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By: Darius Boamah – Staff Writer
Two more weeks to go in the unprecedented 2020 NFL season. This week’s games will be heating up as playoffs are approaching, here are the top matches to look out for…
5. Detroit Lions vs. Tennessee Titans Sun @ 1 PM EST FOX
The Detroit Lions will fly over to Tennessee to take on the Titans this weekend. The Lions are coming off of a close loss to the Greenbay Packers. They are in a very close race for playoffs in their division. Currently, they are sitting in fourth place, however, they are only a game behind second and third place. So, there is a lot of room for movement if they can win the rest of their games. The Titans are at the top of their division and they will be looking to win this game to distance themselves from second place. Tennessee smacked the Jacksonville Jaguars last weekend and their star Derrick Henry showed out. He rushed for 215 yards of 26 carries and scored two touchdowns. The Titans have shown throughout the season that their offense can punish teams. The Lions will have to deal with this and bring out their best defense. On the year, the Lions are allowing teams eight yards per pass and 4.4 yards rushing. This is going to be a very tough game for them, but if they bring out their best defense, they will find success. Detroit can expose Tennessee on the other side of the field. The Titans do not have a great defense and if Matthew Stafford is on his game they can compete. This game will be a battle where the team with the strongest defense will be victorious. It’s a must-win for both Detroit and Tennessee and this game will be fun to watch.
4. Seattle Seahawks vs. Washington Football Team Sun @ 1 PM EST FOX
The Seattle Seahawks will be on the road this weekend as they travel to the country’s capital to take on the Washington Football Team. Washington is sitting at the top of the NFC East Division and needs to keep winning if they want to hold this spot. Last week, they handled the 49ers and extended their win streak to four games. Seattle is currently tied for first in their division and will be looking to get the top seat for themselves. Last week, the Seahawks torched the Jets, but that was expected. In week 13 however, the Seahawks did not look good and lost to the Giants. Seattle’s season has been up and down. They have shown that they are a formidable team, however, they have dropped games they should have won. Their defense is the largest issue, but as the season has progressed, they have been better. If Washington is to win this game, they will need to show out on offense which is not their strong suit. Washington is averaging only 6.5 yards per pass attempt and just under four yards per carry. Alex Smith proved that he can beat big teams, like the Steelers, and he’ll need to continue to play well. On the other side of the field, Washington’s defense will be hard to break. In the air, they have held teams to 6.7 yards per pass attempt and 4.1 yards on the ground. Seattle has a great offense, but this Washington defense will be hard to break. This game will be very interesting to watch, Washington has an ok offense and a strong defense, and the Seahawks have a strong offense but weaker defense. Both teams will come out fighting because this match is important for each of them.
3. New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins Sun @ 1 PM EST CBS
The New England Patriots will visit some warmer weather this weekend as they take on the Dolphins in Miami. This is an extremely important game for both teams. They are divisional rivals and can both be in playoff contention. The Dolphins are right in the mix still and the Patriots have the chance to overtake the Dolphins and move higher into contention. Both teams lost last weekend, the Chiefs narrowly beat the Dolphins and the Pats got smacked by the Rams. This game is more important for Miami because they have a better chance of making it to the playoffs and winning these last couple of games is paramount for the postseason. They played very well against the Chiefs. They struggled a bit in the second quarter, but they turned it around in the second half. The Dolphins have proved that they have a strong defense and this will be very important against the Patriots. If Miami can consistently stop them, that will allow their offense to get more opportunities. New England needs to be on their game this weekend. Their offense has struggled immensely this season, and last week they only scored three points against the Rams. Their defense cannot be responsible for carrying the team and in this game, it will be very important for the offense to show up. Against the Rams, the Pats averaged 3.9 yards per pass and 3.7 yards rushing. These numbers need to improve if they want to have success against the Dolphins. This should be an interesting game if both teams are playing at their best abilities.
2. Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings Sun @ 1 PM EST FOX
The Chicago Bears will fly over to Minnesota to take on the Vikings for the second matchup of this intense rivalry. The NFC North is extremely close, these two rivals are tied for second, and the Lions who sit in the third spot are only a game behind. There is a lot of room for movement in these last weeks of the regular season. It could go any way. To ensure a post-season appearance, a win is a necessity for both of these teams. Chicago is coming off of a big win against the Texans. They played very well on both ends of the field. Chicago running back David Montgomery was on fire last weekend. In that game, he rushed for 113 yards on 11 carries and scored one touchdown. If he continues this form into this weekend’s game, he will give the Vikings trouble. They have a fairly strong defense, however, they can be exposed on the run. Last week Minnesota allowed 4.4 yards per rush and gave up a touchdown on the ground. On the other hand, the Vikings have a very strong offense. Kirk Cousins is averaging 8.2 yards per pass attempt this season. On the ground, Minnesota is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. This will be their strong point against the Bears. Chicago has struggled on the defensive end this season and can be exposed in this game if the Vikings are playing their best. This will be another very intense game as both teams’ playoff lives are at stake. It will be a fun one to watch.
1. Kansas City Chiefs vs. New Orleans Saints Sun @ 4:25 PM EST CBS
The Kansas City Chiefs will travel down to New Orleans to take on the Saints this weekend. These two teams are not fighting for their playoff spots like the rest of the top games this weekend. However, they are two of the top teams in the NFL this season. So, this promises to be an awesome game to watch. The Chiefs played the Dolphins last weekend and won. In this game they showed the power of both their offense and defense. In one part of the game, Kansas City was on a 28-0 run. The Chiefs averaged 9.6 yards per pass attempt. On defense, they held the Dolphins to 5.4 yards per pass and 3.3 rushing. This team has power on both ends of the field and the Saints will have to work hard to break this. The Saints were upset last weekend by the Eagles so they will definitely be ready to get back on track. The Saints have a strong defense and they can find some success against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense. Last week, Mahomes threw three interceptions. Against the Dolphins it was ok, but if they Saints can pick off Mahomes three times, they can turn the game in their favor. The Saints also have a strong offense. Drew Brees is expected to come back this weekend for the game. However, whether he plays or Taysom Hill, the Saints still have a dangerous offense. On the year, they are averaging 7.5 yards in the air and 4.4 rushing. The Chiefs were exposed by the Dolphins late in the game. It is very possible that the Saints can do the same, especially if they are on the game. Kansas City won’t have any room for lapses like this in this weekend’s game. Again, there is not a lot riding on this game, neither of these teams has anything to lose, so they will bring their all and be prepared for a fight.
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