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The first is the best
Quite the fetching matchup on Thursday Night Football. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers against Kyler Murray and the undefeated Arizona Cardinals. (If the games were like this every week, it wouldn’t have been such a hard sell to the TV networks.) Following that top must-see matchup, let’s see how the rest of Week 8 stacks up…
15. Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions
Unless you enjoy watching teams vie for the top pick in the draft as early as Week 8, this game has the potential to be awful. There should be plenty of points but the sloppiness will dominate. On Halloween, this is a ghoulish game.
14. Washington Football Team at Denver Broncos
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What a shock, another game with an NFC East team near the bottom of the pile. The Washington Football Team visits the reeling Denver Broncos. Talk about dreary.
13. San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears
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The Niners have failed to deliver on what was expected. The Bears are playing down to what many thought they would be. Will Matt Nagy (COVID-19) make it to the game or will he be fortunate to watch another NFL contest from home?
12. Carolina Panters at Atlanta Falcons
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An NFC South matchup between one team headed, um, South, the Panthers, and another going nowhere fast, the Falcons.
11. Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
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In the preseason, this would have been a game the Dolphins had circled on their schedules. Now it is a game they have to fear. The Bills come off a stinging loss to the Titans and a bye. The Fish are playing poorly and will likely be trampled in Western New York.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks
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So long as Geno Smith continues to play QB for Seattle, they will be in the bottom third of interest. Trevor Lawrence heading to the Northwest would be compelling if the Jaguars weren’t as bad as they are.
9. New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs playing weaker opponents to get healthy is a tired refrain. They have beaten the Washington Football Team and the Philadelphia Eagles. Mind you, that still doesn’t mean the Chiefs, if they were in the division, would win the NFC East. Patrick Mahomes & Co. don’t look as good as Dallas.
8. Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets
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This low watchability ranking is not a shot at the Bengals, one of the two best stories in the league. The Jets are a non-starter when it comes to interest. No Zach Wilson—not that the rookie from BYU would have made a difference—only adds to the overall disinterest.
7. Los Angeles Rams at Houston Texans
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Should be an easy test for the Rams. Houston will have the eyes of NFL fans on it, but not for the game. The intrigue is whether Deshaun Watson will have been moved by kickoff as the trade deadline nears.
6. New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers
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The Patriots travel across the country to face the Los Angeles Chargers. New England has shown it can beat the New York Jets… and not much else. The Chargers need to regroup after a bad beating in Baltimore and bye. The feeling is the Bolts will jolt the Patriots, but it’s worth the watch.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
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The Buccaneers face an NFC South test in the Big Easy. Tom Brady vs. Jameis Winston feels like a huge mismatch. The Saints will be up for the game, but not sure they have enough to disrupt the Super Bowl champion’s momentum.
4. Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
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The Cowboys come off the bye and roll into the Midwest to face the inconsistent Vikings. Dallas is back to being must-see NFL TV and that is good for everyone…except the opponents.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
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This had the earmark of a strong matchup from the start of the season. Now, it is becoming one where both teams need to win the game to keep pace in what has become a rougher-than-expected AFC North—thanks to the Bengals. Neither team wants to add another “L” to its 2021 record. Case Keenum for the Browns? Baker Mayfield? Gonna be a slobberknocker.
2. Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
The Titans-Colts games were ones that appeared to define the AFC South when the schedule came out. The Texans and Jaguars are awful. Tennessee and Indianapolis looked like a horse race for division honors. Now, the stakes are higher for the Colts — stakes, horses, ugh — as they can’t afford to fall another game back after a sluggish start.
1. Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals
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This is a beauty. A one-loss Packers team against an undefeated Cardinals squad. The game doesn’t lose much with the news GB WR Davantae Adams has been placed on the COVID-19 list. Now, Allen Lazard is out due to COVID-19, too. All that means is Aaron Rodgers will be more creative.