Detroit @ New Orleans (+4.0)
Power rankings: Detroit 8, New Orleans 14
The Lions offense ranks 6th in DVOA (9th pass, 4th run). Jared Goff is having an efficient season (10th in PFF grades, 12th in ESPN's QBR), playing behind one of the best offensive lines in football and a strong cast of skill position players. Goff is coming off back to back duds, but the safe bet is on the Lions offense returning to form - they're simply too talented to believe in anything else. The Saints defense is 13th in DVOA (11th pass, 22nd run), although they have several key injuries, including DE Cameron Jordan (ankle), S Marcus Maye (shoulder), and LB Pete Werner (shoulder/oblique). We'll see who suits up on Sunday, but all three missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. The Saints still have several impact players, including: DE Carl Granderson, LB Demario Davis, CB Paulson Adebo, and S Tyrian Mathieu. The further concern for the matchup is Amon-Ra St. Brown, the elite Lions wide receiver who is already north of 100 targets on the season. St. Brown lines up in the slot on 55.9% of of snaps, which will pair him up against Saints slot corner Alontae Taylor. Taylor currently has a 54.0 coverage grade from PFF, allowing a 99.1 passer rating into his coverage.
The Saints on offense are 20th in DVOA (22nd pass, 10th run) while the Lions defense ranks 10th (13th pass, 7th run). The Saints top pass catcher, Chris Olave, went off for 9 catches and 114 yards last week before existing with a concussion. Olave is in concussion protocol, but he's logged limited sessions on both Wednesday and Thursday, a positive sign that he should be cleared prior to kickoff on Sunday. With Michael Thomas (perpetually injured) and Rashid Shaheed (thigh) both out, the Saints will need Olave and Alvin Kamara to step up as receivers. The Saints do not have a great offensive line, but the Lions are also weak in the trenches, ranking 28th in pass rush win rate and 30th in run stop win rate. DE Aidan Hutchinson, the 2nd overall pick from the 2022 draft, has turned in a monster season, ranking 5th in PFF pass rush grade, 7th in win rate, and 4th in total pressures. Hutchinson primarily lines up on the left side, paring him against Saints RT Ryan Ramczyk, who is easily the best lineman on the team. LT Andrus Peat is a major weakness along the Saints line, and if the Lions are smart they'll give Hutchinson increased reps on his side.
Cincinnati (+8.5) @ Jacksonville
Power rankings: Cincy 21, Jags 9
The Bengals offense is 14th in DVOA (17th pass, 19th run), although that number is naturally inflated due to the Joe Burrow injury. Jake Browning, the 2019 UDFA out of Washington who quite literally took zero snaps in the NFL prior to this season, is performing about what you would expect. Browning supports a 51.0 grade from PFF, completing 65.9% of his passes and gaining 7.2 yards per attempt. The Bengals have a bottom tier offensive line and are lacking in receiving options apart from Ja'Marr Chase. The good news is Tee Higgins (hamstring) is expected back this week after missing the previous 3 games - although it would be unfair to consider him 100%. The Jags defense is 5th in DVOA (8th pass, 1st run). Their defensive line, naturally, is stronger against the run (6th in run stop win rate) than the pass (17th in pass rush win rate). Josh Allen is the primary source of the Jags pass rush - his 60 pressures this season ranks 5th in the NFL and dwarfs anyone else on the team (Travon Walker is second with 36). Allen lines up primarily over the left tackle, matching him up against LT Orlando Brown Jr. Brown was a productive player in Kansas City before signing with the Bengals in the offseason, but he's having a rough year - currently ranking 1st in pressures surrendered among all tackles. The heart of the Jags defense is their strong linebacker tandem (Devin Lloyd and Foyesade Oluokun), both of whom excel in coverage and in the run game. The secondary for Jacksovnille is also strong, especially if Tyson Campbell (hamstring) can return.
The Jaguars on offense rank 17th in DVOA (11th pass, 24th run). The offensive line has performed poorly this season, ranking 29th in both pass rush win rate and run stop win rate, and took a further hit last week when LT Cam Robinson suffered a knee injury that has since placed him on IR. That will move Walker Little over to tackle, who typically plays LG, but did play tackle earlier this year when Robinson was previously hurt. Little played better as a tackle than a guard - so perhaps this is a blessing in disguise, but he'll be changing positions while lined up against Trey Hendrickson, who is one of the better edge rushers in football. The key to the Jaguars offense is, naturally, their quarterback - Trevor Lawrence currently ranks 7th in PFF grades and 9th in QBR. Lawrence has a solid 1-2 punch at receiver between Christian Kirk (slot) and Calvin Ridley (outside), while TE Evan Engram and Marvin Jones Jr serve as complimentary options. The Bengalis defense has struggled this season, ranking 26th in DVOA (19th pass, 29th run). Their weak secondary will likely have issues against Lawrence and the Jags skill position players.