Sunday Preview: Pats-Bills, Cowboys-Eagles, Packers-Falcons Highlight NFL Action

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The Associated Press
Cleveland, OH

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The NFL schedule features plenty of terrific games on Sunday.

Can defensive guru, Buffalo coach Rex Ryan, come up with a masterful game plan to contain Tom Brady, whose completing 75 percent of his passes?

Will Philip Rivers lead San Diego to a win over the Denver for the second time in 17 days?

Can Seattle’s talented defense shutdown red-hot New Orleans QB Drew Brees?

Who will win the duel between Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan?

Two hotshot rookie quarterbacks square off in the Dallas with Philadelphia coming to town.

So go out, perhaps buy a six-pack of Yuengling, kick back and enjoy the action.

Seattle Seahawks (4-1) at New Orleans Saints (2-4)

The Seahawks play without two key defenders — end Michael Bennett and safety Kam Chancellor. This is far from ideal facing Saints QB Drew Brees, who enjoys another banner season.

Three of the Saints four losses came by six points or less, and they play very tough at home.

This game is a toss-up.

Washington Redskins (4-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)

The Bengals list no players on their injury report, which is pretty remarkable this time of year.

The Redskins are very banged-up, with a who’s who on their injury report, including starting tailback Matt Jones who is out.

The edge goes to the healthier Bengals.

Philadelphia Eagles (4-2) at Dallas Cowboys (5-1)

A battle of two hot-shot rookie quarterbacks — Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz and Dallas’s Dak Prescott.

The key matchup in his game pits the Cowboys offensive line, which is the best in football, against an Eagles defensive front that boasted six sacks and 12 quarterback hits last week against Minnesota.

If the Cowboys offensive line continues their domination, Dallas should win.

Minnesota Vikings (5-1) at Chicago Bears (1-6)

The Vikings come off their first loss of the season at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles. Having both offensive tackles on injured reserve finally caught up to them, and QB Sam Bradford took an awful beating in Philly.

“We didn’t block anybody,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said after the Eagles’ game. “We were soft. We got overpowered.”

Expect a much more inspired effort from Vikings fill-in tackles Jake Long and T.J. Clemmings and for Minnesota to win.

But it might be closer than expected.

San Diego Chargers (3-4) at Denver Broncos (5-2)

Chargers QB Philip Rivers is playing great football, leading his team to two wins in a row and keeping them in contention.

The Broncos enter this game very banged-up, with a long list of injured players, including starting tailback C.J. Anderson, who is out.

Don’t be surprised if the resurgent Chargers win on the road.

Green Bay Packers (4-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-3)

The Packers have a problem. They travel to Atlanta to face perhaps the NFL’s best passing attack with their top three cornerbacks out.

And the game is being officiated by Walt Anderson’s crew, which leads the league in pass interference calls. So don’t be shocked if the Packers reserve defensive backs, who might be overmatched in this game, draw a lot of flags.

This game favors the Falcons due to Green Bay’s cornerback issues. But with Aaron Rodgers under center, Green Bay has a puncher’s chance in every game.

Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) at Indianapolis Colts (3-4)

This should be a terrific game.

It should be fun to watch Colts star QB Andrew Luck (14 touchdowns passes) facing the stratagem of Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, one of the best around.

Sutton’s crew did a terrific job in containing Saints QB Drew Brees last week.

The Colts defense isn’t very good, and the team’s owner Jimmy Irsay admitted recently that “we’ve got to score in the 30s” to win.

Expect Luck to will his team to victory in this must-win game at home.

Arizona Cardinals (3-3) at Carolina Panthers (1-5)

The Panthers should be a lot fresher than their opponent.

The Cardinals enter the contest off an epic overtime tie on Sunday night, and the Panthers enjoyed a bye week.

It wouldn’t be shocking to see the struggling Panthers win this game.

New England Patriots (6-1) at Buffalo Bills (4-3)

Buffalo coach Rex Ryan, and his brother Rob, a Bills assistant, lived in the lab all week devising the mother-of-all gameplans to deal with Patriots QB Tom Brady.

The return of nose tackle Marcell Dareus from a hamstring injury helps their cause. The most important pressure you must put on Brady is up the middle, to get him “off his spot.” So this is a huge game for Dareus and fellow interior lineman Kyle Williams.

The Patriots endure two uncharacteristic problems this year – fumbles (14) and inconsistent kicking, with Steve Gostkowski missing extra points in consecutive games.

This game favors the Patriots, but don’t be surprised if the Bills shock the football world and pull an upset to sweep the season series.

New York Jets (2-5) at Cleveland Browns (0-7)

This might prove the winless Browns best chance to get a victory. The 2-5 Jets look eminently beatable.

The Browns get back veteran signal-caller Josh McCown this week from a broken collarbone. The Jets secondary is struggling, so McCown should get a lot done against them.

This game could go either way.

Oakland Raiders (5-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3)

The Raiders stayed in Florida for the week after playing at Jacksonville, so they won’t suffer from jet lag.

Tampa Bay’s best receiver is six-foot-five Mike Evans, who usually wins jump balls over shorter defensive backs, but in six-foot-three cornerback Sean Smith, the Raiders possess a guy who can match-up.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr enjoys a terrific season with 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions. The Buccaneers’ Jameis Winston has been average with nine interceptions in six games.

The edge at quarterback should help the Raiders win this game.

Detroit Lions (4-3) at Houston Texans (4-3)

The Texans spent big money on free agent QB Brock Osweiler, and average just 16.7 point per game, 31st in the NFL.

But Osweiler performs a lot better at home, and the Lions might play without both starting cornerbacks.

Even with Osweiler struggling, the Texans should figure out a way to win against the NFL’s worst third-down defense.