It has been a full year since the Raiders last won a game, and they now have a full 16 game losing streak. Rumors have them considering a move from Oakland, as things could not be bleaker. The Chiefs meanwhile are riding high at 7-3. However, sometimes divisional matchups lead to funny results and the Raiders have played better as of later. Getting the Chiefs at home on a Thursday Night could be just the thing especially if they are tempted to look ahead to the Broncos at home next week. I just can’t shake the felling the Raiders will get their first win.
The Falcons despite their 4-6 record sit atop the atrocious NFC South, while the Browns in one week went from top to bottom at 6-4 in the AFC North. The real worry for the Browns is if their Cinderella season is turning into a pumpkin. Their offense could do nothing against the Texans at home last week, and with the release of Ben Tate their running game is in a state a flux, the return of Josh Gordon may even hurt as they try to force feed him the ball. The Falcons meanwhile with new life will get a boost by coming home.
Two teams that are bad and may be even worse than their record indicates and each are coming off a win. The Bears finally won at home last week against the Vikings, while the Bucs beat up the Redskins in Washington. This is a game that is difficult to select as each team has laid eggs on several Sunday. The Bears should win because they are at home and have a better offense, but if Tampa creates a few turnovers they can find a way to win at Soldier Field.
Put some pressure on Bengals Quarterback Andy Dalton and watch him fold. Twice Dalton has lost playoff games in Houston as J.J. Watt first emerged as one of the best defensive lineman with a pick six in the 2011 Wild Card Game. The Texans also got a boost last week with the change to Ryan Mallett who looks like he has a live arm. With Watt creating havoc, Dalton turning the ball over and Mallett not making the big mistake the Texans get to 6-5 with a sweep of Ohio.
Needing to bounce back off a primetime loss to the Patriots, get a second chance at an easy win against the punching bag called the Jacksonville Jaguars. After starting 0-2 the Colts raced up and down the field in Jacksonville to earn a 44-17 win in Week 3. The Jaguars have not played much better since and their defense has been sheared, while rookie Quarterback Blake Bortles trying to do make up for the Jaguars defensive deficiencies has made several big turnover throwing gas on the fire.
With two straight 50 point games, it is clear that nobody is hotter than Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Vikings coming off a loss in Soldier Field hope someday rookie Teddy Bridgewater can reach that level. However, Bridgewater could not even get 20 points against a lousy Bears defense that had given up 50 points in their previous two games. This is just an impossible situation for the Vikings, who would have to consider keep the Packers under 40 and not losing by more than 20 a moral victory. They won’t even get a moral victory.
Since their 2-2 start, which had people in Foxboro panicking, the Patriots have looked unstoppable winning six straight in increasingly impressive fashion. The Patriots offense has been red hot and their defense is steadily improving. The Lions defense has been solid, but their offense has been pedestrian. They should be able to keep Tom Brady from having too big of game with their aggressive pass rush, but they don’t have the offensive punch to make it matter as they lose a second straight tough game on the road.
The Eagles suffered their third loss and some bruised egos last week in Lambeau Field. Coming home they should get the bad taste out of their mouths quickly as the Titans just are not that good. The Titans are 2-8 and have lost eight of nine since their Week 1 upset in Kansas City. They have blown leads in the fourth quarter and play some of the worst football you can imagine late in games. Even if the Eagles struggle in the end they will get the win as the Titans fourth quarter woes won’t be helped by the hostile Philly fans.
If you can figure out the Rams this season please let me know. The Rams have beaten both Super Bowl participants last year and have otherwise not shown up the rest of the season. The quarterback has been a problem, as Sam Bradford’s injury has left a gaping hole. Shaun Hill regained the starting job over a struggling Austin Davis and outplayed Peyton Manning last week for the win at home, but on the road can they get enough offense to win in San Diego? That is hard to see, and the safe pick is the Chargers as the Rams wander north to LA and start to wonder if this is their new home?
The Seahawks suffered their fourth loss of the season and now sit three games behind the 9-1 Cardinals, who have just found ways to win all season. The Cardinals can all but seal a division title if they can win a second straight game in Seattle. The champs have been suffering a Super Bowl hangover all season, but it is hard to imagine they will go out feebly and quietly. I still see a run for the Seahawks, who did play well in their loss in Kansas City and that run starts now by serving a slice of humble pie to the Cardinals with a blowout win.
The Rams frustrated the Broncos all day last week, holding them to seven points the lowest output since Peyton Manning went a Mile High. The Dolphins defense can create some of the same problems, but with the game in Denver it is hard to imagine the Broncos sputtering two weeks in a row. However, injuries to Michael Thomas, Cortland Finnegan and Will Davis have left their secondary shorthanded; with the weapons Peyton has at his disposal this game has turned into Mission Impossible for Miami. The Dolphins just don’t have the man power to win in Denver.
Quite often the 49ers keep teams in games even when they are dominating the field on both sides of the ball. Last week despite picking off Eli Manning five times, the Niners needed to sweat the game out as they only won by six points. Robert Griffin III who won the Rookie of the Year, but struggled in his sophomore season continues to regress in year three. Last week he was beyond brutal as the Redskins lost at home to the lowly Buccaneers on the road against a 49ers defense that is starting to get some key players back it is nothing but more bad news for the Redskins.
No matter what the records are Giants and Cowboys are always close and one team does not dominate the other for very long. The Cowboys have won three straight games over the Giants, including a win in Dallas earlier in the season. The Giants have dropped their last five games and fans have turned against Big Blue in New York. The Giants defense has been especially bad lately and Eli Manning had five picks last week. However, I see them playing a strong spoiler the rest of the year, as the Cowboys often come out of bye weeks flat especially in primetime games.
As Billy Buffalo the Bills mascot descends into madness with his son’s moaning of redrum, the Bills themselves have been unable to practice due to the obscene amounts of snow. The same snow at last check five feet and still snowing has forced the game to be relocated to Detroit. Don’t be shocked if the game becomes a Jets home game with negative reactions to Bills Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz. Add the fact the Bills being unable to practice and it is hard to see them getting together to get the win over the Jets.
At 4-6 the Saints have been one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL in the 2014 season. After winning 11 straight games at home the Saints have lost two straight games in the Superdome. A third straight loss on Monday Night could be back breaking. Despite their record the Saints are alive thanks to their division being pathetic. The Ravens are in a much tougher position at 6-4. It is hard to imagine another loss for the Saints at home, especially under the primetime lights. Look for Drew Brees to come out smoking as the Saints win by two touchdowns.