylie (doubtful, ankle), DT Chris Jones (out, groin), LB Anthony Hitchens (questionable, groin)

HOU DFS chalk: Carlos Hyde (KC 31st in YPC allowed, 30th in rushing yards per game allowed, 39th in rushing DVOA)

KC DFS chalk: none

HOU DFS tournament plays: none

KC DFS tournament plays: none

Key stat: HOU is second in red-zone offense, scoring a TD on 73.3 percent (11-for-15) of RZ possessions; KC is fourth in red-zone defense at 45.5 percent (10-for-22)

Weather forecast: clear, temperature in the high 50s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop

Hyde bangs out 80 yards and a TD. Watson throws for 310 yards and touchdowns to Will Fuller and Keke Coutee. Damien Williams pops for 100 scrimmage yards and a score. Mahomes throws for 350 yards and three touchdowns, finding a returning Hill as well as LeSean McCoy and DeMarcus Robinson. Chiefs 34-24
 

New Orleans (+1.5) at Jacksonville, 44.5 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

Teddy Bridgewater's decision to return to New Orleans on a one-year deal is suddenly looking like it's going to make him a lot of money next offseason. He's been sharp since Drew Brees went down, and last week's dissection of the Tampa Bay secondary made him look like far more than just a competent bus driver for an offense. Of course, he wasn't exactly stretching the field last week – 26 of his 34 targets went to Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas or Jared Cook – and his 6.0 intended air yards per target on the year is third lowest in the league, ahead of only Luke Falk and Derek Carr, so maybe don't elevate Bridgewater to that Mahomes/Watson tier of gunslingers just yet. Of course Gardner Minshew is well on his way to joining that group based on nothing more than sheer moxie, but even Minshew's magic hasn't been able to save the Jags from a 2-3 start. The defense is no longer close to elite – in fact, it's been the worst unit in the league on the ground – and while Leonard Fournette has given the offense some balance, Jacksonville's needed some help just to get the wins it does have. Maybe getting Jalen Ramsey back on the field will provide the team with some kind of spark.

The Skinny

NO injuries: QB Brees (out, thumb), RB Kamara (questionable, ankle), WR Tre-Quan Smith (out, ankle)

JAC injuries: TE James O'Shaughnessy (IR, knee), CB Ramsey (questionable, back)

NO DFS chalk: Kamara (JAC 32nd in rushing DVOA, 32nd in YPC allowed per game)

JAC DFS chalk: none

NO DFS tournament plays: none

JAC DFS tournament plays: Dede Westbrook (NO 30th in DVOA vs. WR2)

Key stat: JAC is 28th in red-zone offense, scoring TDs on 43.8 percent (7-for-16) of RZ possessions; NO is 28th in red-zone defense at 68.8 percent (11-for-16)

Weather forecast: cloudy, temperature in the low 80s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop

Kamara piles up 130 combined yards and a score. Bridgewater throws for under 200 yards. Fournette answers back with 100 combined yards and a TD. Minshew throws for 260 yards and touchdowns to Westbrook and D.J. Chark. Jaguars 24-16

Seattle at Cleveland (+1.5), 47.0 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

The Russell Wilson MVP train has already left the station, but there's still plenty of seats left if you can catch up to it. The eighth-year QB leads the league with 12 TD passes while being one of only three quarterbacks to start every game without throwing an INT yet (Patrick Mahomes and Marcus Mariota being the others), and his career-high 9.0 YPA is third behind Mahomes and Dak Prescott while his career-high 73.1 percent completion rate is second to Derek Carr. It's hard to imagine where the team would be without him, but it sure as heck wouldn't be 4-1. As good as Wilson has been, Baker Mayfield has been just as bad. The development he displayed in 2018 has evaporated, and with it Cleveland's chances of capitalizing on the talent it's surrounded him with. Mayfield's 68.5 QB rating is the worst among quarterbacks who have started every game and ahead of only Luke Falk and Josh Rosen among all quarterbacks. His eight INTs is bad, but you could maybe excuse it if he were also making good things happen. Instead, Mayfield's managed only four TDs through five games, an unforgivable number in this day and age for someone who's supposed to be a burgeoning franchise player. If it weren't for Nick Chubb's fairly heroics efforts, this offense would be in serious trouble.

