Thoughts from Hispandrix
BUF@CLE: Who seriously would have thought these two teams would be 2-2, and that this Thursday Night Football game could be mildly entertaining to watch. Both the Browns & Bills are coming off big wins against their respective opponents, the Bengals and Ravens. I honestly don’t know what to expect here in terms of a scoring outing, but the Browns, for as much as I rag on them, are actually looking like a football team. I know this has to make Drew Carey happy, as well as the rest of the Dawg Pound. I’ll take the Browns.
NO@CHI: You know I won’t give much on this matchup here, as always, look for my Keys to the Game article.
NE@CIN: A week after their huge win over the Packers at home, the Bengals march into Cleveland, and walk away with a disappointing loss. The Pats looked like they were firing on all cylinders, and blew their big lead over Atlanta. Thankfully, Aqib Talib was there. The Patriots are playing much better football at this point, and with the possibility of them getting Danny Amendola back, it makes them a lot more versatile and potent on offense. The Bengals have wowed us before, but I still believe you have to go with the favored Pats.
DET@GB: Well this matchup went from interesting to intriguing with the Lions home victory over the rival Bears. The Packers entered their bye week last week, after losing in Week 3 to the Bengals. This will be matchup 166, and the Packers lead the all-time series 93-65-7. I’ll just go to the books for this one. Historically, the Packers own the Lions. Since 2000, the Packers are 22-4 against the Lions, and have won 14 out of the last 15 matchups. Historically speaking, you should pick Aaron Rodgers at home.
SEA@IND: Seattle looked human for once last week, but was able to rally back down 20-3 to win against the Texans. They have another hard challenge ahead of them this week with the Colts, who
beat scrimmaged the Jaguars last week, and won 37-3. Despite that game, this is still the same team who beat the 49ers on their home turf. Seattle at home? I’d be more inclined to take them. Seattle on the road facing the Colts this week? I’ll stick with the Colts.
BAL@MIA: Both teams were beat last week on road games. The Ravens ran the ball less than 10 times the whole game against the Bills, and why Joe Flacco threw the ball 50 times is still beyond me. John Harbaugh has stated he will feed Ray Rice the ball more this week, but don’t get overly excited. If the Ravens picked up anything from last week, it should have been how the Saints used Darren Sproles. Ryan Tannehill and company were held in check on the night, and committed a good bit of turnovers. I think this game is a lot more entertaining than it may be given credit for, but I think the Dolphins should get back to looking strong, and beat the Ravens at home.
PHI@NYG: At least they have a few things in common, they have both been shredded by Peyton Manning, and they are losing. This clash of the NFC East teams is meeting 161, with the Giants leading the all-time series 84-76-2. Since 2010, the Eagles are actually 4-2 against the Giants. The Giants are in a desperate need of a victory here. Eli Manning has looked terrible, and the Giants can’t get anything going whatsoever. I’ll take the Giants this week, and should they drop this one, especially at home against a hated rival, heads may start to roll.
JAC@STL: Usually, I waste seconds of my life as I type anything about the Jaguars. However, this week, they might actually score points! That’s not saying much. Maurice Jones-Drew could be a huge factor this week, as the Rams can’t seem to stop anyone on the run lately (see Frank Gore & Demarco Murray). However, the Rams are much better than the Jaguars, but that’s like saying eating dog food is better than cat food.
KC@TEN: No Jake Locker really changes everything for me here. Alteraun Verner is playing like a madman possessed on defense, but Alex Smith doesn’t have to throw it to beat you. Sure, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s beard could pose problems, because he’s no slouch as a quarterback, but Andy Reid has the buy-in of his team, and they are playing like it. It’s going to be a very interesting test for the Chiefs, but I still think they’ll pull this one out in a close one.
CAR@ARI: The Panthers entered their bye week last week, after destroying the Giants in Week 3. Cam Newton reminded everyone that he’s a quarterback in that game. Arizona looked like they were going to give the Bucs their first win of the season, and correct the course of the ‘Jolly Roger’, but Patrick Peterson had different plans. The fact that this is in the desert is what I’m feeling for this matchup. I don’t think the Cardinals have a bad team, and their defense should give Newton some fits on the day.
DEN@DAL: I see some people are picking Dallas here, and I’m still trying to figure out why. Even if Monte Kiffin ressurects & assembles the defensive players he’s had over the years, there’s no stopping Peyton Manning and company. True, the Cowboys aren’t playing ‘bad’, outscoring their opponents 104-85, and are tied for 3rd in the NFL with sacks at 14, but their defense is giving up nearly 305 yards/game in the passing category, which is ranked 27th, and besides that opening game against the Giants where they forced 6 turnovers, they have only had 2 more since then. Again, the Broncos are playing way too well to be derailed, and they won’t be, not by Dallas at least.
HOU@SF: Houston is one loss away from being in complete riot mode judging the reaction from their
bandwagon fans. The 49ers finally looked like that Super Bowl team that everyone was hoping would continue to show up to start this season, but that was against the Rams, so take that how you will. This is a tough one to really pick, as home field is practically meaningless for the 49ers, and the Texans defense shutdown Russell Wilson last week. I think it’s the 49ers game to lose here. They are still talented, and with the Texans in ‘free fall’ mode, they should grind this one out.
SD@OAK: I’m sure you won’t be watching this one, and I’m not even talking about the teams playing as a reason why, this is a LATE game. Due to the baseball madness, this game doesn’t get kicked off until nearly midnight on the East Coast (11:35PM). No Terrelle Pryor for the Raiders spelled disaster for the team, and as a result, Matt Flynn was demoted to 3rd string. San Diego came off a very hard fought win against the Cowboys at home, and should keep riding that momentum to a win over the Raiders. It’s scary to think that the Chargers are basically a few short plays (and points) away from being 4-0.
NYJ@ATL: The Falcons may be the most ‘under the microscope’ team at this point and time. I mean, the ‘Super Bowl or bust’ team shouldn’t be 1-3 right now, according to themselves at least. Everyone tends to make excuses for the Falcons, like there’s no Steven Jackson, Roddy White is hurt, they lost these players, and whatever else you can drum up as a formidable excuse to justify someone’s terrible start. Make better or actual smart coaching decisions. If you think you have injury problems, think look at the Saints, and get better depth. Anyway, to get off of that soap box, there’s not much to say about the Jets and their chances to win this game. I’d love to be pleasantly surprised, and be wrong about this one, but the Falcons will win, because who drops back to back primetime games this days?