Believe it or not one of these teams will be 3-2 on Friday Morning. The Bills have done their damage at home, but in their one road game they played horrible football and lost to the Jets. The Browns have even played well in their two losses and even before the deal of Trent Richardson and benching of Brandon Weeden showed signs of life, as their defense has been solid, while Tight End Jordan Cameron is having a breakout season. I can see the Browns defense causing problems for E.J. Manuel and getting the win.
Sean Payton is back and the Saints are looking sharper than ever by racing out to a 4-0 start. The Saints defense looks rejuvenated thanks to Rob Ryan and they are even missing a few key players, while Drew Brees has been the second best quarterback in the NFL. The Bears were 3-0 before last week but coming home should help as the Saints in their Week 2 win over the Buccaneers were not sharp outside the Superdome and can be slowed down on the natural playing surface. Look for the Bears to win a close one.
The Bengals are 2-2 and they could easily be 1-3, as they have not exactly played to their full potential. The game against the Packers two weeks ago best demonstrates the Bengals season so far as they had an early lead, fell behind and charged back to win. They can’t afford to do that against the Patriots, but at home they should get some their offense on track, while the pass rush led by Geno Atkins will get Tom Brady to get out of his comfort zone and help the Bengals get the upset win at home.
The last time the Lions won a game in Green Bay, Michael Jackson’s Black or White was the number one song, Barry Sanders was the number one running back and Brett Favre was a Falcon. Sure the Lions beat their nearly 80-year old Washington jinx, but the Packers are a far better team than the Redskins. The Packers are coming off a bye week at 1-2, and I see them having a statement game against a division foe, by winning big as Aaron Rodgers lights up the Lions secondary.
Forget the blowout home wins helped out by the 12th man last week may have been the most impressive effort for the Seahawks in the last two seasons. Down 20-3 against the Texans it would have been easy to pack up and get ready for the Colts, but the Seahawks staged a comeback for the ages and won in overtime. The defense was a key as Richard Sherman’s pick six sent the game to overtime. Sherman is off to a monster start and will create big problems for his college teammate Andrew Luck as the Seahawks continue to roll.
Two teams coming off rough losses meet with hopes for a bounce back performance. The Ravens are 2-2 and have struggled offensively as Joe Flacco has hardly looked worthy of his big contract. Last week the reigning Super Bowl MVP had a horrible game, with five interceptions in Buffalo. The Dolphins defense creates some of the same problems led by a strong pass rush, plus being home should help as the Ravens are 0-2 so far on the road, and having problems on both sides of the ball, as they have clearly missed Ray Lewis’s leadership.
At 0-4 the Giants have not been just bad they have been brutal as they managed just seven points total in their last two games, while their defense has given up more than 30 points in all four games. They have failed in every aspect of the game, and if there is any pride left they must beat the Eagles at home. The Eagles are 1-3 and have been nearly as bad, their defense is terrible, which should give Eli Manning the time he needs to get back on track. If the Giants do not win this game, it could get real ugly for Big Blue.
The Rams entered the season hoping to take a step forward and contend for the playoffs, but at 1-3 so far it has been the same old Lambs. Their offense has been uncreative as Sam Bradford looks bewildered at the play calling of Brian Schottenheimer. The remedy is an easy home game against a terrible team. They don’t get any easier than the Jaguars who are simply the worst team in the NFL and could be even historically bad as their offense may just be the worst the NFL has seen in the Super Bowl era.
At 3-1, the Titans are off to a solid start, with strong defense and an improving Jake Locker leading the way. However, their third year quarterback became hurt Locker and will miss at least a month with a sprained hip. Back up Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a starter in the past and has had some of his best performances against the Chiefs. The Chiefs, benefiting from three games against the NFC Least and against the pitiful Jaguars are 4-0. With this game in Nashville, I see Fitzpatrick continuing his mastery of the Chiefs, as the Titans get the win.
This one promises to be a good old fashioned low scoring game, as both teams have solid young defenses. The Panthers rely on a strong front seven that two weeks ago shutout the Giants at home and sacked Eli Manning seven times, while the young secondary of the Cardinals can turn a game around an instant with a big interception return. Expect this game to be close to the vest with neither team taking a big risk. In the end the game will be deiced by a Hesiman winning quarterback, with Cam Newton having the edge of Carson Palmer.
The Broncos have been nothing short spectacular as their offense is off to a record start as they have steamrolled their way to a 4-0 start. Leading the way is Quarterback Peyton Manning who has been perfect so far with 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions. The addition of Wes Welker to an already loaded receiving core has given the Broncos and Manning too many weapons it is nearly unfair. The Cowboys do get the advantage of a home game, but they have often struggled at AT&T Stadium and the Broncos are simply too hot to pick against.
Two teams with Super Bowl dreams and one of them is going to be 2-3 at the end of this week. Both have lost to excellent teams in the Seahawks and Colts, but the concerns of the Texans go much deeper as they could just as easily be 0-4. The problem in Houston is Quarterback Matt Schaub who has been terrible this year with interceptions returned in three straight games, and the frustration is building as his bewildering off balance throw cost them last week’s game and led to J.J. Watt nearly foaming at the mouth. Expect more frustration as the Niners win in primetime at Candlestick.
Due to baseball the last team to share their stadium with Major League Baseball club will be playing under the lights as the Raiders game against the Chargers was moved to a 8:35 local kickoff with the A’s in the ALDS. Both teams need new stadiums as the infield dirt never looks good on the gridiron. Neither do the Raiders maybe if they played baseball. The Chargers at 2-2 have led late in all four games and have been played solid football have dominated the Raiders in the last ten years and should win this one easily.
At 1-3 the Falcons have already lost as many games last year, and are three games in a hole behind the Saints who have gotten off to a 4-0 start. In other words it is a must win for Atlanta. The Jets at 2-2 have been as up and down as their record suggest as Quarterback Geno Smith has had flashes of brilliance mixed around big rookie mistakes. The Jets will likely be without their two top pass catchers and playing on the road. This one has a blowout written all over it as the Falcons get on track and get out their frustrations on Monday Night.