David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
NY Jets at New England
The best way for the Jets to win this game is to be run-heavy. And because of the ground success last week, New York must keep that momentum going, which will also keep Tom Brady off the field.
In turn, Gang Green must anticipate New England stacking the box and forcing Mark Sanchez to throw. After all, the Pats get increased odds to win in a shootout. It is, however, important to keep in mind New England's unreliable pass defense that ranks No. 28.
If the Jets are balanced they will win this game. The concern is with Rex Ryan's defense: Can Gang Green completely isolate Brady and the Pats offense? No.
Patriots over Jets
Jacksonville at Oakland
When Jacksonville travels to Oakland we will see two of the NFL's top running backs square off in Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden.
Also, neither teams presents a defense capable of totally limiting the rush or pass. To that end, expect each offense to approach with balance to accumulate first downs and control the tempo. One advantage to the Raiders, though, is possessing the better defense and more explosive receivers.
The Jaguars are underachieving defensively this year and Oakland's balance will have a stronger impact. Lest we forget about Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler which provides the Raiders an immense special teams edge.
Raiders over Jaguars
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
This game will be the turning point for the immediate future of Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Mainly because these teams are virtually polar opposites when it comes to age and experience, it's also an even-keeled contest.
Each defense has underperformed through mid October and the offensive rushing attacks have been anything but dominant. Factor in questionable pass protection and something's got to give, right? Yes, and that will be the Steelers quarterback protection.
One major advantage of Cincy right now is its pass rush.
With 20 sacks in six games, the Bengals are No. 2 in the league compared to Pittsburgh's 11 (ranked No. 20). Count receiver A.J. Green and at least the Bengals can also stretch the field when needed, because Mike Wallace has been largely unproductive by comparison.
Bengals over Steelers
Detroit at Chicago
Coming off a bye the Chicago Bears can't afford to let a divisional game slip. Already having lost to Green Bay, sitting at 0-2 in the NFC North as we near November would take away the big wins over Dallas and St. Louis.
As for Detroit, the Lions are rolling with some confidence after the comeback win against Philadelphia. The Lions are also 0-1 in the division, thanks to some horrendous special teams play versus Minnesota, and need a victory to be .500.
The Bears are much more balanced offensively and the defense can get quarterback pressure and force turnovers.
The key for Detroit is Matthew Stafford not tossing picks and setting up the run. Because Chicago is so opportunistic defensively, the Lions lack of balance and overall defense doesn't match the Bears up front on either side.
Bears over Lions
Follow John Rozum on Twitter.