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Start times for NFL games continue to work around any and all issues with COVID-19. It’s an ongoing process that requires flexibility, both from a time and roster management standpoint, from teams.
One of the latest examples of that will come with the upcoming matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens, which was moved to Tuesday after the Ravens were forced to play the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Wednesday.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of quality options to choose from with the games happening on Sunday and Monday, however. In fact, there are at least four matchups that should have your attention in Week 13, and we’ve got them listed below.
Related: OutKick Six Pack Of NFL Picks For Week 13
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET (Noon CT)
Betting Line: Saints -3
Breakdown: There is something always appealing about the New Orleans Saints playing the Atlanta Falcons. Yes, this game misses something without Drew Brees, but Taysom Hill continues to be worth watching — whether you’re expecting growth or a train wreck.
Julio Jones could actually be trending towards suiting up after missing Week 12 with a hamstring injury, so getting one of the league’s top wide receivers back will certainly add to the intrigue of this game.
And don’t look now, but the Falcons have won four of their last six games after starting the season 0-5. Maybe Dan Quinn really was the problem, but either way, Atlanta is starting to figure it out. Unfortunately for them, one of those two losses came against the Saints two weeks ago by a margin of 15 points (24-9).
For a noon Sunday kickoff, you can do way worse than this matchup.
Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET (Noon CT)
Betting Line: Titans -5
Breakdown: It’s a battle of two 8-3 teams with a noon kickoff. The Titans are one of the more interesting teams in the NFL this season. A 5-0 start to the season was followed by losing three of the next four games.
Now, the Titans are on a two-game win streak with victories over the Baltimore Ravens on the road and fellow AFC South contender, the Indianapolis Colts. Last Sunday’s 45-26 beatdown of Philip Rivers and the Colts points to yet another turnaround.
The Browns getting Myles Garrett back from injury will make things interesting, however. Taylor Lewan is out for the season and first-round pick Isaiah Wilson is suspended this game for a violation of team rules. David Quessenberry was serviceable in his first start, but this week could look different.
Both of these teams feature dominant run games led by former SEC running backs (Alabama’s Derrick Henry and Georgia’s Nick Chubb), but the Browns are going to need Baker Mayfield to be more than the game-manager he’s been in order to exploit this vulnerable Titans pass defense ranked No. 28 in pass defense.
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Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Time: 4:05 p.m. ET (3:05 p.m. CT)
Betting Line: Rams -3
Breakdown: The Rams and Cardinals are two teams still battling it out for the NFC West. Yes, the Seattle Seahawks currently lead the division with an 8-3 record, but Los Angeles (7-4) and Arizona (6-5) are right behind them in a battle for a NFC wild-card spot.
The quarterbacks for both teams are former No. 1 overall picks in Jared Goff and Kyler Murray, but Murray offers a lot more in terms of excitement and limiting turnovers. He will, however, have to avoid the league’s best defensive player in Aaron Donald.
Last week, each of these teams lost on a last-second field goal. That means both will be looking for a bounce-back performance as we approach the stretch run. But the offenses need to show signs of life, especially the Cardinals.
How much will the absence of Larry Fitzgerald (COVID-19) impact this game? From a leadership standpoint, probably a lot. On the field? With the addition of DeAndre Hopkins in the offseason and presence of Christian Kirk, not nearly as much.
Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET (7:15 p.m. CT) on Tuesday, Dec. 7
Betting Line: 49ers -1.5
Breakdown: This could actually end up being a good game to watch, but it is appealing for more than what happens on the field. This game is being played in Arizona, and the reason comes back to the 49ers being unable to play at home due to the decision by Santa Clara County to ban contact sports.
Whether it be player interviews, commentating or whatever else, hearing and seeing how people around the organizations and NFL react to this could be interesting.
On the field, it’s a matter keeping things going for the 8-3 Bills. The Josh Allen-Stefon Diggs connection has been strong this season, and that will allow Buffalo to bring a top 10 scoring offense to Arizona that is also ranked No. 7 in passing offense (268.1 ypg).
On the other hand, the 49ers rank No. 6 in total defense (315.2 ypg) and No. 4 in pass defense (206.5).
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.