Carolina Panthers versus Chicago Bears – This is an interesting game. Both teams are still looking for their identity. I’m not sure what happened to the Chicago Bears. Somehow, they’ve changed from a tough running football team to a pass first football team. This is fine, except, there’s one problem. Their offensive line is a sieve. I’m not sure that the Carolina Panthers are going to be able to take advantage of this. Cam Newton has really impressed. He’s moving well in the pocket. He’s getting the ball out of his hands very quickly. He’s making good decisions with the ball without the turnovers. I’m giving a slight edge in this game to the Chicago Bears.
Buffalo Bills versus Cincinnati Bengals – Can the Buffalo Bills capitalize on their tremendous win from last week? Simply put, the Bills are playing very well on both sides of the football. Cincinnati, on the other hand, have been stuck in mediocrity for several years. I don’t see this trend changing anytime soon. I think, I hope that the Buffalo Bills put it all together and win another game. Just imagine 4-0, Buffalo Bills. It is pretty mind-boggling.
Tennessee Titans versus Cleveland Browns – Can the Cleveland Browns run the ball against the Tennessee Titans? I don’t think so. This makes the Cleveland Browns a one-dimensional offense. I don’t think that Colt McCoy is ready to carry this team on his back. Matt Hasselbeck is playing almost better than ever. He’s not showing any of the indecision that we saw over the last couple of years in Seattle. His number one receiver, Kenny Britt, is out. Can Nate Washington step up? The Tennessee Titans have a solid defense. I think that Chris Johnson is way overdue for a 100-yard game. I look for the Tennessee Titans to begin to flex some muscle and win this game.
Detroit Lions versus Dallas Cowboys – There’s no doubt about it, the Detroit Lions are playing extremely well. Last week, I bet against, my Dallas Cowboys. I just didn’t think that they would ever be able to put it together to beat the Washington Redskins. I still think that the Cowboys have some problems in the secondary. Terence Newman has been in and out of the lineup. Michael Jenkins, the other cornerback, has also been banged up. He seems to have lost the ability to press cover receivers. We also have some problems at safety. On the other side of the ball, I don’t see how Dallas is going to be able to run, pass, and block the Detroit Lions. The offensive line of the Dallas Cowboys has some issues. (The center seems to have a habit of randomly snapping the ball. This isn’t a good trait.) My mind says to choose against the Cowboys again this week. My heart says the Cowboys are beginning to heal and are playing better football. Putting those things together, I think that Detroit, if Matthew Stafford does not turn the ball over, should win this game.
Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Houston Texans – This is the best that the NFL has to offer. It should be the best game of the day if the Texans don’t roll over and play dead. The Pittsburgh Steelers are still trying to find their groove. Ben Roethlisberger is simply not seeing the field well. He’s thrown some interceptions. He’s held onto the ball and fumbled several times. He simply hasn’t looked good. The Steelers haven’t been running the ball that well either. If the Steelers want to win this game, they have to be able to pound the rock. I simply just don’t know about the Houston Texans. For the last several years, there has been a point in the season when the Houston Texans look almost invincible. Then, without explanation, they fall apart. I thought last week they needed to stand up and play an outstanding game against the New Orleans Saints, a team that really hasn’t put all their pieces together, yet, with a victory. That didn’t happen. I think that this is a must win game for the Houston Texans. If they want to be taken seriously, they need to win this game. I look for the Texans to win this, late in the game with a field goal.
New Orleans Saints versus Jacksonville Jaguars – Simply put, the New Orleans Saints need to travel to Jacksonville, break out a BIG can of woop, get back on the bus and go home. The New Orleans Saints can and should dominate this game. Look for the New Orleans defense to create several turnovers, which could turn this game into a blowout.
Minnesota Vikings versus Kansas City Chiefs – Somebody has to win (unless it is a tie and if it is a tie then both owners should fire everyone). I promise. Somebody has to win this game. I give the edge to Minnesota. By the way, what happened to Donovan McNabb? Too old? Too many hits? Too much time carrying the Eagles without help? It is very sad to see a once elite quarterback struggle to make the simplest throws.
