The undefeated Kansas City Chiefs versus Indianapolis Colts – “… And this is why they play the game.” The Kansas City Chiefs have proven that they can run the ball fairly well through the first four weeks of the season. The Indianapolis Colts have proven that they really cannot stop the run through the first four weeks of the season. In theory, this should be a cakewalk for the Kansas City Chiefs. Jamaal Charles is averaging 7 yards per carry. The Chiefs almost have as many yards rushing as they do passing. Matt Cassel is completing 54% of his passes and has a passer rating of 75 which ranks him 21st in the league. Peyton Manning is completing almost 70% of his passes and has a passer rating of 112 which ranks him first in the league. I don’t see how the Kansas City Chiefs are going to stop the passing attack of the Colts. The Chiefs ranked 25th in the league in pass defense. They are giving up an average of 238 yards per game through the air. They have generated eight sacks so far and two interceptions but the Colts do an excellent job protecting Peyton. I just don’t see how Peyton Manning doesn’t pick them apart. Look for the Chiefs to try to control the game on the ground. The Chiefs must force turnovers in order to stay in this game. In the end, I just don’t think that the offense of the Indianapolis Colts is going to be stopped by the defense of the Chiefs. I’m going with the Colts.
Jacksonville Jaguars versus Buffalo Bills – David Garrard finally had a good game. He showed up and played against the Indianapolis Colts last week. He’s got have to show up again. The Buffalo Bills just aren’t doing much right these days. They have problems on both sides of the ball. If Jacksonville can limit turnovers they should be able to out muscle the Buffalo Bills. Look for MJD to have a great game.
Denver Broncos versus Baltimore Ravens – this is a classic matchup. The prolific offense versus the stingy defense. Almost always, the stingy defense wins. The Denver Broncos has the number one passing offense in the league. Kyle Orton has been sacked 11 times and has thrown three interceptions. Everybody knows the Ravens defense is stout. They are limiting opponents to 13.8 points per game. They’re only allowing 119 yards per game in the air. If Joe Flacco can prevent turnovers, I just don’t see how the Denver Broncos are going to be able to score. I look for the Ravens play an excellent game and try to prove to the league that they are still one of the elite teams.
Green Bay Packers versus Washington Redskins – Aaron Rodgers is really playing well. I have no idea how the Green Bay Packers loss to the Chicago Bears. I still scratch my head over that game. The Packers need to find a running game. Well, I guess, the same could be true for the Redskins. Clinton Portis has been hobbled by injury. He was starting to run well before he got hurt. From my standpoint, the Redskins suffer from a lack of receiver production. Santana Moss was been playing extremely well but was held to NO catches last week. Donovan McNabb must find other targets but I’m not sure they’re available. McNabb has started off extremely fast in the last several weeks. Scoring early in games but then something happens in the second half. McNabb has had difficulty moving the ball and hitting receivers in the second half. In spite of the fact that they’re playing in DC, I’m given edge in this game to the Green Bay Packers. If they are planning on going to the Super Bowl, they have to get back on track.
St. Louis Rams versus Detroit Lions – I know that many people are jumping on the Sam Bradford bandwagon. I agree that he is playing pretty well for rookie but I’m not ready to jump on anybody’s bandwagon just yet. Sam Bradford has a quarterback rating of just 72. This ranks him 23rd in the league. He is behind Seneca Wallace and Josh Freeman. He has five touchdowns and six interceptions. Nope, I’m not ready for the bandwagon yet. Detroit Lions on the other hand are playing pretty well on defense. Their the seventh-ranked defense in the league. The Rams defense, of late, is playing better. They may be the difference. I’m the lean towards the Rams in this game.
Chicago Bears versus Carolina Panthers – I know that this is being billed as some Julius Peppers bowl but I think is a very important game for the Chicago Bears. Anytime you give up 10 sacks in a half, you have to be embarrassed. The Chicago Bears were thinking of themselves as one of the best teams in the league. Yet we have seen the problem with pass protection before. It is a combination of poor blocking and Jay Cutler’s tendency the whole the ball too long. The Cowboys had three or four sacks against the Chicago Bears in their first two series. So, can Carolinas defense take advantage of a relatively porous offensive line? Both the Bears and the Panthers are average on defense. I look for the Bears to continue to improve throughout the year but I’m not so sure about the Panthers. The Panthers offense is anemic at best. They turn the ball over way too much. They are averaging an anemic 11.5 points per game. I look for the Bears to win this one if they can figure out a way to keep their quarterback upright. By the way, Jay Cutler is out. Todd Collins is going to have to step up.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus Cincinnati Bengals – Why? Neither one of these teams have shown the ability to do much of anything. Can the Cincinnati Bengals offense finally get on track? Can Carson Palmer finally look like a Pro bowl quarterback, again? Whatever happened to the great ground game that the Bengals resurrected last year? The Bengals are averaging 3.3 yards per rush. They also have four fumbles on the year. They are playing at home so I’m going to give them the edge. This game can go either way. Turnovers will decide.