The Skinny

SEA injuries: RB Rashaad Penny (questionable, hamstring), LT Duane Brown (doubtful, biceps), RG D.J. Fluker (doubtful, hamstring), DT Jarran Reed (out, suspension)

CLE injuries: RB Kareem Hunt (out, suspension), CB Denzel Ward (questionable, hamstring)

SEA DFS chalk: none

CLE DFS chalk: none

SEA DFS tournament plays: none

CLE DFS tournament plays: none

Key stat: SEA is sixth in third-down defense at 31.6 percent; CLE is 28th in third-down offense at 28.6 percent

Weather forecast: clear, temperature in the low 60s, 15 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop

Chris Carson runs for 90 yards and a TD. Wilson throws for 270 yards and touchdowns to Tyler Lockett and David Moore. Chubb bangs out 70 yards. Mayfield has arguably his best game of the year, throwing for 240 yards and touchdowns to Odell Beckham and Ricky Seals-Jones without a pick, but it's not enough. Seahawks 27-14
 

Cincinnati (+11.5) at Baltimore, 48.0 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

For the second straight week, the Bengals handed another struggling club its first win of the season. They're one of four winless teams left, but in terms of on-paper talent you'd think Cincy was the cream of that rancid crop, which either speaks poorly for new coach Zac Taylor's skills or the malaise old coach Marvin Lewis left behind him. Either way, someone needs to step up the Bengals are going to take advantage of a suddenly sagging Ravens defense that's surrendered 96 points in the last three games and only escaped a three-game losing streak by a whisker last week in OT against the Steelers. Baltimore has made a habit of playing down to the Bengals' level in recent years as it is, but if Lamar Jackson can take better care of the ball after tossing five INTs in the last two weeks, they shouldn't have too much trouble taking care of business.

The Skinny

CIN injuries: WR A.J. Green (out, ankle), LT Cordy Glenn (out, concussion), LT Andre Smith (out, ankle), DE Carlos Dunlap (out, knee), S Shawn Williams (questionable,. thigh)

BAL injuries: WR Marquise Brown (questionable, ankle), TE Mark Andrews (questionable, shoulder), CB Jimmy Smith (out, knee)

CIN DFS chalk: none

BAL DFS chalk: Mark Ingram (CIN 31st in rushing yards allowed, t-29th in rushing TDs allowed, 30th in passing DVOA vs. RB), Andrews (CIN 31st in DVOA vs. TE)

CIN DFS tournament plays: Tyler Eifert (BAL 30th in DVOA vs. TE)

BAL DFS tournament plays: Lamar Jackson (CIN 31st in rushing yards allowed to QB), Brown (CIN 29th in DVOA vs. WR1, 31st against deep throws), Miles Boykin (CIN 28th in DVOA vs. WR2)

Key stat: CIN is 31st in red-zone offense, scoring TDs on 28.6 percent (4-for-14) of RZ possessions

Head-to-head record, last five years: 7-3 CIN, average score 23-20 CIN, average margin of victory eight points

Weather forecast: cloudy, temperature in the mid-60s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop

Joe Mixon picks up 80 yards. Andy Dalton throws for 250 yards and TDs to Auden Tate and C.J. Uzomah. Ingram rumbles for 130 combined yards and a score. Jackson throws for 220 yards and a touchdown to Andrews while running for 50 yards and a TD himself. Ravens 33-14
 

San Francisco (+3.5) at L.A. Rams, 50.5 o/u – Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EDT

The Kyle Shanahan era in San Francisco is finally paying dividends in Year 3, as the team is undefeated and the running game has been well-nigh unstoppable thanks to a four-headed hydra of a backfield committee that seems to produce no matter who gets the ball. However, the foundation of that success on the ground has developed some cracks. Both starting tackles are now sidelined, as is fullback Kyle Juszczyk, whose lead blocking has been the unsung hero of the Niners's strong start. Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman looked dynamic last week until Juszczyk went down, and if they can't get going against a Rams front seven that already ranks seventh in the league at 3.8 yards per carry allowed, suddenly Jimmy Garoppolo might be forced to win a game instead of merely not losing one. That may not be as big a challenge as you might think, though. LA was undefeated once too, but now they've lost two straight after getting lit up by Jameis Winston and Russell Wilson to the tune of 653 yards and an 8:1 TD:INT. That's not how a Wade Phillips defense is supposed to perform, but not even Aaron Donald can do much about the secondary getting torched other than try to beat his double-team a split second quicker. Jared Goff also isn't holding up his end of the bargain – he's thrown for more than 360 yards a game the last four weeks, but his 6:6 TD:INT over that stretch is part of why he's been playing catchup so much. With Todd Gurley likely out for this one, Goff will need to clean up his act fast, or the Rams risk falling into a deep hole in the NFC West.

