GOLD JACKET GAME OF THE WEEK
DALLAS (7-2) @ KANSAS CITY (6-4), 4:25 p.m. (EST)
The line: Chiefs by 2-1/2
The weather: Partly cloudy, high of 57
The story: Popular wisdom says the Chiefs rediscovered their mojo and are on a Super Bowl trajectory again. Maybe. But this is where we find out. Because this isn’t Jordan Love or a Raiders’ shipwreck in front of them. This may be the best team in the NFC, with all of its bases covered. Dallas can run, pass, block and play defense. Can we say that about Kansas City? Time to find out.
Something to consider: Dak Prescott has 400 yards passing and three or more TD passing in three of his last four road starts.
THREE OTHERS WORTHY OF HALL OF FRAMING
INDIANAPOLIS (5-5) @ BUFFALO (6-3), 1 p.m. (EST)
The line: Bills by 7
The weather: PM showers, high of 47
The story: Don’t look now, Buffalo, but that image that is closer than it seems in your rear-view mirror? Yep, it’s New England. At 7-4, the Pats are in a virtual tie with Buffalo in the AFC East, which makes this game more than meaningful. It makes it indispensable. It won’t be easy. The Colts won four of their last five (an OT loss to Tennessee was their only loss), running back Jonathan Taylor is a load and Carson Wentz has resurrected his career. Call this a gut check for Josh Allen and the Bills. The Pats will be watching.
Something to consider: Wentz hasn’t thrown an interception in seven of his last eight starts.
ARIZONA (8-2) @ SEATTLE (3-6), 4:25 p.m. (EST)
The line: Cards by 2
The weather: Cloudy, high of 47
The story: Like New England, Arizona is 5-0 on the road. One difference: The Cards won each of their games there by 12 or more points. That’s impressive. But this may not be the walkover it seems. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be missing again, and nobody is sure what quarterback Kyler Murray’s situation is. He says he thinks he can play, but he’s not the coach. Plus there’s this: At 3-6, Seattle is in deep kimchi. More than that, they’re dead last in the AFC West. Desperate teams at home are dangerous teams.
Something to consider: Chandler Jones’ 8-1/2 sacks of Russell Wilson are his most vs. any quarterback. The Cards have had 25 sacks in the last six games in Seattle, all of Wilson.
PITTSBURGH (5-3-1) @ L.A. CHARGERS (5-4), 8:20 p.m. (EST)
The line: Chargers by 5-1/2
The weather: Partly cloudy, high of 79
The story: Maybe Keenan Allen is right. Maybe the Chargers should get the ball more to Mike Williams. All I know is that in their first five games he had 31 catches for 471 yards and six TDs. The Chargers were 4-1. But in his last four? Barely visible. Ten catches for 137 yards and no scores. Result: The Bolts were 1-3. Draw your own conclusions. Allen has. With T.J. Watt and Joe Haden missing for Pittsburgh, it’s time for the Bolts to find Mike Williams again.
Something to consider: The Steelers’ Najee Harris has 120 or more scrimmage yards in four of his last five games.
OUR BEST BETS
(All picks made vs. the spread)
RON BORGES – Arizona (--2). Betting Kyler Murray (provided he plays) is better than betting Russell Wilson (SEASON RECORD: 5-5).
RICK GOSSELIN—Tampa Bay (--11). The Bucs are desperate for a win to resume their pursuit of the top NFC seed. Hello, G-Men (SEASON RECORD: 5-4-1).
CLARK JUDGE – Dallas (+2-1/2). I trust Dak Prescott; I don’t trust Travis Kelce’s beard (SEASON RECORD: 7-3).
THEY SAID IT
“Probably the most beat up I’ve been.” – Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield.
“He’s the best player who ever walked.” – N.Y. Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett on Tom Brady.
“The energy is awesome.” – Carolina coach Matt Rhule on quarterback Cam Newton.
“I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t agree with what he did.” – Detroit offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn on coach Dan Campbell taking over play-calling responsibilities.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Since winning their first three games, the L.A. Rams are 4-3. Their four wins are vs. opponents with a combined record of 7-28-1.
STAT OF THE WEEK II
This is the first time that Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson plays Chicago. So what? So he’s 25-2 when meeting an opponent for the first time.
FIVE GUYS TO WATCH
1. TYREEK HILL, WR, Kansas City. With a touchdown catch, he ties Randy Moss (67) for the second-most scoring receptions since 1970 in his first 85 regular-season games. Only Jerry Rice (81) has more.
2. LAMAR JACKSON, QB, Baltimore. He’s 12-0 vs. the NFC, with 26 touchdowns (20 passing, six rushing) in those games.
3. TREVON DIGGs, CB, Dallas. Another interception Sunday and he ties Doug Evans (2001) as the only two players in the Super Bowl era to produce interceptions in eight of his first 10 games of a season.
4. KEENAN ALLEN, WR, L.A. Chargers. With 11 catches, he passes Antonio Brown as the fastest player to reach 700 career receptions. Brown did it in 111 games. This will be Allen’s 110th.
5. DAVANTE ADAMS, WR, Green Bay. He has five TD catches in his last two games vs. Minnesota.
TEN THINGS YOU PROBABLY SHOULD KNOW
1. Arizona is the only team to score 30 or more points in every road game this season and allow 20 or fewer in every road contest.
2. In three of the past four seasons the team that wins the Green Bay-Minnesota game in Minneapolis advanced to the NFC championship game.
3. The Titans are 7-0 vs. teams that made the playoffs last season.
4. Green Bay is riding a seven-game division road winning streak.
5. Cincinnati is an AFC-worst 8-23-1 following byes.
6. At 25:15, Seattle is last in the league in time of possession.
7. Opponents defeated by Tennessee have a combined 39 wins, the most in the NFL. Arizona is second with 35.
8. Buffalo has allowed the fewest gains (90) of 10 or more yards.
9. At least one game has gone into overtime in nine of the first 10 weeks of this season.
10. Every NFL team has multiple losses. The last time that happened prior to Week 11 was 2010 when Green Bay won Super Bowl XLV as a wildcard entry. Over the previous three seasons, the eventual Super Bowl champion entered Week 11 with at least three losses.