Tier I: Cheesehead Tier
Packers 2-2 vs. Lions 1-4
The Packers come out of their bye week and face their NFC North rival Lions. The Packers have had a couple weeks to recover from a rough Monday Night Loss against the Vikings. Hopefully, the offensive line bounces back and improves from their early season play. Honestly, I could see anything between a repeat of 6-10 and a NFC North title and a strong playoff run. The Packers have the talent but it comes down to whether or not Aaron Rodgers can be adequately protected.
The Lions while still a bad team, have moved in the right direction this year. I have some concern the Packers may look past this game but even with the Packers struggles, they are too talented of a team to lose to Detroit.
Packers 28 Lions 17
Tier II: Best Games of the Week
Giants 5-0 vs. Saints 4-0
Easily, the best game of the week. In this possible NFC Championship Game Preview, The Giants come in firing on all cylinders after beating the UFL-Caliber Oakland Raiders. The Saints are coming off a bye week and a win over the Jets where their defense stepped up.
This one is a close call but Drew Brees has been his unstoppable self and the Saints have improved enough on defense to beat anyone on any given Sunday.
Saints 35 Giants 28
Ravens 3-2 vs. Vikings 5-0
The Ravens are coming into an unexpectedly difficult part of their schedule as the teams they play in the next three weeks (Vikings, Broncos and Bengals) are a combined 14-1.
The Vikings have played much better as expected due to the quick start to Brett Favre's second un-retirement. Brett Favre is bound to have a clunker game sooner or later and the Ravens will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after being clipped by the Bengals. I think that bad game happens Sunday and the Ravens hand the Vikings their first loss.
Ravens 17 Vikings 10
Tier III: Worth at least checking out
Bears 3-1 vs. Falcons 3-1
A pretty compelling Sunday Night Match-up. Jay Cutler gets a chance to redeem himself from his glorious 4-interception Sunday Night game in Green Bay. He has been red hot since Week 1.
The Falcons have started '09 strong and coming off a complete decimation of a solid 49ers team. These teams are pretty evenly matched but the Falcons are playing at a higher level right now.
Falcons 31 Bears 21
Cardinals 2-2 vs. Seahawks 2-3
Winner of this game grabs second in the NFC West. If the Cards win, they will be tied for 1st, if the Seahawks win, they will be within 1/2 game of first [Niners are in a bye week].
The Cardinals won last week but in a an uninspiring way. They blew a 3-touchdown lead but pulled the game out in the end. The Hawks played over their heads and put on a clinic against the Jags.
This game could easily go either way. I'm not quite sold on the Cardinals as a playoff-caliber team and the Seahawks haven't been that great either. The Seahawks carry just enough momentum from last week to pull this game out.
Seahawks 28 Cardinals 24
Texans 2-3 vs. Bengals 4-1
Both of these teams were in close games last week but had varying results. As mentioned, the Texans comeback bad fell short against the Cardinals. The Bengals, found another way to win a game. Its crazy to think that the Bengals are one tipped pass away from being 5-0. On a talent basis, i'm not sold on the Bengals because well, they're the Bengals. On a team-oriented standpoint, i'm starting to come around a little bit as they've shown an ability to get points on the board when it matters the most. This trend continues next week.
Bengals 17 Texans 14 (OT)
Tier IV: Two Mediocre/Bad Teams = Close Games By Default
Panthers 1-3 vs. Buccaneers 0-5
The Panthers became the second bottom-dweller team to get their first win over the Redskins last week. The Buccaneers have played themselves further into irrelevancy by the week. Both of these teams are terrible but the Panthers are at a lower level of atrociousness.
Panthers 9 Buccaneers 3
Chiefs 0-5 vs. Redskins 2-3
The Chiefs have yet to win a game in the Matt Cassel era. The Chiefs have been so terrible that they lost to the Raiders......they're not even good enough to win in the UFL but I digress. The Redskins should be 4-1 since they have played the NFL equivalent to a cupcake schedule. Seriously, the off-field drama of when Jim Zorn is going to be fired is more interesting than the product that they put on the field. Even though the Redskins are going to play terrible on Sunday, they're playing a team that lost to the Raiders.
Redskins 13 Chiefs 7
Rams 0-5 vs. Jaguars 2-3
The Rams are another team that's done nothing newsworthy on the field but are getting more attention for whats going on off-field. The Jaguars are an inconsistent team with a coach that is probably not gonna last beyond the season. Still, they at least have some talent which is more than what can be said about the rams.
Jaguars 20 Rams 10
Tier V: The Lopsided Games
Browns 1-4 vs. Steelers 3-2
If there ever is a place for asterisks in the sports record book, it should be on the Browns win last week against the Steelers. It looks like another week of Derek Anderson for the Browns. Considering their back-up (but not as atrocious QB Brady Quinn has his house for sale and trade rumors surrounding him) it looks like its gonna be a long year for the Browns.
For Big Ben and the Steelers, this game is pretty much going to be a scrimmage.
Steelers 38 Browns 0
Jets 3-2 Bills 1-4
The Jets have struggled a bit the last couple weeks losing to New Orleans and losing to the Dolphins in the last-second. The Bills were on the losing end of one of THE worst regular season NFL games in recent memory.
The Jets may be struggling but they have one thing going for them, they are not the Bills.
Jets 31 Bills 3
Titans 0-5 vs. Patriots 3-2
Well, the wheels have completely fallen off the wagon for the Titans. When the season started, this looked like it was going to be a really good match-up. Then the '09 season started and the Titans lost games left and right. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Titans bounce back strong next year but for '09 their season is pretty much over.
The Patriots are coming off a tough OT loss to the Broncos. Still, i'm sold on the Pats as a legit play-off contender and they should bounce back strong on Sunday.
Patriots 24 Titans 7
Eagles 3-1 vs. Raiders 1-4
The Eagles are off to a strong start this year. Unlike the Redskins, they have been able to take advantage of the cupcakes in their schedule. The Raiders........well they might be good again....in 2023.
Its too early to tell if Philly is going to make a deep playoff run (they got blown out against their only tough opponent, New Orleans)..but they take care of business against the laughing stocks of the league.
Eagles 52 Raiders 10