Still blogging from the road and currently in Iowa as this posts, I bring you guys another Friday Football Forecast. Hope you guys enjoy it and let me know what you think, I want to make sure this motion sickness from the car-ride is worth it
Redskins vs. Falcons:
The Redskins are coming off their first week of the season that didn’t involve any drama, and that’s only because they’re coming off of a bye week. The Falcons, meanwhile, are coming off a loss to the Saints in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football. The Falcons have struggled as of late, losing two in a row to Dallas and New Orleans, however both of those games were on the road where Matt Ryan continues to struggle. This is a home game against a struggling Redskins team in turmoil, and the Falcons should take full advantage of it.
Falcons 24, Redskins 10
Cardinals vs. Bears:
The Cardinals come into this game reeling after a surprising home loss to the Carolina Panthers. The Bears meanwhile are coming off what was pretty much a bye-week, also known as a game against the Cleveland Browns. Both teams came into this season with high expectations that for the most part have not been met. The Cardinals still have one of the leagues toughest defenses despite last weeks flop, and the Bears are always one of the stronger teams defensively. This game has potential fireworks with Jay Cutler leading the Bears and Kurt Warner throwing to Larry Fitzgerald and Co. This game can go two ways, either a defensive battle or a shoot-out, and I think it will be a fun game that comes down to who scores last.
Bears 31, Cardinals 28
Ravens vs. Bengals:
This is a surprisingly big division game in the AFC North. Plenty of people have picked the Ravens to compete for the division crown but not many had the Bengals up there as well. This game has huge implications either way, if Baltimore wins it drops the Bengals into a tie with them and keeps them one-game behind Pittsburgh at the worst. A Bengals win cripples the Ravens much more, it would drop the Ravens two games behind Cincinnati and Pittsburgh in the race for the division. This should be a low-scoring defensive battle, a physical game in every sense of the word. In the end I think Baltimore realizes the consequences of a loss and comes to Cincinnati to claim a W.
Ravens 21, Bengals 17
Texans vs. Colts:
Quite simply, this is the biggest game in Houston Texans franchise history. A win at Indianapolis keeps the Texans in the thick of the playoff race and unlimited amounts of confidence. The Colts meanwhile are riding a 16-game regular season winning streak and come into this game 7-0, coming off of an anything-but-impressive 18-14 win against the Niners. It’s never, ever, ever smart to pick against the Colts, especially at home, which is exactly why I’m picking this game as my Upset Special of the Week. I think the Texans will go into Indy and shock everyone, proving they really are a playoff contender for the first time in franchise history.
Texans 27, Colts 21
Dolphins vs. Patriots:
The last time we saw the Patriots two weeks ago they were in London laying the smack down on a sorry Tampa Bay team. The Dolphins meanwhile are coming off a big road win against the Jets, thanks mainly in part to Ted Ginn Jr. returning two third quarter kick-offs for touchdowns. This is another big divisional game, however if there’s one thing the Patriots have proven time and time again it’s that they are virtually unbeatable at home against AFC East rivals.
Patriots 31, Dolphins 17
Packers vs. Buccaneers:
The Packers are finally able to completely move past Brett Favre now that the teams have met twice this season and will avoid each other for the rest of the season unless they meet in the playoffs. The Bucs meanwhile are the leagues remaining winless team after the Rams defeated Detroit and the Titans trounced the Jags last week. Quite simply, Tampa Bay is one of the worst teams we’ve seen in the league in a LONG time, and the Packers are looking to rebound from a tough home-loss, which is exactly what they’ll do this weekend.
Packers 30, Bucs 13
Chiefs vs. Jaguars:
After what has surely been a long week for Jacksonville after a loss to previously winless Tennessee, the Jags return home to take on another lowly team in the 1-6 Chiefs. The Chiefs meanwhile are trying to put things together with Matt Cassell at quarterback and seem to slowly be starting to click. However Jacksonville sorely needs this game if they are going to have any chance to make it to the playoffs and they should take it.
Jags 24, Chiefs 14
Lions vs. Seahawks:
This is going to be one of those games that nobody besides Lions and Seahawks fans are going to want to watch, and for good reason. Both of these teams look hideous on offense and are shaky on defense. In a game of not much consequence the Seahawks should be better than the Lions, who are coming off of a loss to previously winless St. Louis.
Seahawks 24, Lions 10
Panthers vs. Saints:
Another week, and the Saints continue marching through this NFL season putting up points at a record-setting pace. Coming off of a 35-28 win over the Falcons, the Saints are 7-0 and easily the most explosive team in the league when they get the ball. The Panthers meanwhile have been under-achieving all season long, but are coming off of a big road win against the Cardinals last week. That might be a turning point in the season for them, however this week won’t be a part of that turnaround, the Saints will score early and often in another easy win for Drew Brees and Co.
Saints 41, Panthers 24
Chargers vs. Giants:
A couple of weeks ago this one would have easily been penciled in as the Game of the Week. However, both teams are currently struggling, the G-Men losing three straight following a 5-0 start and the Chargers haven’t looked good at all this season against teams not named the Oakland Raiders of the NCAA. This will be a big game for both of these teams, the winner staying alive in the playoff race, the loser dropping even further back in their respective divisions. The Giants have the edge because of being the home team, but the Chargers have more talent and are always up for a game against the man who demanded to be traded from San Diego on draft-day, Eli Manning.
Chargers 24, Giants 17
Titans vs. 49ers:
The Titans are coming off of (finally!) getting their first win of the season against the Jags last week in Vince Youngs first start of the season. The Niners meanwhile are reeling, but are coming off of a moral victory (if that’s possible) in a close loss to the Colts 18-14. The Titans Chris Johnson has guaranteed the Titans will win their last 10 games of the season, which is going to be virtually impossible, however this is basically the same team that started 10-0 last season. I think they get to win number two of their desired 10 in this one.
Titans 21, Niners 13
Cowboys vs. Eagles:
A division-battle in Philadelphia is what takes us to our Game of the Week. The Eagles are soaring right now, coming off a 40-17 beat-down of the Giants at home last week. Donovan McNabb is really starting to click with his young receivers Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Meanwhile Tony Romo and the Cowboys are rolling along, coming into the game with the same 5-2 record as the Eagles. This will be a hard-fought game, that should turn into a old-fashioned shoot out. The Eagles are getting Brian Westbrook back and at home, and that should be the difference in the game.
Eagles 31, Cowboys 27
Steelers vs. Broncos:
If it wasn’t for the ‘Boys – Eagles game this would be our game of the week. The Broncos are coming off their first loss of the season, a 30-7 thrashing at the hands of the Ravens, while the Steelers are on a four game winning-streak and head into this game with all the momentum. Troy Polamalu is expected to make his return from an early-season injury and help an already strong Steelers defense get even stronger. The Broncos finally came crashing back down to earth last week, add that to the fact that the Steelers can gain greatly this week with a win and a Baltimore or Cincinnati loss, and it looks like another big road-win for the defending Super Bowl Champs.
Steelers 24, Broncos 13