There may be no Seahawks this Sunday but there’s still plenty to watch around the NFL.

Here are three games that stand out:


While the 49ers and Seahawks wait to battle Monday night — with one assured to lose (barring, horrors, the second tie in Seahawks franchise history) — the 5-3 Rams will play at the Steelers hoping for a combination of events that could get the two-time defending NFC West champs right back in the division race. The Rams won their last two games before their bye against Atlanta and the Bengals by a combined 61-20 and after this weekend return home for games against the Ravens (admittedly a tough game, but in Los Angeles) and Bears. In other words, don’t forget about the Rams just yet.


It’s no longer too early to start looking at games in terms of how they could impact the Seahawks’ playoff hopes and one that features two teams who could be in Seattle’s way will be played in Green Bay where the Packers will host the Carolina Panthers. The 5-3 Panthers have been something of a surprise in going 5-1 since the loss of quarterback Cam Newton to injury. But Newton is now done for the year, meaning the Panthers will have to ride-or-die with second-year player Kyle Allen. The 7-2 Packers will look to bounce back from a surprising loss to the Chargers. A Packers loss and a Vikings win and there’ll be a tie at the top of the NFC North.


Well, this is one weekend when one of the New York teams has to win — unless this game ended in a tie, which might be fitting given the current states of these two squads. Officially, it’s a road game for the 2-7 Giants against the 1-7 Jets at MetLife. But the boobirds may be out for both teams, each in the midst of rebuilding seasons in which they hoped to at least see signs of life out of their young quarterbacks — Daniel Jones for the Giants and Sam Darnold for the Jets. But each seems to be getting worse the more they play and should make fans of every team that has a good quarterback that much more thankful, the Giants and Jets illustrating again how hard it really is to find and groom one.