Monday NFL preview: Optimism for Seahawks, Saints, Dolphins

Big performances by Wilson and Hilton earn them game balls (1:38)

Saints reporter Mike Triplett talks about Kyle Wilson coming up with an interception and fumble recovery, while Colts reporter Mike Wells talks about T.Y. Hilton's 150-yard receiving game. (1:38)

NFL Nation reporters look ahead to what Monday has in store for each team.


Buffalo Bills: The Bills will have a long flight back to Buffalo after dropping to 3-4 with a 34-31 loss to the Jaguars in London. Rex Ryan said after the game that he can't remember coaching a team that needs its bye week more than the Bills right now, and it makes sense; the Bills were without six starters because of injury or other reasons Sunday. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor should return when the Bills next play, hosting the Dolphins on Nov. 8. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins must turn the page quickly after their big win over the Texans that got them back to .500. Defensive end Cameron Wake said he will pat himself on the back Sunday night, but Thursday's game against the Patriots is the immediate focus Monday morning. -- James Walker

New England Patriots: It's a quick turnaround for the Patriots, who host the Dolphins on Thursday in a second straight AFC East game. The biggest area to clean up from Sunday's win over the Jets is dropped passes, as they had six, according to ESPN's Stats & Information research. That ties for their most in a game in 10 seasons, as Brandon LaFell -- who gave himself an "F" grade -- led the way with three. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets: The focus Monday will be on injuries. The Jets have several, including center Nick Mangold (neck), safety Calvin Pryor and defensive end Sheldon Richardson (arm). They're important players, especially Mangold, who is considered a second quarterback on offense because of his ability to adjust the blocking schemes. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens: Running back Justin Forsett, who faces the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night, came up big in his previous Monday Night Football start. Last year, he ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns against the Saints. This season, he has recorded at least 100 yards from scrimmage in three straight games and ranks sixth in the league with 586. Forsett looks to continue that streak against the Cardinals, who allow 4.1 yards per carry, which ranks 21st in the NFL. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals: It's time for the Bengals to get back into the routine that earned them a 6-0 record to start the season. Following a one-practice bye week, the Bengals will be back at work with a rare Monday practice. Typically they use Mondays for film review following Sunday games. This Monday, they will be trying to get back up to speed ahead of Sunday's game at Pittsburgh. If they beat the Steelers, the Bengals would boast a 7-0 record for the first time in franchise history. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns: The Browns staggered back to Cleveland after a tough loss to the Rams, their quarterback leaving with an injured right shoulder. That means Johnny Manziel may return to the starting lineup for the next game against Arizona. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers: Despite a sluggish loss to Kansas City, the Steelers open the week with renewed optimism. Their top three playmakers on offense -- Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant -- are coming off strong performances, setting the stage for Ben Roethlisberger's likely return against Cincinnati on Sunday. The defense will be eager to practice again after missing several tackles and giving up 138 rushing yards to the Chiefs. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans: Asked where his team goes from here -- after a blowout loss to Miami -- Texans coach Bill O'Brien noted they are 1-1 in the division. Not only is that true, but the Texans are still only one game behind division leader Indianapolis. The AFC South is weak enough that the Texans can still recover if they improve. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts: There's a good possibility that the Colts will bring receiver Duron Carter off the practice squad since Adam Schefter reported Sunday that rookie receiver Phillip Dorsett will be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured left ankle, suffered in Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars: Somewhat overshadowed by the Jaguars' big collapse and the come-from-behind victory is the gutsy performance of rookie running back T.J. Yeldon. Not only was he coming back from a groin injury, but he was battling the flu and needed IV fluids on Saturday and Sunday. It's a good sign for Jacksonville going forward. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans: The Titans' secondary is an injury mess. Cornerback Perrish Cox and free safety Michael Griffin were scratches, and Jason McCourty was knocked out with a hamstring injury. That's three of the four starters. One bright spot was a pass breakup on Julio Jones by undrafted rookie Cody Riggs. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos: Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said before the Broncos adjourned for the bye that running back Ronnie Hillman, with two 100-yard rushing efforts in the past three games, "deserved'' to get the ball more. So when the Broncos return to work Monday to start their preparations for Sunday night's game against the Packers, Hillman is expected to work through the week as the No. 1 option. He may not "start'' games, but right now he is clearly the best fit in the team's run game. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: Knile Davis appears to have slipped from backup to third string at running back behind Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware. Davis had one carry against the Steelers, far less than West and one fewer than Ware. Davis hasn't improved like the Chiefs had hoped since arriving as a third-round draft pick in 2013. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: Oakland receiver Amari Cooper has 519 receiving yards this season. He joins Randy Moss and Anquan Boldin as the only rookie receivers to have 500 yards receiving through their first six games. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Cooper is the first rookie with three 100-yard receiving games in his team's first six games since Mike Ditka in 1961. -- Bill Williamson

