We’ve made it to mid-October. That means a couple things. First, injuries are starting to pile up and take a toll. Second, we have our first bye weeks. This week the Titans, Texans, Raiders and Lions are all off. That means a slimmer Sunday schedule, but nevertheless I have a few games that have caught my eye. Below are the five games on the Sunday slate I’m most excited to see!
Sunday Early Games:
San Francisco 49ers (3-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-3)
About: Once upon a time Kyle Shanahan was the Offensive Coordinator of a Falcons’ team that went to the Super Bowl. Since then, he’s been to a Super Bowl and an NFC Championship game with the 49ers, a team sitting atop the NFC West as we begin Week 6. The 49ers’ defense is strong and the offense has been steady with Jimmy Garoppolo. A win will help open up the lead in the west as the 49ers look to contend for a title. On the flip side, the Falcons feel like a team in a bit of a rebuild. They’ve been fun to watch at times but all the pieces aren’t yet in place. With Cordarrelle Patterson still missing, will the Falcons be able to get enough plays on offense to stay in the game? That’s the question.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3) at Indianapolis Colts (2-2-1)
About: When these teams met in Week 2, it was seemingly the low point for the Colts. A 24-0 loss to the Jaguars dropped them to 0-1-1 on the season, while it signified the Jaguars were heading in the right direction. Since then, the Colts have rallied with wins over the Chiefs and Broncos to move back to .500 and in contention in the AFC South. The Jaguars, meanwhile, have gone 1-2 and are coming off back-to-back losses. The Jaguars are still explosive, but turnovers and inconsistency has hurt. Can they sweep the Colts, or can the Colts keep trending in the right direction and move into the lead in the AFC South?
Baltimore Ravens (3-2) at New York Giants (4-1)
About: The Ravens are riding a hot hand from Lamar Jackson which has taken them all the way to the top of the AFC North heading into Week 6. The Giants, meanwhile, have been one of the biggest surprises of the year. The team is 4-1 with new coach Brian Daboll, equaling their 2021 win total in the first five weeks of the season. Both are coming off an emotional win—the Ravens over the Bengals and the Giants over the Packers in London. Which team will keep driving forward? Can the Ravens maintain their lead in the AFC North, or will the Giants keep pace in a competitive NFC East?
Sunday Late Games:
Buffalo Bills (4-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-1)
About: There are only three late window games again this week, but only one matters. The Bills and Chiefs have been the cream of the crop in the AFC the past few seasons. Whether in the playoffs or the regular season, their games have been epic battles. This is the first meeting since the overtime thriller in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. Josh Allen is hot right now, looking like an MVP in leading the Bills to a 4-1 start. The Chiefs, meanwhile, have been playing it different than in year’s past, but still finding a way to win. And Patrick Mahomes has been as good as ever, fresh off a four-touchdown performance to beat the Raiders on Monday night. This one has the makings of another classic.
Sunday Night Game:
Dallas Cowboys (4-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (5-0)
About: The NFC East has been a lot of fun this season. I noted above the Giants are off to a surprising 4-1 start, but they’re not the only ones looking good. The Eagles are the league’s only undefeated team, while the Cowboys are 4-0 with backup Cooper Rush at the helm. The Eagles and Cowboys are fierce division rivals and their battles are always fun, but this one takes on a little extra juice given where the teams are coming into Week 6. Can the Eagles stay unbeaten? Can Rush remain perfect as a starter? The winner here will control the NFC East, for now. Expect a fun battle on Sunday Night Football.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.
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