Yahoo Sports NFL senior writers Charles Robinson, Terez Paylor and Kimberley A. Martin select games this week that will leave us buzzing heading into Monday.
Cleveland Browns at New England Patriots
While the record might not reflect this being a great game, Browns wideout Jarvis Landry ratcheted up the drama by guaranteeing a win this week. That’s probably not the motivation the opposition wants to give New England in a season in which it has the best defense in football and Baker Mayfield is struggling with turnovers. That said, the Browns are coming out of a bye and the Patriots are on a short week.
Circumstantially, Cleveland should be prepared enough and talented enough to be competitive. If the Browns get blown out in this one, it’s going to say a lot about the coaching staff. That’s reason enough for this to be the game of the week.
Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills
The Eagles will be desperate entering this game, especially after they responded to coach Doug Pederson's "non-guarantee guarantee" by no-showing in a 37-10 loss to Dallas.
Eagles fans are annoyed at the team's 3-4 record, considering this team's talent level.
Imagine how angry they'll be if they drop to 3-5.
Meanwhile, the Bills are rolling at 5-1 and appear to be headed toward the playoffs. They also boast a well-coached, stout defense, one that offers a real challenge to an Eagles offense that has been stuck in the mud since their lone deep threat, DeSean Jackson, has been absent since a Week 2 injury.
If Philly can find a way to score and win against these guys, it will prove that all hope is not lost in the City of Brotherly Love.
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers
Who’s going to stay unbeaten this week: the 49ers or Kyle Allen?
Carolina’s former No. 2 quarterback has played well enough in relief of Cam Newton that some have argued (ad nauseam, for some reason) that Allen could eventually pave the way for Newton’s exit. But Allen — who is 4-0 since taking the reins of the offense — still has plenty to prove before he should be considered a legitimate option for the “franchise guy” role.
Working in his favor, as always, is the presence of Christian McCaffrey. Without a healthy Newton, McCaffrey has been the Panthers’ best weapon. And this Santa Clara, California, showdown has personal significance for the Stanford alum, who in 2015 broke the NCAA record for all-purpose yards.
How will the best running back in the game fare against the second-best (statistically speaking) defense in the league?
And while the 49ers will be looking to bottle up McCaffrey, they’ll be looking to terrorize Allen as well.
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