Texans (5-3) at Jaguars (2-6)
Line: Jaguars by 2
Houston has a minus-30 scoring differential, the worst of any division leader. The Texans also have a minus-7 turnover differential and the league’s 30th-ranked offense. Their fifth-ranked defense has undoubtedly been the team’s saving grace. Jacksonville has failed to even feign relevancy and has dropped every game this season at EverBank Field. Houston has won four consecutive games against the Jags, dating to 2014, and only one was by fewer than double digits.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
Broncos (6-3) at Saints (4-4)
Line: Saints by 3
After starting 4-0, Denver has dropped three of its past five. The Broncos have proven susceptible to elite aerial attacks, with all three losses coming at the hands of top-10 passing offenses (Atlanta, San Diego, Oakland). Now up is New Orleans and Drew Brees, who leads the NFL in passing ( 336.1 yards per game). A loss could sink the Broncos further in the AFC West, where the defending Super Bowl champs suddenly finds themselves behind the Raiders and Chiefs.
Rams (3-5) at Jets (3-6)
Line: Jets by 1
Los Angeles coach Jeff Fisher, as stubborn as it might seem, will keep Case Keenum at the helm of the NFL’s lowest-scoring offense (16.2 points per game). Fisher won’t change to No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff until the Rams fall out of contention, which figures to come a lot earlier than Santa Claus. The same goes for New York, which has yet to beat an opponent with a winning record.
Falcons (6-3) at Eagles (4-4)
Line: Falcons by 1
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan continues to put up MVP-caliber numbers into the season’s second half. Behind Ryan’s league-high 2,980 passing yards and 23 touchdowns, the Falcons have failed to reach 30 points only three times. Philadelphia started 3-0 but has folded in close games, losing four of its past five, all by seven points or fewer. Philadelphia’s four wins have all been by double digits. The Eagles’ four losses have been by 19 points combined.
Chiefs (6-2) at Panthers (3-5)
Line: Panthers by 3
Four consecutive wins have looped Kansas City with New England as the hottest teams in the AFC. The Chiefs rank 19th in yards per game (342.4) and 21st in yards allowed (369.2). An NFL-leading 20 takeaways, however, have sparked the Chiefs’ run. After winning 14 in a row last season, it took until November for Carolina to win consecutive games this year. The Panther look to claw their way back into contention but have the Chiefs, Raiders and Seahawks among those waiting ahead for them.
Bears (2-6) at Buccaneers (3-5)
Line: Bears by 2 1/2
Jay Cutler was impressive and turnover-free in his return for Chicago, leading the Bears over NFC North leader Minnesota on Halloween for their second win of the season. In his eight-year Bears career, Cutler is 17-5 when he doesn’t turn the ball over. Tampa Bay squandered an 11-catch, 150-yard, two-touchdown performance from Mike Evans last week and are fading out of the race for the NFC South crown.
Vikings (5-3) at Redskins (4-3-1)
Line: Redskins by 2 1/2
Minnesota is scrambling for answers after averaging 12 points in three consecutive losses. The Vikings’ latest burp came in overtime, at the hands of a Detroit team that is only a half-game from seizing the Vikings’ division lead. The last time Washington left the field, it was in London after a tie with Cincinnati. As uncomfortable as it likely felt, it kept them from falling to fourth place in the NFC East.
Packers (4-4) at Titans (4-5)
Line: Packers by 3
It’s tough to put a finger on exactly what’s ailing Green Bay, which has lost three of four. Whatever the cause, quarterback Aaron Rodgers has not played up to his MVP past. The Titans and their third-ranked rushing attack led by DeMarco Murray will look to control the tempo against a Packers front that allows a league-low 75.8 rushing yards per game.
Dolphins (4-4) at Chargers (4-5)
3:05 p.m., DirecTV/713
Line: Chargers by 4
San Diego running back Melvin Gordon has posted back-to-back 100-yard rushing games after passing the century mark just once in his first 21 career games. Gordon’s 261 total yards (196 rushing, 65 receiving) last week were his career best, by over 100 yards, and helped the Chargers to their third win in four games. Miami, which has lost its last three games in the Pacific time zone, begins a two-week California stay (ending Nov. 20 at the Rams) still hoping to make noise in the AFC wild-card race.
49ers (1-7) at Cardinals (3-4-1)
3:25 p.m., DirecTV/714
Line: Cardinals by 13 1/2
San Francisco’s defense set an NFL record last week by allowing a 100-yard rusher for the seventh game in a row. Arizona running back David Johnson, who leads the NFL with 1,112 scrimmage yards, is no doubt licking his chops at the opportunity to become the eighth. A win should pep up the staggering Cardinals, whose next six opponents are .500 or better.
Seahawks (5-2-1) at Patriots (7-1)
7:30 p.m., KTXA/5
Line: Patriots by 7 1/2
A Super Bowl XLIX rematch or a Super Bowl LI preview? Whatever you want to call it, the intrigue is undoubtedly present. New England quarterback Tom Brady’s revenge tour has evolved into an MVP campaign and he has the Pats tied with Dallas for the best record in football. Seattle currently holds the No. 2 seed in the NFC and will likely run the ball from the 1-yard line this time if such a game-winning situation presents itself.