The Buffalo Bills kicked off Week 13 with no surprises by dispatching division rival New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football. Buffalo was favored in the game despite being the road team, so it wasn’t necessarily that surprising to see the Bills pick up a win.
With 30 of the league’s 32 teams in action this weekend, we could be in for surprises – or just dominating performances. That’s what we’re here to talk about. In this week’s version of our Bold Predictions article, let’s take a look at some games where some really big things could happen.
In 28 career starts against division rival Chicago Bears, Aaron Rodgers is 23-5, and one of the five losses came in a game he left due to injury after just two attempts. outmoded. Overall, he’s 593 of 877 (67.6%) for 6,782 yards (7.7 per attempt), 63 touchdowns and 10 interceptions against Chicago, good for a passer rating of 109.9. He hasn’t lost a game against Chicago since December 2018, and during the seven-game winning streak he threw for 18 touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Bears defense was just torn apart by Mike White and the Jets last week, so the bet here is that they can’t face Rodgers either.
Titans and Eagles run the Spider-Man meme
The Titans and Eagles want to get the ball down their opponents’ throats. The Titans and Eagles are very capable of stopping the run. (The Titans have arguably had the best running defense in the league all season, while the Eagles have been much better at it since acquiring Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh, and Jordan Davis is back in the game. training.) On Sunday, they will each do both of these things. The Eagles will bottle Derrick Henry. And the Titans will bottle Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders. This will put pressure on the respective passing games to move the ball – and a scenario that heavily favors the Eagles, as Hurts have former Titan AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith, and not the Titans.
Dolphins or 49ers set new YAC record
TruMedia has been tracking yards after the catch for some time. Throughout the statistics site’s database, the league record for most yards after catch in a game was set by Washington in Week 17 of the 2014 season, when he totaled 307 yards after catch in a game. game against division rival Dallas Cowboys. With Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Christian McCaffrey all on the court at the same time this weekend, and with Mike McDaniel and Kyle Shanahan setting them up for success, one of those two teams is going to exceed this mark. And considering that YAC’s single game record so far this season is 230, it will be pretty impressive when they do.
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Chiefs resolve Bengals defense in playoff rematch
Last year, in the AFC title game, the Chiefs led the Bengals 21-10 at halftime. Patrick Mahomes was 18 of 21 for 220 yards and three touchdowns on the break, and even though Kansas City failed to score on their final practice of the first half, it looked like the Chiefs were very much in control. We all know what happened next: the Bengals changed their defensive pattern at halftime, started dropping eight defenders into coverage and pulling out all deep and even middle throws, and the offensive pitch of Kansas City to a half. Mahomes went 8 of 15 for 55 yards and two interceptions in the second half, while also taking four sacks. It won’t happen this time. Kansas City have built their offense to take advantage when defenses try to force them to make the same types of throws as Cincinnati last year, and with Travis Kelce and JuJu Smith-Schuster can repeatedly move the ball downfield into smaller pieces with relative ease. Cincinnati surely won’t show up with the exact same plan anyway, but regardless, Mahomes, Andy Reid and Co. will be ready and come away with a win where they’ll light up the scoreboard.
Cowboys bury Matt Ryan in sack avalanche
As we detailed Friday morning, the Cowboys have a pass rush that is:
Dallas generated pressure on 43.7% of opponents’ surrenders, the best in the league, according to TruMedia. This pressure rate is 6% higher than that of the closest team, the New England Patriots (37.7%). The distance between the Cowboys and the Patriots in second place is greater than that between the Patriots and the Buccaneers (32%), who reside in 22nd place. The fact that Dallas accomplished this despite blitzing just 26.2% of the time — a rate slightly below the league average of 26.6% — makes it all the more remarkable.
Matt Ryan has been a sitting duck in the pocket for much of this season, dropping on a career-high 7.6% of his backstops and leading the league in yards lost on sacks despite missing two games. He was sacked multiple times in eight of his 10 starts, and more than five times in three of them. The Colts offensive line isn’t equipped to deal with what Dallas has up front, and on Sunday Night Football, we’ll all see how true that is.