The NFL week is back and shorter than ever. The Ravens (21) vs. Falcons (26) came right down to the wire and kicked us off to what should be a great week of football. It seems like the games get here much quicker now. You have Thursday Night football, then you get two days off and back to football all day Sunday, then you wrap the week up with Monday Night Football. It's just two short days and we are right back at it.
This is a great time of year to be a football fan... that doesn't live in Buffalo, Dallas, Carolina... well you get the picture. We can only hope that the season doesn't go by too fast and then hope and pray that the morons thinking about a lockout come to their senses. I was the biggest baseball fan growing up, then they had their strike and I was never able to get back into it. I'm not saying that I could ever live without football, what I am saying is, that there will be a large portion of people that get fed up with these billionaire hypocrites, and turn their attention to baseball or basketball or something not even sports related. Kids that are beginning to follow and play football might decide to make baseball their career path. There will be a domino effect if there is a strike. Well, I'm getting more into NFL Rage than NFL GameDay, so let's reel it back in and breakdown some games.
Detroit vs. Buffalo
This is an interesting battle. You have two teams that love to compete and come real close to winning before losing in the final minutes or seconds. Detroit is closer to the verge of having a playoff caliber team. Hopefully they learn from their mistakes and get Matt Stafford an offensive line that can keep Stafford healthy. Lions coach Jim Schwartz has been teaching Denver Josh McDaniels a lesson on NFL trading. Schwartz acquired CB Alphonso Smith and TE Tony Scheffler from McDaniels for 2 tickets to see Muppets on Ice or something like that. Smith is currently tied for 2nd in the NFL with 5 INT's. Scheffler is having a solid receiving year.
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Chan Gailey decided to draft the top running back in the draft and not give him any O-line to run behind. Brilliant! But to be fair, this team has holes everywhere. Maybe something should be said for him just having this team compete. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a pleasant surprise but he's not the long term answer. Buffalo will keep it close but it's now 0-9. - Lions Win 30-21
New York Jets vs. Cleveland
The Jets had a huge bounce back game over Detroit. That was sarcasm, sorry if you missed it. The Jets need to be dominant against weaker teams and win against elite teams. I still have a lot of questions for this team that says anything less than the Super Bowl is a wasted season. What is New York's identity this year? Are they a passing team, a rushing team, or a lock down defensive team? From game to game they haven't looked like any of these. They way they are playing now I couldn't put them any higher than the 4th best team in the AFC. A case could be made that they are actually only the 6th best team in the AFC though.
It's sad that Cleveland's front office thought that Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme were good quarterbacks. This Cleveland team would have been a playoff team had they started the season with Colt McCoy. He's not a QB that's going to pass for 300 yards every game but you don't need that with this team. It's a good nucleus on defense and the most physical running back in the NFL on offense. McCoy is extremely accurate and doesn't make big mistakes in key moments of the game, or better known as the Anti-Delhomme. Watch out for Cleveland in 2011. - Upset Alert! Browns Win 23-17
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Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis
It's hard to tell if this team is about to implode or start clicking. Carson Palmer and TO have been on the same page since early on this year, but as mentioned in NFL Rage this week, Batman and Robin seem about ready to kill the Joker. Cincy has all the pieces but yet they still are only 2-6.
Indy shouldn't be tied for first place. Peyton Manning and the Manningettes (what we will refer to as the officials that give Peyton every call), seem to keep finding ways to win. Watching a Colts game and seeing a penalty flag flying every time Peyton asks for it reminds me of growing up and watching Michael Jordan travel on every play and never have it called against him. It's maddening! I think the league is starting to realize that the fans are seeing the favoritism and it will begin to cut back, or maybe that's wishful thinking. Regardless, Peyton and the Manningettes can't keep winning. - Upset Alert! Bengals Win 28-27
Houston vs. Jacksonville
This is a must win for both coaches. I feel like the loser of this game will be placed squarely on the hot seat. The loser will fall into last place in the AFC South and the winner will have an outside shot at getting back into the race with the Colts and Titans.
