The halfway mark of the NFL season is fast approaching but there’s still plenty of football left to play. However, playoff pictures are already starting to take shape. There are a few games you should look out for this weekend where the outcomes have legitimate implications for the rest of the way. Without further ado, here are some key match ups that could affect the rest of the NFL season.
No. 4: Detroit Lions @ Houston Texans
Detroit is currently in a three-team race for the NFC North. They are competing for the top spot against the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. The Lions are fairly inconsistent, losing to teams they were projected to beat like Tennessee and Chicago. But they are on a three-game win streak, mounting impressive victories over teams like the Redskins, Rams and Philadelphia. The Lions look to continue this trend by taking advantage of a Houston team that only put up nine points against Denver on Monday night.
Meanwhile, the Texans will try to extend their lead in the AFC South. A loss here would make the Texans record 4-4, tying the Titans who look like a legitimately decent football team this year. The Titans could easily take the lead in the division if Houston can’t handle the unpredictable Lions at home.
Houston currently ranks second in passing defense. If the Texans can stop the Detroit passing attack, then the Lions shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Due to Detroit’s running game being basically nonexistent, if Matthew Stafford gets shut down then the Lions have no way to put points up.