Why this game is intriguing: What an individual matchup this game presents: A top candidate for Defensive Player of the Year trying to hunt down one of the leading contenders for Most Valuable Player. How often do you get to see two of the NFL's finest go head-to-head, with each going out of his way to game plan for the other. That's what it'll be when Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt lines up across from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. There are mind games to be played, just like when Brady squares off against elite secondary talents like Ed Reed or Darrelle Revis. Will he throw away from Watt's ever-swatting hands? Or try to go through them? In a broader sense, it's worth asking if the Patriots' suddenly balanced offense is the perfect machinery to toss at a Texans defense that has shown signs of faltering. On the other side, have the Patriots seen an offense as balanced as Houston's unit, starring RB Arian Foster and WR Andre Johnson? A showdown of epic proportion, perfect for the spotlight game on Monday night. Week 14 certainly saves the best for last.
2021 NFL season: Projecting the most improved player on each NFC team
Will the Cardinals fully exploit Isaiah Simmons' rare versatility in Year 2? Is Washington RB Antonio Gibson about to emerge as one of the NFL's best playmakers? Cynthia Frelund uses analytics to project the player who'll improve the most on each NFC team in 2021.