After having their wings clipped will the Eagles fly again in Indy?
Is it the Vikings or the Cowboys who are the real deal in the NFC and will there be an upset when the Chargers & Chiefs meet on SNF?
Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) @ Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1) (Eagles 0ver 23.5pts)
The unbeaten record maybe gone but make no mistake the Philadelphia Eagles are still one of the best teams in the NFC. A combination of their own mistakes and some questionable officiating calls conspired to end their perfect start to the season – and it came at a cost. Tight end, Dallas Godaert is injured and will miss at least the next 4 weeks after being put on IR.
In contrast the Indianapolis Colts put a week of off the field debate behind them to claim a big win over the Las Vegas Raiders. The question is, is that a one off or is it a sign of things to come. Of concern, will be injuries to pass rushing trio, Kwity Paye, DeForest Buckner and Yannick Ngakoue this week. Against an Eagles offense which ranks 4th overall and 3rd in scoring – averaging 27.3 points per game – you need your best players on the field.
That same Eagles offense will feel it has a point to prove after coming up short against Washington on Monday night. The Colts have been good on defense this season. Their problem has been on offense and putting point on the board. In a matchup such as this, that can lead to chasing a game, making errors and shipping cheap scores. Philadelphia has been ruthless for the most part this year and it would be a surprise if they were held to below 24 points on Sunday.
PICK: Philadelphia Eagles – Over 23.5 points
Dallas Cowboys (6-3) @ Minnesota Vikings (8-1) (Dallas Cowboys to win)
That the Dallas Cowboys head to Minneapolis as narrow favourites for this game is a little surprising. They come into this encounter off the back of their worst defensive performance of the year after blowing a 14 point 4th quarter lead in Green Bay last weekend.
Contrast that with the Vikings. Themselves, double digits down to the Buffalo Bills in the 4th quarter and had a 4th & forever to keep the game alive before Justin Jefferson pulled out one of the game’s all time great catches in a game they went onto win. The problem is people still doubt the consistency of QB Kirk Cousins and then there’s the come down from such a dramatic, big road win to take into account. Earlier this season the Dolphins beat the Bills, then lost to Cincinnati a week later. The Bills themselves won in Kansas City and then lost to the Jets. Are the 2022 Minnesota Vikings able to put last weekend’s win behind them and focus on the Cowboys?
Dallas won in Minnesota last year with Cooper Rush at QB but in their last 2 games, stopping the run has been a major problem. Justin Fields for the Bears and then Aaron Jones for the Packers have both had big days against them. The noises coming out of Dallas this week have been the right ones but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Ultimately, this game comes down to who you trust more. The Vikings have won 7 in a row. Prior to last weekend the Dallas defense was considered to be one of the best in the league. It’s gut check time for the Cowboys and we’ll know a lot more about them after Sunday.
PICK: Dallas Cowboys win
Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) @ LA Chargers (5-4) (Total Points under 49.5)
Maybe it’s because we’ve come to expect the Chiefs to win or maybe it’s because stories around the Bills and the Dolphins are just garnering more attention right now. Either way Kansas City are flying under the radar and just calmly taking care of business. Since losing to Buffalo, they’ve won 3 straight. Despite personnel changes their offense remains the top scoring offense in the league – the only team to be averaging 30 points per game – and they are sitting pretty on top of the AFC West with a 7-2 record.
The Chargers must look at their division rivals with envious eyes. Injuries to players on both sides of the ball have without doubt affected them this season and while they currently have a winning record, it’s tough to see that still being the case after Sunday. An offense which started out the season as one of the most potent in the NFL, hasn’t scored more than 23 points in the last month. It’s a credit to their application on the field that they’ve found a way to be 202 through that time but it’s getting harder now!
Defensively, only the Seahawks have really put them to the sword since week 2 but the Kansas City Chiefs – with all their weapons – are a completely different proposition. That being said, games involving the Chiefs in the past month have only totalled 50 points or more once. It’s tough to see where the points on Sunday come from for the LA Chargers and while the Chiefs are expected to win this game, the mark for total points feels a little high.
PICK: Total Points – under 49.5