Believe it or not, the NFL has bye weeks scheduled in Week 10, 11 and 12. That’s right, some teams are going to play 12 games before having a week off. Is this the England effect? Is it due to the increased number of Thursday Night games? Either way, I think it’s a problem the NFL needs to address in future schedules. Having a bye week before playing the last quarter of your schedule puts teams at a serious disadvantage.
Rant over. Let’s look at our projected schedule through nine weeks.
|New England Patriots||7||2|
|New York Jets||2||7|
|Kansas City Chiefs||4||4|
|San Diego Chargers||3||6|
|New York Giants||6||2|
|Green Bay Packers||5||3|
|New Orleans Saints||4||4|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||6|
|San Francisco 49ers||4||4|
|St. Louis Rams||4||4|
The NFL has to be happy with the way the season would be unfolding at this point. Only the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders (and maybe the San Diego Chargers), Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are truly out of contention. That leaves more than 75 percent of teams in the hunt.
Let’s plow ahead and see who survives to play meaningful football for another week.
Browns @ Bengals: The battle for Ohio might get interesting in a few years. Not this year. Cincinnati 34, Cleveland 16
Chiefs @ Bills: The Bills are coming off a restful week off. I like their chances coming off a bye. Buffalo 26, Kansas City 21
Dolphins @ Lions: Interesting game here. The Lions really need this game to stay in the hunt. I expect Miami to be a decent football team by this point in the season, though. Close, but edge to the home team. Detroit 23, Miami 20
Cowboys @ Jaguars: Yes, it’s going to be this bad for Jerry Jones. Jacksonville 27, Dallas 13
49ers @ Saints: Another tough game for San Francisco, who much like the Denver Broncos were done no favors by the schedule makers. They’ve got to have this one, however. San Francisco 29, New Orleans 28
Titans @ Ravens: Upset of the weekend. Tennessee 24, Baltimore 23
Steelers @ Jets: Another easy game on the schedule to keep Pittsburgh afloat. Some teams are treated well by the schedule makers. Pittsburgh 27, New York Jets 20
Falcons @ Buccaneers: Good chance for the Falcons and quarterback Matt Ryan to begin making their move. Atlanta 30, Tampa Bay 21
Broncos @ Raiders: And in the 10th week, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning feasts. Denver 52, Oakland 23
Rams @ Cardinals: This is one of those games an up and coming Rams team will win in a few years. Arizona 27, St. Louis 17
Giants @ Seahawks: Should be a good game, but that it’s in Seattle is a big advantage. Seattle 27, New York Giants 16
Bears @ Packers: The Bears really, really need this game, and get a little payback. Chicago 33, Green Bay 28
Panthers @ Eagles: Tough game here for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles. Points will be tough to come by, and this is an Eagles team that will need plenty of points to win. They’ll miss out on a chance to take a step forward in the NFC East. Carolina 22, Philadelphia 20