The Jets travel to the great white north for a match up with the Bills, hoping to avenge an overtime loss in the Meadowlands earlier in the season. The Jets outplayed the Bills in the first match up but lost because of the mistakes of QB Mark Sanchez. If Sanchez avoids the same ghastly game, the Jets should win, as the Bills are giving up their ordinary home field edge in their annual trip to Toronto.
The Falcons were able to win last week despite losing Quarterback Matt Ryan early in the game. However, that was against the awful Buccaneers and they need a game winning drive in the final minutes to get the winning score. Playing without Matt Ryan again this week against the Eagles, a team with a pulse they won’t be as lucky as the crowd’s reaction to Michael Vick who returns to the Georgia Dome for the first time will be the big story of the game.
Like a boxer that has been pummeled for ten rounds, the Panthers are on rubber legs and ready to go down with a swift breeze. Facing the 1-10 Buccaneers is about as close to a swift breeze you can get. However, the Bucs have played better as of late and have a strong enough defense that will take advantage of Jake Delhomme’s interceptions to get a road win.
Good new Chicago the Bears are going to win this week. The reason however has nothing to do with them ending their struggles as they are facing the Rams, who may be physically incapable of winning. Look for a strong game from Jay Cutler, and the Bears embattled defense.
The Bengals at 8-3 have been the biggest surprise in the NFL as they have all put locked up the AFC North Division Championship. One problem is, while they play strong against the stellar teams, they have at times played down to weaker opponents as their loss to the Raiders showed. They will win this game, but it will be like their game against the Browns last week, where they had to sweat it out all game.
After starting 0-6 the Titans are one win away from getting back to .500. The keys to the Titans is QB Vince Young who has looked like he’s matured and assumed the mantle of franchise star he was given after leaving college, and the running of Chris Johnson who had a dazzling 800 yards rushing in November. However, it will be tougher this week as the true reason behind the Colts 11-0 record has been their often overlooked defense which should be able to slow the Titans enough to give Peyton Manning the chance to win another close one.
With three straight gut wrenching losses the Texans once promising season looks on the verge of imploding. To keep any hope of staying in the playoff chase alive, they must win this week against the Jaguars, who coming off a loss to the 49ers also can not afford another loss. Look for Matt Schaub to have a strong game, as the Texans will benefit from a road game against a team without a home field advantage.
When Josh McDaniels took over the coaching job with the Broncos this off-season he expressed a desire to bring Matt Cassel with him. Cassel who led the Patriots to an 11-5 record in Tom Brady’s absence was a highly sought after QB in the off-season and landed in KC. Now he gets to up against his former mentor. Usually that does not bold well for young Quarterbacks as the teacher often knows their weaknesses and will be able to relay it on to the Denver defense.
The Patriots were exposed on Monday Night as Drew Brees had a field day passing for 377 yards. In an earlier match up in Foxboro the Pats beat their division rivals, but had a tough time doing so. On the road is where they have struggled posting a 1-4 record away from Gillette Stadium. With the Dolphins needing to run the table to keep their playoff hopes alive, find away to get the win.
Despite losing to the Ravens in overtime last week, the Steelers played well with third string QB Dennis Dixon. Starter Ben Roethlisberger is expected to return this week, as the Steelers desperately need a win to get back on track. Weather Big Ben plays or not won’t matter as the Raiders in 1:00 starts on the East Coast always look disinterested any way, meaning I could start for the Steelers and lead them to a win.
This game has trap written all over it for the Saints, who are coming off a 38-17 humiliation of the Patriots on Monday Night. A short week and press clippings about an unbeaten season are often poison to the best teams, its even worse when they face a hated division rival next week. The Redskins do have the defense to quite the Saints down, but do they have the offense to get the upset that is the tougher task as the Saints barely win in Washington.
The Chargers are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, while the Browns are beyond terrible. This one will be a cake walk for the Chargers who may be able to hang a doughnut on the Browns pathetic offense. Fortunately there will be plenty of booze to help the Browns fans drown their sorrows as the boos rain down on Eric Mangini.
On Thanksgiving last week the biggest Turkeys in the NFL were the Giants, who whined about playing in Denver on Turkey Day, and went out and laid an egg, with a performance that looked like a team that did not want to be there. They will want to be there this week but its too late the Cowboys will come into the Meadowlands and deal the Giants a death blow as Eli Manning’s foot continues to bother him, while the Giants defense looks quite tiny without Antonio Pierce.
The Seahawks may have the 12th man at home, but they no longer have a stellar team, as for the second year in a row they have struggled. Against the 49ers this week they face an elimination game in the winner will still have some glimmer of a playoff hope while the loser can start focusing on the draft. While the Seahawks are in the sunset from a contender the 49ers are a team that could be making allot of noise beyond this year, and a big win in Seattle will be seen as a moment of growth.
The health of Kurt Warner remains a question, but the play of Brett Favre and the Vikings have been unquestionable all season. The Cardinals are the best of a bad bunch in the NFC West. In primetime it should be a solid showcase for the Vikings as the Cardinals have struggled at home all season. Look for Brett Favre to shine again in primetime as the Vikings continue as the class of the NFL.
After their slip up against the Buccaneers the Packers have bounced back quite nicely with three straights wins, as they have been able to keep Quarterback Aaron Rodgers on his feet. However, playing the attacking Ravens defense that could be a bit of a problem, especially since the Ravens are squarely on the playoff bubble and cannot afford a loss. Look for Rodgers to be rushed all day, while Joe Flacco takes advantage of the injury depleted Packers defense.