San Francisco 49ers versus Philadelphia Eagles – If there were ever a recipe for the San Francisco 49ers to win, it is the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are having trouble stopping the run. The one thing that San Francisco should be able to do is run the football. How do the 49ers slow down the Philadelphia Eagles? I don’t think the 49ers have a good answer. Will Michael Vick get hurt, again? Will we see Vince Young? I think that Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles will figure out a way to win this game.
Washington Redskins versus St. Louis Rams – I think that the St. Louis Rams will play a more competitive game than they did last week. They need to upgrade several positions. I think the Washington Redskins are going to try to get on top early. If Rex Grossman can avoid turning the ball over, I think the Redskins can come away with a victory.
New York Giants versus Arizona Cardinals – There is no way that the New York Giants should allow Arizona Cardinals hang around. New York needs to take the opening drive and cram the ball down the Cardinal’s throat. They have to establish that they’re not going to piddle around this game. If they’re able to do this and Eli Manning is able to avoid turnovers, the New York Giants should cruise to victory. (By the way, the Giants appear to be getting healthier.)
Atlanta Falcons versus Seattle Seahawks – In spite of the fact that the Atlanta Falcons just don’t have it all together, they should cruise to victory over the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have so many problems that they need to address. Atlanta should be able to ground out a victory. This is a must win game for the Atlanta Falcons, in my opinion.
Denver Broncos versus Green Bay Packers – I really do not know the identity of the Denver Broncos. Are they a running team? Are they a passing team? Do they play suffocating defense? I don’t have answers to any of these questions. I do know what to expect from the Green Bay Packers. The Packers will spread the field and Aaron Rodgers will pick the Denver defense apart. I look for the Packers to continue their winning ways.
New England Patriots versus Oakland Raiders – This may be one of the best games on Sunday. The Patriots are kind of reeling from their loss last week. You know they want to get back on track and send a message to the league that they are still the most dominant team in the NFL. (I really think the best team in the NFL is currently the Green Bay Packers.) So, can Oakland slow down Tom Brady? I really think this is the key to the game. I do think the Oakland Raiders will be able to move the ball against the Patriots defense. I just don’t think that the Oakland Raiders will be able to hold up to a shootout with Tom Brady. If the Raiders get a few turnovers, especially turnovers early in the game, I think they can win. I don’t think that you can depend on Tom Brady to throw another four interceptions. I think a victory by the Oakland Raiders would really shake up the NFL, but I just don’t see it happening. I look for Tom Brady to figure a way to win this game.
Miami Dolphins versus San Diego Chargers – I simply don’t know what happened to the Miami Dolphins. Why haven’t they found a real quarterback? Their defense seems to be getting better, but they need better play from their quarterback. I look for the San Diego Chargers to figure out a way to win this game. I do not think it will be pretty.
New York Jets versus Baltimore Ravens – can the Baltimore Ravens run against the New York Jets? I think the answer is yes. I don’t think that the Jets are playing the same type of defense they played last year or the year before. I think that this is the key to the game. On the other side of the ball, I don’t think that the Jets will consistently be able to move the ball against the Baltimore Ravens. So, once again, things come down to Baltimore’s erratic quarterback, Joe Flacco. Can Joe Flacco protect the football? I think the answer is – maybe. I look for Joe Flacco to limit his mistakes in this game by handing the ball off a lot. I look for the Ravens to grind out a victory on the ground.
Monday Night Football?
Indianapolis Colts versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers – There was a time, back long ago, when Monday night was reserved for the best that the NFL had to offer. That was a long time ago. This game will not be anywhere close to the best that the NFL has to offer. The Indianapolis Colts are struggling to play real professional football. I look for them to get slapped all over the field by the up-and-coming Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I like the way Josh Freeman is throwing the football. I also like the way they’re running the football. If they can protect the football, this game is Tampa Bay’s to lose. I look for the Colts to go 0-4. (By the way, have I mentioned that the Colts are so awful that their owner should refund Colts season-ticket holder’s money? I’m just saying.)