Joe Murray

Joe Murray

Dec 26, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) signals to teammates against the New York Jets during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL season is already more than half over as we approach week 10 this weekend. As the weather gets colder and matchups become more important every week with playoff and draft pick implications on the line we’re going to dive into the four best matchups of the weekend.

Detroit Lions v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – OCTOBER 22: Quarterback Jared Goff #16 of the Detroit Lions reacts against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 22, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Detroit Lions (-2.5) @ Los Angeles Chargers

The 6-2 Detroit Lions head into Los Angeles this weekend to take on the 4-4 Chargers. The Lions are one of the best teams in the league this year led by Jared Goff and his 2,174 passing yards 12 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Detroit’s offense is one of the most explosive in the league and they head into a matchup against a Chargers team that’s coming off of back to back double digit wins.

The Chargers went into this season with playoff aspirations but stumbled out of the gate. Justin Herbert has been steady this season with 2,026 passing yards 13 touchdowns and 4 interceptions but has struggled at time, while his defense hasn’t done him any favors Herbert needs to elevate his game the rest of the season if the Chargers are going to get into the playoff mix.

In a week with fewer great games this is definitely one to watch even if you’re not a Lions or Chargers fans. Goff and Herbert are two of the best quarterbacks in the league, the Lions are looking to expand their lead at the top of the NFC North while the Chargers need every win they can get in a loaded AFC.

Read More:

Week 9 NFL QB Rankings

Bill O’Brien Through 9 Weeks 

Week 9 Betting Recap and Week 10 Odds 

  • Seattle Seahawks v Cincinnati Bengals

    CINCINNATI, OHIO – OCTOBER 15: Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals throws the ball during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at Paycor Stadium on October 15, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

    Houston Texans (+7) @ Cincinnati Bengals

    The next matchup I want to look at is one of the more surprising teams in the league the Houston Texans taking on the Super Bowl hopeful Bengals who are starting to find their form. CJ Stroud is coming off a rookie-record setting week throwing for 470 yards 5 touchdowns and zero interceptions as he’s all but wrapped up the rookie of the year award. Stroud has been the best rookie QB by far this season and has the Texans at 4-4 headed to Cincinnati.

    Joe Burrow and the Bengals got off to a slow start this season at 1-3 through 4 weeks but have since ripped off 4 wins in a row and arguably the best team in the league right now. Burrow has been back in MVP form with great performances against the stout 49ers and Bills defenses in back to back weeks.

    This is a true test for a Texans team that’s impressed but is still looking to prove they should be taken seriously in the AFC. While the Bengals will look to keep their foot on the gas chasing down the Chiefs and Ravens in a top heavy AFC.

  • PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 02: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars passes against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 02, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 02: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars passes against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 02, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

    San Francisco 49ers (-3.0) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

    In my most anticipated matchup of the weekend the 5-3 49ers head to Jacksonville to take on the 6-2 Jaguars. Brock Purdy and the 49ers have lost 3 straight after being dubbed the best team in the league through the first 4-5 weeks of the season. Purdy has struggled of late, while the 49ers defense is still one of the best in the league and recently added Chase Young they’ll have their hands full against a Jaguars team that’s rounding into form. Both teams in this one are coming off a bye which only adds to the anticipation to see what Kyle Shanahan and Doug Pederson have schemed up.

    The Jaguars got off to a rocky start this season at 1-3 but have since ripped off 5 straight wins. The Jaguars are coming off a bye week and Trevor Lawrence has a new favorite target this season in Calvin Ridley. Lawrence and Ridley have only connected on two touchdowns to this point but Ridley has racked up 451 receiving yards and I expect them to only click more coming off a bye.

    This is a huge game for both teams as the Jaguars have to contend in a loaded AFC with the Chiefs and Ravens already at 7 wins. The 49ers on the other hand at one point had a sizeable lead in the NFC West but now find themselves in a tie with the Seahawks and needing a win in the worst way. I expect the Jaguars to win this one at home coming off a bye even though the 49ers had the week off too I think Lawrence and the Jaguars will be ready to go for this one.

  • Lamar Jackson

    PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 08: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens attempts a pass during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium on October 08, 2023 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

    Cleveland Browns (+6.0) @ Baltimore Ravens

    The last game I want to take a look at this weekend is the 5-3 Browns heading to Baltimore to take on the 7-2 Ravens. The Ravens are as hot as any team in the league coming off 4 straight wins and 3 in a row where they’ve scored more than 30 points. Baltimore was dominant on both sides of the ball last weekend handing the Seahawks a 37-3 loss in a game Lamar Jackson only had 187 passing yards.

    The Browns on the other hand have been a roller coaster this season, like they usually are but their defense is one of the best in the league. Deshaun Watson and his injury saga seem to be coming to an end as he finally played last week throwing for 219 yards two touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Browns find themselves in a tough spot in a loaded AFC but at 5-3 their defense has done enough to keep them in the race and its now on Watson to get them into the playoffs.

    AFC North games are always a battle and that’s exactly what I expect in this game. Two teams in the playoff race with some of the best defenses in the league needing a division win has all the makings of a great AFC North slug fest. Lamar has been dominant against the Browns in his career with a 7-3 record but this Browns defense is probably the best he’s faced in his career. I’m looking forward to this one as the Ravens could cement themselves as Super Bowl contenders or the Browns could get right back into the AFC playoff race.

     

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