The Skinny

SF injuries: TE George Kittle (questionable, groin), LT Joe Staley (out, lower leg), RT Mike McGlinchey (out, knee)

LAR injuries: RB Gurley (doubtful, quad), LB Clay Matthews (out, jaw), CB Aqib Talib (out, ribs)

SF DFS chalk: none

LAR DFS chalk: none

SF DFS tournament plays: Marquise Goodwin (LAR 27th in DVOA vs. WR2)

LAR DFS tournament plays: Robert Woods (SF 26th in DVOA vs. WR2)

Key stat: The LAR pass rush leads the NFL by generating pressure on 34.4 percent of dropbacks, but they're only 19th in sack percentage at 6.0 – the biggest disparity in the league 

Head-to-head record, last five years: 5-5, average score 24-23 LAR, average margin of victory 14 points

Weather forecast: clear, temperature in the mid-70s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop

Coleman leads the SF backfield with 70 combined yards and a score, while Breida adds 60 yards. Garoppolo throws for 320 yards and three TDs, hitting Goodwin, Dante Pettis and Kendrick Bourne. Malcolm Brown gains 60 yards and a touchdown. Goff throws for 330 yards and TDs to Woods and Cooper Kupp but gets picked off twice. Niners 34-24
 

Atlanta at Arizona (+2.5), 51.5 o/u – Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EDT

At what point does Dan Quinn fire himself as defensive coordinator? Last week's dismantling at the hands of Deshaun Watson might have been the last straw for some head coaches with their DC, but the calculus is a little different when you hold the portfolio yourself and the only guy on your staff with much experience is secondary coach Jerome Henderson, whose unit was hardly blameless. The sad part about the poor performance on that side of the ball is that it's forcing Matt Ryan to ruin what might have been an MVP-caliber season with INTs on throws he wouldn't even be attempting in closer games. Ryan's topped 300 yards in six straight games (including Week 17 last year) and he probably isn't going to stop slinging it against the only defense in the league that hasn't picked off the opposition yet. He could also find himself in another shootout if the Falcons can't find a way to contain Kyler Murray. The rookie has scampered for 189 yards and two TDs in the last three games, but he hasn't figured out a way to put up big numbers both on the ground and through the air at the same time yet. He hasn't even tossed a touchdown in the last two weeks, but that seems likely to change against one of the few secondaries as leaky as his own.

The Skinny

ATL injuries: none

ARI injuries: RB David Johnson (questionable, back), WR Christian Kirk (questionable, ankle), WR Damiere Byrd (questionable, hamstring), LB Hasson Reddick (questionable, shoulder), LB Terrell Suggs (questionable, back), CB Patrick Peterson (out, suspension)

ATL DFS chalk: Ryan (ARI 30th in QB rating against, t-29th in passing TDs allowed)

ARI DFS chalk: Murray (ATL 31st in QB rating against, t-29th in passing TDs allowed), Larry Fitzgerald (ATL 31st in DVOA vs. WR1)

ATL DFS tournament plays: Devonta Freeman (ARI 29th in passing DVOA vs. RB), Austin Hooper (ARI 29th in DVOA vs. TE)

ARI DFS tournament plays: Kirk (ATL 32nd in DVOA vs. WR2, 30th against deep throws)

Key stat: ARI is 30th in red-zone offense, scoring TDs on 30 percent (6-for-20) of RZ possessions; ATL is 24th in red-zone defense at 65 percent (13-for-20)

Weather forecast: dome

The Scoop

Freeman picks up 110 combined yards and a touchdown. Ryan throws for 340 yards and three TDs, hitting Julio Jones (who tops 100 yards) twice and Hooper once. DJ starts but only manages 70 scrimmage yards, while Chase Edmonds vultures a score. Murray throws for 260 yards and a touchdown to Fitzgerald while running for 50 yards and a score of his own. Falcons 31-27
 

Dallas at N.Y. Jets (+7), 43.0 o/u – Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EDT

After winning three games against also-rans and losing two against playoff contenders, the true picture for the Cowboys hasn't come into focus. They could just be gatekeepers in the NFC, but the roster would seem to have too much talent to consign them to that role quite yet, especially with Dak Prescott having his best season yet. He's thrown for more than 400 yards in a game twice already in 2019, and tossed multiple TDs in four of five starts. He did get picked off three times last week, half his season total to date, but that may have been a product of some bad breaks and the pressure of trying to get that Packers monkey off his team's back. The Jets do get Sam Darnold back this week after his bout of mono, but given the nature of that illness it's fair to wonder if he'll be 100 percent, and the rest of the team didn't exactly step up in his absence. Sure, getting stuck with Luke Falk under center will put a crimp in the offensive game plan, but the defense hasn't been much better with C.J. Mosley also sidelined. Le'Veon Bell at least has been his usual high-volume self. The yardage hasn't been there yet, not a surprise when the defense knows you're the only real threat they face, but he's on pace for nearly 400 touches again – right in line with his biggest workloads with the Steelers.

