Last Week 11–4
That’s right baby! I was 11–4 last week with my upset special coming through for the second week in a row as the Rams pulled off a huge win over Arizona. Hopefully you took my advice and checked out the Saints vs. Chargers thriller, which saw Drew Brees lead an improbable fourth quarter comeback in his old stomping grounds. This week should offer plenty more intrigue as the teams are rounding into mid-season form.
Byes: Jacksonville, Kansas City, New Orleans, Seattle
Arizona (1–3) at San Francisco (1–3), Thursday 5:25 p.m.
The Cardinals suffered a frustrating loss last week at home against the Rams, and will be without the services of quarterback Carson Palmer. Full panic mode sets in the desert after the Niners take this one.
Prediction: San Francisco 24 Arizona 14
Chicago (1–3) at Indianapolis (1–3), Sunday 10 a.m.
The Colts are coming off a lacklustre defeat against Jacksonville in London, and will be facing a Bears team coming off their first win of the season. Brian Hoyer looked good last week and will continue to play well as the Bears send Andrew Luck and company to a 1–4 season start.
Prediction: Chicago 31 Indianapolis 28
Philadelphia (3–0) at Detroit (1–3), Sunday 10 a.m.
Philadelphia has looked dominant this season and is coming off a bye. The Lions were upset last week by the Bears and will be playing desperately to avoid a 1–4 start. Detroit has too many defensive injuries to stop the Philadelphia offence, as rookie quarterback Carson Wentz will continue to shine.
Prediction: Philadelphia 27 Detroit 24
Washington (2–2) at Baltimore (3–1), Sunday 10 a.m.
Baltimore finally dropped a game last week to the upstart Raiders, as the team continues to struggle on offence. Washington has won two straight and has found a running game. This is essentially a neutral site game with the proximity between these two teams. Washington takes it in a minor upset.
Prediction: Washington 28 Baltimore 23
Tennessee (1–3) at Miami (1–3), Sunday 10 a.m.
Miami’s three losses were to New England, Seattle, and Cincinnati. They get a softy this week and will take care of business at home.
Prediction: Miami 23 Tennessee 16
Houston (3–1) at Minnesota (4–0), Sunday 10 a.m.
The Texans were shut out by the Patriots, and this Vikings defence is even better. Vikings move to 5–0 with another lockdown defensive performance. If you like linebacker play, keep an eye on the Vikings’ Anthony Barr.
Prediction: Minnesota 23 Houston 6
New England (3–1) at Cleveland (0–4), Sunday 10 a.m.
Tom Brady and his four Super Bowl rings and six AFC titles is back after his four-game suspension. Look for Rob Gronkowski who has one reception on the season to get it going. Patriots in a romp.
Prediction: New England 42 Cleveland 13
New York Jets (1–3) at Pittsburgh (3–1), Sunday 10 a.m.
Pittsburgh got rolling last week on offence dropping 43 points on a good Chiefs team. Look for the momentum to continue as the Steelers continue to look like one of the AFC’s best.
Prediction: Steelers 39 Jets 17
GAME OF THE WEEK
Atlanta (3–1) at Denver (4–0), Sunday 1:05 p.m
Atlanta battered Cam Newton and the Panthers last week in an impressive victory. They also defeated the Raiders on the road, which is increasingly looking like a quality win. Last week star receiver Julio Jones also went off with 12 receptions for 300 yards and a touchdown. The flip-side of this matchup is that Denver is at home and continues to play dominant defensive football. This should be an outstanding game with both teams looking like early championship contenders. Broncos hold the fort in a close game that demonstrates the Falcons can play with the big boys.
Prediction: Denver 27 Atlanta 26
Buffalo (2–2) at Los Angeles (3–1), Sunday 1:25 p.m.
The Rams are 3–1 despite an offence that has been woefully anemic in three of their four games. The Bills are coming off a huge emotional win against their arch-nemesis, New England, and are travelling across country. The Bills just look like the more balanced team. Tyrod Taylor leads a clutch fourth quarter scoring driver to lead the Bills to consecutive victories.
Prediction: Buffalo 23 Los Angeles 20
San Diego (1–3) at Oakland (3–1), Sunday 1:25 p.m.
The Chargers and Raiders have both played good football this season with the difference being that the Raiders have performed well in crunch time and the Chargers have repeatedly blown games late. The Raiders and their impressive three-road victories pick up their first home win of the year as the Derek Carr to Michael Crabtree connection continues to flourish.
Prediction: Oakland 38 San Diego 31
Cincinnati (2–2) at Dallas (3–1), Sunday 1:25 p.m.
Dallas is off to a 3–1 start thanks in part to the strong play of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. The Bengals are coming off a solid win against Miami, and will go into Big D and get a W.
Prediction: Bengals 29 Cowboys 24
New York Giants (2–2) at Green Bay (2–1), Sunday 5:30 p.m.
Green Bay may be the most overrated team in the league this year. Yes, Aaron Rodgers is a top five QB in the game. However, the team’s two victories were close affairs over the Jaguars and the Lions. Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning has won a playoff game in Green Bay and will use that experience and his talented receiving corps to lead his team to victory in a high-scoring affair.
Prediction: Prediction: Giants 40 Green Bay 36
Tampa Bay (1–3) at Carolina (1–3), Monday 5:25 p.m.
Both teams will be determined to avoid a 1–4 start. The Panthers may be without star quarterback Cam Newton. Fortunately, Derek Anderson is one of the best backups in the game.
Prediction: Panthers 26 Bucs 21