At 3-3 the Panthers appear to be hitting their stride, as they are coming off two straight impressive wins, as their defense has begun to get into one of the best in the league, while Quarterback Cam Newton has looked sharp.. The Buccaneers meanwhile are a sinking ship, the players hate the coach, a skin infection is spreading through the team, and their best offense player is now injured. Even if Doug Martin was healthy it would be hard to imagine the Buccaneers winning this game, with as poorly as they have played and how well Carolina has.
At 4-3, both of these teams have had their ups and downs this season. The Lions despite their loss last week have been strong at home, while the Cowboys only have one win outside the NFC East. Despite their strong defensive effort in Philadelphia, questions surround the Cowboys defense as the injury to DeMarcus Ware is likely to catch up with them sooner rather than later. The Lions have a nice balanced offense, and a solid pass rush that can give Tony Romo a hard time, which should lead to a Lions win.
The NFL makes a second trip to London, as the Jaguars host the 49ers. The NFL has been testing the waters of the Thames since 2008 and makes no secret that it will like to bring a team to England in the near future. The Jaguars will play games in Wembley Stadium over the next four year and are a good candidate to be the team that one that makes London home. It almost seems fitting in the Jaguars have looked like the London Silly Nannies while losing their first seven games all but double digits. At least Londoners can enjoy the exploits of Colin Kapernick.
After enduring a 2-14 record last year, the Kansas City Chiefs are the last of the unbeaten; sitting at 7-0. The Chiefs have benefited from a rather easy schedule as only one f the teams they have beaten currently hold a winning record. That trend continues as they face the Browns, who have once again benched Quarterback Brandon Weeden this time in favor of Jason Campbell. This is the fourth team Campbell will be starting for; good quarterbacks don’t change teams four times. The Chiefs defense has been strong all season and will lead the way to another win.
It is clear now that the Miami Dolphins 3-0 start was complete fool’s gold as they have looked nearly as bad as Florida’s two winless teams. In desperation of a terrible offensive line the Dolphins acquired Bryant McKinnie, but that will not work as there is no light at the end of the tunnel in Foxboro. After struggling the last few weeks, the patriot shave a break out game and look to humiliate the Dolphins, who fumbled their future in off-season with the big contract they gave to WR Mike Wallace who has been a headache and a bust, as is the worst Free Agent signing since Albert Haynesworth.
The Saints have had a week to stew over their loss to the Patriots with five seconds left. Coming home and facing the Bills it is hard to see them losing again this week, as they have been nearly unbeatable in the Superdome. Drew Brees even in defeat was solid in Foxboro and their defense under Rob Ryan has been sharp all season. The Bills have quietly been and solid on offense themselves, scoring at least 20 points in every game, but it’s hard to see that continuing with the way the Saints defense has played, especially off a bye week.
The Giants finally got on track last week with an ugly Monday Night win against the Vikings. Though not perfect, the win helped soothe some frayed nerves. The Eagles meanwhile are in the opposite situation after an ugly loss last week to the Cowboys at home. The Eagles now have lost their last nine games at Lincoln Financial Field, and it appears the league is catching up to Chip Kelly’s gimmicky offense. The Giants have seen the Eagles offense at work and know what to expect, look for them to get a second straight win as the Eagles home woes continue.
The Jets have been feast or famine all season, alternating wins and losses. Last week was a win, so following that pattern the Jets will lose this week. The Bengals come in with three straight wins, and at 5-2 are looking like the team to beat on top of the AFC North. The Bengals have been strong at home, even holding Tom Brady and the Patriots without a Touchdown. A key to the Bengals success has been their defense, which has seen Linebacker Vontaze Burfict, an undrafted rookie in 2012 have a breakout season, leading the NFL in tackles through the first seven weeks.
Despite their 0-4 start, you had to figure the Steelers would not fade quietly into the night, as they have too many experienced winners led by Coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers have won their last two games and are thinking playoffs once again. However, the problems the Steelers had in their four straight losses still exist, as they have had trouble on offense. The Raiders play well at home and beat the Steelers last season, and with Terrelle Pryor being able to scramble, look for them to deflate the Steelers momentum again, as Ben Roethlisberger will be picking himself off the ground all day.
The Falcons got a big win coming off their bye week, but they continued to have trouble finishing drives in the red zone. The Cardinals have had their up and downs this year, but have played well at home and feature a solid young defense led by Patrick Peterson. Last year the Cardinals forced five turnovers against the Falcons and still came up short. If they can do that this time, they should be able to get the win. The Falcons hope Stephen Jackson can play and alleviate their red zone woes, but the problems go even deeper.
After losing their first game of the season on Sunday Night, the Broncos return home looking to bounce back in a big way. The game in Indianapolis may be the tough task the Broncos face all season, as Peyton Manning had to deal with the distraction of facing his former team. Now that the game has past, Manning can focus on his current team and taking them to the Super Bowl. The Redskins defense has had trouble all season stopping the pass, and will get lit up again, as Robert Griffin III has a big second half playing mostly in garbage time.
Like their Super Bowl season in 2010, the Packers injury list is beginning to resemble the Green Bay phone book. Key players are out on both offense and defense, with Jermichael Finley spending last Sunday Night in the ICU after suffering a bruised spinal cord. The Vikings looked awful against the Giants on Monday Night as their quarterback situation is becoming a running joke. Josh Freeman started last week and stunk it up now with a concussion he is questionable. That won’t matter the key will be Adrian Peterson who has yet to have a break out game. goes up and down all day and gets a 250 yard performance, as the loss of Clay Matthews will open big lanes for AP.
What if they held a Monday Night Football Game and nobody was there to watch the game? That may happen this week as the Rams host the Seahawks, while the City of St. Louis is focused on the Cardinals in the World Series, with Game 5 being played across town. The Rams are holding Quarterback tryouts with Sam Bradford lost for the season. This week Kellen Clemens, who last was seen being laughed at by the father of Lexxi Silver, gets the start. Seahawks defense is the best in the NFL and even on the road have a chance at pitching a Monday Night shutout.