The Bills came back to earth last week with a loss to the Bengals, while the Eagles continued to scuffle blowing a lead to the 49ers at home. At 1-3 the Eagles desperately need a win to get back on track. Not that winning in Buffalo is easy, but with two big comebacks at home they are beatable, as the Eagles desperation brings out their best effort.
The Saints defense has not exactly impressed this year, being vulnerable to the pass. Fortunately for them QB Drew Brees has been solid as they have started 3-1. Facing Cam Newton for the first time this one could show as both teams can put up the points. Sadly for the Panthers they can’t seem to win these high scoring games yet. Look for that trend to continue this week.
The loss of WR Andre Johnson could be a problem for Houston, especially if Arian Foster continues to play hurt with a similar hamstring injury. Quarterback Matt Schaub has proven to be a fine player on his own and can carry the team for a while, nut long term they need both players healthy to win. Against the Raiders at home it should not be a big issue, as the Texans front seven on defense should be able to slow down the Raiders running game.
Two solid efforts against the Steelers and Buccaneers in primetime the Colts still have nothing to show for it. Back home against a terrible Chiefs team they should get their first win, as Curtis Painter was not all that bad at quarterback last week on the road in Tampa, as the Colts due for a win get one.
The Bengals have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and RB Cedric Benson is off to a strong start ranking among the league leaders in rushing. The bad news for the Bengals a potential suspension looms for Benson and the road gets tougher from here. Blaine Gabbert has not impressed in his first two games, but you got the sense this could be a winnable game.
At 0-4 the Vikings face a crisis mode, as sooner or later a decision needs to be made about their quarterback, as rookie Christian Ponder will eventually get a chance if Donovan McNabb continues to struggle. The Cardinals offense could pose problems especially with former Vikings ball boy Larry Fitzgerald coming home, but at 1-3 the Cardinals offense is not the issue. Both teams are desperate but the Vikings need it more and get it.
The Seahawks played well the last two weeks at home but heading back on the road for an early start means nothing but trouble. At 3-1 the Giants defense is solidifying and Eli Manning is playing well leading a 4th Quarter comeback in Arizona last week. Look for another strong game by Manning as the Giants win by two touchdowns.
If it were any other quarterback, the chances of him playing with a foot injury would be minimal, but Ben Roethlisbeger seems to play his best when he is in pain. The Titans come in 3-1, playing great on the lines but a trip into Pittsburgh is one of the toughest in the league. Even if Roethlisberger misses a game, Charlie Batch is a fine backup and capable of beating the Titans.
Both these teams are 3-1, while some expected them to continue to improve, the 49ers record is the result of a soft schedule and some luck. Though luck is often the result of design and the 49ers defense and running game have been the key factors. The Bucs are a better team but going across the country after a Monday Night Game is tough for even a veteran Super Bowl team. Look for the 49ers to find a way to win again.
The Jets may still be a team capable of getting to the Super Bowl, but right now they are experiencing severe turbulence losing the first two of a tough three game road swing. In Foxboro it will only get tougher as the Pats seek revenge from the playoffs last year and until they get Nick Mangold healthy and their offense on track, winning on the road against an elite team is all but impossible.
The Chargers still are not firing on all cylinders, but they are 3-1. At one time a trip into Denver meant certain doom for the Chargers, but that was when the Broncos were able. The hiring of Josh McDaniels was one of the worst in recent NFL history as John Fox has a big mess to fix with fans wanting to see Tim Tebow. I won’t be shocked to see Tebow get a few snaps, but the Broncos won’t be able to snap their losing streak as the Chargers get the win.
Save for last weeks ugly Jets-Ravens game, the boys at NBC have been downright lucky with exciting games every Sunday Night. This week looks like another as the unbeaten Packers go to Atlanta for a playoff rematch with the Falcons. The Falcons pass defense has been mighty vulnerable and the way Aaron Rodgers is playing that could be a bad thing. However, look for Matt Ryan who appears to be heating up to find away to lead another 4th Quarter rally and get a home win.
Are you ready for some football Detroit? For the first time in a decade the Lions are hosting a Monday Night Football Game. The same Lions are 4-0 for the first time since 1980. Things are certainly looking up in Motown as the Lions are one of the league’s most exciting teams on both sides of the ball with Calvin Johnson proving he is one of the league’s elite pass catchers, while their defense and ability to comeback has Lions fans excited for the first time in ages. With this atmosphere I see the Lions bringing their best and with the way the Bears offensive line has struggled expect Jay Cutler to have a very long hard night.