The Arizona Cardinals are one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments so far this season, as they have played sloppy football and sit at 1-4. If they are to make the playoffs a win on Thursday Night will be a must. The 49ers are also 1-3, not a surprise in this case. The Cardinals will not have QB Carson Palmer as he did not pass the concussion protocol. The key for the Cardinals could be in the running game and David Johnson. The run defense has been terrible and Johnson with a big game should carry the Cardinals to a win.
The battle of the beltway sees the Redskins looking to get over .500 while the Ravens look to rebound after a tough loss to the Raiders. The Ravens have played well so far as Joe Flacco and their defense have gotten back on track after a season of injury in frustration. The Redskins meanwhile are fortunate to be 2-2, as Kirk Cousins has struggled so far. A play here and there and the Redskins could be 0-4. Unless Cousins can have a big game this one looks good for Baltimore.
Deflategate is over as Tom Brady has been released for the Roger Goodell house of detention after a four game suspension. Last week it hurt the Patriots for the first time as their offense never got going and were shutout at home by the Bills. This means the Patriots are mad, Brady is mad and the Browns are about to pay the price. The Browns are bad as it is, and the Patriots could win with me playing quarterback with Tom Brady this one has ugly blowout written all over it.
After the Lions 0-16 season, the Lions picked Matthew Stafford hoping he could be the franchise quarterback they have been seeking for a half century. Stafford has been good at times, as he was helped by Calvin Johnson. But now that Megatron has retired the Lions QB has had touble finding anyone to throw to. The Eagles meanwhile traded up to pick Carson Wentz with the second overall pick and through three games the reviews have been beyond positive. The Eagles defense has also been solid. The only concern is will do they lose focus after the bye. Looks like another long day for the Lions.
Somebody must not like the Colts, as they are the first team not to have a bye week following a game in London. Their opponents from last week the Jaguars are off, but not them, and the Colts facing a must win, sitting at 1-3. The Bears may be just as good as a bye as they have been just plain bad and that is despite their win last week over the Lions. I expect Andrew Luck to have a strong game and I expect the Colts defense to respond to be challenged by their coach, after the release of Antonio Cromartie.
With Hurricane Matthew churning in the Atlantic, there is a chance this game could be moved from Miami to Nashville. The Dolphins have been terrible so far as QB Ryan Tanneyhill continues to be terrible. So far Marcus Mariota has yet to find traction in his second season. With the Hurricane as a factor either way the Dolphins will have a distraction. Tanneyhlll will make the key mistake with the game on the loss and it will be another loss for the Dolphins.
The Vikings defense has been beyond awesome so far, as they have shutdown Marcus Mariota, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Eli Manning. I don’t think Brock Osweiler will be the one that solves the purple reign of pain. Meanwhile Sam Bradford has been quite serviceable for the Vikings after being acquired before the start of the season. With J.J. Watt lost for the year the Texans defense won’t be able to do enough to keep them in the game as the Vikings continue to make a big statement at their new home.
Last week the Steelers bounced back after their Week 3 hiccup and crushed the Chiefs on Sunday Night. The Jets meanwhile are facing heavy turbulence at 1-3 with Ryan Fitzpatrick being off target with nine interceptions in his last two games. The Steelers are a team that is always is good at taking advantage of their opponents’ mistakes. In addition, Darrelle Revis has struggled all season, matched up one of the top receivers this week’s means Revis Island will be facing a major Brown out
Ever since losing their first game the Falcons have been terrific as Matt Ryan has played some of the best quarterback of his career. A big help has been the play of Julio Jones who collected 300 yards receiving in one of the best games ever. It is hard to see that happening against the strong Broncos defense which has not skipped a beat after winning the Super Bowl. The Broncos have also gotten good news a Trevor Siemian has showed no il-effect from his shoulder injury. The Flacons beat the Super Bowl loser last week beating both Super Bowl teams in consecutive weeks is a rare accomplishment that won’t happen this time around.
The Bengals finally appeared to get on track last week, with their Thursday Night beat down of the Dolphins. The only thing that is a concern is their ability to finish drives as they were forced to settle for five field goals. The Cowboys have won three straight as Dak Prescott has done well replacing Tony Romo, but the Cowboys have not faced tough competition in that time. The Bengals are the best team they have played since losing the opener to the Giants. Look for the Bengals defense to make Prescott look like a rookie as Andy Dalton shines in the Lone Star State.
After being embarrassed in their Monday Night opener the Rams have won three in a row. They used defense to win last week and Week 2 at home, while they got their offense on track in Tampa in Week 3. The Bills have won their last two games and are coming off a shutout in Foxboro, but going cross country I see them falling back to earth. The Rams with their second game in L.A. should begin to get a home field edge from the crowd at the Coliseum.
Strangely the Raiders have won three games in the Eastern Time Zone, while losing their home opener in Week 2. In just their second home game, the Raiders who have been getting stronger as the season gets going should be able to get a big division win against the Chargers who are coming off a hornedous home loss to the Saints. The Chargers last week were well on their way to a win before a fourth quarter collapse, late game collapses have been common for San Diego as they have blown fourth quarter leads in all three losses.
Odell Beckham Jr. the superstar receiver for the New York Giants appears to be self-destructing. Ever since his confrontation with Josh Norman last year, defensive backs have successfully gotten into Beckham’s head. Until he proves he can deal with their taunts and teases, Beckham will be baited each and every week. This behavior has begun to affect the Giants offense, facing the Packers in Lambeau Field the Giants will need a focused Odell Beckham Jr. to have a big game right now I don’t know if that is possible.
Nobody is happier to have a Monday Night game than the Panthers, who have an extra day for Cam Newton to recover from a concussion. Newton has struggled coming off a MVP season as the Panthers are 1-3. All three losses in the scope of a 16-game season were not bad as they played two top shelf defenses and lost a tough divisional round game. This one though they need to make a statement and show they can get back on track. Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers meanwhile have struggled after winning the opener as the second year quarterback is still too careless with the ball. With the Panthers needing a sharp effort all around I see them winning big to make a statement.