As usual the games are rated on a 5-tier system as follows:
Tier 1: Packers Game
Tier 2: Best Match-Ups of the Week
Tier 3: Worth at least checking out
Tier 4: Close games....but because both teams aren't good
Tier 5: Blowouts....one-sided snoozers
Tier 1: The Packers are on their bye week so off to the next tier
Patriots 3-1 vs. Broncos 4-0
Hands down the game of the week. You have two teams fighting for AFC Supremacy. One team, New England that is looking to maintain their grip at the top of the AFC food pyramid. The Broncos are 4-0 and fighting for respect. I'm starting to come around on them as at least a playoff team but I still don't think they have the fire power to make a deep run. Still, I didn't expect them to be 4-0 and there still is plenty of time to prove skeptics like me wrong.
Also, this is the first match-up since between the teams since McDaniels left his gig as the Patriots Offensive Coordinator to take the Denver head coaching job. The Broncos will probably come out motivated due to this but probably not enough to win.
Pats 24 Broncos 17
Bengals 3-1 vs. Ravens 3-1
An unexpected battle for AFC North supremacy. The Ravens will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after getting their first loss to the Pats. So far, they look to be one of the better teams in the league.
The Bengals keep finding ways to win games, even if it doesn't look pretty. The 3-1 record looks nice but considering they barely beat an atrocious Cleveland team...I don't see them squeezing their way to another win on Sunday.
Bengals 28 Bengals 17
Jets 3-1 vs. Dolphins 1-3
Not the best Monday Night match-up. The Jets are coming off their first loss of the season and it should be interesting to see how Mark Sanchez bounces back after his first encounter with adversity.
The Dolphins have struggled this year and stuck with Chad Henne at QB. Still, they played strong against a good Indy team on Monday night already and I have a hunch they'll play over their heads a little bit for the ESPN crowd.
Jets 21 Dolphins 14
Falcons 2-1 vs. 49ers 3-1
A solid battle between former NFC West rivals. The Falcons are coming off their bye week as Matt Ryan looks to follow-up on his solid rookie year.
The 49ers see themselves as legit division contenders for the first time. They have wiped themselves clean of the Mike Nolan era and looked to turn around under Mike Singletary. The defense has looked strong, they had a great game last week in a game that was pretty much a lay-up.
49ers 17 Falcons 3
Jaguars 2-2 vs. Seahawks 1-3
As recently as a couple weeks ago, I thought the Jaguars would be playing for nothing more than a high draft pick. Those wins have come against a mediocre Houston team and an unlucky Titans team. Even though they have a chance to rack up their third straight win, i'm still not sold on them.
The Seahawks look to be going nowhere and are in a deeper hole. Theoretically, they could get back in it since they play in a weak NFC West. It probably won't happen but they'll probably pull out the victory here
Seahawks 27 Jaguars 14
Texans 2-2 vs. Cardinals 1-2
The Texans seem to be stuck in a constant loop where they hover around the .500 mark.
The Cardinals have lost that fire that got them to the Super Bowl. They appear headed to honor the tradition of many recent Super Bowl runner-ups by failing to make the playoffs.
Texans 35 Cardinals 24
Steelers 2-2 vs. Lions 1-3
The defending champion Steelers have come out not as strong as expected.
The Lions while still terrible, seem to have improved after their first Matt Millen-free offseason. On an unrelated note, Matt Millen's body of work in Detroit makes it impossible for me to take anything he says as an announcer/analyst seriously since his ineptness made this team so terrible I had to force myself to even mildly dislike this NFC North rival.
Steelers 31 Lions 20
Buccaneers 0-4 vs. Eagles 2-1
The Buccaneers have crashed hard this year. They haven't looked this bad since around the early-90s. Firing Jon Gruden doesn't exactly look too smart in hindsight.
The Eagles are a team in flux. Things are in transition and they are still figuring out how (and if) they'll utilize Vick. Still with Tampa Bay in disarray the Eagles win this easily.
Eagles 14 Buccaneers 0
Redskins 2-2 vs. Panthers 0-3
The Redskins are not as good as their mediocre record indicates. They've had one tough game against the Giants and three straight weeks of bottom feeders. They'll likely finish in the bottom of the NFC East but they'll at least get above .500 first.
The Panthers seem to have carried over the negative momentum from last year's NFC Wild Card loss and seem to be headed nowhere. There is a faint hope for them cause c'mon....the Lions beat them and the Rams almost did so as well.....but it looks like they'll be sharing the bottom of the NFC South with Tampa Bay.
Redskins 10 Panthers 7
Cowboys 2-2 vs. Chiefs 0-4
It looks like Tony Romo's failure to come through in the clutch is popping its ugly head a couple months early this year.
The Chiefs seem to have gotten worse since firing Herm "You Play to win the Game" Edwards. So far, the Chiefs have failed to take heed of this advice.
Cowboys 24 Chiefs 10
Colts 4-0 vs. Titans 0-4
At the beginning of the season, this looked like it was going to be the game of the week. The Colts have done their part cruising to a 4-0 start behind another excellent season from Peyton Manning.
The Titans on the other hand have unraveled very quickly. The first few weeks, it looked like they were just unlucky as they were losing close games. However, with last weeks unraveling against a weak Jacksonville team they are likely to be in a 0-5 hole after this weekend.
Colts 35 Titans 14
Vikings 4-0 vs. Rams 0-4
I've said whats been needed to be said about the Vikings. They're 4-0 and i'm not too crazy about this harsh reality.
The Rams.....well they're the Rams...they've made news more for off-field events (Rush Limbaugh considering buying the team) more than anything they've done on the field (absolutely nothing).
Vikings 38 Rams 7
Raiders 1-3 vs. Giants 4-0
Like the Rams, the main Raiders headlines have been off-field related. It looks like Tom Cable is close to losing his job AND proceeding directly to Napa County Jail without passing go and collecting a couple of bills.
The Giants seem to be rolling to another strong season. The Raiders pose absolutely zero challenge to the Giants.
Giants 49 Raiders 0
Browns 0-4 vs. Bills 1-3
The Browns gained themselves a moral victory last week by coming within second of tying the Bengals.
The Bills acquisition of T.O. to fire up the offense hasn't gone as planned. The Bills are headed to another non-playoff year but they'll walk all over the Browns.
Bills 31 Browns 14