Gary Kubiak is taking a lot of heat in Houston for his recent play calling and sticking by the "Hall Monitor." The "Hall Monitor" is rookie Kareem Jackson. I nicknamed him that because he basically lets everyone by with the pass. Texans fans are upset that they didn't pick up CB Al Harris to start over Jackson and give him veteran guidance. It makes everybody question your coaching ability when you have the worst pass defense but don't make any changes. Congrats David Garrard, have at em'.
Jacksonville, as shown in our Net Points Power Rankings has a tendency of getting blown out. They either barely win or they get massacred. David Garrard will get his stats and Mike Sims-Walker will have the game of his life. Don't forget to factor in MoJo against a defense that will be on its heels trying to make up for the secondary's weaknesses. Jacksonville doesn't have the strongest D either and they will have their hands filled with Arian Foster. I believe that the Texans will finally come out with a 60 minute game plan of handing off to Foster and keeping their own Defense on the sideline. - Texans Win 27-24
Carolina vs. Tampa Bay
Do I really have to break this game down? Carolina is a train wreck. Deangelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are out for this game, so Mike Goodson will get the start. I truly believe that Goodson will make his name known by the end of the game. He's a high caliber back that's just been hidden behind smash n dash. Matt Moore also is out. Whether it's Jimmy Clausen or they bring back Steve Beuerlein, they don't stand a chance.
Josh Freeman will have a stellar day throwing to rookies, Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn. Hide the women and children because this one could get ugly. Carolina is just outmatched in this one and I wouldn't be surprised if LeGarrette Blount punches some people in the mouth in this game. That's right I said. - Bucs Win 27-6
Kansas City vs. Denver
Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones are currently the best duo of backs in the NFL. Matt Cassel seems to be progressing but I don't see the top caliber talent in him. Derrick Johnson has been having his best season and just recently got rewarded for it. It appears that KC could win this division but I see some huge holes in some of their schemes.
Denver has a great passing attack. They can win games if they outscore their opponents in shootouts. The young KC secondary is very talented but they should struggle against the onslaught of passes thrown at them. I also believe that this is finally the week that Knowshon Moreno gets going. I know I have no reason of seeing this happen but it's more of a gut feeling. - Upset Alert Broncos Win 31-23
Seattle vs. Arizona
Matt Hasselback is back and we should see a shootout in the most mediocre conference in football. They should move the NFC West into the UFL, it would make it more competitive and give me a reason to watch. There isn't a more moody receiver than Mike Williams. He's been picked up and dropped off of fantasy's teams more than Antonio Cromartie has kids. Marshawn Lynch hasn't been as productive as I thought he would be in the zone blocking scheme.
Derek Anderson can lead this team on touchdown drives and score points but he doesn't have that killer mentality. Between the two, I believe that Arizona is a little better on offense and Seattle is a little better on defense but, you can't really tell, they change from week to week. I can only base this decision on who didn't look horrific last week. - Cardinals Win 24-23
Dallas vs. New York Giants
By no means do I think Danny Bonaduce is the answer as coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Most of the time that a temporary coach is promoted there is a little change in energy in the locker room. Look at how Mike Singletary won his head coaching gig based off of his time as temp coach. The Cowboys will come out more aggressive and impressive this week but it's just do to change, not because Bonaduce is a good coach.
Even with the Cowboys new lease on life, they aren't playing at the same level as this Giants team. The Giants are hitting on all cylinders. This is the best team in the NFC right now. I have to watch what I say because they always seem to hit a little slide somewhere in the season. I could see an upset here but I'll go with the talent and who's been playing better. - Giants Win 21-20
St. Louis vs. San Francisco
I actually like watching the Rams play, I guess they can stay in the NFL and we won't send them to the UFL with the rest of the NFC West. I would say that one of the teams in this game will probably win the division but I heard the other day that Alex Smith will be named starter again, when he comes back. I can't get past the utter stupidity of Singletary's decision making. Does Alex Smith have pictures of Mike in a compromising position? What's with the loyalty to this guy?
