Yahoo Sports NFL senior writers Terez Paylor, Charles Robinson and Kimberley A. Martin select games this week that will leave us buzzing heading into Monday.
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
The 49ers (4-0) are riding high after a miserable 2018 season in which they won four games total. They commanded America’s attention on Monday in a 31-3 thrashing of the Cleveland Browns in which they beat up Baker Mayfield and dominated the Browns’ defense with a steady dose of Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman and George Kittle. This road test against the Rams is the game that will tell me if they’re for real.
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The Rams (3-2) are coming off two consecutive losses, and as an NFC West foe, they’re very familiar with the 49ers. What’s more, while the 49ers had five days to prepare for this game, the Rams had nine. They should be rested and ready to go and eager to get back on the winning track.
If the 49ers find a way to win this game in spite of all of that, the NFL will officially be on notice — they’re an NFC title contender.
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs
Apologies to the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson – who might be the NFL’s MVP – but the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and Texans’ Deshaun Watson are the two most exciting quarterbacks in the NFL right now. Do you need another reason to watch this one?
Watson is hitting his stride this season, clicking with wideout Will Fuller and looking capable of getting himself into that MVP class as the season moves on. Mahomes clearly isn’t healthy and that’s leaving Kansas City more vulnerable than expected. But even limping with injuries, the Chiefs are amongst the AFC’s best. That is where the Texans will rank if they can go into Kansas City and carve out a win.
Texans at Chiefs
If Chiefs fans were freaking out over last week’s loss to the Colts, imagine what will happen if the home team gets denied for a second straight game?!
Not, so fast. A hobbled Patrick Mahomes is still a thing of beauty on the football field, so let’s not push that panic button. He’s the reigning MVP for a reason: Because at any moment, Mahomes can pull off the improbable. That said, his counterpart, Deshaun Watson, has been pretty impressive himself.
The Watson-Will Fuller connection gave the Atlanta Falcons fits in Week 5, while Watson put on a QB clinic: 28 of 33 for 426 yards, FIVE touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 rating.
Look for Houston’s defense, led by J.J. Watt, to try to exploit the Chiefs’ injuries. It’s unlikely Kansas City’s high-powered offense will get shut down for a second straight week.
Regardless of who wins this matchup, football fans are in for a treat.
Two of the best young QBs in the NFL. And two teams looking to hold on to first place in their respective divisions.
Get your popcorn ready!
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