NostrThomas Predicts: Week 15 In the NFL

Three weeks left in the 2013 NFL season and there’s playoff quality football on the Week 15 slate. The Chargers victory over the Broncos on Thursday night has opened up the playoff race again in the AFC.

My record last week, 13-3.

Early Sunday

Chicago Bears -1 @ Cleveland Browns

Jay Cutler returns to the starting lineup as the Bears continue their push to win the NFC North Division and make the playoffs.

The Browns were an iffy pass interference call away from beating the New England Patriots last weekend.

The Bears have scored the second most points in the NFL behind the Cutler/McCown quarterback tandem largely due having one of the best wide receiver tandems in the NFL.

The Browns have lost their last four games. They’ve put the building blocks of a playoff contender in place but are still a year away from being a dangerous team to play week-in and week-out.

The Bears win and cover to keep pace with the Lions for the division lead.

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts -5.5

The Colts, the best team in a bad division, play the worst team in the NFL on Sunday. The Colts have gone 3-3 since their bye week. In their seven games before the bye their defense was allowing just over 18 points per game. In their six games after the bye they’ve surrendered 31 points per game.

Even if the Texans haven’t completely packed the season in behind interim-head coach Wade Phillips, beating the Colts in Indianapolis is a bit much to ask of them at this point in the season.

Colts win and should cover at home.

Buffalo Bills -2 @ Jacksonville Jaguars

This one rivals the Redskins at Falcons as the early slate’s Stinkbowl game. While this seems impossible to comprehend after their eight straight losses to the start the season, the Jaguars have won 4 of their last 5 games. It’s true that those four wins were over teams that are among the worst in the NFL but so is Jacksonville.

The Bills are sliding as they head into the final weeks of the season. They got crushed by Tampa Bay last week to run their road record to 1-4.

The Bills are better defensively but playing a second straight week in Florida along with the Jaguars on a high draft pick killing winning streak has me picking Jacksonville to win outright as the home “dog”.

San Francisco 49ers -5 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The 49ers beat the Seahawks at home last week and are fighting with the Panthers for the fifth seed in the NFC. The Buccaneers have been flexing some muscle lately but the 49ers are too much for them under any circumstances. The 49ers win and cover.

Seattle Seahawks -7 @ New York Giants

Another game between a Super Bowl contender and a team playing out the season. The Seahawks lost last week in the last seconds of the game to the 49ers but they’re still the best team in football. They win and cover.

New England Patriots -2.5 @ Miami Dolphins

The Patriots are major beneficiaries of Denver’s loss on Thursday night. A win over the Dolphins solidifies their No. 1 seed going into the AFC playoffs. Miami has playoff aspirations of their own as a wild card entry.

With all that’s at stake this should be one of the best games of the weekend. The Patriots have won 5 of their last 6 games in Miami but Rob Gronkowski is hurt again.

The Patriots nearly were derailed at home by the Browns last week but are still better than most in the NFL. They stretch their winning streak to 4 by no more than a field goal.

Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons -7

The Redskins’ season has degenerated into a fractured team that’s three weeks away from major coaching changes. The Falcons are finishing their own disaster after losing in the final seconds last weekend to the Packers.

Washington head coach Mike Shanahan made the decision to finish the season with Kirk Cousins at quarterback which puts another question mark on this game. The coin-flip says take the Falcons at home but they’re seven points better than no one in the NFL.

Philadelphia Eagles -4.5 @ Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings will be without Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, in other words, 90 percent of their offense. The Eagles are looking at an opportunity to nail down first place in the NFC East.

The Vikings won’t give much opposition to that goal this weekend. The Eagles win and cover.

Late Sunday

Kansas City Chiefs -4 @ Oakland Raiders

With the Chargers victory on Thursday night the Chiefs saw a path to victory over the AFC West open up to them. They take their first step through that door by sinking the nearly dead Raiders on their home field, and they cover too.

New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers -11

The Panthers crashed last week in their opportunity to make a statement that they’re ready to be taken seriously in the NFC postseason. Fortunately for them they get to recover against a team that their defense should crush.

Normally 11 points would be a ridiculous number to expect the Panthers to cover. Not this week.

Arizona Cardinals -3 @ Tennessee Titans

The Cardinals are 8-5 and fighting for their playoff lives behind a surging Carson Palmer. The Titans are three games away from beginning a massive rebuild. The Cardinals win and cover.

