This week in the NFL features some great games. One of the biggest questions is "Can Tebow beat the Jets?". A win would give the Broncos a chance to win the AFC West. If the Eagles beat the Giants who will win the NFC East? The Detroit Lions are on a slippery slope right now. A couple more losses and the season that started out with such promise will be lost. The Bills, Bengals, Falcons, Jets, and Cowboys all have question marks surrounding them and their season. It's time for teams and players to put up or shut up.
As usual, don't be mad at me, the facts are the facts. I just simply state them. Leave a comment!
New York Jets vs Denver- You can hate on Tim Tebow all you want, but the Broncos are 3-1 since he has taken over as the starter. It doesn't look pretty or traditional, but wins are wins. It is almost inexplicable that the Broncos won last week with Tebow only completing 2 passes. Now the Broncos will add another degree of difficulty to winning. Their top two running backs (Knowshon Moreno, Willis McGahee) are out for the season. This week the Jets come to town. Could Tim Tebow have any more adversity? There is NO reason the Broncos should win this game. But guess what...?
Rex Ryan is growing increasingly critical of his quarterback he "loves" so much. When the Jets miss the playoffs, Ryan and Sanchez will be on the hot seat.
Tennessee vs Atlanta- Look who showed up and decided he wanted to start playing football, Chris Johnson. He had a season high 130 yards last week and is starting to look like his old self. The Falcons defense will be on red alert to know where CJ2k is at all times. Last week Atlanta handed the Saints a victory so how will they respond against the Titans? The Titans will also be playing inspired because the Texans have lost Matt Shaub for the season, and may have given Tennessee an opportunity to win the division.
Oakland vs Minnesota- Jacoby Ford and Darren McFadden are both questionable for this weekend. Carson Palmer played pretty well and won last week. It didn't hurt that the Raiders have one of the best backup running backs in the league in Michael Bush. Last week he rushed for 157 yards and should have another good rushing game against the Vikings defense. Christian Ponder has been showing some signs of promise since he took over the starting job in Minnesota, but Adrian Peterson is the key to their offense. Teams stack the box to stop Peterson because they don't think Ponder can beat them with his arm. If you stop AP, you stop the Vikings.
Dallas vs Washington- Dallas Cowboys fans were jumping around, pounding their chest after they beat down the Bills like they are not 5-4. Tony Romo did play his best game of the season, but in reality what did he do? He did what he always does. He gets you all excited only to set you up for a huge fall later. Romo is a great QB, but he and Phillip Rivers will be the Drew Bledsoe and Boomer Esiason of this decade. Great QBs, no championships.
Washington recently made the move back to Rex Grossman to start at quarterback. I still cannot figure out why Shanahan benched him in the first place. He played one bad game. In the NFL, you can't plat QB shuffle and expect to win. The Redskins will play better now they have Grossman back in the lineup.
Carolina vs Detroit- I am starting to think Matthew Stafford is not anywhere as good as we thought he was. He is inaccurate lately, and looked confused and frustrated against the Bears. Stafford can't get Calvin Johnson the ball enough and Brandon Pettigrew drops too many passes. The Lions offense is like the stock market, high highs, and low lows. You never know what you are going to get from week to week. One week they score 35 points and look like they are ready to make the playoff run. The next week they score 3 and look like the Lions that went 0-16. If the Lions want to win they have to start running the football and not have Stafford throw the ball 63 times.
Carolina fans, do not be alarmed. Cam Newton just hit the rookie wall last week. It happens to everyone. He will be ok either this week or next week. The Cam Newton express will explode this week vs the Lions. Steve Smith and Olsen will have a big game.
The Lions are on the road to missing the playoffs right now.
Seattle vs St Louis- After a shootout with the Browns last week (12-13), the Rams should be poised to put up at least 14 points this week. The Rams running game should have a good day against a defense that allowed 139 yards to DeMarco Murray two weeks ago. I have been very critical of Tavaris Jackson this year so I must give him credit now. He made some great plays last week to beat the Ravens. The Rams are only allowing 220 ypg through the air so we will see if Jackson can keep this up.
