There is no question that the New York Giants are a mess, Eli Manning is having a nightmare season, and the Big Blue defense has never looked so soft. Things won’t get any better with a Thursday Night game in Soldier Field. The Bears defense has been great at creating turnovers and pressure on the quarterback, and themselves need a win after two straight losses. With the Giants offensive line in shambles, and their running game made even thinner by the loss of Running Back David Wilson to a neck injury, it is impossible to see the Giants winning this game.
Two teams coming off solid wins have both had uneven seasons to this date. The Packers suffered a blow last week with the loss of Clay Matthews, who is expected to be out at least two weeks with a broken thumb. Meanwhile, the Ravens were able to get Running Back Ray Rice on track last week and having this game at home should help. The Packers offense has not been an issue, but their defense has struggled even with a healthy Clay Matthews. The game will be close, but in a repeat of their win in Miami, the Ravens get a late field goal by Justin Tucker.
With the injury to EJ Manuel the Bills quarterback situation is a complete mess, as Thad Lewis is going from the Practice Squad to Week 6 starter. That is because backup undrafted rookie Jeff Teuel who was 4-22 in college looked like he had no business playing in the NFL. Lewis has made a start with the Browns last year and played well, but the fact he was cut and nobody scooped him shows his skill level. It is hard to imagine the Bills can win until they get a capable QB.
The Browns have been a big surprise with three straight wins after the trade of Trent Richardson. Unfortunately Quarterback Brian Hoyer who was a large part of the Browns recent win streak is lost for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Although Brian Weeden played well in relief last week, it is hard to imagine them being able to sustain their success as Weeden was a large part of the Browns struggles. The Browns has a good young improving defense, but the Lions also playing well should be able to get the road win.
Things are getting ugly in Houston, as fans are burning Matt Schaub’s jersey and fans are starting to line up with pitchforks outside his home. Schaub has had four straight games with a pick six, as the Texans have struggled this year at 2-3, and they could easily be 0-5. This game is a must win as the Texans who just to get the fans off their back need a strong performance. This game sets up as a game for the Texans to take out their frustrations as the Rams allowed 20 points last week to the Jaguars at home.
The Raiders look like they have found their quarterback as Terrell Pryor has been impressive in four starts this year. However, with all running quarterbacks an injury can come at any moment and with the release of Matt Flynn, they are rolling the dice in Oakland. The Chiefs meanwhile are rolling at 5-0, and they are playing well on both sides of the ball. The Chiefs have always dominated the Raiders in Arrowhead Stadium and even with Pryor playing solid football this will be a tall task for any quarterback. Look for the Chiefs to continue their strong start with another impressive win.
Christian Ponder has officially been put on notice by the Vikings, as they signed Josh Freeman off waivers, while Matt Cassel who played well in their win in London can enter the game at any time. Expect a short leach on Ponder, as the Vikings coming off a bye will be looking for a big game from Adrian Peterson. Meanwhile, frustrations are mounting in Carolina as Cam Newton has struggled again. The Vikings defense should present some problems for Newton who has had troubles holding on to the ball.
The Jets are coming off a huge Monday Night win against the Falcons on the road, and at 3-2 have their fans thinking playoffs. The Steelers are 0-4 for the first time since 1968 and looking for any way to get their season on track, and have history of dominance over the Jets. Rookie QB Geno Smith has won three games in the 4th Quarter, but has also struggled with turnovers, looking like a rookie quarterback. The Steelers coming off a bye have had two weeks to prepare and will bring their A+ game to the meadowlands as the Jets suffer a letdown.
The original MLS team may have folded in 2001, but the Tampa Bay Mutiny is back. Unfortunately it does not refer to an actual team, but the description of the situation in Tampa with the Buccaneers. Josh Freeman is gone, and the rest of the team looks ready to make Coach Greg Schiano walk the plank. Quarterback Mike Glennon did not impress in his first start and things only got worse during the bye week. This team may have some talent, but unless Schiano is fired or regains his players respect it is hard to pick them to win.
This game made history six full days before it even kicked off as the Broncos were listed as a 28-point favorite, establishing a record for the largest spread in NFL history. While 28 is the number in Vegas, 51, which is how many points the Broncos needed to beat the Cowboys last week. The Jaguars have also scored 51 points, total in five games. The Jaguars defense is not much better, allowing the second highest amount of points but four touchdowns? The Broncos have another big day but take the foot off the pedal in the second half, as the Jaguars get a backdoor cover.
After splitting two tough games on the road, the Seahawks have to be pumped to be back in their nest with the support of the loudest crowd in the NFL. Jake Locker, the Titans young quarterback has to be immensely disappointed that he will not play with a hip injury. Locker helped turnaround the Washington Huskies and this would have been his homecoming to Seattle. Even with a healthy Locker playing the Titans likely would have had trouble staying in the game. Seahawks take out the wood and win big.
Often when a good team has two straight tough games on the road, it catches up with them during the second week. The Saints who beat the Bears in Soldier Field now have to face the Patriots in Foxboro. The Patriots are coming off a loss as Tom Brady’s streak of 52 games with a Touchdown pass came to an end two short of Drew Brees’s record. The Patriots should get a boost as Rob Gronkowski will make his season debut. Look for a shootout between two of the league’s best quarterbacks, with the Patriots winning a close one.
The 49ers had the breakout game they were looking for as they crushed the Texans on Sunday Night Football. Both teams are 3-2, but only one is a contender. The Cardinals have a solid defense, but have beaten some of the league’s weaker teams had have struggled doing so as QB Carson Palmer is likely heading to the bench in the not too distant future. This one has all the makings of a blowout win for the 49ers at Candlestick Park.
Last week was the ultimate yah but performance for Tony Romo. The Cowboys quarterback went toe to toe with Peyton Manning and set a new franchise record with 501 yards passing and five touchdowns, but his interception at the end at the two minute warning was the game’s deciding factor. Robert Griffin III has had a bye week and four weeks to get back in shape and should begin to resemble what he did last year winning Rookie of the Year. However, the Redskins defense needs more than that to win as Romo takes this week’s shoot out at the Jerry Jones corral.
The Chargers had fans starting to believe as they played well in their first four games, despite a 2-2 start. However, last week they laid an egg in Oakland and prove they still have a long way to go before returning to playoff contention. The Colts have won games against the 49ers and Seahawks, and now get a chance to show just how good they are on Monday Night. Forget about Andrew Luck, the Colts are now a more physical defense and will demonstrate they are a more complete team as they win a close one in San Diego.