New Orleans Saints -5.5 @ St. Louis Rams

The Saints struggle on the road but not in domes which is trouble for a Rams team that has settled to the bottom of the NFC West.

The Saints win and cover to continue on their way to the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys -7

Aaron Rodgers has been declared out for this game. That leaves it up to Matt Flynn to take advantage of a Cowboys defense that the Bears ripped to shreds last week.

The Packers will score but the Dallas offense is high quality and will keep this one in their win column. The Cowboys win but don’t score enough to cover the touchdown spread.

Sunday Night Football

Cincinnati Bengals -3 @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bengals are gliding to a first place finish in the AFC North but succeeding in the playoffs is a different story over the past few years. Another one of the monsters in that remains in their closet this weekend is facing the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

The only thing the Steelers still have to play for this season is to trip up the Bengals on their way to the postseason. Upset special of the week. The Steelers take this game at home.

Monday Night Football

Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions -6

One of the most intriguing match-ups of Week 15. Both are fighting for their postseason lives. The Lions will be looking to retain their lead in the NFC North while the Ravens battle to hold on to the sixth and final playoff seed in the AFC.

The Ravens’ has quietly moved up the No. 8 in the NFL in points allowed but will be facing the No. 6 team in scoring.

While the Lions have lost three of their last four it’s tough to pick against them at home but the six point spread puts too much faith in their ability to put the Ravens away in this game.

 

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NostrThomas Predicts: Week 14 In the NFL

One month, four games left in the season for all teams to either make their case to contend in the playoffs or begin planning for 2014.

The Jaguars beat up the Texans, this time at home, in such an embarrassing fashion that on Friday, Houston fired head coach Gary Kubiak instead of waiting until the end of the season.

With one of the worst prime time match-ups in NFL history behind us, let’s look at how Sunday stacks up.

Sunday Early Games

Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles -2.5

Two division leaders slug it out in Philadelphia. The Eagles have won four straight since Nick Foles was named the starter and their defense has steadily improved in that same period.

The question in this game, and in all games Detroit plays, is which Lions team shows up to compete.

Even if the high-flying Lions show to compete the Eagles have the quarterback who is playing better at this time and they’re at home. The Eagles win and cover.

Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals -6

Two division leaders fighting for playoff seeding. The Bengals have a slightly better points per game average than the Colts and are the fifth toughest team to score against in the NFL. That and being at home turns the game to the Bengals in a cover.

Miami Dolphins @ Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5

The Steelers have climbed out of their early season tailspin to win three of their last four games but it’s the loss that hurt them most. They’re now in third place in the NFC North and trailing the Ravens, who they lost to 22-20 last week, and the Miami Dolphins who they host Sunday.

Cleveland Browns @ New England Patriots -11.5

Jason Campbell has been named the starter for the Browns for their game against the Patriots. That’s won’t be enough for the Browns to travel to New England and cover the number on Sunday.

Buffalo Bills @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.5

The Buccaneers had won three straight but were brought back to Earth last week by the Carolina Panthers, co-leaders of the NFC South. The Bills fought a back and forth battle with the Atlanta Falcons before  falling 34-31 in overtime.

This is another Week 14 game between two Terrible 10 teams. Since quarterback E.J. Manuel returned as the Bills’ starter they’ve scored 37 points against the Jets and 31 against the Falcons. They’ve been playing solid defense all year.

The underdog wins outright in Tampa.

Oakland Raiders @ New York Jets -3

Two more Terrible Ten teams do battle on Sunday in New York. The Raiders have lost 12 straight games in the Eastern Time Zone. That is the only reason it this pick goes to the Jets. Whether they can cover the spread or not isn’t worth trying to predict.

Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers -3

A game that at one time was looked upon as a preview to a future playoff showdown. The Falcons have struggled from the beginning of the season. The Packers have seen their fortunes fall since Aaron Rodgers fractured his collarbone.

The Falcons still have Matt Ryan to lead them while the Packers continue turning towards Matt Flynn to fill the shoes of their future Hall of Fame quarterback. The Falcons win outright in Green Bay.

Kansas City Chiefs -3 @ Washington Redskins

The Redskins have joined the Texans and Vikings this season as 2012 playoff teams that have fallen to the bottom of the league this season. Whether this game gets played in Kansas City or in Washington the Chiefs win and cover.

