Suggs in, Lewis out
The Ravens finally seemed to be getting healthy with Terrell Suggs' imminent return when last week against Dallas both Ray Lewis and LarDarius Webb went down with serious injuries. The Ravens will be relying heavily on Joe Flacco and Ray Rice as they face the 5-1 Texans. Meanwhile the Redskins play the Giants with the winner taking the lead in the NFC East. Both teams are coming off of big week six wins.Standings:
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers' defense is just too much for the young Seahawks attack to deal with. Russell Wilson is no Eli Manning, and the Seahawks won't see the kind of success the Giants did against San Francisco.
The Seahawks shocked the world last week when they upset the mighty Patriots, eking out a 24-23 victory. Coming off a career day, Russell Wilson should have what it takes to get the win over division rival San Francisco. 49ers' quarterback Alex Smith looked awful last week against the Giants when he was harassed for three interceptions and was unable to score a touchdown. Well I have bad news for the 49ers' offense: the Seahawks' defense is at least as good as the Giants'. Smith will have another awful game and the Seahawks will win a close one.
Although San Francisco is coming off an embarrassing loss and Seattle had a nice win over the Patriots last week, I think the 49ers take this game. The 49ers' defense has a slight edge on the Seahawks' defense and the Seattle offense relies heavily on the running game, which the 49ers specialize in stopping.
This game could go either way. The Seahawks have shown that they can play primetime football against the best, but Russell Wilson won't be able to figure out the 49ers' defense.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are generally sound on both sides of the ball but their defense was ripped apart last week by the Redskins. Jared Allen and the Vikings pass rush will not have the same problems as they cause huge problems for John Skelton.
With starting quarterback Kevin Kolb out, Arizona will find points a hard thing to come by. Cardinals' backup quarterback John Skelton does not have what it takes to lead an NFL offense, and the Vikings will punish him all day long.
Minnesota will have a chip on their shoulders after losing to Washington in week six. The Cardinals are beginning to fade and are coming back to reality. The Vikings find a way to win this one.
Jared Allen will have fun sacking either John Skelton or Kevin Kolb this week. The Vikings will stick to the top of the NFC North.
Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers
Neither team is living up to expectations right now. At 1-4 the Panthers are miserable, as is Cam Newton. Meanwhile at 2-3 the Cowboys are in the cellar of the NFC East. The Cowboys will win this one in a battle of the two worst offensive teams in the NFC.
The inconsistent play of Cam Newton will continue and the Cowboys will get the much-needed victory. After losing a heartbreaker in overtime last week to the Ravens, Tony Romo and the Cowboys will not let this one slip away.
I think the Dallas defense puts pressure on Cam Newton and practically takes him out of the game. Tony Romo I expect to bounce back and have a productive game against the below average Carolina defense.
The Cowboys will go crazy against this weak Panthers' defense. Cam Newton will outplay Tony Romo and will keep Carolina in the game, but it won't be enough.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Saints finally got their first win and the minus 13 point differential is surprisingly good given their 1-4 record. Don't count New Orleans out yet.
The Saints are on the verge of turning their season around and becoming the offensive juggernaut they were the last couple years. If the Saints want a shot at the playoffs, every game is a must win for them. The Saints want this one more than the Bucs and will blow them out.
I project that Drew Brees wills the Saints to victory against a tougher than advertised Tampa Bay squad. The Buccaneers' offense is not particularly dynamic, meaning the New Orleans defense will be able to keep the game within striking distance for Drew Brees and the offense.
Drew Brees is just too good. The Buccaneers' secondary is pretty weak except for Ronde Barber. Brees and Marques Colston will carve them up.
The Packers handed Houston its first loss of the year and the Rams already have a couple of their own. Both teams are 3-3 but the Packers and Rams are really not in the same league.
Aaron Rodgers silenced the critics and made his fantasy football owners happy last week in a stunning six touchdown performance against a quality Texans defense. The Rams will not have the offensive firepower to keep up with the Packers.
The Packers looked like last year's Packers last week and I think are on the rise. St. Louis is a difficult match up for Green Bay, but if Green Bay can turn out just a fraction of what they did last week, they will win this game.
The Packers will come back into the spotlight by going on a tear here. It'll all start here as they eke out a win against a surprisingly good Rams' team.
Washington Redskins at New York Giants
The Giants took a chunk out of the 49ers' pride last week with their 26-3 drubbing. The Redskins will certainly score more than three, but not enough to take down the defending champs.
The Giants showed last week that they are capable of beating anyone in the league. The big blue thoroughly manhandled the favored 49ers in a beating for the ages. Although RG3 and the Skins will put up a fight, in the end, the better team will prevail. The Giants will roll at home, and solidify themselves as a legitimate super bowl candidate.
Although the Redskins beat the defending champion Giants twice last year, I think the Giants will be prepared for RGIII. The New York D will focus on him and the running game and will keep the Washington defense out of rhythm. All while Eli Manning exploits the weak Redskins' defense on the other side of the ball.