The Skinny

DAL injuries: WR Randall Cobb (questionable, back), LT Tyron Smith (questionable, ankle), RT La'el Collins (questionable, knee)

NYJ injuries: WR Demaryius Thomas (questionable, hamstring), TE Chris Herndon (out, hamstring), LT Kelechi Osemele (doubtful, shoulder), LB Mosley (doubtful, groin)

DAL DFS chalk: none

NYJ DFS chalk: none

DAL DFS tournament plays: none

NYJ DFS tournament plays: none

Key stat: NYJ are 32nd in third-down offense at 21.1 percent; DAL is second in third-down defense at 26.2 percent

Weather forecast: cloudy, temperature in the high 60s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop

Ezekiel Elliott gains 80 yards and a TD. Prescott throws for 270 yards and three scores, two to Amari Cooper and one to Jason Witten. Bell picks up 90 scrimmage yards and a receiving touchdown. Darnold throws for 250 yards and a second TD to Robby Anderson. Cowboys 31-17
 

Tennessee (+2) at Denver, 39.0 o/u – Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EDT

For the second time in three weeks, the Titans offense came up with only one measly touchdown, and since hanging 43 on the Browns in Week 1, Marcus Mariota has only led the team to 55 total points in four games. The unstoppable juggernaut version of Derrick Henry from the end of 2018 hasn't shown up yet, although he is on pace for career highs in rushing yards and TDs, but that doesn't seem like an adequate explanation for the team's offensive struggles. Even Mariota's numbers aren't bad. He has yet to get picked off, and it's not like he isn't trying to stretch the field as his six completions of 40-plus yards are already one shy of his career high from 2016. Maybe they just need to let him take more chances – Tennessee is 27th in run/pass mix, putting the ball in the air only 54 percent of the time. The Broncos got their first win of the season last week, but their offense has been just as tepid as the Titans. Denver's averaging only 18 points a game, Joe Flacco's been adequate at best (7.5 YPA good, 6:4 TD:INT in five games bad) and the backfield timeshare between Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman might be keeping the former healthy, but it isn't doing much for his efficiency. The weirdest aspect of the team's poor start has been the lack of a pass rush, though. They have only five sacks on the season, and all of them came against Gardner Minshew in Week 4. The Titans' offensive line has had trouble keeping Mariota upright, so this might be the best opportunity yet for Von Miller to get going.

The Skinny

TEN injuries: LB Cameron Wake (out, hamstring)

DEN injuries: RT Ja'Wuan James (questionable, knee)

TEN DFS chalk: none

DEN DFS chalk: Emmanuel Sanders (TEN 32nd in DVOA vs. WR3)

TEN DFS tournament plays: none

DEN DFS tournament plays: none

Key stat: TEN is 31st in sacks allowed (22) and sack percentage allowed (13.5 percent); DEN is t-30th in sacks and 32nd in sack percentage (3.0 percent)

Weather forecast: clear, temperature in the low 70s, less than 10 mph wind, zero percent chance of rain

The Scoop

Henry pounds out 110 yards and a TD. Mariota throws for 210 yards and touchdowns to Corey Davis and A.J. Brown. Lindsay picks up 70 scrimmage yards and a score while Freeman adds 60. Flacco throws for 240 yards and a touchdown to Noah Fant. Titans 21-20
 

Pittsburgh (+7) at L.A. Chargers, 41.0 o/u – Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EDT

Mason Rudolph's concussion opens the door for undrafted rookie free agent Devlin Hodges to make his first start in the NFL, which isn't necessarily the worst thing for the Steelers. Hodges may not have Rudolph's experience in the system or his college resume, but he's both more mobile and has a stronger arm than Rudolph, and it's not like Pittsburgh fully trusted their initial replacement for Ben Roethlisberger anyway, as they've been deploying the wildcat an awful lot (although that might not be an option with Jaylen Samuels sidelined). There's a non-zero chance Hodges is the next Minshew-like phenom, although the odds are a lot better than he'll simply be overmatched. That'll likely leave it up to the Steelers' rapidly improving defense to try and win this one. – first-round pick Devin Bush has been impressive so far, giving the unit the dynamic player in the middle it's been lacking since Ryan Shazier's injury, and Minkah Fitzpatrick has made a quick impact in the secondary. The Chargers got Melvin Gordon back last week in body, but maybe not in spirit – he looked sluggish, and Austin Ekeler remained the more productive RB. It's the team's defense that's been their weak spot, though. The Bolts have been picked apart, sitting 30th in completion percentage allowed, and pro-football-reference.com has them with a league-worst 50 missed tackles on the year. They might be able to get away with that kind of sloppiness this week given the state of the opposition, but they'll need to tighten things up if they're going to be a playoff contender down the stretch.