Minnesota Vikings @ Baltimore Ravens -7

Who starts at quarterback in Leslie Frazier’s final month as head coach of the Vikings. Even during their playoff push last season the Vikings couldn’t win when playing in the elements. They’re 1-6-1 in their last eight outdoor games.

It probably won’t matter much who Minnesota decides on as their starting quarterback. The Ravens know how to stop the run and that’s the only part of the Vikings’ offense that’s NFL quality.

The Ravens win at home and cover.

Sunday Late Games

Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos -12

The Titans have lost three of their last four and travel to face the current No. 1 seed in the AFC. They have the defense to keep this game within the spread but the Broncos continue on their way to being the favorite to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers -3

The game the fans of both teams have been waiting for since the Seahawks dominated the 49ers in Seattle 29-3. The 49ers have won two straight but against sub-.500 competition.

This is the 49ers last chance reel the Seahawks in and make the NFC West Division title a race. A loss means the defending NFC Champs will need to wrangle a wild card invite to the postseason this weekend.

St. Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals -6.5

The Cardinals beat the Rams in St. Louis in Week 1 and have only lost to the Seattle Seahawks at home this season. About the only thing they won’t accomplish is covering the spread.

New York Giants @ San Diego Chargers -3

The Giants, coming off an unimpressive victory over the Redskins travel to San Diego. The Chargers are only 5-7 but have been consistently better than the Giants this season as a team and Phillip Rivers has played at a high level all season.

The Chargers win and cover.

Sunday Night Football

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints -4

An outstanding Sunday night showdown after the sedative the NFL and NBC fed the public last week.This is the first battle of two in three weeks that will decide the NFC South and very likely, a first round bye in the postseason.

The Panthers stretched their win streak to eight last week with a 27-6 schooling of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while the Saints ended a short week of preparation by being blown out by the Seahawks in Seattle 34-7.

The Panthers have the better defense but Rob Ryan has the Saints playing their best defense in years. The Saints carry the edge on offense.

Cam Newton has been an improved quarterback but Drew Brees is one of the best in the NFL. That should give the Saints enough to edge the Panthers in one of the most entertaining prime time games of the season. They may not cover but the Saints will win.

Monday Night Football

Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears -1

The Bears are retiring Mike Ditka’s No. 89 during a halftime ceremony on Monday night. Ditka also wore No. 89 for the Cowboys for the final four seasons of his career.

Both teams are fighting to win divisions with records that almost definitely will keep them out of wild card consideration,

The Cowboys have one of the best passing games in the NFL but the Bears have been excellent at moving the ball through the air with their dynamic receiver tandem of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.

While DeMarco Murray is an effective back the Cowboys under-use him every week while the Bears make better use of Matt Forte via the run and the passing game. That plus emotions of a special night honoring their Hall of Fame tight end and Super Bowl winning head coach carries the Bears to a Monday night win by more than the one point..

Nostr-Thomas Predicts: Week 13 In the NFL

Now that we’re two days past Thanksgiving everyone can begin emerging from their tryptophan coma’s and look forward stuffing ourselves on another weekend of NFL football.

In the interests of full disclosure I’ll admit I only picked one correct Thursday outcome. I underestimated just how inept the Packers have become without Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Also, the fact that the Lions usually figure a way to crap themselves when playing the Packers had me picking them. Instead, Detroit slaughtered the Green Bay 40-10.

I figured the Dallas Cowboys to have an easy time of things at home with the Oakland Raiders. While the prediction was correct the game turned into a nail-biter for Dallas fans before the Cowboys pulled through with a 31-24 win.

Finally, in a coin flip of a pick I took the Pittsburgh Steelers to beat the Baltimore Ravens on the road. The Steelers fell one minute and a two-point conversion short at the end, 22-20.

Enough with looking back to the past. Time to charge into the future to see how Sunday’s games stack-up.

Early Games

Chicago Bears @Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson’s mouth has to be watering after seeing what the Rams’ running game was able to do to the Bears’ defense last week but he’s all the Vikings have going for them on offense.

For the Bears, Josh McCown will continue doing a competent job at quarterback for the offense. On defense Jay Ratliff, recently acquired from the Cowboys, is expected to start at one defensive tackle spot while Stephen Paea returns from injury to start next to him.

