Jake Locker gets his first start since the Titans’ Week 4 blowout of the Jets, giving Tennessee a much better shot at pulling an upset over the 49ers. The Titans lost two straight with Ryan Fitzgerald in relief, which is to be expected. Despite falling short last week in Seattle, the defense played gamely as it has all year. A win by the Niners moves them back within a game of the Seahawks.
It’s up to undrafted Case Keenum, making his first NFL start, to extend the Texans pick-six streak to six games. The awfully measty Chiefs defense seems a likely candidate to make that happen. The college football crowd appears very excited for him to do well. Considering that one of the knocks on him by scouts coming out of school was that he was undersized, we could have a reprisal of the Russell Wilson narrative if he does succeed.
Browns-Packers might have been an interesting game if Brian Hoyer’s season weren’t kaput. And Ravens-Steelers might be captivating if this were three years ago.
Your late game slate, as rated by KSK’s not-at-all subjective, rigorously scientificated five-star system:
San Francisco at Tennessee ***
Cleveland at Green Bay **
Houston at Kansas City **
Baltimore at Pittsburgh **