Late to the game, should be benched but I’m too valuable. Plug me in, Coach! We’re in redux:
Jets at Pats
I know; how do you know I actually took the Pats? Because I did and just like most everyone else didn’t think it would be close because of how outrageously bad New York had been. Except that didn’t turn out to be true and the Pats held on for dear life as the Jets showed some spirit. But you know, I really thought the Pats were gonna roll…
Vikings at Bills
The Vikes are struggling on offense even in spite of a bevy of nice options and their defense is getting left out on the field too long because of it. Unfortunately for them, Buffalo and its badass D is playing at home and will likely win the game by controlling the clock, tempo and scoreboard.
Dolphins at Bears
The Dolphins looked pretty solid last week and it took last moment heroics from A-Rod to doom them. This week they play a similarly built team in that the Bears can light up the scoreboard… while not being able to put anyone away on the other side of the ball. At home, their defense to play better than the very average level they usually do and secure a win.
Saints at Lions
This has the makings of a burner but I think the Lions shut the Saints down altogether. Brees hasn’t looked himself through six weeks and now he has to try and get it done without Jimmy Graham. Granted Stafford has looked befuddled without Megatron to toss jump balls to and not having Reggie at 100% doesn’t help, but they have the overall #1 defense in the NFL and I think that wins, especially since they are home.
Panthers at Packers
Superman is in the building. Just when you thought he was too banged up off the kryptonite, Cam turns in a crazy comeback performance to drop near 40 points on what was supposed to be one of the league’s best defenses. With no running game, a rookie X receiver and a late-blooming TE lol The Pack are tough to beat in Lambeau and right now Eddie Lacy is desperate for a big game making Carolina’s bewilderingly porous run defense all the more of a match up issue. The Pack with balance is near the very top of the NFL in terms of offensive power.
Bengals at Colts
The Bengals are stumbling into this game whether they want to admit it or not. They are missing their top receiver, haven’t won in three weeks (granted there was a bye in there as well) and, most troubling of all, their defense is utterly broken. A bad recipe to take with you into Lucas Oil where Andrew Luck is having a Tecmo Bowl season much like his predecessor was last year (and to a lesser degree, again, this year). The Colts defense has been playin’ better as of late, too. Yuck.
Seahawks at Rams
The Seahawks in must-win territory? NAW MAN, you’re out of your mind! Or am I. They are 3-2 in a division with two other really good teams, have the second lowest production league-wide from their wideouts and just traded arguably their most talented receiver for being a bad presence. Sure, the champs are still probably going to be a winner more weeks than not but this team is staring at potentially doing the traditional next-season-stink. Not to worry much about it this week, they’ll come out with fire to shut the naysayers up and trounce the Rams. (though it may actually be much closer than that…….)
Titans at Redskins
Hard to tell what goes down here. The Titans have been awful and barely (and miraculously) avoided handing Jacksonville their first win of the year. The Redskins have not won a game with Kirk Cousins at the helm and they’ve looked awful during that stretch. The Titans have been awful against the run this year and even though they stumped the Jags last week, Alfred Morris has been pretty good. Jake Locker isn’t likely to go. Tough to roll with a team as in bad condition as the Skins but
Browns at Jags
The Jags came awfully close to their first win of the season last week. By all estimations, it’s arguable they should have had it. Oh well, things don’t get easier this week as the surprising 3-2 Browns come into town looking to add to their strong start to the season. The Browns have been suspect through the air at times this year and Blake Bortles has shown a disposition to chuck it so there could be some upset value here. But really, Hoyer y’all
Falcons at Ravens
There’s been a break in Atlanta’s trend of looking bad on the road and good at home. Maybe that means something? Probably not. They don’t look at all competitive on the road defensively, no pressure on the QB and even their offense looks sluggish. Ravens coming off a big win and going against a terrible defense. What Will Joe Do?
Chiefs at Chargers
Chargers are due. They eked by Oakland last week after their defense was shredded in the air by Carr and Holmes and will again have to hope for another big day for Philip Rivers and the receivers. He has been on a ridiculous roll and it could very well come to an end this week as a letdown from ageless Antonio Gates as the swiss army be-all safety valve for Rivers doesn’t get it done. Or naw.
Giants at Cowboys
More divisional awesomeness. The Cowboys have been pretty good, almost the best team in the league. They return home to take on a fierce divisional rival in the Giants though coming off a thorough dismantling by Philadelphia. Big Blue can respond in one of two ways, either emphatically on point or pathetically regressive. Or maybe there’s a third way, somewhere in between. That somewhere in between isn’t good enough to beat these Cowboys in Big D.
Cardinals at Raiders
There is no doubting it; Carr is the best young QB the Raiders have had since… well, Ken The Snake Stabler. I mean let’s face it, we aren’t used to having good young QBs in Oakland so this is fun. The coaching change clearly shifted this team’s energy level and focus. They looked far more comfortable last week and were playing much better against a very good Charger team. The ruthless schedule, however, continues and now come the equally good Cardinals. And again, with all the storylines involved (Palmer, Veldheer, looking for their first win, etc), the Raiders likely come out on the shot end yet again. Though this is as good a week to get your first win as any, it’ll be interesting to see how they defend against Arizona’s pass happy offense with two of the statistically worst corners in the NFL.
Cardinals (heart tells me RRRRRRAAAAAAAAIIIIDERSSSSS)
Niners at Broncos
The de facto Game of the Week in full Sunday evening prime time. It will be a very interesting test for both teams. The Niners want to see where their defense really is and test their offense in must-score-to-keep-up competitions. The Broncos want to see if they are defensively sound to deal with dynamic QBs like Kaepernick and strong running teams. Peyton likely breaks Favre’s record and pull out another close win at home against a worthy opponent.
Texans at Steelers
So the Texans are actually more legitimate than we were giving them credit for. They’ll need that and more panache from Fitzmagic to beat a frustrated Steeler team in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh’s offense has been reasonably stymied these past few weeks and will be looking to break out in a big way, especially on the ground. The Texans showed much more bend against Indy but then again, typically the Colts Offense breaks teams so that’s forgivable. Still, the real question mark continues to be the Texans’ passing game as it is increasingly clear that a better option at QB would take this team to the next level and on the road, it is hard to bet on that.