Two teams going in the wrong direction meet to recover and grab control of the AFC West. The Chargers come in off three straight losses, while the Raiders have dropped two straight. The main concern is the Raiders health of RB Darren McFadden and play of QB Carson Palmer. Until McFadden is back, Palmer is going to have to carry the offense, and the rust still is there for that. Look for a win for the Bolts.
The winner of this game will get a big leg up in the NFC South. The Falcons after a slow start appear to be gathering momentum and finding the play that helped them post a 13-3 record last year, while the Saints have been up and down, struggling badly on the road. This game is in Atlanta and that trend will continue as Matt Ryan and Michael Turner have a big day to deliver a home win for the Falcons.
Cam Cameron is coming off a bye week for the first time in his career, and this will be a big test as the Panthers have a winnable home game against the Titans. The poor play of RB Chris Johnson continues to be a concern for the Titans. Look for a strong game from Cam Newton who will be reenergized after the bye as he starts the second half with a win against the Titans.
Memo to the Bengals, yes you are 6-2 but you are not fooling anyone. You are a result of an easy schedule equivalent of loading up against teams from Division 2. Now comes the big boys in the AFC North. First up the Steelers who you just know are chomping at the bit after their last second loss to the Ravens. Look for the Black and Yellow to expose the Bengals as the frauds they are. If the Bengals some how win than they will earn my respect.
The Browns are a giant mess, Peyton Hillis who looked like a budding superstar last year has been bitten hard by the Madden Curse as injury and contract unhappiness has turned him into a non factor. Until the Browns get their running game going their offense is going to struggle. Look for the Rams to come into Cleveland and get their second win of the year as they do just enough with Stephen Jackson running the ball.
It’s the recipe for disaster in Dallas; the Buffalo Bills have a strong secondary with a penchant for intercepting passes. Tony Romo is coming off a strong game and the Cowboys are going up the romocoaster, it only makes that a plunge is due. Look for a big day from the ball hawking Bills secondary as they pick off the Cowboys QB and get the upset on the road to get back on track.
Two weeks ago the Rams won, last week the Dolphins won, now its time for the Colts. There is almost no way to think the Colts can win the way they have played lately, but one has to think they have some pride left at least you hope they do. The Jaguars have their own problems and on the road they have not played well all year, look for that to open the door as the Colts get off the schnide.
Believe it or not the Broncos can get back in the AFC West race with a win in Arrowhead. The Chiefs are coming off a terrible game last week against the Dolphins. The Broncos have always had trouble winning in Kansas City and Tim Tebow won’t be able to help them this week, as the Chiefs are able to stop Willis McGahee and turn the Broncos one dimensional, which is when Tebow’s shortcomings are displayed.
The Dolphins who played well in their last few games finally got rewarded with a win last week. The Redskins meanwhile have simply played awful football after their 3-1 start, losing their last four games with a banged up offense that looks incapable of scoring. Maybe the Redskins should consider going back to Rex Grossman, though the way the rest of the team is playing it likely won’t matter any way.
The Eagles suffered a big setback in their loss to the Bears on Monday Night. Now they need a big win against the Cardinals. The Cardinals are coming west to east and that always puts them at a disadvantage. Look for the Eagles to rebound and come out strong with LaSean McCoy and Michael Vick having a big day, as ex Eagles QB Kevin Kolb is unable to win in his return to Philly.
The Buccaneers are suddenly scrambling with three losses in their last four games. Things won’t get any easier as they took on a Texans team that is starting to roll. The Texans are playing well on both ends of the ball. The Buccaneers however, come in desperate and playing at home come out strong as QB Josh Freeman leads the way in a much needed win.
Fresh off their dramatic win over the Steelers, the Ravens travel into the nest of the 12th man. Though the 12th man is missing the most important men, and that is a capable Quarterback and shutdown defense. The Ravens do have a shutdown defense, and shutdown the Seahawks they will. Look for the Ravens to show why they should be consider the team to beat in the AFC with an easy win in Seattle.
A win for the Bears will make things interesting in the NFC North. When they met earlier in the year the Lions used the home crowd to rattle the Bears, now in Chicago it is the Bears chance for revenge. Soldier Field will give the Bears a similar advantage as the slow track will keep Calvin Johnson in check as Matt Forte is able to take advantage of the aggressive Lions defense to lead the Bears to victory.
This should be a good game as the winner can stake claim to the second spot in the NFC. The Giants are coming off a dramatic win in Foxboro, while the 49ers at 7-1 are looking like their glory days. Both teams like to win on defense, with the Giants relying on a blitzing attack. The 49ers to win will need a big day from RB Frank Gore, I sense the Giants will be able to stop Gore and open the door for Eli Manning to pull out another game in the 4th Quarter.
Things are not looking good in Foxboro as the Patriots have lost two straight and now face a hungry Jets team coming off their best game of the season. The problem for the Pats is their defense which has been vulnerable all season is no longer being covered up by their offense which has been made to look predictable without a deep threat. Expect that trend to continue as the Jets rattle Brady, while Mark Sanchez rolls over the defense.
The Packers offense is unstoppable, as QB Aaron Rodgers has gotten everyone and their mother involved in the offense. A typical week for Rodgers is 90& completion percentage with receptions by 8-12 different teammates. How can any team stop that especially going into Lambeau. Vikings Rookie QB Christian Ponder has played well, but he won’t be able to match Rodgers as the Packers reach 9-0.