Joe Murray

Joe Murray

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 29: Quarterback Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles passes the ball against the Washington Commanders at FedExField on October 29, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The NFL season is already half over and with playoff races starting to take shape we enter week 11 with some very intriguing divisional matchups with a lot on the line. This week I’ve picked out four matchups with playoff implications and a Super Bowl rematch on Monday night that’s one of the most anticipated games of the year.

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)

Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5) @ Baltimore Ravens

The first matchup of the week that I’m going to highlight is the Thursday night game between two AFC North rivals. The 7-3 Ravens welcome the 5-4 Bengals to Baltimore in what feels like one of the few good primetime matchups we’ve had in the last few weeks. Both teams are coming off tough losses and are in need of a win in a loaded AFC. The Bengals are the more desperate team, but if Baltimore wants to keep pace with the top of the AFC this is a huge game for their chances at the #1 seed.

This game features two MVP caliber quarterbacks in Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow. Both have had MVP moments this season, but are still searching for that upper echelon offense that we’re accustomed to seeing. The Ravens are coming off a tough loss to the Browns in a back and forth AFC North battle, while the Bengals lost last weekend to CJ Stroud and the upstart Houston Texans. This is a massive game for both teams and, as previously stated, one of the few marquee matchups we’ve had in primetime recently. In a clogged AFC playoff race, this outcome will have serious ramifications for the rest of the season.

  • EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills scrambles with the football during the second quarter of the NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills scrambles with the football during the second quarter of the NFL game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    New York Jets (+7.0) @ Buffalo Bills

    The next game I’m excited for this weekend is another divisional matchup, this time in the AFC East. The Bills and Jets are both struggling this season in different ways.  Buffalo is coming off a horrendous loss on Monday night football to the Denver Broncos after Sean McDermott and Josh Allen both made some boneheaded decisions to cost their team the game. The Bills are teetering on disaster after back to back losses and the locker room seemingly starting to fracture.

    The Jets have their own issues too, mostly at starting quarterback since Aaron Rodgers went down in week 1 the team has for some reason mind numbingly stuck with Zach Wilson. Even though they have one of the best defenses in the league it hasn’t been enough to overcome Wilson’s inconsistent play. His offensive line hasn’t done him any favors, but Wilson will need to step up to keep the Jets in the playoff race until Rodgers maybe somehow, someway returns this season.

  • INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 04: Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle Seahawks scrambles out of the pocket during a 27-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 04: Geno Smith #7 of the Seattle Seahawks scrambles out of the pocket during a 27-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    Seattle Seahawks (-1.0) @ Los Angeles Rams

    You guessed it another divisional matchup this time its the NFC West. Early in the season the NFC West looked like it was going to be one of the more boring divisions with the 49ers decimating every team in it’s path, but Brock Purdy getting hurt spiraled them to lose 3 straight. While Pete Carroll is at it again getting buy in from every guy on his roster and Geno Smith is rekindling some of the magic he found last season and now they find themselves tied atop the division at 6-3 with the 49ers.

    Los Angeles on the other hand has been a slight disappointment this season led by Matt Stafford the Rams find themselves at 3-6 after the bye week. Stafford has been pretty pedestrian this season throwing for 2070 yards but only eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. On paper this may not seem like a great matchup but it has massive implications in the NFC West and I’m always curious to see what Sean McVay has cooked up after a bye week for his offense and especially their breakout rookie star Puka Nacua.

  • Super Bowl LVII - Kansas City Chiefs v Philadelphia Eagles

    GLENDALE, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 12: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 to win Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

    Philadelphia Eagles (+2.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs

    The last matchup of the week I want to take a look at is the Monday night Super Bowl rematch between Kansas City and Philadelphia. Two of the top teams in the league battling it out on Monday night football is a great thing for all NFL fans and this one has the added bonus of being a somewhat controversial Super Bowl rematch. Jalen Hurts has the Eagles atop the NFC at 8-1 and their offense is starting to find it’s form from last season. While Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs got off to a somewhat slow start this season they’ve also recently started to find their stride and find themselves at 7-2 headed into this one.

    Hurts and the Eagles offense started the season a little slow but AJ Brown and Devonta Smith are arguably the best receiver group in the league and have started to look like it the last few weeks. Everyone knows Hurts can impact the game with his arms and legs but he’s been a little more cautious this season running the ball after an early season knee issue, he still finds himself with impressive passing numbers throwing for 2,347 yards, 15 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.

    On top of this he’s rushed for 316 yards this season and 7 touchdowns. The Eagles defense will have their hands full with Mahomes as every team in the league does but with their defensive line coming off a bad performance against Dallas I expect them to bounce back in this one.

    Mahomes has been his normal superstar self this season with 2,442 passing yards 17 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. The Chiefs offense like the Eagles started the season slow but has also started to find its rhythm as of late. Kansas City had a rough 24-9 loss against the Broncos two weeks ago but bounced back nicely with a 21-14 win keeping the high powered Dolphins offense in check. I expect this to be the most watched game of the season and I hope it lives up to the hype.

    I feel like I have to mention that it is also the Kelce-Swift bowl now that it has been nauseatingly reported that Travis (and Jason) Kelce’s parents will be meeting Taylor Swift’s parents on Monday night at the game. I’m sure we’ll get more than enough camera shots to show us the meeting. I think of all the game’s I’ve written about this year and looked forward to this is far and away number one as both teams are relatively healthy and playing great headed into this one.

    Here’s all the betting lines for this upcoming week and a recap of week 10 in the NFL.

     

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

*
*
By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.