Thoughts from Ian-Mitchell Dear
NE/NYJ: New England has got some problems for sure. The Bills could have beat this team had they not had some unfortunate turnovers that
tilted the scales back into the Patriots favor. That being said if Geno Smith and the Jets come in and get on top early they have a shot at taking this one. I don’t believe Brady and Belichick allow that to happen. Patriots come out with the win here.
STL/ATL: Atlanta is a dangerous team and it was delightfully surprising to see the Saints defense as the main factor that they lost this game. Matt Ryan and company have every advantage playing at home to come out with the victory against the Rams though.
CLE/BAL: Let me level with you guys here. I’m not really seeing alot of strength out of the AFC North this year. Cleveland is an upstart young team that will make alot of noise this season if teams allow them to. Baltimore will make some mistakes in this game that allows the Browns to creep away with the win.
CAR/BUF: Carolina played much better than I believed they could against the Seattle Seahawks. Until the fourth quarter. As a defensive unit, if the Panthers can limit Spiller to under 100 yards of multipurpose yards, they have a good chance to come away with the victory.
MIN/CHI: I actually didn’t catch the Minnesota game last week but I watched some of Chicago and while their defense suffered a few setbacks against the Bengals, they won’t be facing the same kind of threats against the Vikings. If AP runs like ran last week then we have a nail-biter. Otherwise the Bears will win this thing.
WAS/GB: Tough luck Redskins fans. Air Rodg was pretty frustrated last week against the 49ers and it looks like he can’t wait to take it out on your secondary. So you better use that offense to keep him off the field. Otherwise the Packers are going to run away with this one.
TEN/HOU: Predictably the Steelers found a way to lose against the Tennessee Titans. Rest assured that the Texans have no such designs. Houston wants to get out to a hot start this season and they’ll handle the Titans just fine.
MIA/IND: I really like Indianapolis in this one, but I can really see it going both ways. Luck was simply spectacular last week against the Raiders and there is no reason to believe he can duplicate his success against the Dolphins. I think Miami has figured out that Mike Wallace is a weapon that they can use though, so it could be a close one.
DAL/KC: I’m always very cautious about choosing Dallas to win a football game. I mean who could believe that Eli would play so badly against the Cowboys last week? But eh, what the heck right? I don’t see Alex Smith throwing for over 300 yards and Jamaal Charles can’t beat them just running the ball. Cowboys get off to a 2-0 start and we’ll all be reminded of how annoying Cowboys fans are when they think that means they are Superbowl bound.
SD/PHI:I’m not sold on Philadelphia yet or San Diego. They both have questions as far as their star players avoiding injury (Antonio Gates, Ryan Mathews, Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson). They both seem to have new coaches pushing their team in the right direction. The Eagles have the best shot at winning because they can stretch the field against San Diego though.
DET/ARI: Surprise here right? Arizona looked nigh-dominant last week against the Rams and came short losing by a field goal. I say they put it together against the Lions with the help of their defense victimizing Matthew Stafford.
NO/TB: Tampa Bay has got some weapons that are off and on some weeks and that is starting with quarterback Josh Freeman. If the Saints can bottle up Doug Martin they’ll blow the Bucs out of the water. If Josh Freeman plays better than he played last week against the Jets then this will be a close one.
DEN/NYG: Denver is the best team in the AFC. You were probably thinking it too and if so, you are completely right. This team has all the weapons of a Superbowl contender. They’ve got a great defensive front and will harass Eli Manning all day. We know who the Giants are so they won’t ever really be out of contention until December. Broncos earn a solid win here.
JAC/OAK: Interesting match up here. I am going Oakland here because they’ve go the better quarterback (I think?) and Oakland’s defense can match up to slow down Maurice Jones-Drew.
SF/SEA: San Francisco came out looking like the best team in the NFC against one of the best teams in the NFC. Seattle struggled with mid-tier Carolina and just couldn’t get their run game going. It doesn’t get any easier here.
PIT/CIN: I don’t think things are that bad in Pittsburgh. They still aren’t beating the Bengals though. In my opinion, Cincinnati has the best shot of any team in the AFC North to make the playoffs. Red Dalton and AJ Green should have a fun day against the Steelers.