RG3 > Tebow. If the Redskins' defense can hold the Giants to a reasonable amount of points, Griffin will be able to escape the pass rush and put points up on the scoreboard.
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans
The Ravens and Texans are very similar teams. They are both 5-1. They have two of the top three point differentials in the AFC. They are both above average defensively and rely on strong rushing attacks to lead their dynamic offenses. The main difference here: the Ravens are old and injured and the Texans are not.
Faced with adversity for the first time all season, the Texans will bounce back strong. After a poor showing last week against Green Bay, Houston will be all over a Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs-less Baltimore defense. Expect Arian Foster to have a huge day, and lead the Texans to a big win.
This would have been a good game if the Baltimore defense was not so beat up. Having Ray Lewis, LaDarius Webb and Terrell Suggs out is a significant blow to the already aging Ravens' defensive core. Expect the Houston offense to dominate, and although the Ravens' offense is explosive, they cannot keep up with the Texans' offense especially against a beat-up defense.
Both teams are missing key parts of their defense. Both teams have a great running game. Both teams have good quarterbacks. It's a toss up. Ravens because their from Maryland.
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills
The Bills beating the Cardinals last week was surprising enough but the Titans beating the Steelers is just crazy. As far as I can tell, the Titans are still a terrible team and the Bills are just a little bit better.
The Bills will get the big victory at home. The Titans will have no answer for C.J. Spiller, who is back at 100 percent following an injury.
I like the Bills in this week seven match up. Look for Stevie Johnson as he scorches the Titans' secondary. Chris Johnson I think will be a non-factor like he has been most of the season so far.
Don't let this past week of games trick you, the Titans suck. Maybe the Bills' defense is finally getting going?
The Colts cannot give up 160 rushing yards to one of the worst backs in the league and expect to win a game. Luckily for Indy, the Browns defense is a whole lot worse than the Jets'. So when Trent Richardson breaks the 100 yard mark in the first half, the Colts still may be able to win.
After getting his first win as a pro last week, Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden will stay hot. Look for the Browns to pound the Colts on the ground, and Brandon Weeden will come though in the clutch to seal the win.
I like the Browns to upset the Colts after coming off their first win of the season in week six. Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson did not look too bad as opposed to the Colts offense, which did look too bad.
Congratulations to Brandon Weeden for getting his first career win! Unfortunately, there won't be very many to follow. Andrew Luck will rack up some more here.
New York Jets at New England Patriots
There is no reason the Jets can win this game. They may not have a single offensive player who would even crack the Patriots starting lineup. On defense the Jets are good, but without Revis they are not nearly as dominant as in years past. And yet, somehow these two teams are tied for first place in the AFC East.
The Jets had an uncharacteristically good showing on offense last week, but they will not carry that momentum into this one. The Patriots will shut down Mark Sanchez and the rest of the Jets' offense en route to a blowout victory.
The Patriots should be able to handle the struggling Jets. Even though New York did not play a particularly bad game last week and did not get exploited, I think they will this week at the hands of the Patriots.
The Patriots always have a hard time with the Jets, but that's in the past. The Patriots' defense should be able to figure out the Jets' anemic offense and get the team a win. If they can't figure out the Jets' offense there are serious problems with this top tier team.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders
The Jaguars are averaging 13 points a game. Just in case that wasn't clear enough, they have only scored six touchdowns all season. Aaron Rodgers threw for six touchdowns in one game. The Raiders really could have no easier matchup.
Carson Palmer will outduel Blaine Gabbert and give Oakland fans something to cheer about after the A's were eliminated in the MLB playoffs last week.
The Jaguars' defense cannot constrain Darren McFadden; he will run all over them and lead Oakland to the W.
The Jaguars just aren't good. The Raiders at least showed they had potential as they kept the game with Atlanta close last week.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Several of the league's traditional powerhouses are struggling early but don't expect those struggles to last forever. Pittsburgh is much better than their 2-3 record suggests and the Bengals are greatly overrated.
The Steelers will be all over Andy Dalton's Bengals this week. Look for Dalton to have a less than stellar showing.
The Pittsburgh D has also been injured this season similar to the Ravens' D. I think Andy Dalton, AJ Green and company are good enough to take advantage of this and put up some points on the Steelers' defense and steal this game.
Both teams are coming off of disappointing losses last week so they'll both be focused. Pittsburgh has to get on track at some point this season, might as well be here.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears
The Bears' defense is absolutely exceptional. The offense will get a huge boost from a healthy Matt Forte and the Lions are in for another rough day.
I expect Matt Stafford to play a complete game this week and key the Lions in an upset victory over divisional rival Chicago.
The Lions have not been playing that well as of late, unlike their baseball counterparts the Tigers. Chicago takes care of the job, enough said.
The Bears' defense is so good. It feels like they've scored more touchdowns than most offenses. Matthew Stafford will be in trouble this week.
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