We're only in week five, but there are only two unbeatens left. I doubt the 1972 Miami Dolphins have much to worry about this season. They might as well pop the champagne now. One of those teams without a loss has to travel to Denver to face the Broncos after Peyton Manning had an extra week to prepare. Almost every other game is very difficult to predict, especially the battle for Texas between two 3 - 1 teams, so I'm just hoping to get eight or nine right to stay above .500 for the week.
Thursday Night (copied from a previous blog):
Minnesota (2 - 2) 24 @ Green Bay (2 - 2) 28:
Both teams got big victories last week to keep pace in the NFC North, which may be one of the tightest in the league. Terry Bridgewater is out for the Vikes, replace by Christian Ponder for tonight's game. Short week, different QB, coming off a big win...I don't feel good about Minnesota's chances. But this is the NFL, which could stand for "Not For Long" when it comes to trying to figure out how long things stay the same. Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau Field on a Thursday night against a division rival that has been up and down this season and without Adrian Peterson makes me lean toward the Pack.
Chicago (2 - 2) 20 @ Carolina (2 - 2) 27: The Panthers have looked pretty lame while losing their last two games. While I would like to think that will continue, it's the NFL so I look for a miraculous recovery from Carolina.
Cleveland (1 - 2) 23 @ Tennessee (1 - 3) 20: Both teams are coming off a bye week. Oh, sorry, it just seemed like the Titans took the week off. I think the Browns are a little bit better than Tennessee.
St. Louis (1 - 2) 24 @ Philadelphia (3 -1) 30: The Eagles weren't clicking on offense at San Francisco, but they should have a better week at home.
Atlanta (2 - 2) 27 @ New York Giants (2 - 2) 28: The Falcons have been inconsistent while the Giants have gone from looking terrible to looking unbeatable. In a close game I'll take the home team.
Tampa Bay (1 - 3) 21 @ New Orleans (1 - 3) 24: Conventional wisdom would say that the Saints will surely turn it around at home. I'll go with that, but if the Bucs pull the upset, New Orleans' playoff chances are probably next to nil.
Houston (3 - 1) 20 @ Dallas (3 - 1) 28: Who would have thought these two teams would be division leaders a quarter of the way through the season and that this battle for Texas would be one of the premier games of the week? The Cowboys lead the league in rushing and the Texans have been vulnerable on the ground.
Buffalo (2 - 2) 17 @ Detroit (3 - 1) 27: Other than laying an egg on the road at Carolina, the Lions have been living up to expectations. The Bills got off to a hot start, but haven't been able to generate any offense the last couple of weeks. Their strength is their rushing defense, but the Lions win through the air.
Baltimore (3 - 1) 30 @ Indianapolis (2 - 2) 27: The Ravens have been playing as well as anyone since an opening week loss to Cincinnati. The Colts have put up big numbers on two teams with one win between them. I'm going to take Baltimore to continue their good play.
Pittsburgh (2 - 2) 23 @ Jacksonville (0 - 4) 20: The Steelers let one winless Florida team get their first victory last week. I don't think Mike Tomlin wants his team to let the Jaguars collect their initial victory at his team's expense.
Arizona (3 - 0) 30 @ Denver (2 - 1) 34: The Cardinals are sitting atop the NFC West, what many believe to be the toughest division in football. But they have to match up with what may be the second toughest, the AFC West. I don't see the Broncos losing this one at home.
Kansas City (2 -2) 27 @ San Francisco (2 - 2) 24: The Chiefs have really turned things around in the last couple of weeks. There is a lot of speculation about 'Niners' coach Jim Harbaugh's future in San Francisco. Despite their win over the Eagles last week, I still think the home team is vulnerable.
New York Jets (1 - 3) 20 @ San Diego (3 - 1) 24: You would think the Jets have two chances in San Diego - slim and none. But as I like to say, this is the NFL and strange things happen. I'm tempted to take the Jets here, but I just can't do it.
Cincinnati (3 - 0) 27 @ New England (2 - 2) 20: There are many that are predicting the demise of the Patriots after they were routed last week by the Chiefs. As ESPN's Lee Corso likes to say, "Not so fast my friend." But unfortunately for New England, they have to face an undefeated Bengals team coming off their bye week.
Seattle (2 - 1) 27 @ Washington (1 - 3) 17: Washington is fifth in total offense and twelfth in total defense, yet are 1 - 3 on the season. They host the reigning Super Bowl champs in what is a must win situation. Given the way Kirk Cousins self destructed against the Giants, I don't give them much of a chance against a very opportunistic defense. I hope I'm wrong.