This week’s edition of teams facing must win games is a little different. Instead of choosing individual teams who need a win, I decided to choose three must win games this week, meaning both teams playing in these games need a win in Week 5 for one reason or another. Which games and teams have I chosen this week? Let’s find out!
Atlanta Falcons (1-3) vs Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2-1)
Both the Falcons and Steelers are teams who were heavily picked to make it not only to the playoffs this season, but to the Super Bowl. With those aspirations, both teams have started off in the wrong direction.
Atlanta’s defense keeps getting shredded, especially in the biggest moments. In both of their last two games, the defense has let them down when it mattered most. Two weeks ago it was in OT against the Saints. Last week it was in the final seconds of the game against the Bengals. Aside from Week 1, the offense has scored 30+ points in every game this year, but their banged up defense has let them down.
For Pittsburgh, the absence of Le’Veon Bell is killing them. James Conner had a great week on the ground in Week 1 (135 rushing yards and 2 TDs), but since then he’s had 97 yards and 1 TD in three games. Because of the lack of rushing attack, everything has been on Ben Roethlisberger’s shoulders. That hasn’t worked out too well.
With both teams looking to get back on track and keep their playoff hopes alive, this game is a must win. Can Atlanta’s defense hold up against an offense that hasn’t been great? Can the Steelers get their running game going? Which team will fix their problems this week and get a much needed win?
Prediction: Falcons win 30-17
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-1) vs Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
This game between the Jaguars and Chiefs isn’t a must win because their records are bad. Both teams have had great starts to their seasons. This game is a must win for AFC positioning reasons. It looks as though both teams will be in the playoffs, so this game could really mean something. Whoever wins would hold a tie breaker over the other team, which could potentially make the difference between a bye or no bye in the playoffs.
Kansas City’s offense was finally tested against the Broncos last week, and they came out on top. Mahomes performed his best in the fourth quarter when his team was down two scores. The Jaguars will be another tough test for Mahomes and this offense. Jacksonville’s defense leads the league in points allowed per game, so they could make things very tough on Mahomes.
Will the Jaguars defense be able to put the Chiefs in a hole? If they do, can they keep them in it? Or will Patrick Mahomes be able to find a way to win?
Prediction: Chiefs win 24-21
Minnesota Vikings (1-2-1) vs Philadelphia Eagles (2-2)
I would say this game is more of a must win for the Vikings than for the Eagles, but the Eagles can still be included. Minnesota was one game away from going to the Super Bowl last season. The Eagles won the Super Bowl last year. It’s safe to say both teams are expected to be back fighting for a chance at the Super Bowl.
So far it hasn’t looked like that though. Minnesota’s defense hasn’t performed well at all so far, which is making things very tough on the offense. For the Eagles, they now have their starting QB, Carson Wentz, back from injury. They won the Super Bowl with their backup QB last year, so with Wentz they should win it again right?
Both teams have started off slowly and seem to have problems they didn’t have a season ago. The Vikings are facing more of a must win because they don’t want to move to 1-3-1, especially with Aaron Rodgers playing QB for the Packers and the outstanding defense of the Bears in the division. Philadelphia should be able to come back if they drop to 2-3, but they don’t want to have to play catch up in their division. That’s never easy.
Prediction: Eagles win 28-24