Finally!! For the first time since Week 6, we have more than one game where two teams with winning records are scheduled to face each other. The job of the weekly NFL fan’s public service announcement for which games are most worth your time between Thursday and Monday has finally gotten easier. And it’s a good thing too because with Halloween in the rearview and midseason still one more week away, it was getting pretty hard to find an appropriate theme. But here we are — The Student of the Game’s Matchup Mania this week is back to its old ways. The MuM will put shine on teams that deserve it based on the number in the ‘W’ column.
Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets
When one thinks of winning teams in the NFL in 2022, the Buffalo Bills are typically among the first answers that fans would offer. While they are winning games with quarterback Josh Allen on track to snag an MVP, it’s not as if they haven’t had moments of mortality to observe. Then again, if the biggest criticism of a team is that they didn’t beat two-time defending MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers bad enough, that’s certainly offering cheers by faint criticism.
Meanwhile, the New York Jets have an opportunity to be one single game out of first place as one of the best road teams in football. You know, just like was all said back in week one when they were starting Joe Flacco instead of their hotshot young quarterback Zach Wilson (Note: literally no one said that.) And in a fashion that we all predicted (Note: no one predicted it). We were shocked that they lost to New England when their head coach Bill Belichick forced the Jets into a gameplan that had Jets head coach Robert Saleh and his staff calling for Wilson to throw the ball 41 times.
So if you think all of that was unpredictable as well, here’s another shocking nugget. Had the Jets beat the Pats last week, New York and the Bills would be battling for first place on Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans
Two division leaders who are beginning to distance themselves from the rest of the pack is only where the stories begin. While certain now-struggling members of the AFC South and West were hyped to battle for a crack at a division title as playoff berths were a foregone conclusion, the Titans and Chiefs have held strong playing a brand of football that is only slightly different than we’ve come to know.
While we are aware of the differences involving Tyreek Hill and his departure from Kansas City to Miami, it’s looking more and more like quarterback Malik Willis will get the start at quarterback. Willis and Derrick Henry with their ability to run the football might be a key element in keeping MVP-candidate quarterback Patrick Mahomes off the field as much as possible. If so, then Tennessee might have a shot to surprise some people.