By: S. Davis
Denver 21 @ San Diego 27: The Chargers are prolific at gagging away games they seem to have under control so if they wind up surrendering 50 points at the end of this contest I would not be surprised. Regardless of who starts at quarterback for the Broncos I think this game gets away from the champions. They sport a formidable defense, of course, but I think Philip Rivers can do just enough to hold them off this weekend.
On defense the Broncos allow 17.4 points per game while the opposing unit surrenders a robust, and demoralizing, 28.4 each time out. Sober reasoning tells me to take the champions but…I don’t know. Why am I picking the Chargers here?
San Francisco 26 @ Buffalo 23: Boy those guys up in Buffalo sure are loud, huh? I don’t really think the 49ers are going to win this game with Colin Kaepernick making his first start of the season but the Bills are liking the reflection in the mirror a bit too much for a team that’s accomplished just about nothing on over a decade.
Philadelphia 16 @ Washington 21: Is Washington a good team? Are the Eagles fools gold?
Cleveland 17 @ Tennessee 21: Titans.
Baltimore 17 @ NY Giants 20: I. Don’t. Know. Eli Manning could throw for 400 yards and four touchdowns or hand the Ravens’ defense 3 interceptions and a fumble; same for Joe Flacco. As in all football games, the defensive/offensive lines will decide the outcome and I’ll lean towards the Giants’ defensive line feasting on the Ravens’ broken offensive front.
Carolina 35 @ New Orleans 34: Panthers.
Jacksonville 21 @ Chicago 24: Bears?
Los Angeles 18 @ Detroit 27: Lions?
Pittsburgh 36 @ Miami 20: Steelers.
Cincinnati 24 @ New England 26: The Bengals cannot get out of the starting blocks this season. Missing Tyler Eifert is huge, especially inside the red zone, and maybe losing Marvin Jones is worthy of greater attention.
Kansas City 24 @ Oakland 23: It’s getting real in Oakland. Before the season I picked the Chiefs to win the AFC West – and I still support that – but if the Raiders get this one at home I may, may, reconsider.
Atlanta 27 @ Seattle 28: If the Falcons walk into that stadium and beat the Seahawks, I will believe in their chances for the remainder of the season. Look, the Panthers have an uphill climb to the playoffs…and someone has to win the NFC South, right? I like Julio Jones against ANY secondary but he can be limited, depending on scheme, and the Seahawks will do their best to take his big plays away. If the Legion of Boom fails in corralling Jones, they will make sure to shore up other holes and limit every other wrinkle the Falcons will look to exploit.
I surely hope that Russell Wilson is healed and his connection with Jimmy Graham translates for another week. It’s easy to forget how much of a pain Graham was to defenses as a member of the Saints. It was clear that he wouldn’t garner the same number of targets in Seattle but I see no reason for him to be a mere decoy or a pass blocker since plying his trade in the Northwest. He’s a weapon and should be used to terrorize every opponent, every week.
Dallas 21 @ Green Bay 30: The Packers’ defense is still shaky but they have more than enough on offense to keep the visitors at arm’s length. I’m so impressed with Dak Prescott. What can anyone say negatively about him? He’s not perfect, no one is, but he makes smart throws and plays under control the majority of the time that he’s on the field. Great scouting! Who knew?
I don’t think it should be universe altering news if the Cowboys hold firm and allow Tony Romo to reclaim his mantle in a few weeks. It’s best for the franchise to, at the very least, see what he does as the starter once more. Whether you like the guy or not, he is one of the top quarterbacks in the league and that’s something even Prescott’s play can’t vanquish. I know one thing: Romo’s time on the field will be short once he forces a pass into a tight window, throws a crippling interception or fumbles at a crucial moment. Fans tend to fall in love, hard, for the backup quarterback but this is the rare case where the player deserves the adoration and if Romo is shaky…the roars will be loud.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Prescott has yet to throw a single, bad, pass all season long. By bad pass I mean a throw that could be intercepted. They do run a balanced offense with a great offensive line and a dynamic running back in Ezekiel Elliot so they don’t take the deep shots downfield as they do with Romo. The offense has been altered to highlight Prescott’s strengths, no question, but it’s still impressive that he hasn’t put a single bad ball in the air. If Schefter’s study is true…whew. Although he made a few overthrows against the 49ers so I don’t know what parameters were used to frame his research.
Indianapolis 24 @ Houston 20: Ryan Grigson (general manager of the Colts) publicly moaned that the new contract offered to Andrew Luck hinders his ability to field a good defensive unit. Hmmm…sure. Traditionally, the job of the general manager is to run scouting, draft preparation, while having control over the player roster. The Colts are lacking defensively, I see. Who’s responsible for acquiring talent?
Last time I checked, the Colts haven’t lost draft picks recently. They have the same ability to scout and draft along with everyone else in the NFL. Improve at your job, Mr. Grigson or trade your quarterback for a pile of draft picks and build that defense he’s stopping you from making a reality.
NY Jets 19 @ Arizona 24: I like when the Jets are pushing the pace on offense but they’ve done that for, maybe, one contest. At the end of the day this game and these teams are hoping their respective quarterbacks can get them postseason credibility when Carson Palmer and Ryan Fitzpatrick both had numbers last year that seem to be exception more than the rule.
Last Week: 7-7