Not a bad week last week, but let’s see if we can build on this.
Miami @ Cincinnati – Can we do it two weeks in a row? Well, can Palmer do it two weeks in a row? Miami is a tough team that consistently plays well, and that comes from good coaching (and some talent). The Bengals have got to run the ball which may be a chore against the Dolphins, but that helps Palmer be better. It’s a home game and you gotta think that the Bengals are going to get on track at some point in order to save their head coaches’ job. We’ll see. Winner – Bengals.
Jacksonville @ Dallas – The dust has settled and now the Cowboys have to play the hand they were dealt. Jon Kitna is the starter and it’s been almost 2 years since his last start. He was able to get Dez Bryant involved last week and I expect that he’ll continue that. Dallas has to figure out their running game, is it going to be Barber, Jones, or whomever? Get one and stick with him until he gets hurt. The season is pretty much over unless they get something miraculous going on in Dallas. This game should allow them to at least get a win and feel good about themselves. IF they lose to this Jaguars team, they shouldn’t even show up for the rest of the year. Winner – Cowboys.
Washington @ Detroit – Matthew Stafford will get the start for this game. This week they get another NFC East squad in the Redskins. Based on the performance last week by the Redskins against the Bears, Stafford may want to let Stanton take this start. I do expect that the Redskins defense will play pretty well in this game, but I expect the Redskins to have problems running the ball against the Lions front 4. I don’t expect that Stafford will be as good as he has looked in previous weeks, so I gotta go with the veteran. Winner – Redskins.
Buffalo @ Kansas City – On the surface, this would be an easy pick because the Chiefs are showing that they can put points on the board and they can play some defense. Then they get the Bills offense that put up a lot of points and gained a lot of yards against a normally stout Ravens defense. Ryan Fitzpatrick is looking like a better version of Matt Cassel when he was in New England, but of course Fitzpatrick went to Harvard. This could be a test for the Chiefs that they really have to pass since this is a team that they should beat. Are they up to the task? Winner – Chiefs.
Green Bay @ New York Jets – The Jets are coming off of their bye and things haven’t been as entertaining without them being in the news. A week away allows Revis to rest his hamstring, and probably was a good break for this team. I imagine that they will make quick work of the Packers since they don’t have a running game and I think the Jets will get to Rodgers enough to beat him up. The Bears should be happy this week because they are on a bye and they get to watch the Packers lose. Winner – Jets.
Denver @ San Francisco – I guess call me crazy too. I really think that the 49ers can win the NFC West, unless the Seahawks just turn it on. None of the teams in that division are blowing me away. Yes, the 49ers are having QB issues, but I think that it gets better with Troy Smith starting this week. Here’s to lightening in a bottle for Smith. The Broncos need to bounce back from last weeks’ thrashing at the hands of the Raiders (of all teams), so I expect this to be a close game. Winner – 49ers.
Tennessee @ San Diego – Will Vince go this week? Will the Chargers get out of the gate this week? I’m pretty much giving up on the Chargers. They are having problems with their depth at LB but they are going to let go Merriman, they are having problems with their WR but they don’t want to pay their best one in Jackson, and for some reason this pool of talent just can’t seem to get it going. Sounds like front office and coaching issues to me. The Titans have a great running game and some underappreciated receivers. They just continue to push forward and win games. I expect that they will continue that trend this week. Winner – Titans.
Tampa Bay @ Arizona – Somebody has to win this game, right? The Cardinals need a QB and the Bucs need a consistent RB. This will be indoors and maybe this Bucs defense gets a little faster? I really have no idea. I just feel sorry for Fitzgerald having to endure this down period for the Cardinals. Winner – Bucs.
Minnesota @ New England – So the big question is how is Brett’s ankle? We know he can still text, but can he play this week? Yes, the streak is on the line and I imagine that Childress will start Jackson. If that happens, look for the Vikings to be energized with T-Jack back there and I think they’ll be excited enough to get this win. The Patriots haven’t looked good (barring that one game against the Ravens) since they traded Randy Moss. Are they still an elite team without a big play receiver? The Vikings have to have this game, in the biggest way. Winner – Vikings.
Seattle @ Oakland – The Raiders come off their best game in what, 10 years? They play a Seahawks team that seems to find a way to win. Can Jason Campbell play well two games in a row? That may be the biggest question. For some reason I think that he has turned the corner. Hasselbeck may play well in this game also, but I think it’ll come down to the running game of each team, so DMC (McFadden) vs. Marshawn Lynch. Who you got? Winner – Raiders.
Pittsburgh @ New Orleans – The Saints NEED a win and they get to welcome the Steelers into the bayou. I would normally say that this would be an ambush, but I think this is the worst thing for the Saints. The Steelers have been playing decent/good ball when they decide to run, and the Saints have problems stopping the run. Brees won’t have a lot of time back in that pocket, so I gotta go with the better defense. Winner – Steelers.
Houston @ Indianapolis – Rematch!!! The Texans hit the Colts early and often in their last game. The Texans have had some rough patches as of late and the Colts aren’t really impressing me. The Colts have lost Collie and Clark and it seems as though everyone is beat up otherwise. This game is in Indy on Monday night and that’s when magic happens. Going against the grain here. Winner – Texans.
Who you got?!?!?