It is safe to say that Denver Broncos coach Vance Joseph is no longer having the time of his life. For the second straight season, the Broncos have gone on an extended losing streak, dropping to 2-4, after a 2-0 start last. Making matters worse they have given up two straight 200-yard rushing games. The Arizona Cardinals come in 1-5, but they can run the ball, and David Johnson will make it three in a row as the Cardinals win a Thursday Night meeting of teams who are going to draft in the Top 10 again.
It must feel good for the Los Angeles Chargers to play a home game and see a full crowd not hating you. The bad news is, you are not home, you are in London, and the fans in the stands are just football fans, and not likely going to be clamoring for the Bolts merchandise. The Chargers are coming off an impressive win in Cleveland, while the Tennessee Titans were shutout at home by the Ravens. Marcus Mariota is clearly ailing, which is bad news; though the Titans defense could keep the game close, they would need a Philip Rivers meltdown to even have a chance to think about winning.
The Chicago Bears clearly were affected by the bye week as they came out flat last week against the Dolphins. The Bears had a good second half but still lost in overtime as a result. The New England Patriots meanwhile are a go for launch, winning a classic Sunday Night shootout against the Chiefs. The Bears defense can do many good things, but when you spend too much time on the field with Mitch Trubisky’s struggles. Brady will take advantage and find a way to slice through the Bears defense and get the Patriots a fourth straight win.
For the Buffalo Bills its Derek Anderson to the rescue, as Josh Allen will miss two to three weeks with an elbow injury. Anderson getting the start likely means the end is nigh for Nathan Peterman, the WOAT. The Indianapolis Colts are just happy it is not Allen, because they now have a chance to win. Andrew Luck has played well, but the Colts defense is among the worst in the league. It is just too bad we could not see the Worst Quarterback in the history of the NFL play the worst defense, just to see what could happen.
Coming off two ugly losses, the Jacksonville Jaguars need a bounce back as they return home to face the Houston Texans. The Texans after starting 0-3 are now 3-0, but Deshaun Watson has been running for his life, with Houston’s offensive live having trouble protecting him. The Jaguars have always played well against Houston, and that will continue as they get back on track by keeping Watson on his back.
The Miami Dolphins had one of the craziest wins in their 53-year history last week, beating the Bears in overtime in a game that was a roller coaster of emotions. Once again, the status of Ryan Tannehill is on the bench, as the Dolphins quarterback deals with a shoulder injury. Brock Osweiler was terrific last week, but he always plays well against the Bears. The Detroit Lions look like they were getting things together after they beat the Packers prior to the bye week. With uncertainty in Miami, the Lions could be set up for a win.
The New York Jets have been impressive in the last two weeks, winning two straight at home to get back to .500. However, they played a pair of teams that are likely to both going to be in the Top Ten of the NFL Draft. The Minnesota Vikings have also won two straight, and look like they are starting to find their groove. Look for the experienced Vikings defense to give trouble all day to Sam Darnold, the Jets rookie passer, as Kirk Cousins make the plays when it matters most.
The Philadelphia Eagles looked like the Super Bowl Champions for the first time last week as they took apart the Giants on Thursday Night Football. The Carolina Panthers meanwhile had trouble getting their offense going against the Redskins on the road. Playing another tough road game against the NFC East, the Panthers with some injury issues struggle again, while Carson Wentz getting more comfortable every week has a strong game in front of the home fans.
Last week the Cleveland Browns suffered a bit of a letdown as their defense was run over by the Chargers at home. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers meanwhile, nearly pulled off a miracle win in Atlanta, as Deshawn Jackson too busy waving his arm and calling for the ball, failed to catch the lateral that could have stomped all hearts in Atlanta. The Buccaneers responded by firing defensive coordinator Mike Smith. Jameis Winston despite some good play late overall struggled in his first start, look for the Browns defense to give him fits as Cleveland wins its first road game in three years.
The Baltimore Ravens are a curious team. Some weeks they look like a contender like last week when they recorded 11 sacks in a shutting out the Titans, others they look like a pretender when they lost two weeks ago in Cleveland. Returning home, they face a tough task against the Saints who have been flying as of late with Drew Brees setting the NFL’s yardage record. This is the type of game that gives Brees fits, on the road, outside and against a tough defense. Look for the Ravens to slow the Saints down and get the win.
NBC did some flexing as the NFC West battle was moved from primetime to daytime, as the once sexy matchup of Jimmy Garoppolo against Jared Goff will not happen with the Niners quarterback recovering from a torn ACL. The Los Angeles Rams at 6-0 are rolling with Todd Gurley getting MVP talk; the 49ers have at times been competitive as they nearly upset the Packers at Lambeau Field on Monday Night. However, a late collapse showed San Francisco is severely lacking. The 49ers will provide little resistance as the Rams come into Levi’s Stadium and win easily.
This is a test of two teams, to show who is real and who is a big fat phony. The Washington Redskins have been strong at home, beating the Packers and Panthers. The Dallas Cowboys have struggled away from AT&T Stadium; though have been able to push around Washington in recent years. Last week the Cowboys delivered their best game of the season as they scored 40 points against the Jaguars. If Dallas can win this game, they will prove they are a factor in the NFC East. If the Redskins win, they will stay in first and establish a strong home field advantage at the same time.
How can you not be entertained by the Kansas City Chiefs, as their offense has become the most exciting in the NFL, despite having to deal with Andy Reid as their coach. This has led to them playing in primetime for the third straight week. Last week they suffered their first loss of the year but left with a good feeling as Patrick Mahomes played well matched against Tom Brady at Foxboro. The Cincinnati Bengals meanwhile are coming off another heartbreaking loss to the Steelers at home. These losses always seem to send the Bengals on a tailspin, and with the Chiefs dynamic offense up next, it is hard to see them being able to stop it in Arrowhead.
At 1-5, everyone is now saying that Eli Manning is washed up as the New York Giants season is all but over. Fingers are pointing in every direction as the owner has called out Odell Beckham Jr. In short, the Giants are a dumpster fire. The Atlanta Falcons are one bounce from being in the same boat as they narrowly missed another epic fourth quarter choke job. The Falcons should win this one, but their injury issues, the force field stopping Julio Jones from the end zone is getting stronger and that fourth quarter voodoo all converge on Monday Night. Eli is a great quarterback and while he may be done he has some magic left, down four with 1 second left he throws a Hail Mary that Odell Beckham catches over the head of Jones who can’t touch anything in the end zone for a miracle Monday Night win as the Falcons choke again in primetime.