The Baltimore Ravens will face the Detroit Lions Sunday in Baltimore, with both teams looking to stay alive in their respective playoff races. While the main focal point will be on the game for the Ravens, it doesn't hurt to check on the other contests going on during the day. All of the teams still alive for a spot in the playoffs will also be in action today and Monday (The 5-6 Bengals will take on the Steelers Monday Night), so let's take a look at the matchups around the AFC wild-card.
The team that is currently tied with the Ravens for a wild card spot is the Bills, a team set to take on the AFC East rival Patriots. Just like the last two weeks against the Oakland Raiders and Miami Dolphins, Baltimore is pulling for Tom Brady and the Patriots in this one against a team they play very well against. Since the Brady era began in 2001, the Bills are 3-26 against the best quarterback in the NFL. Buffalo is coming off a much needed rebound win over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead after putting Tyrod Taylor back in at quarterback. Now, the Bills with Taylor and a tough defense will look to pull off an upset with a raucous crowd waiting to support them. The Patriots have been red-hot, while Brady is defying father time and the defense is getting better.
New York Giants @ Oakland Raiders
For the second week in a row, the Raiders will take on a team that is in complete dysfunction both on the field and in the locker room. Last week was the Denver Broncos in which the Raiders took care of business, now it's the Giants with new quarterback Geno Smith. New York decided to bench Eli Manning to see what the likes of Smith and Davis Webb could do, and the way the whole situation was handled by head coach Ben McAdoo, general manager Jerry Reese and owner John Mara was not received well by the New York media. At 5-6, the Raiders have a golden opportunity to climb back to .500 today in Oakland. The last time Geno Smith started a game at quarterback was Week 17 in Miami back in 2014 for the New York Jets, and he had the game of his life throwing for 358 yards and three touchdowns in a win over the Dolphins. It's doubtful that the Geno from that game will appear, but you never know.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Jets
Both of these teams are in a huge funk, and are in desperate need of a win. The Jets lost yet another tough one to the Carolina Panthers last week, shooting themselves with penalties, turnovers, and a bad replay reversal on what should've been a touchdown catch for tight end Austin Sefarian-Jenkins. The Chiefs are in disarray after losing to the Bills, putting them at 1-5 since their 5-0 start to the season and have all of a sudden have gone from the best team in the AFC to maybe not the best in their own division. The AFC West has now become a three team race between the Chiefs, Raiders, and Los Angeles Chargers. With the Raiders playing the Giants and the Chargers taking on the 0-11 Cleveland Browns, we could bee looking at an all out tie between the three contenders by the end of Sunday. The Jets have battled in every game they've been in, they just can't stop hurting themselves with mental errors. This contest at the Meadowlands could go really go either way with both struggling mightily, and an AFC West crown now there for the taking.