Last week the Chargers committed the ultimate sin of looking ahead to their next opponent and were upset by the Chiefs at home. There was good reason to circle Thursday Night’s game as it is against the Broncos who knocked them off in the Divisional Round last year. The Chargers always play well against the Broncos and did beat them on Thursday last year in Denver, but I can’t see that happening two years in a row as the Broncos take control of the AFC West.
Morning Love, Cheerio Gov’ner, fans of silver blue Lion cats and dirty Falcon birds will need to rise about early as this game from London will kick off at 9:30. Tea and crumpets will be served. The Falcons have been terrible away from home, and while this is listed as a home game, London and Atlanta are nothing alike. The Lions meanwhile coming off a big comeback win and playing good defense can really cement a good first half with a win, as a bye week and players returning in the second half could set them up for a nice run.
Fans are sleepless in Seattle as the defending champion Seahawks are sleep walking through the early part of the season. There has clearly been some turmoil with the trade of Percy Harvin. Marshawn Lynch has not been able to get into beast mode, and the Legion of Boom defense has been a bust. All that being said it is hard to imagine them losing a third straight game, especially against a Panthers team struggling just as badly if not worse.
After a 3-0 start the Bengals have been in a tail spin, losing two and tying one of their last three games. They have been bad on both sides of the ball, as the Panthers marched them up and down the field, while they were blanked by the Colts last week. Injuries have played a role as they are down to a third string Center and have sorely missed A.J. Green. Returning home they face a must win at home against the first place Ravens. A loss here and they can almost kiss the NFC North good bye. Something tells me they will find something here and get back on track.
The Jaguars after weeks of inching closer and closer finally earned their first win of the season, with an impressive beat down of the Browns. The Dolphins too are coming off a solid win against the Bears in Soldier Field. The Dolphins got a strong performance from Ryan Tannehill and must keep the momentum if they hope to be a true playoff contender. The Dolphins are also getting a boost as Dion Jordan returns from a six game ban. It will be close, but in the end Miami should win the battle of North and South Florida.
If Game 1 of the World Series, Kansas City fans could be singin’ the blues by the Sunday as the Royals looked overmatched by the Giants. Fans could perhaps get some solace in the Chiefs winning state bragging rights against the Rams at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs defense is playing solid football as the two headed combo Knile Davis and Jamaal Charles has helped them control the clock. After winning with gimmicks last week, the Rams will not catch anybody sleeping this week.
The good news for the Bears is that are away from Soldier Field this week, the bad news is they are in Foxboro. The Bears have played well on the road, winning three of four, while losing all three games so far at home. Their defense has been unbearable for their fans as they made Ryan Tannehill look like John Elway last week. Now facing Tom Brady it can only get worse, they only chance they have is the Patriots have at times kept teams in games and their defense has at times been very ordinary themselves.
The Jets come into this game with six straight losses but in each of their last two games they played the Broncos and Patriots tough. The Jets should get a boost from the addition of Percy Harvin, who will look to make a big splash in his debut in green. In addition the Bills running game was decimated by injuries last week as they lost both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Bills will need Kyle Orton to light up the field to win this one, and when a team is one dimensional that is a much harder task to accomplish. The Jets secondary may bend again, but they won’t break as they earn their second win.
There are some weeks where the Buccaneers just don’t appear interested in playing the game of football. The Vikings too have their problems and have been competitive, but still have struggled at 2-5. Last week’s loss was especially soul crushing as the Bills scored a touchdown with one second left to win by one point. On the road again, the Vikings without a true running game set up for the Buccaneers to get their first win at home and a weak secondary.
The Texans are one player away from being a truly dangerous team. Unfortunately for them that player is a quarterback. The fact is this team is not going to go very far with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their single caller. The Texans defense is very good and they should be able to beat lesser teams. In addition like he did against the Bills, Fitzpatrick has extra motivation against the Titans, for whom he played with last season.
At 5-1 the Cardinals are off to their best start in nearly 30 years. They have been strong on defense, and have gotten just enough offense to have fans in the desert dreaming of a home field Super Bowl. The Cardinals defense relies on a secondary that has been second to none, but have not put much pressure on the quarterback. Against Nick Foles pressure on the quarterback is a must. The Eagles are also traditionally strong coming off a bye week. This one looks like a game in which the red birds start coming back to earth.
Perhaps the NFL schedule makers did the Raiders a favor starting this game in the late afternoon, despite in the Eastern Time Zone. Oakland’s struggles in early games have been well documented, but with losses in their last 12 games it may not matter when the Raiders play. The Browns are coming off a bad loss to a winless Jaguars team and can begin to hear the moans of their suffering fans. If they find a way to lose this one at home they moaning and groaning will lead to chants of Johnny Football and that is the last thing this team needs as their 4-2 start can turn into a pumpkin before Halloween.
Don’t look now but the Colts may be on the verge of becoming the best team in the AFC. After losing their first two games, they have begun to run away from the pack in the AFC South and it’s not just Andrew Luck that has been guiding them, as their defense quietly is turning into a star squad after a shutout win over the Bengals. They won’t be able to shutout the Steelers, but this week Luck will be in order as they earn a statement win on the road in Pittsburgh.
The Saints have not lost at the Superdome in nearly two full years, but this week that streak is in serious danger as they host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night. Rogers has the Packers offense firing on all cylinders after their slow start and fans can now relax. Saints fans meanwhile are the ones who are nervous after blowing another fourth quarter lead and dropping to 2-4. The Saints defense has been downright awful and Drew Brees has been ordinary; two things that don’t equate to wins against quality teams like the Packers.
I think it is safe to say the Cowboys are back. The offensive line has been impenetrable, which in turn has boosted everything. DeMarco Murray is on pace for 2,000 yards and is the first player in NFL history with seven straight 100 yard games to start the season. Tony Romo has time to throw the ball and has been on the money and the Cowboys defense has been off the field. The Redskins don’t have a good defense don’t have a good offense and on Monday Night will get run over by a Cowboys team that is trying to establish itself as a serious Super Bowl contender. This game is a lock for Dallas.