The interim head coach timeslot! How much and how quickly can Jack Del Rio derail the Broncos’ success? Probably less than you would assume. For one, he’s still got Peyton Manning to run the offense. And when it’s John Fox being replaced, it’s not an extremely high bar to clear as far as competence goes.
It’s Wade Phillips taking the reins for the Texans for the first full game. Houston imploded after Gary Kubiak went down at halftime on Sunday night. Whether that was Indy’s adjustments or Wade being unable to supply decent playcalling on offense is a matter of conjecture. Either way, here’s a prime opportunity for Case Keenum to play well and actually win. The undrafted rookie has played just well enough to narrowly lose in his first two starts.
Finally, the only game of the slot that doesn’t feature an interim coach is the most intriguing of the lot. The Panthers have rolled off four straight wins, albeit over the likes of the Vikings, Rams, Buccaneers and Falcons. Not only would a win convince a wider audience that Carolina is a team to be reckoned with, but might tie them for first place if Dallas can pull the upset on Sunday Night Football.
Your late game slate, as rated by KSK’s not-at-all subjective, rigorously scientificated five-star system:
Carolina at San Francisco ****
Houston at Arizona **
Denver at San Diego ***