1. Can Saints go from 0-2 to playoffs?
New Orleans has won six in a row and is trying to join the 2015 Seahawks and 2014 Colts as recent teams to start 0-2 and reach the playoffs. After beating Brett Hundley, Mitch Trubisky and the deflated Bucs the past three weeks, the Saints step up in class at Buffalo. If the Bills (5-3) can protect Tyrod Taylor and incorporate new receiver Kelvin Benjamin into the offense, they can move on from that embarrassing Jets loss.
2. J-E-T-S ... .500, .500, .500!
Remember when the Giants were going to the Super Bowl and the Jets were going to the top of the draft board? Coming off a blowout of the Bills, the Jets can pull even at 5-5 with a win at Tampa Bay. The Bucs have shut down injured QB Jameis Winston for two weeks. Don’t look for him to return considering the Bucs probably will be stuck on two wins a couple of weeks from now.
3. Sink, Pack, Sunk?
Neither Aaron Rodgers nor Mike Glennon are scheduled to play in the Packers-Bears rematch from Week 4. Both of those situations favor the Bears. In that 35-14 Packers win, Rodgers threw four touchdown passes while Glennon turned the ball over four times. Rodgers is hurt, Glennon is benched and last place in the NFC North goes to the loser of this game. Green Bay (4-4) is 1-3 since Week 4. Chicago (3-5) is 2-2.
4. Falcons finally return home, but ...
Atlanta has this brand-new stadium that it’s only gotten to play in three times. After a three-game road trip, the Falcons return home against the Cowboys. But as far as a home-field advantage, Atlanta is 1-2 at home. The Falcons are also mired in a 1-4 slump. Of course, if Julio Jones, above, catches that ball, they win at Carolina last week. The Cowboys are 3-1 on the road and coming off a win at home against Kansas City.
5. The Titanic still has to, um, go?
Carolina is 6-3, a half-game out in the NFC South and hosting a fading 4-4 Dolphins team that’s no longer prime-time worthy. Benjamin is gone, but as that great American philosopher Cam Newton said seven days ago, “The Titanic still has to go.” Ouch. The cringe factor when Cam speaks is always at Orange alert level. Some teams provide designated drivers. Perhaps the Panthers can provide a designated Googler for the historically-challenged.