An AFC divisional rivalry, a matchup between two prolific offenses and a rematch of last season’s Super Bowl highlight the NFL’s week seven schedule.
Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) at Oakland Raiders (2-4)
This AFC West battle does not appear to have the intrigue some thought it might when the season began. Nonetheless, Oakland will be hungry to beat its division rivals and get its season turned in the right direction.
In week six, the Chiefs suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, 19-13. The Raiders fell to the Los Angeles Chargers 17-16, with LA making a field goal as time expired.
Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt was limited to just 21 yards on nine carries last game. Previously, his lowest mark was 81. The team is eager Hunt will return to form against an Oakland defense that ranks 23rd in rushing yards allowed per game.
Derek Carr returned to quarterback the Raiders after missing one game with a broken bone in his back. In last year’s first loss to the Chiefs, Carr threw for a 2016 season low 171 yards.
Part of the reason the Raiders have struggled is the lackluster performance of receiver Amari Cooper. After posting 1,153 receiving yards last year, Cooper has only brought in 146 so far in 2017.
The game will kick off at 7:25 p.m. Thursday on CBS.
New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Green Bay Packers (4-2)
New Orleans has won three in a row after losing its first two games, and has averaged 35.3 points in those winning games. Last week saw the Saints win a 52-38 shootout against the Detroit Lions, thanks to three defensive touchdowns.
For the Saints, Mark Ingram exploded for 114 yards and two touchdowns on the ground against the Lions, nearly doubling his previous season total. While quarterback Drew Brees gets a lot of attention on offense, Ingram could keep up his recent success against a Packers defense that allows 119.8 rushing yards per game.
The saying “when it rains, it pours” was true for the Packers last week. In a 23-10 loss to NFC North foe Minnesota, Green Bay also lost Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone. With Rodgers potentially out for the season, backup Brett Hundley will get his first start against New Orleans.
Filling in for Rodgers, Hundley threw for 157 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The third-year player faces a Saints secondary that gives up 268 passing yards per game, but one that also intercepted Matthew Stafford three times last week.
Game time at Lambeau Field is slated for 12 p.m. Sunday on FOX.
Atlanta Falcons (3-2) at New England Patriots (4-2)
It’s finally here: the rematch of Super Bowl LI. New England spoiled Atlanta’s attempt at its first Super Bowl victory, storming back from a 28-3 deficit.
Last time out, Atlanta fell to the Miami Dolphins 20-17. It was the team’s second loss in a row after starting the season 3-0. Just as it did in the Super Bowl, the Falcons blew a halftime lead after it was up 17-0.
After running for 58 and 68 yards in the last two games, Devonta Freeman will look to find a rhythm against the Patriots, who have the 22nd run defense in the league.
New England narrowly escaped a visit to MetLife Stadium with a victory, triumphing over the New York Jets 24-17. After finding themselves down 14-0 early in the second quarter, the Patriots players never looked back, outscoring the Jets 24-3 for the rest of the game.
Tom Brady continues to dominate opposing defenses. He currently leads the NFL with 1,959 passing yards. Against New York, he won his 187th regular season game, passing Peyton Manning and Brett Favre for the most wins of all time.
The defense has been a weak spot for the Pats this year. The team is giving up the most yards per game, with the third most points per game.
The primetime matchup will kick at 7:30 p.m. for NBC’s Sunday Night Football.