Identifying the best, most important games of NFL Week 14 – ESPN

Jared Goff and the Rams have a critical matchup with the Eagles on tap for Sunday. 

9:10 AM ET

Hank Gargiulo

Close ESPN Analytics Data management analyst at ESPN Graduate of Sacred Heart University

Seth Walder

What are the five must-watch NFL games this week? ESPN’s matchup quality metric, which utilizes ESPN’s Football Power Index to rank games on a 0-100 scale based on the quality of teams and projected closeness of the final score, tells us the top games of Week 14.

1. Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)

Matchup quality: 89 out of 100
FPI win projection: Eagles, 52 percent
FPI playoff leverage: Rams 7 percent, Eagles <1 percent

Get ready for some Goffentz! (Sorry, had to.)

This is only the eighth time in the common draft era (since 1967) that the quarterbacks drafted first and second overall in the same year are squaring off. These two quarterbacks both struggled as rookies but have dramatically upped their games in their second seasons. One thing that has worked for both of them is they’ve aired it out a little bit more this season. For example, Goff threw 13.7 percent of his pass attempts 15 or more yards downfield in 2016, but that number is up to 22.7 percent this year. And, in addition to throwing more of them, he has actually been more efficient on those types of passes. For Wentz, it’s the same story: more passes downfield, and better results even with the increased volume.

2. New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET, NBC)

Matchup quality: 86 out of 100
FPI win projection: Falcons, 51 percent
FPI playoff leverage: Falcons 33 percent, Saints 4 percent

How elusive is Alvin Kamara?

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