This is a S.O.S game for the Titans, as they can be all but playing out the string with another loss that will drop them to 1-5. The Steelers come in at 2-2, and they are also not in good shape, as Troy Polamalu will miss another game after reinjuring his calf on Sunday. The Steelers defense has struggled without Polamalu, and if the Titans can get Chris Johnson going it will be a long night for the black and gold.
The Raiders in recent years have been terrible when playing the early game after traveling across the country. The Raiders are coming off a bye week and that should help, but going against the unbeaten Falcons they will not a lot more help than that. Right now the Falcons offense is rolling as QB Matt Ryan has been the early MVP in the NFL. I can not see any way they will lose at home against the lackluster Raiders.
The Cowboys had an up and down month, splitting the first four games before sitting back and watching the action last week. The Cowboys inconsistency revolves around QB Tony Romo, who has had trouble with turnovers so far this year. Going into Baltimore, where the Ravens have not lost since 2010 it is not likely to get better. Expect more frustration for America’s Team as the Ravens cruise to an easy win.
Last week it was double woe for Ohio, as both the Browns and Bengals suffered disheartening losses. The Bengals were at home and played a terrible game in losing to the Dolphins, while the Browns jumped out to a 14-0 and still lost big to the Giants at the Meadowlands. In their first meeting in Week 2 the Browns played well but lost in Cincy. At 0-5 they enter as the last of the winless, I sense that will change as they get a strong game from Trent Richardson and stun the Bengals at home.
Despite their 2-3 record, the Miami Dolphins have played well so far this season. Last week they finally got rewarded with a win as they stunned the Bengals on the road. Back at home, the face the Rams who come in at 3-2 and have also played well. The Rams, however have gotten all three wins at home, back outside I think it will be the Dolphins who have the edge as Reggie Bush should be able to keep the Rams hungry pass rush from causing too much damage.
Last week the Colts had a emotional heartfelt win, as they stunned the Packers in the final minutes just days after learning their Coach Chuck Pagano had Leukemia. Often teams that expend so much energy and so much emotion suffer a big letdown the following week, especially if they play on the road. The Jets seemed to get back on track in their competitive Monday Night game against the Texans. Facing the Colts at the Meadowlands I expect Gang Green to get a win and avoid a crippling third straight loss at home.
The Eagles last week found out what it feels like to lose a close game at the end as the Steelers won 16-14 on a last second Field Goal. Through five games the Eagles are 3-2 and have won their three games by a total of four points as Michael Vick has had trouble holding on to the ball. At 1-3 the Lions have been disappointing all over the field, as QB Matthew Stafford has struggled, while Ndamukong Suh has been invisible. If the Lions plan to win both need to get their game in gear. However, in Philly I think the Eagles will win their margin as the Lions continue to dig a hole for themselves.
The health of Matt Cassel is a big question mark as his ego and his brain were bruised in a scintillating 9-6 loss to the Ravens last week in Arrowhead. It may be time for Brady Quinn in Kansas City, but this week in Tampa it will time for the Buccaneers to get their second win, as their own QB Josh Freeman needs to get things going to save his own job. Offense will be at premium again in this one, but Tampa should win this one at home.
Last week the Cardinals came back to earth a bit, losing their first game after starting 4-0. The Cardinals got exposed for several offensive problems, as QB Kevin Kolb was flattened by the Rams pass rush. Fortunately for Kolb and the red birds, the Bills pass rush is none existent. Back home in the desert I see the Cardinals bouncing back and getting another win, as the Bills lose a third straight.
The Seahawks have a special advantage at home as their stadium, Century Link Field was built to hold in the noise, they also have a knowledgeable fan base who know just when to get loud and disrupt the other quarterback. Tom Brady does like disruptions and he does not like to get hit, the Seahawks also have a solid defense and pass rush. Look for a rare bad game from Brady as the Seahawks get another home dog win.
The 49ers have waited for this game nearly nine months. Last January on their own field, they literally fumbled away a chance to go to the Super Bowl. The Giants are a team that can either rise to their opponents level or sink to it, and while I expect them to have a good game, without a healthy Hakeem Nicks it’s hard to see them winning this one. The 49ers will be at the top of their game and will make a statement that the road to New Orleans goes through the San Francisco Bay.
The Redskins coming off a disappoint loss last week are a team that can go in several directions, while the 4-1 Vikings have been the biggest surprise in the NFL so far. The Vikings are due for a bad game, and while they did get one of their three wins in Washington last year I see the Redskins getting back to .500 with a win, as RGIII has been cleared to practice and should play on Sunday.
The Packers have not looked right this season, and with a loss on Sunday they could be in serious jeopardy at 2-4. I just can’t picture the Packers sitting at 2-4, but they have a tough task facing the unbeaten Texans on the road. The Texans though are coming off a less than stellar win over the Jets. They will also be without Brian Cushing, I think the Packers playing desperate football put forth their best effort of the season and score a Sunday Night upset as reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers breaks out of his early season funk.
The Broncos have not exactly taken off with QB Peyton Manning this year, starting off at 2-3. They have had a tough schedule and Manning has played well, but their defense has left a lot to be desired, while their receivers have had the dropsies. The Chargers can get in the AFC West driver’s seat with a win and they have had a history of beating Peyton Manning when he was with the Colts, it will be close but the Chargers will continue their roller coaster ride with a Monday Night win.