Kansas City vs New England- Kansas City showed us their true colors vs the Dolphins. The Chiefs will have a little extra energy because the game is on Monday Night and will put up a fight. Matt Cassel does have an opportunity to put up some big numbers against the last ranked pass defense in the league. The student battles the teacher. This game will come down to one player, Tom Brady.
Cincinnati vs Baltimore- The Bengals hung tough with the Steelers last week and showed they are not pretenders. This young team is hear to stay. Andy Dalton has played himself right into serious conversation for NFL offensive rookie of the year. If the Bengals were in a different division they would have an opportunity to win it. I predicted the Ravens would lose to Seattle last week. If you pay attention to the patterns and the pulse of this team, you get a good idea for the result of the game that week. This week, if A.J. Green plays at at least 85% it will be another tough game for the Ravens.
Buffalo vs Miami- Boy, has the Buffalo train lost steam or what? I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. Again I say, the Bills are a 9-7 team and will have something to build on for the future. The Bills defense started the season getting takeaways at a feverish pace. That has since slowed, and so have their wins. Fitzpatrick is a good QB but with his cast of wide outs his job is tough against great corners. The Miami defense is less that stellar, so I do expect Buffalo to put on a better showing that they did against the Cowboys. Miami has surged the last two weeks, but they are not powerful enough to stop Fred Jackson and the Bills offense.
San Diego vs Chicago- This is a game featuring two teams that are going in completely opposite directions. Phillip Rivers is just a step above awful this season. All his receivers numbers are down and his interceptions are up. Chicago, on the other hand, is turned up to max. This team could not play any better right now. It seems like Devin Hester runs a kick back every game, and is the stark plug for this Bears team. Chicago's front seven will give Rivers hell all game. I am waiting on Jay Cutler to be the Jay Cutler we all know, but we may have to wait until the end of the season or playoffs.
Tampa Bay vs Green Bay- The better you finish the season before, the tougher your schedule is the next season. The inability to run the football plus the schedule is the reason for the Buccaneers struggles. Josh Freeman has 13 interceptions this year and his receivers lead the league in drops. It won't get any easier this week when they head to Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers is playing so well over the last two seasons it is scary. I do not think the Packers can be beat while he is playing like this. He is throwing the ball over 30 times per game, completing over 70% of his passes, and is only hitting guys in Packer helmets with the football. The Packers are an unstoppable force right now.
Jacksonville vs Cleveland- Recently I was asked if I had something against my former team because I rarely pick them to win. Reality is, they have only won 3 games. The game against the Ravens no one expected them to win and the Titans was a a 'pick em' in week 1. I don't have anything against the Jags. I just call it like the facts tell me I should. In this game vs the Browns, the facts say there are only 2 elite offensive play makers on the field. One being Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas, and the other Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew. I'm going with the guy who can actually score touchdowns.
Yes I did use a picture of myself...*shrugs... I like it! It was the game winning TD.
Arizona vs San Francisco- People will look at this at this game and say, "the Cardinals beat the Eagles, so they can beat the 49ers". I will tell those people, slow down. The Eagles constantly make terrible mistakes and turn the ball over. Now the 49ers on the other hand, do not beat themselves. They run they ball, and don't turn it over. Alex Smith looks like a #1 overall pick. San Fran is not 8-1 by accident. They are playing winning football.
Arizona needs another play maker on offense to open it up for Fitzgerald. They also need a quarterback to play well because Kolb has been hurt, and even when healthy hasn't produced great results. The Cardinals best scoring weapon other than Fitzgerald is CB Patrick Peterson. He has 3 punt returns for touchdowns this year. No rookie has done more to help their team win this year.
Philadelphia vs New York Giants- Call me crazy, but I still have not given up on the Eagles making the playoffs! The NFC East is going to get very muddy going down the stretch. I can't wait to see who rises to the occasion and who fades by the wayside. This game and every other game this season is a "must win" for the Eagles. There is no room for slipping. The biggest problem with this Eagles team is the Eagles. They turn the ball over, drop passes, and just make bonehead plays. You can't win football games like that. The Eagles secondary will be tested by Eli, Nicks, and Manningham. Whoever wins this match-up will win the game.