If the 49ers stick with Troy Smith than I can actually see them getting back in this race. It's funny to think that if the 49ers win this game then they will actually be right in the thick of the action. This division could go down to the last few weeks of the season and every team may still be alive. I think the Rams are the class of the division though and so... - Rams Win 23-16
"Water Cooler" Games
Minnesota vs. Chicago
Brett Favre vs. Brett Favre Jr. This will be a exciting game to watch. Almost every time a quarterback drops back to pass there will be a TD. You just don't know if it will be a tight spiral to one of the offensive receivers or a horrific pick-6 going the other way. The running game edge definitely goes to Adrian Peterson and the Vikings, as well as the receivers and tight end talent. While we are at it, throw in the Vikings offensive line having the edge as well. Really, the Vikings are an all around better team. It's the little simple things that keep the Vikings losing. If they can keep Percy Harvin healthy and get back Sidney Rice in some type of shape similar to last year, then they could still make a run.
The Bears being 5-3 is a miracle to me. Their rushing attack is weak, their O-line is terrible and Cutler throws more picks than the Karl Malone / John Stockton led Utah Jazz. Chicago needs this win to keep pace with idle Green Bay. But Minnesota needs it to stay in the hunt for any type of playoff spot. - Vikings Win 24-20
Philadelphia vs. Washington
Mike Vick is back in rare form. I for one am ecstatic that we get to watch him again. He's not the most accurate passer but the zip he puts on the ball as he's avoiding sacks is amazing to watch. Lesean McCoy seemed to wear out last week and the Eagles need him to not be hitting a wall right now. If Vick can get Jeremy Maclin and Desean Jackson going in the same game, then this team would be unstoppable.
Everyone will be watching the McNabb / Shanahan relationship with a microscope Monday night. Every little conversation will be scrutinized and examined. This will be hard to deal with while trying to beat a much better ball team. If Clinton Portis & Ryan Torain both can go, then the game plan will be to pound the ball and keep Vick off the field. McNabb can usually bounce back from bad experiences but he will have his plate full with the whole Shanahan situation and facing his old team. He'll come up short. - Eagles Win 35-24
Game of the Week
New England vs. Pittsburgh
A great defense vs. a great offense. Well that's what they were supposed to be, but now it unknown how good the Patriots offense is, after the Browns held them to just 14 points. What about the Steelers defense that let the Bengals come roaring back and almost lost the game if it wasn't for rookie Jordan Shipley dropping a 4th down pass on the Steelers 2 yard line?
To me New England looks more like a fraud. There 6-2 record doesn't do anything to impress me. There defense is nowhere close to the caliber of the Steelers. The Browns also laid out a perfect blueprint on how to shutdown their offense and put points up on their defense. If Pittsburgh follows their divisional foes path, this game has already been decided.
New England has a way of responding after embarrassing losses. You can fully expect the Pats to step up with a different plan of attack. The only problem is that Rashard Mendenhall is capable of carrying the load and run a physical attack similar to Peyton Hillis. If New England puts 8 in the box, then 2 time Super Champion QB Ben Roethisberger will hit Mike Wallace or Hines Ward over the top. - Steelers Win 27-16
One final note, this is the last of the bye weeks, so we'll be back to a full slate of 16 games next week.
I'll be back next Sunday morning week for Week 11 of NFL GameDay. Don't forget to check out NFL Rage mid week where I vent my frustrations at some of the dumbest calls and decisions from this week's games. NFL Gameday - It's easy like Sunday Morning! - Jayson Braddock
Jayson appears on Sports Radio 790 AM in Houston, TX, every Thursday morning at 11:19 am CST as the football insider on the Dylan Gwinn show. He's a graduate of the Sports Management World Wide Football GM & Scouting Course and has been mentored by former NFL player / executive John Wooten and Sporting News.com NFL Draft Expert Russ Lande. His work is mostly appreciated by die-hard fans interested in every little detail about their team and not just watered down mainstream talk. - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports7910.com.
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