Five games Albert Breer has his eye on in Week 8. All times Eastern.
5. Chargers at Patriots, Sunday 1 p.m., CBS. We’ll start in Foxboro, where the Chargers will arrive—suddenly back from the dead, playing to their talent, and just two games out in the AFC West after a string of close losses led to an 0-4 start. On paper they should be able to exploit New England’s weaknesses, by hitting on Tom Brady and throwing on the Patriots. But Bill Belichick’s crew looked different on Sunday night, and this will be a good test of whether that progress is real.
4. Steelers at Lions, Sunday 8:30 p.m., NBC. Our No. 4 game of the week—the Sunday night showdown in Detroit between the Lions and Steelers. With Aaron Rodgers down, and the Vikings’ quarterback situation unsettled, and Matthew Stafford on the mend coming off the bye, Detroit should have an advantage on the rest of the NFC North. We’ll see if the Lions can show it against an improved Steelers defense.
3. Broncos at Chiefs, Monday 8:30 p.m., ESPN. Third, we’ve got the Monday nighter, which might as well be called the Stop-the-Bleeding Bowl. The Chiefs defense struggled to stop Derek Carr last week—for the first time showing the real effects of losing Eric Berry. And that group will be faced with a Denver offense that’s notched just 42 points in its last four games, with the quarterback and line issues we discussed all offseason surfacing. It’ll be interesting to see who gets well at Arrowhead.
2. Texans at Seahawks, Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS. No. 2, it’s the Seahawks and the Texans, and mostly because I want to see Deshaun Watson against an elite defense. Seattle has speed to burn and should be able to force Watson to win from the pocket, which should give us all a window into where he’s at in his development.
1. Redskins at Cowboys, Sunday 4:25 p.m., Fox. Finally, there aren’t many rivalries as classic as Cowboys-Redskins, and that’s what we’ll get in the late-afternoon window on Sunday. Both teams are fighting for positioning behind the Eagles now, and this could be a springboard for either to get rolling into November.
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