Week 11 gave us an opportunity to see which teams are pulling away from the pack. While there is a lot of mediocrity in the league, the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints are the clear-cut best teams in the league right now.
As we get set for Thanksgiving games, let’s take a look at this week’s action:
Los Angeles Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys
The Chargers are coming off a key win over the Buffalo Bills last week to improve to 4-6. Los Angeles is now just two games back of the Kansas City Chiefs for the NFC West division lead and the Chiefs are in the midst of a collapse. As for the Dallas Cowboys, they have averaged 8.0 points per game in their last two contests without Ezekiel Elliott. They are banged up and hurting but can the Chargers take advantage?
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
Odds: New England -17
The Patriots are rolling after back-to-back double-digit blowout wins over the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders on the road over the past couple of weeks. The defense has picked it up as they haven’t allowed more than 17 points in a game during their current six-game winning streak. The Dolphins, who have one of the worst offenses in the NFL, will have a tough time topping that number or winning.
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs
Odds: Chiefs -10
The Bills turned to rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman last week and the end result was disastrous. He threw five interceptions in one half of football. The Bills have been a mess, losing three straight, so the Chiefs should be able to take advantage, right? Not so fast. The Chiefs have dropped four of five, including an embarrassing loss at the New York Giants last week. Both teams are in desperate need of a win but neither has looked deserving of one.
New Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Rams
Odds: Los Angeles -2.5
Just when it seemed as though the Saints were bound to suffer some sort of a letdown, they stormed back from a 15-point deficit in the final six minutes of regulation to beat the Washington Redskins 34-31 in overtime. New Orleans has won eight in a row and now goes on the road to face a Rams team that failed its checkup at Minnesota last week. We’re still not sure if the Rams are one of the teams at the top of the NFC food chain but they’ll get another chance to prove themselves this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Arizona Cardinals
Odds: Jacksonville -4.5
The Jaguars social media has had a lot of fun with the “Sacksonville” moniker. Jacksonville has certainly earned that nickname this season with a league-leading 40 sacks, which is six more than the second-highest total in the NFL at this point. The Jaguars defense will look to make Blaine Gabbert miserable this week following a tough loss in his season debut against the Houston Texans. The Cardinals have been hit hard by key injuries this season and it won’t get any easier at home to Jacksonville this week.
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders
Odds: Oakland -5
As bad as both of these teams have been, they are still within striking range of the AFC West crown since the Kansas City Chiefs can’t figure out how to win anymore. The Broncos have lost six straight and have fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Will that spark their offense? The Raiders have just two wins in their last eight games but a win could pull them within striking distance of first-place Kansas City. Can they get it together?
Considering 5-5 gets you into the playoffs in the AFC, this game – surprisingly – has plenty of playoff implications.