The Chicago Bears have done just enough to win four of their first five games. The Carolina Panthers come in with a three-game winning streak, as they have overcome the loss of Christian McCaffery. The Panthers wins have come against weaker teams, while the Bears win over the Buccaneers, and Tom Brady was their most impressive of the season. I like the Bears defense over the Panthers with Nick Foles again making the big plays when the game is on the line.
The Cincinnati Bengals took a step backward last week as they could not get their offense going against the Ravens. This week they face another tough defense in the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts suffered their own disappointment, losing to the Browns last week. Phillip Rivers has struggled, despite the Colts solid 3-2 start. If the game is close, he could be prone to the pick-six. In the end, the Colts will get the win, as the Bengals could be coraled.
Both of these teams come into the game with just one win. The Detroit Lions have been Falcon-like, blowing three double-digit leads. Though overall, they have played well and have been in nearly every game until the end. The Jacksonville Jaguars, meanwhile, have had diminishing results since starting the season with a win. Gardner Minshew has been good in flashes, but Jacksonville’s lack of defense has been problematic and will again be the Jaguars’ downfall.
The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a heartbreak Sunday night loss in Seattle, that dropped them to 1-4 on the season. The Atlanta Falcons know all about heartbreak blowing two big fourth-quarter leads, as they have started 0-5. The 0-5 start has led to the firing of Dan Quinn who was relieved of his coaching duties. It should be fans in Atlanta who are relieved as Quinn has been a disaster since 28-3. The Vikings will take advantage of the Falcons’ porous secondary to get the win.
This game getting moved one week due to COVID sweeping through Foxboro should help the New England Patriots, as there is a chance that Cam Newton can play if he is free of the virus as he has been asymptomatic and could pass the two-week window by the time is played on Sunday. The Denver Broncos have had quarterback injury issues and likely will have Brett Rypien under center. Rypien will not beat the Patriots.
Despite their 0-5 start, the New York Giants have been somewhat competitive. They had chances to beat the Bears, Rams, and the Cowboys, but the often erratic play of Daniel Jones got in the way. Washington has been a mess since winning in Week 1. Dwayne Haskins has been benched and is likely on his way out after calling in sick. Alex Smith returned after nearly two years on the sideline from his horrific leg injury. A great story but demonstrating the mess of the WTF quarterback situation. If the Giants can’t win this game, then perhaps it’s time to examine Jones’s future in New York.
The Philadelphia Eagles are a mess. They are 1-4 and not playing well on either side of the ball. Carson Wentz has been running for his life from a struggling offensive line while the defense has not impressed. The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a terrific win over the Bengals, other than their hiccup against the Chiefs they have impressed. The Ravens defense will be in Wentz’ face as Lamar Jackson sets the pace of Baltimore blowout.
At 4-1, the Cleveland Browns have the look of a real contender. The Browns offense has been strong in their four wins, as Baker Mayfield appears to be maturing into a strong quarterback. The Pittsburgh Steelers, meanwhile, are 4-0 for the first time since 1979, a year they won the Super Bowl. This would be a tougher task if Heinz Field were filled with fans. Even in the worst of times for Cleveland, this has been a terrific rivalry. Expect this one to be close, with the Steelers winning it with their experience.
The Tennessee Titans were impressive on Tuesday night, beating up the Bills after their COVID break. However, on a short week, the break and lack of practice will catch up with them. The Houston Texans looked like a team that had the chains taken off of them as they won their first game for interim coach Romeo Crennel last week. The Texans will again look like a team freed from tyranny as the entire team appears to be happy with the coaching change as they again get the win, with Deshaun Watson out gunning Ryan Tannehill.
The Miami Dolphins went into Levis Stadium and wore out the 49ers. This week in a sudden schedule change due to the Broncos and Patriots game being move, they now have a home game against the pathetic New York Jets. The Jets are 0-5 and have lost each game by more than ten points. LeVeon Bell has been released, Sam Darnold is injured, and a mutiny seems to be heading toward coach Adam Gase. The Dolphins know the pain of having that coach on their sideline. They now love playing from Brian Flores and show it by getting to .500.
The Green Bay Packers were clicking on all cylinders before their bye week as Aaron Rodgers had the Packers scoring at least 30 points a game. The Tampa Bay Buccaneer are coming off a frustrating Thursday night loss as Tom Brady forgot what down it was at the end of the game. Brady will be determined to make up for that and have a big game at home as the Packers coming off the goodbye will start slowly, opening the way for Tampa to win.
The San Francisco 49ers were embarrassed last week as Jimmy Garappolo struggled in his return. Reports are now suggestion the Niners are souring on Jimmy G, as their season sits on the brink at 2-3 in a tough NFC West. The Los Angeles Rams are playing well at 4-1. This adds to the urgency of the 49ers playing at home on Sunday night. The Niners have been beset by injuries that have compromised their defense, while Garappolo’s lack of mobility has taken away his strength. This does not look good for the Niners, who fall again at home.
This game was moved from Thursday, as the Buffalo Bills played on Tuesday night. Each team is 4-1 and looking to rebound off a loss. For Patrick Mahomes, it was the first time he lost a game by more than seven points. While losses are rare for the Chiefs star quarterback, he has a habit of losing games in pairs. It happened in both 2018 and 2019. The Bills offense can exploit some of the weaknesses in the Chiefs secondary and can get some pressure on Patrick Mahomes. Look for the Bills to get a Monday win as the Chiefs stumble again.
Andy Dalton came off the bench and saved the day for the Dallas Cowboys, following the devastating injury to Dak Prescott. The Cowboys defense remains a concern as they allowed the Giants to tally up 34 points, a Giants team that was the lowest-scoring team in the NFL. The Arizona Cardinals, playing their third straight road game, can put up the points with Kyler Murray leading the way. Without Dak Prescott, Dallas no longer has the team capable of matching the 30 points that defense will yield.