It had to feel like deja vu all over again for the New York Giants, who last year losing their first two games finally, got their offense on track with against the Philadelphia Eagles. However, they had their heart ripped out when Jake Elliott nailed a 61-yard field goal. On Sunday the Giants got their first 30-point game in two years in Carolina only to lose on a 63-yarder from Graham Gano. Now they face an Eagles team looking to breakout on Thursday Night. Expect heavy rains and a somber mood as the Giants drop to 1-5 and watch another season get washed away.
At 1-4, the Atlanta Falcons are beat up and barely hanging on as their season stands on the brink while the leaves are still green. Expecting to have a chance to play as a home team in the Super Bowl, the Falcons must hope they can get the home fires burning against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who are coming off a bye and expected to start Jameis Winston. With Winston starting, that could be the break Atlanta needs, as the Buccaneers offense appears to move better with Ryan Fitzpatrick, they just need to hope the game is not too close or they could cough another one up, because that is what Falcons football does.
This game will be able to tell us a lot. The Cincinnati Bengals with the ability to rally late in games are 4-1, while the Steelers coming off their best game of the season are 2-2-1. The Steelers have owned the Bengals winning 14 of 17 games since 2017, including five straight at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals, if they are to be taken seriously, must solve their woes against the Steelers. I just can’t ignore these trends, the Steelers always bring out the worst in Cincinnati, as the Bengals always find a way to meltdown under the Pittsburgh blast furnace, often making bad penalties and costly turnovers along the way.
With a little luck, the Cleveland Browns could be 5-0. They have two wins, one tie, and two losses, with three games decided in overtime. In their two losses, the Browns have had a misses PAT and horrendous officiating to blame for their losses. The Los Angeles Chargers are doing what they usually do play good, but not great football. The Chargers were the only team to lose to the Browns between 2016 and 2017, and have a big disadvantage playing an early game. This one should be a defensive battle as the Browns defense has been quite impressive. In the end, the difference will be experience, as the Chargers led by the veteran Philip Rivers will find a way to slip by.
With two straight overtime wins, the Houston Texans have gotten back on track after a 0-3 start. Facing the Buffalo Bills, they should be able to keep the momentum going, as the front seven should be able to handle Buffalo’s porous offensive line. The Bills with a win over the Titans last week were impressive on defense but were sluggish again on offense as points were at a premium. This one will also be low scoring as Deshaun Watson recovering from knee surgery has yet to find his groove. Despite that, the Texans should be able to find a way to win at home.
There can be no denying it anymore, Ryan Trash-hill the artist formerly known as Ryan Tannehill who runs around aimlessly like Benny Hill is the absolute worst quarterback in the whole friggen NFL. When the Miami Dolphins offense is on the field, they should just play Yakety Sax on an endless loop. The Dolphins offensive line is beaten up with two players out for the year and another concussion protocol and now they face Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears who has at least one strip sack a game so far. Expect that trend to continue as the Dolphins go from 3-0 to getting shutout at home as they remain forever locked in NFL hell.
With a 23-21 win over the Eagles, the Minnesota Vikings appear to have gotten things back on track as they avenged their loss in the NFC Championship Game. The Arizona Cardinals meanwhile needed the 49ers to turn into the 911ers with all their injuries. This one appears to be an impossible situation for Arizona, as the Vikings look like they are about to go on a nice run, while the Cardinals appear to be one of the worst five teams in the league.
It is has been 50 years since that fateful January day in Miami when Joe Namath guaranteed victory and the New York Jets won Super Bowl III as an 18-point underdog. The Jets will be honoring that team as they face the Indianapolis Colts at Met Life Stadium. The Colts have one of the best quarterbacks in the league as Andrew Luck has played well returning from injury but nothing else, as their offense is limited and their defense is terrible. The New York Jets have seen flashes from rookie Sam Darnold, and have some pieces, they just hope that once he is ready to be a top-level quarterback they can do a better job than Indianapolis did at helping Luck.
London is calling for the first time in 2018, as a pair of West Coast teams go around the globe. For the Seattle Seahawks, it is their first trip overseas, while the Oakland Raiders seem to leave the USA at least once a season. The Seahawks at 2-3 have shown flashes, thanks to the play of Russell Wilson, while the Raiders have yet to put together a full 60-minute effort. Even Derek Carr their supposedly reliable quarterback has struggled with some terrible turnovers in the red zone. The Seahawks have their flaws, but the Raiders are a mess, and with no way to pressure Wilson, look for the Seahawks to have a big day in the Old World.
In the NFL, it does not always matter how you win, just as long as you win. The Carolina Panthers at 3-1 dodged a major bullet last week, as they were able to get in position and beat the Giants on a 63-yard field goal by Graham Gano after blowing a big lead. The Washington Redskins, coming off another poor Monday Night performance are just hoping to rebound from getting beat up in the New Orleans. The Panthers have the better weapons and could be getting Greg Olsen back, which should help the offense and Thomas Davis back, which will help the defense. This will provide an extra boost for a nice road win.
Last week the Denver Broncos allowed 34 points to the Jets. Coming home, they now play one of the top offenses in the league as the Los Angeles Rams come to town. If they can’t stop the Jets’ offense, how are they going to stop the Rams who have scored at least 33 points in every game so far? This one should get ugly quickly as fans in Denver, watch the Broncos drop a fourth game in a row turning up the heat on the already broiling thrown used by Coach Vance Joseph, who is not having the time of his life.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have looked great at times, beating the Patriots in Week 2, and disappointing in others as they lost a week later to the Titans. Coming off a tough loss in Kansas City, they cannot afford another letdown. The defense has been good for the most part, but Blake Bortles remains their weakest link at quarterback, especially with injuries to the run game. The Dallas Cowboys meanwhile at 2-3 have struggled, while they have two home wins, their vanilla offense should be no challenge for the Jaguars defense looking to make someone pay for the Chiefs big game.
Both of these teams are coming off dreadful losses with field goals being the theme of the day. The Titans have been solid on defense, but have had trouble scoring all season as Marcus Mariota has dealt with an elbow injury suffered in Week 1. The Ravens have been Jekyll and Hyde meanwhile, looking great in Pittsburgh while losing in Cleveland. Look for this week to be more Hyde as the Titans find a way to win another close ugly game at home.
This one could be fun, as Patrick Mahomes makes his first visit to Foxboro on Sunday Night. After a 1-2 start, the New England Patriots are back on track following easy wins over the Dolphins and Colts. The Kansas City Chiefs meanwhile are 5-0 for the second straight season. This time the Chiefs start feels more reel as Mahomes as lit up the highlight reels. Expect more magic from Mahomes as the Patriots pass defense still is lacking. The Chiefs secondary is not any better, which means we will also see the best of Tom Brady, expect both passers to go over 400 yards, with whoever has the ball last getting the win, and somehow that always seems to be New England.
Every year there is one team that gets besieged by a never-ending list of injuries. The San Francisco 49ers are that team in 2018. With injuries to Jerick McKinnon their expected starting running back, Jimmy Garoppolo their quarterback and Matt Breida, who was playing well in place of McKinnon, the Niners have lost their three top offensive weapons. The Green Bay Packers who played most of last season without Aaron Rodgers have no time for sympathy coming off a bad loss in Detroit. Look for Rodgers to get it out Mason Crosby’s off-target toes and into the end zone as the Packers win going away on Monday Night.