Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams
The Rams offensive line is weaker than the Packers and we saw what the Seahawks defense did to the front five of Green Bay. Sam Bradford will be under pressure and lacks the receivers to break away from man coverage. The Rams defense is also playing better under Jeff Fisher, but Marshawn Lynch running behind a strong offensive line controls the game better than a banged up Steven Jackson.
San Francisco 49ers @ New York Jets
Losing Revis for the season is crippling to this defense. It changes their entire scheme. Rex Ryan is capable of adjusting, but are his players? Joe McKnight moves from running back to corner and should see some action this weekend. The 49ers got caught last week looking past the Vikings. Something tells me Coach Harbaugh won’t let that happen again.
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
Atlanta and Houston look like the most complete teams so far. San Fran probably has a better defense than both, but they don’t have the offensive fire power to shift gears and get into a shootout. Expect Houston to run the ball, mix in some play action and make life difficult on Jake Locker. I can’t see this being the week Chris Johnson turns things around.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Cecil Shorts long touchdown with time expiring won the game for the Jags last week. They can keep games close as long as Mojo and the offensive line get into a rhythm. Andy Dalton has continued his strong play from last season and has the Bengals looking like a team that will be in the hunt come December. The Jags won’t be.
Miami Dolphins @ Arizona Cardinals
Reggie Bush’s injury is not that serious, but he will not be at 100% if he plays. It’s likely he will sit this one out. The Cardinals defense is playing great and will feed off the home crowd. The Dolphins play good run defense, but Larry Fitzgerald should have a big game against an average Dolphins secondary. Take the under in this one.
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
Peyton is slowly knocking the rust off and the Broncos defense is playing well when it matters. The Raiders secondary is hot garbage and let Big Ben shred them for 4 touchdowns. Manning may not be at 100% but he’s definitely good enough to capitalize on a weak secondary, especially at home where he can make all of his adjustments at the line of scrimmage.
New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers
The Packers are fresh of a hose job and the Saints are facing a potential 0-4 start. These teams are desperate and will play like it. The Packers are at home and Aaron Rodgers will use this game to get back into the swing of things. I expect a shootout at Lambeau with the Pack coming out on top.
Washington Redskins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The loss of Brian Orakpo and Connor Barwin is monumental for the Redskins defense. It leaves only Ryan Kerrigan as a guy who can truly rush the passer. The Bucs are playing a physical brand of defense and have kept games close against the cream of the crop in the NFC. At home, the Bucs pull this one off as RGIII will be bullied by Greg Schiano’s Bucs.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Ugh. Avoid this if you can. Eli Manning has picked up where he left off last year. He has full command of the offense and is seeing the field better than he ever has in his career. That being said, the Eagles defense is very strong. They are difficult to run against and they can get after the quarterback. Mike Vick has given me no reason to pick the Eagles, but he is always capable of taking over a game. Until I see it from Philadelphia, I’m going with the world champs.
Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys
With Matt Forte out and Michael Bush banged up, the Bears running game will be on life support. Think the Bears offensive line will struggle against Demarcus Ware? The Cowboys secondary has been playing very well this season and can play aggressive as Cutler won’t have much time to wait on late breaking routes. The Cowboys offense will put up enough points to pull this one out.
Season Record: 24-24