TWENTYMAN: 5 games to watch

The bye week will give Detroit Lions players and coaches an opportunity to rest, get healthy, do some self-evaluation and also watch some of the other teams around the league in action.

For Lions fans, it’s an opportunity to scout some of Detroit's upcoming opponents.

Here are five games worth tuning into this weekend:

1. GREEN BAY (3-1) AT DALLAS (3-1), 4:25 P.M.

The Lions will be in Green Bay following the bye week for Monday Night Football, so this will be some good prep work for them, watching Green Bay play against a good team in Dallas. Detroit will see Dallas at Ford Field Week 10.

Green Bay got a few extra days to prepare for this matchup having played on Thursday night prior to last weekend’s games in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

One matchup to watch in this one is quarterback Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense coming off a loss in New Orleans last week where they generated just 257 total yards of offense vs. Green Bay’s third-ranked pass defense and No. 10 overall defense.

2. MINNESOTA (2-2) AT NEW YORK GIANTS (2-2), 1 P.M.

Detroit hosts the Vikings Oct. 20 at Ford Field following the Monday night game in Green Bay. Interestingly, Detroit hosts New York the week after on Oct. 27, so watching this game is scouting two of the Lions’ next three opponents.

Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has given New York a real jolt since replacing veteran Eli Manning as the starter. He’s 2-0 since taking over the job.

While there’s excitement in New York surrounding the quarterback position, there’s a little angst in Minnesota surrounding their quarterback, Kirk Cousins, who needs to play better. Cousins’ 88.6 passer rating ranks 23rd in the NFL.

3. CHICAGO (3-1) AT OAKLAND (2-2), 1 P.M.

The Bears and Raiders head over the pond to play this one in London. The Bears lost starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to a shoulder injury in the win over the Vikings last week. Chase Daniels is expected to make the start for them.

Oakland was a 31-24 winner over Indianapolis on the road last week. They rushed for 188 yards in that contest. I expect things to be much tougher for the Raiders' offense this week, facing a Bears' defense that ranks No. 2 in points allowed (11.2), No. 3 against the run (61.5) and No. 5 overall (290.8).

4. CLEVELAND (2-2) AT SAN FRANCISCO (3-0), 8:15 P.M MONDAY

There aren’t many implications for the Lions in this one, other than the 49ers are an NFC team, and this could factor into playoff scenarios much later on. This is a matchup of two teams who’ve been in the bottom of the league standings for a number of years, and now have some excitement building around them.

The Browns have a ton of star players who are fun to watch. The 49ers are one of the most balanced teams in the league through the first month, ranking fourth in total offense (421.0) and third in scoring (32.0), while ranking third in total defense (283.3) and eighth in points allowed (18.0).

View photos of the Detroit Lions' touchdowns from the first four weeks of the 2019 NFL season.

5. NEW ENGLAND (4-0) AT WASHINGTON (4-0), 1 P.M.

The interest for me in this one is watching a team in Washington that has its back against a wall at 0-4 with their head coach on the hot seat and the fans calling for their rookie quarterback to start, hosting the one of the best teams in the NFL in the Patriots.

Can Washington save their season? Can Jay Gruden save his job? Will Bill Belichick and Co. lay the hammer down as another big betting favorite?

The Lions travel to Washington to take on the Redskins Sunday, Nov. 17 right before their annual Thanksgiving Day Game.

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