Rams at Steelers: Sunday, 11.10 4:25 pm ET.
“Two households, both alike in dignity…” William Shakespeare
What to watch for: It’s gut check time for both of these proud teams after some early season stumbles. The Steelers have managed to get back to 4-4 after losing Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Ben Roethlisberger, and now James Conner. The Rams are a somewhat disappointing 5-3 and third place in the NFC West after their trip to the Super Bowl last February. Both need a win here to keep some momentum rolling if they want to have any chance to make the postseason. Quietly, the Steelers have the second-best turnover ratio in the league (+11) behind only the Patriots, the only other team in double digits…
Panthers at Packers: Sunday, 11.10 4:25pm ET.
“Stuck between a rock…and a hard place…” Mick Jagger
What to watch for: This is a potential playoff preview, with the Packers controlling the NFC North and the Panthers just on the outside of a wild card slot. The Packers suffered an uncharacteristic blowout loss to the Chargers in week nine, and they’ll need to avoid a similar fate against a Panthers team that has been energized by young Kyle Allen. The Panthers have recorded the most sacks in the league thus far and the second-most interceptions, so Aaron Rodgers will need to be on his toes.
Vikings at Cowboys, Sunday 11.10 8:20pm ET.
“I’m still standing, yeah, yeah, yeah…” Elton John
What to watch for: Who will rebound first? The Vikings took a tough week nine loss to the Patrick Mahomes-less Chiefs, while the Cowboys struggled for three quarters before righting the ship against the division rival Giants. Even with some bumps and bruises, both teams have their playoff destiny in their hands. If Kirk Cousins wants to be more than a .500 quarterback, this is exactly the type of game he needs to win on the road. I don’t see it happening unless that Vikings defense can step up and completely stifle Ezekiel Elliot.
Seahawks at 49ers, Sunday 11.118:15pm ET.
“One, two! One, two! And through and through. The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!” –Lewis Carroll
What to watch for: The battle for the heart of the NFL’s toughest division. No, Seattle can’t take the lead away from San Francisco in the NFC West with a win next Monday, but they can make a big statement in Santa Clara. Russell Wilson is having an MVP-type season, and he just got a shiny new weapon in Josh Gordon. The Niners looked very, very beatable in a three-point win over the lowly Cardinals. I can’t say I’m exactly sure how this one is going to end up, but my gut tells me that Seattle isn’t going to be playing around. They’re looking to slay the dragon in its own lair.
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Image Source: AP Images