San Diego Chargers: Losers of three straight and eight of their past 11 dating back to last season, Chargers coach Mike McCoy said that talent is not an issue for his 2-5 team. "We've got plenty of players to win," an animated McCoy said after an embarrassing loss at home to Oakland. "We're not making excuses here. We've got a talented football team. We've got to play better football." -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys: While Jason Garrett does not want to describe his team as "desperate" after their fourth straight loss, the Cowboys must win one of their next two games just to make sure they have a chance when Tony Romo returns Nov. 22. If they don't, then the Cowboys almost assuredly would have to win their final seven games, which would mean a win at Green Bay in December. Even at 3-6, mathematically the Cowboys would be alive, so at worst they need to split their next two home games against Seattle and Philadelphia. If they don't, then it simply becomes an equation Romo's heroics wouldn't even be able to fix. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants: The Giants are over .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2012, and they now get ready for a couple of out-of-division road games. They play the Saints in New Orleans on Sunday and then the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay the following Sunday before returning home to take on the Super Bowl-champion Patriots before the bye week. A slate of unfamiliar opponents; among them, only the Pats have a winning record. If the Giants can make hay outside the division in the coming weeks, they could position themselves to win it in December. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles begin their bye week with a 3-4 record and concerns about left tackle Jason Peters. Peters had to leave Sunday night's 27-16 loss to Carolina with back spasms. He did not return. The Eagles have two weeks before playing the Cowboys in Dallas. That gives them some extra time for Peters to heal or to figure out an alternative. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins: The Redskins' bye week begins Monday -- they'll be in Tuesday before taking the rest of the week off. One big topic before they break: linebacker Ryan Kerrigan's health. He'll visit a hand specialist Monday after breaking a bone in his right hand. But the feeling after the game is that, because of the bye, he might not miss any time. He once played with a fractured left hand at Purdue. Kerrigan has never missed a game since being drafted by the Redskins in 2011. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears: The Bears return to work after their bye weekend with a major question mark on the defensive line. With veteran Jeremiah Ratliff no longer on the roster, the Bears need to juggle around their defensive line to compensate for the loss of Ratliff and Ego Ferguson, who the club recently placed on injured reserve. Coach John Fox may address the Ratliff fiasco after Monday's early practice, but the Bears' locker room will not be open to the media until Wednesday. There will be brief player availability off the field on Monday. Ratliff was fairly well-liked, so it will be interesting to see how Bears' players react to the bizarre events surrounding Ratliff's departure. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions: The Lions, now sitting at 1-6, head to London with no momentum as a franchise and questions almost everywhere following another drop-from-ahead loss to Minnesota. Matthew Stafford was pummeled again -- hit 13 times -- and all of the offensive questions that seemed to disappear a week ago with a win over Chicago will be back again this week overseas. The Lions are a team with little going right as of now. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers: After a week off, the Packers are back to work and back on the practice field. They have a short practice scheduled for Monday. It's a bonus practice for coach Mike McCarthy, whose team ordinarily wouldn't be on the field on a Monday. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are 4-2 heading into next Sunday's game against the Bears, and while they haven't won at Soldier Field since 2007, they'll likely hear less about their struggles in NFC North road games after a win over the Lions. The team was 1-13-1 in NFC North road games since 2009, and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater gave coach Mike Zimmer the game ball after the victory, which was just his third road win in 11 games. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons have a couple of key injuries to be aware of from Sunday with starting strong safety William Moore not finishing the game due to a groin strain and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson being sidelined by a hamstring injury. Coach Dan Quinn will provide more of an update during his Monday press conference. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers will have the next couple of days off. When they return to start preparing for a Monday night game against Indianapolis, defensive end Mario Addison probably won't be a part of the game plan. Coach Ron Rivera said Addison suffered a sprained shoulder against the Eagles that will make him doubtful for the game vs. the Colts. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints: Strength of schedule doesn't seem to matter much to a Saints team that lost to Tampa Bay at home in Week 2, then handed Atlanta its first loss of the season in Week 6. But if the Saints are indeed starting to get hot right now, their schedule gives them a chance to rack up a lot of wins from here on out. They face six teams with losing records in their final nine games (including Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Detroit and Tampa). But first they face a key home date with the 4-3 Giants next Sunday. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans had a huge day in Sunday's loss, but things turned dicey for the rest of the Buccaneers' top receiving targets as Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy were lost to unspecified knee injuries. Jackson said he expects to be fine, but Murphy had to be helped off the field after clutching his right knee following a first-half reception. -- Jim Corbett


Arizona Cardinals: After putting the Cardinals through two padded practices last week, coach Bruce Arians was anxious to give his players some rest leading up to Monday night's game against Baltimore. -- Josh Weinfuss

St. Louis Rams: While the Rams are obviously happy with the emergence of running back Todd Gurley, coach Jeff Fisher is rightfully concerned about getting more production from offensive players other than Gurley and Tavon Austin. One focus this week should and will be on looking at ways to get others going so defenses can't simply key on Gurley. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers: The Niners had three days off to lick their wounds, physical and psychological, following Thursday night's 20-3 loss to the Seahawks. Up next? Scheming for the Rams' ferocious defensive line. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks are in the middle of a stretch in which they'll play just one game in 23 days. They return to practice Monday to begin preparing for the Cowboys. A week ago, the season seemed close to unraveling. But now they could enter the bye with a 4-4 record. -- Sheil Kapadia