Will Rams run right through Packers?
There are many reasons the Packers are 8½-point underdogs at the Rams. For starters, the Rams are, well, the undefeated Rams. They run, pass and score seemingly at will. Green Bay’s biggest concern is stopping the top-ranked running attack (153.1). When we last saw the Packers before their bye, they were being gashed for 174 yards rushing while needing a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the lowly 49ers at home.
Jaguars’ Mr. London looking for turnaround
Two of the more disappointing teams — Philadelphia and Jacksonville — carry 3-4 records into their meeting in London. In home games last week, the Eagles blew a 17-0 lead over Carolina, while the Jags were blown out by Houston. But, never fear, Jags fans. London is here. In his past three London games, embattled Blake Bortles is 3-0 with eight touchdowns and one interception.
Lions have ‘Snacks’ waiting for Seahawks
Detroit has won three of four, found a running game and traded for a 6-3, 353-pound behemoth to plug into its 29th-ranked run defense. For a fifth-round draft pick this week, the Lions acquired Giants defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison. They also could be getting defensive end Ezekiel Ansah back. He’s listed as questionable. Seattle is coming off its bye and has the seventh-ranked running attack at 127.8 yards per game.
Cardiac Cats look to keep home streak going
The seemingly charmed Panthers (4-2) keep escaping with wins after last week’s franchise-record comeback from being down 17-0 at Philly. They’ve won eight in a row at home heading into a meeting with a Ravens team that blew a fourth-quarter lead and lost to the visiting Saints on Justin Tucker’s first career missed PAT. Baltimore still leads the NFL in fewest points (14.4) and yards (280.6) allowed.
Going from Brady to Darnold should help Bears
The Bears had a three-game win streak from Weeks 2-4. Now, they’re trying to avoid following that up with a three-game losing streak and a sub-. 500 record for the first time this season. Last week, they lost to perhaps the best ever in Tom Brady. This week, they get rookie Sam Darnold coming off his worst game. He turned the ball over four times and posted a 34.4 passer rating in a 20-point home loss to the Vikings.
Prediction of the week
Drew Brees’ fourth-quarter comeback — and the first missed PAT of Justin Tucker’s career — dropped the POTW to 0-7. This POTW picker will jump in Crystal Lake in February if … uh, never mind. Next up: The NFC North will get even more interesting as the Bears and Lions go to 4-3 with wins at home. Meanwhile, the Packers will visit an unfamiliar venue — last place.