If those two even nominally improve the run defense for the Bears that’s all they should need to beat a team that’s beyond the point of even saving their head coach’s job.

Arizona Cardinals @Philadelphia Eagles

One of the premier games of the weekend. The Eagles need the win to keep pace with the Cowboys for first place in the NFC East. The Cardinals need it to stay in the middle of the wild card hunt.

The Eagles are 1-5 at home this season. The Cardinals are 1-5 in their last six games played outside on the road. Carson Palmer has Arizona’s offense playing like they expected when the Cardinals acquired him.

Still, the Eagles are coming off their bye week and move the ball better than Arizona. Look for them to win at home.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @Carolina Panthers

Head coach Ron Rivera has gone from being out the door one second after the last game of the season ends to garnering votes for Coach of the Year. The Panthers are currently fifth seed in the NFC and won’t be wasting their time letting the lowly Buccaneers think they can play with them.

New England Patriots @Houston Texans

Prior to the season this game was seen as a rematch of last year’s Division Round playoff game. Now it’s a tune-up for the Patriots on their way to the postseason since the Texans have hit rock bottom after losing to the Jaguars last week.

Miami Dolphins @New York Jets

Without doubt the Dolphins will be the better team on Sunday but the Jets are 4-1 at home with two of those wins being over the Patriots and Saints.

The Dolphins have lost three straight on the road and don’t travel well to the cold weather AFC East destinations. The Jets win a tight game this week.

Tennessee Titans @Indianapolis Colts

The Titans are the Colts closest pursuer for the AFC South crown. Two weeks ago Indianapolis came back from 14-0 and 17-3 deficits to defeat the Titans in Tennessee. Sandwiching that game for the Colts is two blowout losses to the Rams and Cardinals.

Given the troubles the Colts had has of late they should be ripe for the picking but the Titans are still stuck with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. The Colts have also been called out publicly by team owner Jim Irsay.

It’s a stretch to expect the Colts to lose at home this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars @Cleveland Browns

The stinker of the early slate of games. The Browns are back to starting Brandon Weeden after Jason Campbell was concussed by William Gay of the Steelers last week. That should still be enough to get them past the pathetic Jaguars at home.

Late Games

Atlanta Falcons @Buffalo Bills

The Falcons have gone from contenders as the NFC representative in Super Bowl XLVIII to joining the Texans as competitors for the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. They are also 0-5 on the road this season.

The Bills are playing the first of three straight games that could be called the “dog” run. After finishing with the Falcons they take to the road against the Tampa Bay and Jacksonville. That’s a great recipe of game to regain health.

The Bills have E.J. Manuel healthy and will be behind center for the third straight game on Sunday, have a strong defense and are coming off their bye week. This week they kick the Falcons while they’re down.

St. Louis Rams @San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are having a more difficult time as defending NFC Champions than was expected heading into this season. They are currently the conference’s sixth seed in a crowded playoff race.

The Rams have beat the Colts and Bears in consecutive weeks but haven’t won in San Francisco since 2007 (they tied last season 24-24).

Expect their run of good fortune to end Sunday afternoon.

Cincinnati Bengals @San Diego Chargers

The Chargers have been a dangerous team at home this season and they’re playing a team that has lost its last two road games in overtime. The Bengals also see the Baltimore Ravens creeping up on them in their rearview mirror and know that the Ravens can be closer than they appear.

In the battle of two explosive offenses this one goes to the home team.

Denver Broncos @Kansas City Chiefs

Another premier game, this one for the late afternoon crowd. The Broncos won game one in Denver 27-17 and both teams lost heart-breakers last week. Both are tied at the top of the AFC West division with the Broncos holding the tiebreak edge.

Kansas City is still the second best team in the NFL in points allowed, even after surrendering 41 points, including the final touchdown with 31 seconds left, to San Diego last week.

Peyton Manning is still having an elite 2013, even if he played the worst game of his season last week.

The Chiefs have one of the best rushing offenses in the league going against one of the best run defenses in the league. The Broncos are still the better team through the air though and that should be enough to win in a stadium that’s one of the toughest in the league on road teams.

