Sep 21, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Brian Quick (83) catches a pass from St. Louis Rams quarterback Austin Davis (not pictured) for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Thoughts from Ian
GB over MIN
Playing on Thursday will be tough for the Vikings since Bridgewater is banged up. Either he starts and the Vikings risk losing him for an even longer period or they start Christian Ponder. I think they’ll start Ponder and there is no way he is keeping up with a hot Aaron Rodgers.
CHI over CAR
I don’t like either of these teams but let’s look at the facts: Cam Newton is not healthy and his offensive line isn’t giving him enough time to make reads. Add on that DeAngelo Williams is hurt and we’ll likely see Johnathan Stewart carrying the load in his stead.
Cutler is good unless he self destructs which is possible any given Sunday. He should have an easy time against the secondary though. Matt Forte should be able to take advantage of this front seven that hasn’t been tackling that well, save for Kuechly. But one man can’t be the whole defense.
CLE over TEN
If Locker can’t go then I am picking the Browns. Charlie Whitehurst is awful and one of a handful of quarterbacks more dreadful than Brandon Hoyer. Ok, maybe I take that back since Hoyer has been surprisingly good in an “Alex Smith” kind of way. I’m betting than Bishop Sankey finally has the break out performance that so many fantasy owners are waiting for but Cleveland steals the game.
STL over PHI
God, I hate the Eagles. I just really can’t stand their fans right now. Except for the hot ones of course, you know who you are! Anyway, back to my rant. The Eagles are overrated plain and simple and they got what they deserved against San Francisco.
Philly’s offensive line (dual meaning there) will have trouble keeping the Rams pass rushers away from Nick Foles. Did I mention the Rams are coming off a bye week? Look for them to come out the gate running. They’ve had two weeks to figure out this game.
NYG over ATL
The Gris-Gris Man in New Orleans really did it this time. I’ve never seen an offensive line fall apart like the Falcons did last week. They had a tight end playing right tackle!! I think Matt Ryan will be more prepared to run for his life this week.
The Falcons aren’t very good defensively as they eased Teddy Bridgewater’s transition into the NFL last week. Eli and the Giants aren’t exactly favorites at home, but if they can’t beat the Falcons they are dropping right back down to an embarrassment of a team.
NO over TB
I will admit that I did not spend a lot of time on my picks last week and should have had the Cowboys beating the Saints. I knew DeMarco Murray would run all over the defense. I had no idea Brees and the offense would be so flat. The Saints are back at home this week and should get the offense back up and running.
Let’s be clear the Buccaneers (a team that sucks) beat the Steelers (a team that sucks even more) last week and everybody is all over the Bucs being good now. Well, I knew they could do better with Glennon and they did. Still not convinced they can beat the Saints at home. The Saints are hungry for a win and don’t want to go 1-4.
DAL over HOU
I can’t pick against the Cowboys this week. Murray should once again run all over this defense and set up Romo to pass the ball. The Cowboys are still bad on defense and Arian Foster and company will hang around in this game.
BUF over DET
There’s no way the Lions should have any business losing to the Bills. Yet, I know they will. Stafford will have trouble if Megatron remains hampered by injury like he was against the Jets. The Bills should be able to be in Stafford’s face and limit him from finding the deep target.
Orton should find some receivers but the running game will be stymied as the Lions have the 7th best run defense in the league.
BAL over IND
I really like Andrew Luck and the Colts but I am going with the Ravens here. Offensively, this team has gotten a lot better and fantasy sleeper Steve Smith Sr has a lot to do with it. The Colts aren’t very impressive on the defensive side of the ball so expect Flacco to have success.
The Ravens generate a good pass rush and should be in Andrew Luck’s face all day. The Colts need to start using Ahmad Bradshaw more. Trent Richardson will not be able to get pass Haloti Ngata.
JAX over PIT
Yes, Pittsburgh IS that bad. The Steelers defense is a mess right now. Ike Taylor and Ryan Shazier are out with injuries. They still haven’t been able to generate a decent pass rush this year. Their offensive line could not give Roethlisberger a clean pocket last week vs the Bucs.
Yes, Bortles is that good. He’s definitely better than Mike Glennon who led a game-winning drive against a Dick Lebeau defense last week. The Steelers lack of a pass rush should give Bortles time to make good decisions in the pocket against a soft secondary.
There really isn’t much to like about the Jags defense outside of defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks who hurried and sacked Phillip Rivers. The Jaguars will need to keep LeVeon Bell in check to win this game.
DEN over ARI
God, I wanted to pick Arizona so bad. They are coming off a bye week, have a great secondary to contend with the Broncos receivers, and are absolutely stingy against the run having not allowed a 100 yard rusher in the past two games.
They can’t generate a pass rush on Peyton Manning however, and that is where Manning will kill them. The Broncos are also coming off of a bye week and Manning is always strong at home. They also lost prior to the bye week so they will be firing at all cylinders.
SF over KC
I’m taking the 49ers for a couple of reasons. Jim Harbaugh knows Alex Smith well and has the personnel to execute a game plan to limit his effectiveness. The Niners shut down LeSean McCoy last week and should be able to do much the same against Jamaal Charles.
The Niners however, have a habit of shooting themselves in the foot after dominating the first half of games. I think they get the second half right against the Chiefs this week and hold on for a victory.
SD over NYJ
The Jets can’t cover anyone and that’s great news for Phillip Rivers. The Jets will have to throw everything and the kitchen sink into their pass rush if they hope to limit him. The Chargers defense meanwhile, will make life miserable for Geno Smith, who has made life miserable for New York Jets fans.
Geno will have to do it all on his own as Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory will have nowhere to run against a strong Chargers run defense. I’m more interested in seeing if Smith gets benched in favor of Vick in this game!
CIN over NE
This looked like such a good game before the season. Alas, Tom “Terrific” Brady is lacking an average offensive line to sustain drives and his young wide outs are struggling to get open. Playing at home, will give the Patriots a bit of a boost to make the game competitive.
I’m expecting the Bengals to approach this game with confidence in their personnel. Marvin Lewis always seems to lay an egg when the competition is better than he is, so hopefully understands that things are changing in the NFC. The Patriots are not the top dog anymore.
SEA over WAS
The Redskins couldn’t even stop Rashad Jennings last week. Marshawn Lynch will destroy them. DeAngelo Hall is out for the year, so expect Russell Wilson to find receivers down the field against a putrid secondary.
Agree or disagree with our picks? Who do you have as a ‘upset of the week’ candidate?