Both teams are coming off a bye. Beathard keeping the seat warm for Garoppollo. The Cardinals barely got by the 49ers in overtime a month ago, so the window is there for the home team to snatch that first win.
It also will be worth watching which Adrian Peterson shows up, the Cardinals debut version yards or the follow-up 21 yards. Possible showdown between a Seahawks defensive front that just added rent-a-sacker Dwight Freeney, and a Washington offensive line missing basically everybody last week against the Cowboys. Also, Duane Brown is expected to slide into the Seattle left tackle spot, without the added pressure of playing for a team owned by a virtual plantation boss.
The courts have pulled Ezekiel Elliott out and then inserted him back in before. The Cowboys have dealt with the midweek uncertainty since training camp. Oscar Robertson one-on-one with Kevin Durant? We'll even track your wins and losses! What if the ' Celtics played the ' Chicago Bulls? Or Chamberlain faced Shaq? What if the Seminoles faced the Longhorns?
Or Danny Wuerffel handed off to Reggie Bush? What if the '85 Chicago Bears faced the '72 Miami Dolphins? We just don't have faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick to lead the Jets to a victory here on the road. The Browns have that much going for them. But that's not enough to win a game, especially against a first-place Dallas team. The Jaguars haven't looked competitive all season, and Kansas City only seems to get stronger as the season goes on.
Alex Smith won't be active, but that's just a chance for the Nick Foles-Andy Reid bromance to go into effect once again. An NFC East matchup between a pair of teams should be a close with, with neither team playing up to snuff over recent weeks.
The two sides are evenly matched, but we're inclined to go with the team that has one of the biggest playmakers in the game in Odell Beckham. Carolina may finally be piecing their season back together after the bye week, and they'll have a chance to improve to with a win in Los Angeles against the Rams, who haven't won in more than a month.
We'll take a resurgent Panthers team. The Saints are fresh off an impressive win over Seattle, while the 49ers have yet to win a game since their Week 1 victory. San Francisco may be one of the only offenses that won't be able to take advantage of the futile New Orleans defensive corps.
Tennessee has been playing well of late, but on the road against a decent San Diego team, their good fortune will likely come to an end. It should be a close one, with Tennessee playing for a potential AFC South lead, but we're siding with the home team. The Packers have yet to find the groove, but a matchup against the awful Colts defense should help them assert themselves as one of the league's best. At Lambeau, we don't see it ending any other way.
A rare even-odds matchup in Oakland on Sunday night, and it should live up to the hype. The winner takes firm control of the AFC West lead by moving to -- and while we'd love to see Oakland make the leap, they're just not ready yet. We'll side with Denver's defense leading the way to victory. Buffalo has now lost two straight after four consecutive victories, and travels to perhaps the most difficult stadium to play in as a visitor.
Coming off a close loss to a lesser Saints team in Week 8, it's unlikely Pete Carroll's crew drops another winnable game in a row. Browns Last Week: For a while, it looked like the Browns were finally about to come out on top. But after allowing 21 unanswered points to the Jets' offense in the second half, that dream died hard.
San Francisco will look to come out of its bye week strong against a beatable Saints team. They haven't won since Week 1, so any sort of momentum would be welcomed.
Chicago soundly beat Minnesota on Monday night in their most impressive performance of the season. If Jay Cutler can keep that type of intensity up the rest of the way, the Bears may have a run in them. But history tells us to temper expectations. They salvaged a win against the Browns after falling behind big in the first half, but came dangerously close to being Cleveland's first victim. Led by Jay Ajayi, the Dolphins strung together a bit of momentum before their ill-timed bye week.
They'll try to ramp back up against the Jets at home this week. New Orleans held on in the final minutes to knock off the Seahawks, limiting Seattle to just 20 points.
The defense will need to perform this well on a more regular basis before the Saints will have a real chance, though. The Ravens will have a chance to earn their first win since Week 3 this week against Pittsburgh, who may still be without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Even if Roethlisberger suits up, he won't be far removed from knee surgery, leaving the Steelers vulnerable regardless. The Rams have the misfortune of hosting a Panthers team that finally has some momentum behind it. Not great timing for a team that hasn't won in a month.