The Miami Dolphins got a good break last week when Jay Cutler was knocked out of the game by the Jets. With an actual capable and competent quarterback, the Dolphins rallied from down two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to improve to 4-2. Joe Flacco has looked like Cutler at times for the Baltimore Ravens who are scuffling at 3-3. The Dolphins will be starting Moore against Baltimore, so they have a fighting chance. However, the Ravens seem to have Miami’s number winning six of the last seven meetings.
The Cleveland Browns take their comedy act overseas as they face the Minnesota Vikings in London, holding a 0-7 record. No matter what they do in ends up in disaster as they have lost 32 of their last 34 games dating back to 2015. Perhaps to make this game fair the Vikings should take the game off and allow the London Silly Nannies to take their place. Though come to think of it the Browns are the real life Silly Nannies perhaps the worst organization in all of professional sports.
The Oakland Raiders got a season saving win last week, beating the Chiefs on the final play thanks to a big game from Derek Carr. The Raiders have a tough task ahead of them going across the country, and the Buffalo Bills defense has played well, but with Carr back on track the Raiders could be about to go on a nice winning streak. The Bills are 4-2, but I don’t think they are as good as their record indicates as there are still several holes that a good team like the Raiders can exploit.
The Indianapolis Colts just three years ago appeared on the verge of rejoining the elite teams in the AFC as they reached the conference championship game, losing in the deflategate game. Ever since than it’s been the Colts who have been deflating as Quarterback Andrew Luck has been hit by a series of injuries, due to poor protection. With Luck likely to miss the rest of the season, things are likely to only get worse as Coach Chuck Pagano is likely to be fired soon. This one is a layup for the Cincinnati Bengals
After starting the year 0-4. with some hard luck losses, the Los Angeles Chargers have won three straight and are starting to establish a strong attacking defense led by Joey Bosa. This is the type of pass rush that could provide problems for Tom Brady. Fortunately for Brady the New England Patriots appear to be starting to hit their stride after their dominant win over the Falcons in a rematch of Super Bowl LI. This is typically when the Patriots got on a long winning streak, though the games may not be a blowout they will look good getting the wins.
Fans in the windy city may be feeling a little frisky after the Chicago Bears have won two straight games, with rookie Mitchell Trubisky. Trubisky has done little to win as he barely passed over 100 yards in each game. Instead the Bears have won on defense and a strong running game like the old days. That formula will not work this week as they play a top-level quarterback in Drew Brees who is playing well as the New Orleans Saints have won four straight, while also getting solid defensive play.
Last week the New York Jets did their best impersonation of the Atlanta Falcons, blowing a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter against the Dolphins, while the Falcons pretended they were the Jets playing in a haze on Sunday Night against the Patriots. After starting 3-0, the Flacons have lost three straight against AFC East teams. If that trend continues it might be time to start calling Atlanta, panic city. The Jets after playing well look like they are about to go into a tailspin, but they will throw a scare or two into the Falcons before losing a third straight.
The Philadelphia Eagles are flying high with the best record in the NFL at 6-1. Carson Wentz in just his second season looks ready to become an elite quarterback as he has put up MVP type numbers. However, things could get rough for Wentz and the Eagles after the loss of Left Tackle Jason Peters. When the Eagles start facing better teams, the loss of Peters will catch up to them, but against the winless San Francisco 49ers it likely will have little effect as the Eagles continue to win games at home.
Two struggling NFC South teams meet in a battle for survival. The Carolina Panthers sit at 4-3, with two straight losses as Cam Newton has been plagued by turnovers lately, as he had two interceptions and a fumble against the Bears last week two of which were returned for touchdowns. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sit a 2-4 after a tough stretch of games with a banged up Jameis Winston. The Bucs seem to have played better than their record suggest and are due for a break. The Panthers look like something is deeply flawed, especially with Cam Newton.
When you are a rookie quarterback and you are putting up big numbers the bye week is the last thing you want to see. Before the Houston Texans went on their bye, Deshaun Watson was putting up big numbers with quarterback ratings over 90 in four straight games. The Seattle Seahawks have one of the top defenses in the league and Century Link Field is a tough stadium even for a veteran quarterback. Look for the Seahawks defense to make Watson which he was back on his bye was the Texans are lost in the Pacific Northwest.
The Washington Redskins really don’t like Mondays, that has been established as they have lost 19 of their last 20 appearances on Monday Night Football. Their loss last week against the Eagles has them breaking the cardinal rule of not letting Monday ruin your Sunday, as they are left with just one healthy offensive lineman as the get set to host the rival Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys meanwhile come in off their best game of the season, a 40-10 blowout of the 49ers. Look for the Cowboys momentum to continue as the Redskins limp away with another NFC East loss.
The Detroit Lions are the NFL’s version of mystery meat. Some weeks they look like they are rolling at the bottom of the league, some weeks it looks like they should be flying high with the league’s best. After two straight losses the Lions went into their bye week at 3-3. The Pittsburgh Steelers, though a much better team have some of the same occasional struggles. The Lions are a decent home team and have been known to play their best when things look bleakest. This feels like a gut move, but I like the Lions as a home dog on Sunday Night.
Each of these teams are coming off back-to-back losses, but they are hardly in the same condition. The Kansas City Chiefs were the last NFL team to lose a game and lost two straight close battles to bitter rivals, while the Denver Broncos offense has vanished without a trace. The Chiefs losses are just bumps in the road, the Broncos have a large mountain to climb and look like they have a host of problems that have only just begun as they struggle to score again on Monday Night in Arrowhead.