The Carolina Panthers come home after upset a pair of upset wins on the road against the Patriots and Lions. The Philadelphia Eagles meanwhile have flown to the top of the NFC East, after an impressive win over the Cardinals. In their first five games, the Panthers have played better on the road, as their only loss thus far came against the Saints in Week 3, a week after a sluggish win over the Bills. The Eagles seem to have more balance and look like they are ready to take the next step as they win a close one on Thursday Night.
If not for a pair of breaks, the Miami Dolphins could be 0-4 as they have by far the absolute worst offense in the NFL, thanks to the incompetent Jay Cutler who obviously does not care. He is pathetic. No wonder Chris Forester was doing lines of coke because with Jay Cutler on the field you need something to dull the pain. For the record, I think Jay Cutler would have failed as an announcer too because that is the Cutler life. The Atlanta Falcons will win this game in a laugher.
The Baltimore Ravens have been quite the Helter Skelter team looking great in their three wins and awful in their two losses. The Chicago Bears meanwhile look like a team with a long road ahead of them. On Monday Night Mitch Trubisky made his first start and looked raw, as he had a pair of costly turnovers. That is the type of quarterback that the Ravens usually feast upon. Look for the Ravens to win this one relatively easily.
Oh, those Cleveland Browns, nobody is better at tanking games, messing up draft picks and losing games. After a 1-15 season last year, the Browns are 0-5 and have only briefly held a lead in one game. Last week they kept messing up in the red zone, as Kevin Hogan will be the 28th different starting quarterback since 1999 as Deshone Kizer failed miserably. Meanwhile, the Houston Texans are more than happy with their rookie quarterback, DeShaun Watson who has put up big numbers. The Texans got Watson by trading up for the Browns 12th round pick. Choosing poorly at quarterback a Cleveland tradition like no other.
The Minnesota Vikings just can’t buy any luck, as Sam Bradford’s balky knee has continued to give him problems. Add the loss of Rookie Running Back Dalvin Cook to a torn ACL, and Teddy Bridgewater’s continued rehab, the Vikings offense is rather thin as they have to rely on Case Keenum. The Vikings defense can keep them in the game, but Aaron Rodgers should be able to do enough to win the game for Green Bay Packers, who continue to weather through their own injuries.
The Detroit Lions are a hard team to figure out as they continue to start slowly in most football games. However, they are good at finishing strong as they sit at 3-2. Their losses have both come at home and featured comebacks that just fell short against the Falcons and Panthers. The New Orleans Saints coming off a bye, despite their shutout win over the Dolphins in London do not have a strong defense, as they played an inept quarterback in that game. Matthew Stafford is good at taking apart weak defenses and shreds the Saints to win a shoot-out in the Super Dome.
Oh, to be a fan of the New York Jets. Years of endless suffering and mediocrity have reached the point where they now want to lose to get a quarterback in the draft. Instead, the Jets are winning games, sit at 3-2 and on the way to another so-so pick in the draft. The three wins have not been ground shattering and does not mean they will compete for the playoffs. This is the week the pain really kicks in as they are slapped back to reality by the New England Patriots who look like they are on the verge of a typical extended winning streak.
The Washington Redskins have played well in their first four games, losing two hard-fought games to the Eagles and Chiefs, while scoring impressive wins over the Rams and Raiders. The San Francisco 49ers seem to do just enough to lose every game. It’s no secret the Niners wish they had Kirk Cousins, who remained in Washington due to the franchise tag. Look for Cousins to make San Francisco continue to desire for Cousins as they lose another stuck with Brian Hoyer as the Redskins improve to 3-0 against teams from Cali.
If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a better kicker, they could have beaten the Patriots last week, but instead walked off with a five-point loss as Nick Folk missed three field goals. That was All for Folk in Tampa, as the Buccaneers signed Patrick Murray a few days later. The Arizona Cardinals appear to have even more problems as they traded for Adrian Peterson who is trying to get whatever he has left in his legs to one more playoff run much the same as Carson Palmer who is also clearly long past his prime. I like the young dynamic Bucs led by Jameis Winston in this one to win big.
The Los Angeles Rams came back to earth last week, suffering a loss at home to the Seahawks with a chance to take the driver’s seat in the NFC West. The Jacksonville Jaguars meanwhile stunned the Steelers in Pittsburgh as their defese had a big day, picking off Ben Roethlisberger five times, with a pair of pick-sixes. The Jags also got a big day from Rookie running back Leonard Fournette. Playing at home for the first time since Week 2, I expect another big defensive effort as the young Rams need to show they can overcome a disappointing loss at home before you can trust them here
The Kansas City Chiefs have stewed for nine months since losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Division Playoff Round. The Chiefs had their chances but continued to be frustrated by the team in Black and Gold. Since 2011, the Steelers have won five of six meetings against the Chiefs as they seem to have their number. Coming off an ugly loss at home, the Steelers need to bounce back. There is no better bounce back game than to hand the Chiefs their first loss of the season. Look for a big game from Le’Veon Bell who helps carry the Steelers to an upset win on the road.
The Los Angeles Chargers earned their first win since moving from San Diego last week, beating the Giants at the Meadowlands. The Oakland Raiders toyed with moving back to L.A. themselves and will in a few years move to Las Vegas have lost their last three games after an impressive 2-0 start. The Raiders problems center around the quarterback as Derek Carr is in the repair shop with an injured back. They say in California you need transportation to get a girl in high school. The same is true for the Silver and Black that means no Carr means no win.
The New York Giants are dead. Not surviving are General Manager Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo whose heads are sure to roll as soon as the carnage of this season clears. Eli Manning’s status is unknown as he is under a non-stop barrage. Fans ask that in lieu of donations, that someone sends Flowers elsewhere. With a terrible offensive line, a tired defense with players fighting coaches, no running game all their top receivers injured and facing the Denver Broncos on the road on Sunday Night this one can get really ugly fast. A good thing there is some playoff baseball and Curb Your Enthusiasm to distract from this train wreck.
Despite not having Andrew Luck take a single snap, the Indianapolis Colts have a pulse after five games as they have somehow won a pair of overtime games at home against the Cardinals and 49ers as Jacoby Brissett has been serviceable. Neither team the Colts beat is considered the top competition. The Tennessee Titans have their own issues as Marcus Mariota is dealing with a hamstring injury. The Titans also have not beaten the Colts in seven years, a run of 11 straight losses. That trend has to end sometime as the Titans just need to avoid the big mistake to win this game at home on Monday Night.