The Skinny

PIT injuries: QB Rudolph (out, concussion), RB Samuels (out, knee), WR James Washington (out, shoulder)

LAC injuries: TE Hunter Henry (questionable, knee), DE Melvin Ingram (hamstring)

PIT DFS chalk: none

LAC DFS chalk: none

PIT DFS tournament plays: JuJu Smith-Schuster (LAC 29th against deep throws)

LAC DFS tournament plays: none

Key stat: PIT is 29th in third-down offense at 28.3 percent; LAC is 29th in third-down defense at 46.3 percent

Weather forecast: cloudy, temperature in the high 60s, less than 10 mph wind, 0-5 percent chance of rain

The Scoop

James Conner piles up 90 combined yards and a score. Hodges throws for under 200 yards but hits JuJu for a long touchdown and runs for 40 yards and a TD of his own. Gordon ekes out 50 yards while Ekeler again leads the LAC backfield with 100 combined yards and a touchdown. Philip Rivers throws for 260 yards and TDs to Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin, but he loses a key fumble that Bush returns to the house. Steelers 28-27
 

N.Y. Giants (+17) at New England, 41.0 o/u – Thursday, 8:20 p.m. EDT

The Danny Dimes bandwagon hit a bit of trouble last week in Minnesota. Daniel Jones managed only a 4.8 YPA against the Vikings, his lowest in three starts, and with the Giants' backfield and receiving group hammered by injuries, the pressure on the rookie QB is only mounting. Now he has to face what has been the stingiest defense in the league on a short week. Dysentery might be preferable to whatever Bill Belichick has cooked up for him. As for the Patriots, they remain not just undefeated but pretty much untested — their plus-121 point differential is the best in the NFL by a mile, though the Bills gave them a bit of a scare. Tom Brady keeps doing Brady things, tossing multiple TDs in four of five games and topping 300 yards in three of them, but he's been the only consistent performer for the team on offense. Even the usually reliable James White has missed a game and seen volatile target volume. Between injuries and sheer fickleness, it's been nearly impossible to predict which Pat will pop in any given week — you just know that someone is probably going to go off, as Brady mixes and matches his way to 30-plus points again. If anything stops him Thursday, it's more likely to be the nasty weather than it is a Giants defense that ranks in the bottom 10 in points allowed per game, rushing yards allowed per game and QB rating against.

The Skinny

NYG injuries: RB Saquon Barkley (out, ankle), RB Wayne Gallman (out, concussion), WR Sterling Shepard (out, concussion), TE Evan Engram (out, knee)

NE injuries: RB Rex Burkhead (questionable, foot), WR Josh Gordon (questionable, knee), WR Julian Edelman (questionable, chest), WR Phillip Dorsett (out, hamstring), S Patrick Chung (questionable, heel)

NYG DFS chalk: none

NE DFS chalk: Gordon (NYG 30th in DVOA vs. WR1), Patriots DST (first in points per game allowed, t-first in takeaways, first in sack percentage, NYG t-29th in giveaways)

NYG DFS tournament plays: none

NE DFS tournament plays: White (NYG 31st in passing DVOA vs. RB)

Key stat: NE is the only team in the league not to allow a passing TD this season

Weather forecast: overcast, temperature in the low 50s, 19 mph wind, 70-80 percent chance of rain

The Scoop

Elijhaa Penny leads the Giants backfield with 60 yards. Jones throws for less than 200 yards and gets picked off twice but does run for 40 yards. White gains 70 combined yards and a receiving score, while Sony Michel punches in a short TD. Brady throws for 230 yards and a second touchdown to Gordon. Patriots, 20-6
 

Last week's record: 8-7, 6-9 ATS, 7-8 o/u
2019 regular-season record: 44-33-1, 34-44 ATS, 39-37-2 o/u
2018 regular-season record: 160-94-2, 112-134-10 ATS, 113-139-4 o/u
Lifetime record: 656-395-5, 484-530-42 ATS, 387-400-13 o/u (o/u not tracked in 2015)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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