Sunday Night Football

New York Giants @Washington Redskins

It’s Sunday night sedative time as NBC serves up two teams contending to be the worst in the NFL. as their prime-time game (see The Terrible Ten Week 12). Why this game wasn’t flexed out for the Broncos vs the Chiefs is a mystery to nearly all.

Of these two equally inept division rivals take the home team. It’s as good a choice as any.

Monday Night Football

New Orleans Saints @Seattle Seahawks

Now this is a prime-time match-up NFL fans can sink their teeth into. These two teams are playing for the inside track to be the top seed in the NFC in January.

Both teams are virtually even in Points Scored this season while the Saints have allowed just 17 more points on defense. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson both lead strong passing games and are rarely intercepted.

This game will likely come down to the Seahawks drawing energy from their 12th Man fan base like Popeye draws strength from spinach. That will likely make the difference between two elite NFL teams.

Nostr-Thomas Predicts: The NFL Week 10

The week began with a surprise victory by the Minnesota Vikings over the Washington Redskins on Thursday Night Football. The rest of the league is heading down the backstretch of the season as the postseason scenarios begin to sort themselves out.

It’s time to pick the remainder of the Week 10 NFL slate.

Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears -1

Jay Cutler returns this week after recovering from his groin injury suffered Week 7 against the Redskins. The Bears have won seven of the last eight games against the Lions played at Soldier Field. Look for at least one turnover by the Lions against one of the top turnover creating defenses in the league.

Bears cover in a tightly played game.

Seattle Seahawks -5 @ Atlanta Falcons

This one’s not going to be nearly as exciting as last year’s divisional round playoff game. The Falcons have struggled to a 2-6 record and are facing a Seahawks team that may not be winning as dominantly as they did in 2012 but is still 8-1.

Seattle throws a blanket over Matt Ryan’s targets and cover on the road.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Green Bay Packers -1

Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone puts an entirely different spin on this game. Still, the Eagles aren’t playing the Raiders’ defense this week and the Packers are running the ball with Eddie Lacy better than they have in years. Along with what Seneca Wallace can give them after a full week of practice should be enough.

Packers cover at home.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans -12

The Titans get to feel like one of the big boys this season as they take a 12 point advantage at home in their game against one of the worst teams in NFL history. The Titans can play defense. The Jaguars can’t play anything.

Titans cover and feel good about themselves for a week.

St. Louis Rams @ Indianapolis Colts -9.5

Kellen Clemens has kept the Rams in the two games he has started so far but he’s facing one of the hottest teams in the NFL this week.

Colts win but the Rams keep it closer than 9.5.

Cincinnati Bengals -1.5 @ Baltimore Ravens

The Bengals are taking control of the AFC North. The Ravens have lost 4 of 5.

The Bengals win and cover on the road.

Buffalo Bills @ Pittsburgh Steelers -3

The Bills are playing tough and get E.J. Manuel back as their starting quarterback this week. The Steelers have earned their 2-6 record this season. The question is how low can they go.

The Bills win as underdogs on the road.

Oakland Raiders @ New York Giants -7

The Raiders are 3-5 but not playing as well as their record. The Giants are 2-6 but playing better and coming off their bye week.

The Giants win and cover at home.

Carolina Panthers @ San Francisco 49ers -6

The Panthers are playing some of the best defense in the NFL but they’re stepping up in competition against the 49ers and playing them on their home turf.

The 49ers win but the Panthers keep the game within 6.

Houston Texans @ Arizona Cardinals -2.5

Case Keenum has played very well at quarterback against a team that’s strong defensively but has trouble moving the ball on offense. The Texans win and cover.

Denver Broncos -7 @ San Diego Chargers

San Diego keeps this closer than the touchdown spread at home but don’t have the guns to defeat the Broncos.

Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints -6.5

Saints are world-beaters at home but 6.5 is more than they’ll be able to cover against the Cowboys.

Miami Dolphins -2.5 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This might be the Buccaneers best shot at winning a game this season but home has not been a friendly place for them this season.

Miami keeps Tampa Bay winless plus covers.

 

Nostr-Thomas Predicts: Thursday Night Football Week 5

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns -4

The network television contracts with the NFL state that every team in the league will appear in prime time at least once during a season. Thus, we are given this treat to enjoy tonight.

