The NFL is here to save college football lovers from withdrawals with a Saturday slate of games–or at least they think they’re saving us. There are only two games on tap for today, one with no stakes and the other monumental. Let’s start with the game that means nothing other than being it being a NFL game on a Saturday.
Bears (+5) over LIONS
By all accounts the Lions should win this game. They have the better team and need to win this game. The Bears are the inferior team but they literally having nothing to play for other than experience. After dismantling the pathetic Bengals the Bears are in that grey area the Jets are also in–far from good but far from doormats.
The Lions should already be in playoff mode. They took care of business down in Tampa Bay and need to win out to even have a chance at a Wild Card spot. Jordan Howard is the guy to stop but the Lions run defense has been garbage. They’re allowing 116.3 rushing yards per game and if Howard gets going the Lions will be in serious trouble. Matthew Stafford found a way to finagle a win down in Chicago and at home should be good enough to do that again. Do I trust them to win by a touchdown? Don’t get crazy.
Prediction: Bears 27, Lions 31
CHIEFS (+1) over Chargers
This is the game you should be excited for. The winner of tonight’s nightcap will gain pole position in the AFC West. The Chiefs pissed away a 6-0 record but were finally able to win a game after the Steelers stomped them into a six game losing streak. They handed out a beatdown of their own to the Raiders last week but welcome a much feistier opponent to Arrowhead.
The Chargers have somehow won four in a row and six of their last eight after stumbling out to 0-4. It hasn’t been Philip Rivers all alone this time. It hasn’t even been Melvin Gordon. It has been the defense. More specifically their pass defense that ranks third in the league and only allows 217.2 yards per game. Up front they pressure the quarterback and rely on two talented corners (Casey Hayward and Trevor Williams) to limit their guys.
This will be the ultimate test for both squads. Are the Chargers for real or the Chiefs for that matter. Kareem Hunt got back on track last week after being ineffective for a middle stretch of the season. If the plan is to get Hunt the ball and attack the Chargers defense where they’re most vulnerable–up the middle–then the rest should take care of itself. As long as the Chiefs get good games from Travis Kelce and Hunt with that crowd they should be leave Saturday with the AFC West in their grasp.
Prediction: Chargers 21, Chiefs 24