NFL Preview: All the National Anthem Kneelers in One Stadium on One Sunday

Colin Kaepernick
The Associated Press

It’s down to four.

National anthem kneelers that is, and this week they will all be in one stadium.

The San Francisco 49ers, featuring protesters Colin Kaepernick and Eli Harold, visit the Miami Dolphins with fellow anthem activists Kenny Stills and Michael Thomas.

So if the behavior of these mercurial millennials bothers you, perhaps just ignore this game, and focus on some of the other action around the league, including an important AFC West tilt between Kansas City and Denver or red-hot Seattle traveling to Tampa Bay to play the upstart Buccaneers.

Let’s take a closer look at all of Sunday’s action…

San Francisco 49ers (1-9) at Miami Dolphins (6-4)

On paper, this game looks like a blowout. The Dolphins have won five straight and the 49ers are losers of nine straight.

However, the Dolphins offensive line is a mess. They will be without franchise left tackle Branden Albert, Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey, and perhaps talented left guard Laremy Tunsil (game-time decision).

The Dolphins will probably figure out a way to win this game, but it could be close.

New England Patriots (8-2) at New York Jets (3-7)

This is a tough game to call. Why? Because it’s unclear whether New England’s top two players, QB Tom Brady (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (lung), will play.

The Patriots will see how each player feels before the game.

If both play, New England should have little problem prevailing.

If not, this game is a toss-up.

Carolina Panthers (4-6) at Oakland Raiders (8-2)

The Panthers probably need to win out to have a shot at the playoffs.

“We can’t afford to drop another football games,” said Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis.

The Raiders are 5-0 at home, but 3-2 at home.

The game could go either way.

Kansas City Chiefs (7-3) at Denver Broncos (7-3)

A battle of the two current AFC wildcard teams, they both still hope to overtake Oakland for first place in the AFC West.

Denver enters this game much healthier than Kansas City. In fact, the only Bronco listed on the injury report is their long-snapper. The Chiefs have a voluminous injury list.

The Broncos, led by their stellar defense getting back top corner Aqib Talib, will probably win a close game.

Los Angeles Rams (4-6) at New Orleans Saints (4-6)

Rams coach Jeff Fisher needs four more losses to become the losingest coach in NFL history. Considering the Rams are basically writing off the rest of the season to develop rookie QB Jared Goff, Fisher might break the record or get awfully close.

Rookie quarterbacks usually struggle mightily on the road, and the Superdome is a super-tough place to play.

The Saints should win this must-win home game.

New York Giants (7-3) at Cleveland Browns (0-11)

The Giants have won five in a row, and the Browns have yet to win a game.

Could the Browns pull a major upset?

Hey, if the lowly Chicago Bears almost beat the Giants last week in New Jersey, why can’t the Browns hang with the G-Men at home?

While the Giants should win this game, it could be closer than most would imagine because the Giants’ offensive line is a MASH unit.

San Diego Chargers (4-6) at Houston Texans (6-4)

Chargers QB Philip Rivers can’t wait to get back on the field.

He’s had two weeks to stew over throwing four picks in the fourth quarter in a loss to the Dolphins.

Expect Rivers to play out of his mind and lead the Chargers to a win over the offensively-challenged Texans.

Arizona Cardinals (4-5-1) at Atlanta Falcons (6-4)

Great match-up of Arizona’s #1 defense against Atlanta QB Matt Ryan, who is having an MVP quality season.

Another great match-up within this game is Atlanta’s superstar receiver Julio Jones against Arizona’s Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson.

This game could go either way.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8) at Buffalo Bills (5-5)

The Bills hope to hang on to their slim playoff hopes with a win over struggling Jacksonville.

But it might not be easy.

“That’s the best two-win team I’ve ever seen,” said Bills coach Rex Ryan.

The Bills should win this game, but it could be a nail-biter.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-6-1) at Baltimore Ravens (5-5)

The Bengals lost their two best offensive weapons for the season in last week’s loss to Buffalo – wide receiver A.J. Green (hamstring) and running back Gio Bernard (knee).

They will also be without talented safety Shawn Williams (hamstring).

The Ravens should win this home game over the reeling Bengals.

Tennessee Titans (5-6) at Chicago Bears (2-8)

The Bears might be the most injury-ravaged team in football. On top of their myriad injuries, two key players – wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey and linebacker Jerrell Freeman – serve NFL suspension.

The top three Bears quarterbacks are all out, so they are forced to start Matt Barkley, who was on the practice squad earlier this season.

The healthy Titans, behind red-hot QB Marcus Mariota, should prevail.

Seattle Seahawks (7-2-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5)

Most teams relish playing at home, but Tampa Bay, at 4-1 on the road and 1-4 at home, probably feel mixed emotions.

The Buccaneers are thin at cornerback facing Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, who is having one of his best seasons. That is far from ideal as Wilson likes to spread the ball around to a cornucopia of weapons.

The visiting Seahawks should win this game.