Interestingly, while this game was being looked at like the apple in a bag of Halloween candy prior to the season, this has turned into an intriguing match-up. The Browns have followed up the Trent Richardson trade by winning two straight games with Brian Hoyer at quarterback in place of Brandon Wheedon.

Desmond Bryant and rookie Barkevious Mingo lead the Browns with 3.5 and 3 Sacks respectively and to show how relentless he has been in rushing the passer, Bryant also has 6 Quarterback Hits.

For the Bills on defense, Mario Williams has been the player they thought they were getting when they signed him as a free agent and Marcell Dareus has been a strong anchor to the defensive line at tackle.

On offense, Fred Jackson has returned to the field as one of the best running backs no one talks about in the league. Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel has started well after missing most of the preseason and spreads the ball around well between Jackson, receivers Steve Johnson and Robert Woods, and tight end Scott Chandler.

Expect the Browns, propelled by home field and the better defense to win but they’re not sufficiently better than the Bills to expect them to cover.

Prediction: A physical 21-20 win for the Browns.

 

Nostr-Thomas Predicts: Week 4 Edition

The NFL will be a quarter of the way through the season after this week’s games. One game has already been played but here’s the word on how the rest of this weekend’s slate plays out.

Thursday 9/26

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams

Sure you say, it’s easy to pick games three days after they’ve been played but I did have the 49ers going into this game. The Rams are only now beginning to realize they could have had an RGIII. Instead, they’re stuck with Sam Bradford.

Sunday 9/29

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

Does the Bears’ defense take another turnover to the house today? The opportunistic defense they unleashed against the NFL last season has continued in 2013.

The key to the success of the Bears’ offense will be the match-up between DT Ndamukong Suh and RG Kyle Long. For the Lions, Matthew Stafford still has Calvin Johnson but will miss having Nate Burleson on the field.

The Bears improve to 4-0 with a win in Detroit.

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills

Joe Flacco finally played to his new contract last week against Houston but the Ravens scored two non-offensive touchdowns Texans committed 14 penalties.

E.J. Manual has done well learning on the job in Buffalo. The Bills are 1-1 at home with that loss being a hard-fought game against the Patriots.

This is my upset special for the week. The Bills win another tight game at home.

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

The Browns gutted out a win against the Minnesota Vikings last week but their playing the best team in the AFC North today. The Bengals extend their record to 3-1.

New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs

Can the Chiefs jump out to a 4-0 record after a 2012 shipwreck? The real question is whether Eli Manning can keep from having another multiple turnover game. He can’t and the Chiefs will.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings

I’m sure the NFL thought they had a playoff caliber game in this one when they shipped it off to London. Instead they export one of the stinkers of the week. Which team avoids dropping to 0-4 on the season. The Vikings are starting Matt Cassel in place of Christian Ponder and have enough defense to shut down big Ben.

Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Josh Freeman was still the starter for the Buccaneers on Monday. Mike Glennon is their starter today. Where else can Greg Schiano screw up his team next week. The Cardinals fly home as winners after this game.

Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguars

The Colts dominated the 49ers on San Francisco’s home field last week. The Jaguars may be the worst team in football. Colts are feeling real good about their 3-1 record after this game.

Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans

The Seahawks have shot out to the start that says Super Bowl contender. The Texans have looked like anything but a Super Bowl contender so far this season. The Seahawks continue their domination of the NFL in 2013.

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans

The Jets are 2-1 behind an inconsistent Geno Smith. The Titans have the defense to hang on for a win at home.

Philadelphia Eagles at Denver Broncos

The Eagles’ defense has sucked air in the second half of their first three games as their high-octane offense continues full speed ahead. Their in Denver this week which means the sideline oxygen tanks better be full.

Washington Redskins at Oakland Raiders

The Redskins are winless but the Raiders are still the Raiders and that’s enough for Washington’s first win of the season.

Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers

The Cowboys continue their fast start and jump out to a big enough lead on the rest of the division to make their late season choke that much more dramatic.

New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons

The Patriots haven’t blown anyone away yet on their way to 0-3 but the Falcons have been worse on their way to an 0-2 start. The Patriots pick up another wind for the AFC over the NFC.

Monday 9/30

Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints

A battle of two undefeated teams and the first of a potential three consecutive undefeated teams for the Saints. The Dolphins are an improved team but New Orleans is not the place they want to be playing at this point in their development.