The feature attraction this weekend is 6-0 Pittsburgh vs. 5-1 Baltimore — one of the best rivalries in the NFL.
And there is a lot at stake with Pittsburgh the league’s last unbeaten team and Baltimore trying to tie them for first place in the AFC North. A loss would drop the Ravens two games back.
The only thing surprising about this game is that it isn’t in prime time or even the doubleheader game. It is one of the CBS five 1 p.m. games so a lot of fans won’t see it.
Still, it could be showcase game for Yann Ngakoue, who wouldn’t have played in high stakes games like this if he had stayed in Jacksonville.
Walterfootball.com predicted he will be “enormous” against the Steelers because their right tackle is injured.
—The end of a dynasty apparently isn’t good TV. The New England-Buffalo game will be shown only in New England and New York. A Buffalo win will all but end the Patriots’ dynasty and their domination of the AFC East. A loss would drop the Pats to 2-5 and leave them three games behind the Bills, who come in 5-2 in the loss column. It will also indicate that GM Bill Belichick hasn’t done a good personnel job in recent years to give coach Belichick a competitive team. Brady held it all together the last few years but with him gone, the Patriots are being exposed as a team that not only won’t win the Super Bowl, it may not even make the playoffs.
—It is hard to believe that the Sunday night game is Dallas at Philadelphia. NBC is showing clips from the days when it used to be a great rivalry to try to hype the game. Now the Eagles are actually leading the division at 2-4-1, with the Cowboys at 2-5. With Andy Dalton out and rookie Ben DiNucci, a seventh-round draft pick from James Madison starting, the Cowboys have virtually no chance of winning. Admit it. How many readers ever heard of DiNucci?
—The Monday night game isn’t much better with Tampa Bay going to the 1-6 Giants. This should be an easy one for Tom Brady as he attempts to boost the Bucs to 6-2 at the halfway mark. Playing with a better team around him than he had in New England in recent years, Brady is looking as if he found the fountain of youth.
—The Seahawks, coming off their first loss of the season, will be favored to beat the 49ers, who boosted their record to 4-3 with the easy victory over the Patriots last week. A loss would drop the 49ers three games behind the Seahawks in the NFC West and probably doom their chances of winning the division. Look for Russell Wilson to have a big game coming off a loss.
—The game pitting the 5-2 Bears vs. the 4-2 Saints looks like a good one on paper, but might not be on the field if Nick Foles and the Bears offense doesn’t rebound from their Monday loss to the Rams. It is always difficult to figure which Foles will show up each week.
—The 5-1 Titans get the 1-6 Bengals this week while the 6-1 Chiefs get the winless Jets. Enough said about those two games.
—Tua Tagovailoa makes his debut at quarterback for the 3-3 Dolphins at the 5-2 Rams. If Tua struggles, the Dolphins may be second guessed for benching Ryan Fitzpatrick, who probably would have given the Dolphins a better chance to win.