Atlanta Falcons versus Cleveland Browns – it is games like these that make it hard or impossible to predict a whole weekend in the NFL. The Atlanta Falcons are rushing the balll pretty well. They’re ranked fourth in the league. The Cleveland Browns, on the other hand, their defense are ranked 17th. They’re giving up over 100 yards per game on the ground. I think that Matt Ryan is going to throw to open up running lanes. I think that Matt Ryan is playing better than he did last year. He’s playing as we expected him to. I look for the Atlanta Falcons to win this one easily.
New Orleans Saints versus Arizona Cardinals – I feel sorry for Larry Fitzgerald. He is an All-Star receiver and has nobody who is capable of getting him the ball. He might as well be at home in his Barcalounger. The Arizona Cardinals are an excellent example of poor planning, in my opinion. It was clear, 2 years ago, that somebody needed to step up to take the place of Kurt Warner. He wasn’t going to play forever. Millions of dollars on Matt Leiner have been flushed down the drain. Then bring in Derek Anderson and he plays poorly also. So, I have a suggestion. Start trying out high school quarterbacks, you don’t have to worry about their college eligibility – I’m joking. The New Orleans Saints figure out a way to win. There’s over Cardinals have to figure out how to get somebody to play quarterback for their team.
Tennessee Titans versus Dallas Cowboys – the Dallas Cowboys have to figure out a way to stop shooting themselves in the foot. Even their win against the Houston Texans, there were plenty of penalties, dropped passes and other miscues. One of the Cowboys best scoring drives start off at their own 20. On first down they throw a screen pass to Felix Jones in which he gains 35 yards. One of the best plays of the season, only to be called back because of holding. The the Cowboys are going anywhere unless they fix these problems. Tony Romo was more accurate two weeks ago than he’s been all year. This has to continue. The Cowboys also ran the ball better. The Dallas Cowboys have to figure out some way to corral one of the best rushers in the league, Chris Johnson. Vince Young has a quarterback rating of 94.3 which ranks him 11th in the league and Tony Romo’s ranked 12th, surprised? I think the Dallas Cowboys need to get on top of that Tennessee Titans early. This will take Chris Johnson out of the game. This will also force Vince Young to throw the ball. I think this plays into the strength of the Dallas Cowboys defense – DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. I give the edge the Cowboys but only a slight edge.
San Diego Chargers versus Oakland Raiders – San Diego Chargers seem to be in the same predicament that the Green Bay Packers, the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints are in. They simply haven’t lived up to their hype. San Diego has not run the ball particularly well. This is placed a lot of pressure on Philip Rivers, the fifth-ranked passer in the league. The San Diego defense is played well. As long as San Diego’s able to avoid stupid turnovers they should cruise to victory. BTW, where is the rushing attack from the Chargers?
Philadelphia Eagles versus San Francisco 49ers – If there is a team that I feel sorry for in the NFL, it is the San Francisco 49ers. They look like they were very close to doing something special this year. That was four weeks ago, since then, they’ve done nothing besides lay eggs. They desperately need a quarterback. I’m not sure that Alex Smith is the man. I know that the San Francisco 49ers have to figure this out or Mike Singletary will not have a job at the end of this year. The Philadelphia Eagles are traveling to San Francisco with Kevin Kolb as their quarterback. He may be the replacement for Donovan McNabb in the future but he hasn’t been showing much recently. The Eagles desperately need to get Michael Vick back from his injury. Until then, the Eagles are in limbo. This is my upset of the week, I’m picking the San Francisco 49ers to figure out a way to win at home versus the Eagles. (If the San Francisco 49ers are able to force turnovers they should be able to win.)
Monday Night Football
Minnesota Vikings versus New York Jets – a couple years ago the New York Jets were an excellent team to polish your skills. You were able to run the ball pretty effectively and throw the ball pretty effectively against the Jets. That was then. If you don’t have your A game intact, the New York Jets are going to clean your clock. The Minnesota Vikings have had two weeks to fix what was wrong with their passing game. In my opinion, the problem was Brett Favre. He simply wasn’t hitting receivers. Hopefully he and his sore elbow are ready to play on Monday night. It looks like Mark Sanchez and the Jets will be ready. Santonio Holmes is back from suspension. Mark Sanchez is playing some very good football right now. As long as the Jets are able to play turnover free football, I think they should be able to beat the Vikings, at home, on Monday Night Football.