There are a few intriguing NFL matchups in Week 10 of the season this weekend.
The league returns to Germany for a matchup between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. And the week ends with the Buffalo Bills hosting the Denver Broncos.
On Thursday night, the Carolina Panthers defeated the Chicago Bears to get things started.
The Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles all have a bye.
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Here are some important notes about Week 10.
Bill Belichick’s must-win game
For 23 years, the thought of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick being on the hot seat was laughable. How could a coach who has won six Super Bowls be fired — even if his team is one of the worst in the league this season?
The Boston Globe reported this month that Belichick may not finish out the season. His fate reportedly depended on whether the team lost to the Washington Commanders at home and then the Indianapolis Colts in Germany ahead of the bye week. The Pats already lost to the Commanders, suggesting Belichick may be coaching for his job.
Belichick said Monday his focus was on the Colts. But there’s a different vibe about the Patriots over the last couple of years. The debate over who orchestrated the Patriots’ dynasty — Belichick or Tom Brady — may actually get answered.
The Patriots are 3-0 in regular-season international games and could be the first team to win four international games with a victory.
Luckily, for NFL fans, they won’t have to wait too long for the result. The Patriots and the Colts play at 9:30 a.m. ET.
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AFC North battle
For now, the Baltimore Ravens have a stranglehold on the AFC North. But it’s far from a cakewalk for any team in that division. The Ravens have a 7-2 record entering their matchup Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, but the Browns and the two other teams in the division are all 5-3.
The Ravens have been playing well, especially when they’re at full strength. The team has the widest point differential in the league at plus-115 behind a high-flying offense led by Lamar Jackson.
But they are going up against one of the best defenses in the NFL in the Browns. Cleveland enters the game first in yards allowed and third in points allowed. Myles Garrett is again the main cog of the defensive line. He has 9½ sacks and 25 tackles through eight games.
Future of the NFL on display
Last week, Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud gave NFL fans a look at what the future looks like. He set a record with 470 passing yards in a single game and had five touchdown passes. He became the sixth player in NFL history to throw for at least 450 yards, five touchdown passes and no interceptions in a game.
And he’s making the Texans look brilliant for selecting him after media reports suggested he had character issues. That hardly seems to be the case for the Ohio State standout.
Stroud’s abilities will be put to the test Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Joe Burrow looks back to form as the Bengals ride a four-game winning streak. Cincinnati registered a methodical win over the Buffalo Bills last week. Since Week 5, Burrow has led the NFL with a 111.2 passer rating. Stroud has the second-highest passer rating at 105.5.
Burrow has already showcased his talent, vying for an NFL MVP and leading the Bengals to a Super Bowl appearance. He seems to have Cincinnati primed and ready.
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Christian McCaffrey’s streak on the line
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey has been a dominant force for his offense, and he could make history and break Lenny Moore’s record for consecutive games with a touchdown in a game — regular season and postseason combined.
He could become the third player in NFL history to score a touchdown in at least 15 consecutive regular-season games, joining Moore and LaDainian Tomlinson, both of whom did it in 18.
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The 49ers need a win. The team has lost three straight since injuries started to hamper it. But its schedule isn’t getting any easier with a matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday.