Both teams are coming off bad losses on Sunday, the Packers were flat against the Cowboys at Lambeau Field, while the Bears had a fourth quarter collapse against the Jaguars. The Packers lost because of how good the Cowboys played, while the Bears are just a bad team that finds way to lose each game. After losing to the Bears at Lambeau Field last year it is hard to imagine the Packers will stumble again this week. Also when the Packers are backed against the wall it is when they are their most dangerous.
Last week Odell Beckham Jr. got on track with 222 yards and two big touchdown receptions to get back to .500. The Rams meanwhile are also .500 after losing their last two games and have a bigger disadvantage with the early kickoff in London. The Rams defense has struggled in recent weeks and with Beckham finding his stride, it could be a long day in more ways than one. The Rams physicality could get Odell Beckham Jr. into making his undisciplined mistakes, but if he does let them get in his head and cause a distraction the Giants will get the win.
At 2-4 the seat is getting quite warm for Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati. The Browns meanwhile are thankful for the Indians as nobody has noticed their 0-6 start. The Bengals are a bully team, taking cheap shots and crushing bad teams, while stumbling and being slammed by teams that are their equal or better. The Browns are as bad as their 0-6 record suggests and things are only going to get worse. The Bengals are good at getting pressure on the quarterback and the Browns have trouble protecting their quarterbacks.
After slow starts, both teams come in off big wins. The Redskins have won their last four after starting 0-2, while the Lions have won back to back at home after starting 1-3. Despite their recent success, Redskins QB Kirk Cousins has continued to be vulnerable to throwing a bad pick in each game. Darius Slay has made big plays in each of the last two games to help the Lions secure wins in the fourth quarter. Look for Slay to make another big play as the Lions continue to drive to success at Ford Field.
In past seasons, the Raiders have fallen apart when they hit the road, but in the early part of this season they have excelled away from their crumbling cesspool a stadium winning three games in the early kickoff window. The Raiders likely won’t have a home field advantage until the go to Vegas, but away from Oakland they are a good bet. The Jaguars despite winning their last two games, are not playing that well and will have trouble stopping the Raiders balanced attack, while the Raiders defense should be able to contain Blake Bortles.
Last week the Saints won a shootout at home against the Panthers, while the Chiefs scored an impressive road win in Oakland. The Chiefs have a strong secondary which will prevent Drew Brees from having a big game. The Saints defense meanwhile has been porous even in their wins, which spells nothing but bad news this one has blowout written all over it as the Chiefs win by three scores or more.
Despite last week’s win over the Steelers, the Dolphins still have much to prove at 2-4. Ryan Tanneyhill just has not been consistent enough to warrant any trust in the ability to take the Dolphins beyond the mediocrity they have languished in over the last five years. The Bills meanwhile are playing their best football in two decades with four straight wins after firing Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman. With each win Buffalo appears to be gaining more confidence and considering they have dominated Miami in recent years, it’s hard to see that winning streak ending this week.
Forgive the Ravens if they feel like Met Life Stadium’s third team as they play a second straight game at the Meadowlands. Last week against the Giants they had their chances but got burnt by Odell Beckham Jr., the Jets don’t pose the same problems. Things have gotten so bad for Gang Green at 1-5 that Ryan Fitzpatrick is being benched in favor of Geno Smith. This represent one last chance for Geno to impress before being flown out of New York. Just remember this if Geno Smith was that good to begin with Fitzpatrick would never have been the starter.
After winning his first three games, Carson Wentz has looked more like a rookie as the Eagles have come back to earth. The Vikings coming off a bye are the NFL’s last unbeaten team and feature a defense that has shut down some of the league’s premier passers. Given a week to prepare the Vikings defense should come out strong in Philly, while Sam Bradford receives an unwelcome home coming and gives Eagles fans plenty to stew by continuing his solid play in purple.
Last week the Colts suffered one of the most gut wrenching losses in recent years as they blew a two touchdown lead in the final five minutes in Houston. The Titans nearly did the same against the Browns, but were saves as Cleveland failed to get the needed two pointer, allowing them to hold on. Marcus Mariota has played better in recent weeks, while the Colts have lost some key players in the secondary. These defensive injuries could spell doom for Chuck Pagano and the Colts, who said he saw positives despite the collapse on Sunday Night. Talk like that is the sound of someone who can feel the heat of the axe.
Despite losing last week the Falcons were quite impressive in Seattle as they rallied from a two touchdown deficit to take the lead against the Seahawks. The Seahawks aided by the 12th man did answer and win the game, but the Falcons can claim they were screwed as Richard Sherman got away with a pass interference call on the Falcons final fourth down play. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have had it working right all year, hard to see that changing as the Chargers come into the Georgia Dome.
After struggling in his first start on the road, Colin Kaepernick gets a chance to start for the home fans in San Francisco. Never mind who is playing quarterback, the 49ers biggest worry is the run defense which is allowing 173 yards per game. At this rate I could rush for 100 yards against them. The good news for the Nines is that Tampa’s run game is a mess with Doug Martin’s bulky hamstring suffering a setback. They also have place receiver Vincent Jackson on injured reserve. With the Bucs a mess off the byer going coast to coast into California where they have historically not fared well this sets up perfectly for the 49ers to get some of the critics off their backs.
Right now the execs at NBC are smiling that this game was not chosen for Sunday Night Football. What seemed like a big game at the start of the year has been severely derailed as Ben Roethlisberger’s knee surgery means it will be Landry Jones against Tom Brady. This one has blowout written all over it. Expect plenty of 60 Minute Promos and Phil Simms yarns while those watching have plenty of yawns in this snoozer won by the Patriots.
After starting 1-3 the Cardinals have gotten back on track with wins in their last two games. A big reason for Arizona’s turnaround is the running of David Johnson who has had two monster games in primetime. The Cardinals will be under the lights again as they host the Seahawks in a big game for the NFC West on Sunday Night. The Cardinals need to win this game if they are to challenge the Seahawks who are 4-1. However, the Seahawks have not yet hit their stride as they could easily be 2-3 with a play here and a play there. This time the Cardinals make the play with David Johnson having another big night.
Who says absence makes the heart grow fonder were not talking about Brock Osweiler and the Denver Broncos. After starting eight games last season, Osweiler lost his job to Peyton Manning before the playoffs and he took it personal leaving for Houston despite having the job waiting for him after winning the Super Bowl. The Broncos have expressed anger at their former quarterback and coming off two straight losses will look to make a big Monday Night statement. Osweiler had been struggling with Houston but had a big comeback last week and could be finding his stride. Though with the Broncos defense angry and focused I don’t see Osweiler having high times in Colorado.