–With no byes this week, there are 16 games on the schedule but not a lot of good attractions. There are two teams at 6-1 and five at 5-2 and none of them are matched up against each other. The best matchup on paper features the 5-2 Jaguars at the 4-2 Steelers. The Jaguars come in as a slight favorite with a four game winning streak, the second longest behind Kansas City, which a has won six in a row.
–Only one of the top seven teams, the Lions, are playing in prime time. The Lions host Las Vegas on Monday night and should recover after being routed by the Ravens last week. Buffalo, which has struggled in its last three games and lost two of them, will try to get back on track Thursday night against Tampa Bay. The Chargers will host Chicago in a Sunday night game that won’t be good for the ratings.
–The Bears figure to keep the pole position in the battle for the top pick next year even if they win. They own Carolina’s first pick and the winless Panthers, the only winless team in the league, host Houston in a battle of the top two quarterbacks picked this year. The Panthers picked first and took Bryce Young while the Texans got the better quarterback at No. 2 in C.J. Stroud.
–Kansas City and Philadelphia have favorable matchups and both figure to go to 7-1 as the only one loss teams in the league. The Eagles are at Washington where Ron Rivera figures to be fired if he doesn’t retire and the Chiefs are at Denver where Sean Payton must be wondering why he took the job
–If the Jaguars and Lions both win, there could be five 6-2 teams since Miami figures to beat New England, the 49ers are expected to end their two game losing streak against Cincinnati and the Ravens figure to win at Arizona. If all five go to 6-2, they all have a good shot at winning their division titles and hosting a first round playoff game. Kansas City and Philadelphia are currently in the lead for the two first round byes.