The Giants’ potential path to the playoffs begins this week with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Giants open this week as 5.5-point road favorites over a Cincinnati team which unfortunately just lost rookie quarterback Joe Burrow for the rest of this season, and possibly next season as well. Paul Brown Stadium is not expected to see a ton of scoring, as this game features a middling 42.5 Over/Under. The Giants enter this week with a significant advantage having just had a week off for their bye and with the Bengals having to make major adjustments on offense as backup QB Brandon Allen takes over as the starter.
This game is a must-win for the Giants in the mutual opponents category of the standings. Washington just defeated Cincinnati 20-9 this past weekend and Philadelphia tied them earlier in the year. Given that they are one of the weaker opponents (2-7-1) remaining on the Giants’ schedule and the need to keep pace, the Bengals are a crucial step in the Giants’ playoff pursuit. In a division as tight as this, every game matters, even if most of them result in losses.
The Jets opened this week as 6.5-point home underdogs to the Miami Dolphins, who have won four of their last five games. The Dolphins are one game behind the Buffalo Bills in the division standings and their playoff hopes are very much alive. Rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has had some impressive moments since taking over the starting job from veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick but was pulled from last week’s game due to poor performance. It’ll be very interesting to see how the rookie bounces back after some tough love.
The Dolphins defense has played very well lately under the guidance of Head Coach Brian Flores. They implement a “bend, but don’t break” strategy, putting up solid performances for over a month now. They’ve had at least one takeaway in 16 straight games dating back to last season. After seeing Joe Flacco’s egregious pick-six against the Chargers, there’s no reason to suspect that the trend won’t continue with this upcoming game. The 44.5 Over/Under reflects the limitations Miami will put on the Jets’ efforts. Don’t be surprised if the Dolphins come away with another defensive score this week.
The Eagles opened this week as 4.5-point home underdogs against the Seattle Seahawks, who are coming off a miniature bye week after defeating the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night 28-21. Seattle is tied with the Los Angeles Rams at 7-3 atop the NFC West. These are two teams headed in opposite directions. Russel Wilson is having the best year of his career, while the benching of Carson Wentz is being discussed internally in Philadelphia. Philadelphia will not be favored in any of their next four games, while Seattle has the fourth best odds to win the Super Bowl going into week 12. In the 2019 draft, the Eagles selected WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside at 57th overall and the Seahawks selected DK Metcalf at 64th overall. This season, Metcalf has 48 receptions for 862 yards and 9 touchdowns while Arcega-Whiteside has 2 receptions for 45 yards without a touchdown and has been a healthy scratch for the past two weeks.
The Eagles are 0-5 against Russel Wilson over the course of his career, including two defeats last season which both had a final score of 17-9. The second matchup was in the Wildcard round of the playoffs. Quarterback Carson Wentz left the game early with a concussion from a dirty hit delivered by Jadeveon Clowney, leaving viewers with countless “what if’s” for how the game may have played out. Wentz will have his opportunity for revenge and redemption if he can break out of this season’s slump. Playing in the Eagles’ favor, all three of Philadelphia’s wins have come in primetime. The 49.5 Over/Under is representative of how most Seattle games have played out this year. The Seahawks’ porous defense partnered with their explosive offense has resulted in several high-scoring games. If Philadelphia can score 30+ points, they may have a chance to keep this one close.