Joe Murray

Joe Murray

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - DECEMBER 18: Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks to pass against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 18, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

NFL week 13 is already here and as the playoff races tighten up, every week becomes more and more important with teams needing wins to stay alive or have hopes at getting that coveted #1 seed and the bye week. Unfortunately this week the matchups aren’t as great as some of the upcoming weeks but let’s take a look at a few that have serious playoff implications.

DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 08: Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos attempts a pass during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field At Mile High on January 08, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

DENVER, COLORADO – JANUARY 08: Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos attempts a pass during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Empower Field At Mile High on January 08, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Denver Broncos (+3.5) @ Houston Texans

The first matchup I want to take a look at this weekend is a matchup between two 6-5 teams the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans. Both teams head into this game in the thick of the AFC playoff race needing wins almost every week the rest of the season to keep those hopes alive. The Texans are coming off a tough loss to their AFC South rival Jacksonville Jaguars, while the Broncos are coming off a big 29-12 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Heading into the season this is a matchup many would have overlooked and thought that these teams would be far out of the playoff race at this point in the season. However these are probably the two most surprising teams in the league, Russell Wilson isn’t quite the Wilson of old but he’s started to show flashes and his game management has been much improved this season. CJ Stroud is the heavy favorite for Rookie of the Year as he’s led what many thought might be the worst team in the league into the playoff hunt and has looked every part of a franchise QB doing it. This should be one of the better games of the weekend as these teams are desperate to get wins and are pretty evenly matched.

  • Green Bay Packers v Atlanta Falcons

    ATLANTA, GEORGIA – SEPTEMBER 17: Desmond Ridder #9 of the Atlanta Falcons reacts after a play during the fourth quarter in the game against the Green Bay Packers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 17, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

    Atlanta Falcons (-3.0) @ New York Jets

    Now I know what you’re thinking, how could a matchup between the 5-6 Falcons and the 4-7 Jets be one of the better matchups of the weekend? Well fortunately and unfortunately depending on how you want to look at it this is an anticipated matchup for two reasons. One is the NFC South is terrible and somehow the Falcons at 5-6 are sitting atop it. So this is a huge game for them as they need every win to try and separate themselves in a crowded NFC South.

    Reason two this is an anticipated game for me is simply the Aaron Rodgers saga. Rodgers has said multiple times that if he’s physically able to play and the Jets are still in the AFC playoff race he’ll come back. Right now the Jets seem like a long shot to get into the hunt as the AFC is loaded and there’s a log jam at the top with multiple teams already at 6 wins or more. So I personally don’t think Rodgers is coming back this season and he’ll say it’s because the Jets are out of the playoff race, but if they can win this game and rack off a couple more his decision might get a lot tougher.

  • San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams

    INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 17: Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up during a timeout in a 30-23 49ers win over the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on September 17, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

    San Francisco 49ers (-3.0) @ Philadelphia Eagles

    Easily the best matchup of the weekend is the battle between the 8-3 49ers and the 10-1 Eagles. This is as good of a game as it gets late in the season an NFC Championship game rematch between arguably the two best teams in the NFC again this season. Philadelphia led by Jalen Hurts is 27-2 in Hurts last 29 regular season games. All he does is win games and get the Eagles into the playoffs. After knocking out two of the 49ers quarterbacks in the NFC Championship game the 49ers will have revenge on their mind in this one.

    On the 49ers side they started the season as the most dominant team in the league. However they did hit a rough patch in the middle of the season but have since rebounded starting to look like the team they were early in the season again. Led by Brock Purdy the 49ers have one of the more dangerous offenses in the league, although Purdy has his ups and downs his supporting cast is the best in the league. Christian McCaffrey is back being the most explosive running back in the league while George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel round out the most talented offense in the league. As these two teams find themselves in another high stakes battle I can’t wait to see what Kyle Shanahan and Nick Sirianni have drawn up for this one. Anytime you get a matchup between two of the best teams in the league this late in the season it’s going to be a great game and I’m really looking forward to this one.

     

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