NFL TOP 10: WEEK #9

NFL TOP 10: WEEK #9

by Wayne Allyn Root

We have reached the halfway mark and need to analyze some things that we missed earlier or never saw coming. Most figured entering the NFL season that Seattle would be on top. At 5-3, they are struggling somewhat not only on the field but in the clubhouse. This writer/handicapper has warned everyone since week 2 that this was not last years Championship team. The 49er’s are not even in the Top 10 and who saw that coming. A very popular team by the betting public was Cincinnati and they won just 1 game in October. Let’s group the following together and take a look after week 8: Dallas (predicted to have break out season by WAR), Philadelphia, Arizona, Detroit have a combined record of 23-7. This is what makes handicapping the NFL by the public so difficult. Who would have seen that coming? The following teams are still on last years mode and their reputation of their past. Seattle, San Francisco, Green Bay, Cincinnati and New England have combined for a 23-13-1 mark. Remember group 1 was 23-7. Not bad but in terms of handicapping but these 5 teams play as favorites most of their games while the 23-7 group’s value is there in terms of easy winners. Wayne Root is ranked #6 handicapper in USA in NFL which surprised very few. If you saw the first 8 weeks coming as I did, then my hat is off to you and a huge congratulations is in order. Job well done. If you are looking for consistency, consider this: That’s after last year (2013) where Wayne Root finished #7 in USA in NFL handicapping. The second half of the season will be just as remarkable and profitable.
1) DENVER—The Broncos handed it to San Diego last Thursday as they scored 35 points in a game that was all Manning. Now with the added 3 days of rest for his 39 year old body, it’s off to play New England where Tom Brady hung a 51 spot on the Bears. This is advertised as the game of the season as both QB’s are peaking at the same time. A year ago, Denver blew a 24-0 lead and lost in OT during the regular season. They paid them back in the AFC Championship game.
2) NEW ENGLAND—Tom Brady connected on four TD passes last week against the troubled Bears. He finished the day by throwing 20 straight completed passes. Maybe Kansas City woke a sleeping Bear as the Pats were 4-0 in October. We’ll see how November falls as they play Denver; a team they lost to in the AFC Championship game last year.
3) ARIZONA—The Carson Palmer game plan is working to perfection. He throws short accurate passes and then the wide receivers run like hell. Last week it was incredible as the Cardinals had 193 yards after the catch. Their second most since 2006. Add their defense into the mix and they’ll be hard to catch in the NFC West. Speaking of catching, they may get to catch Dallas at the right time this week with Romo hurting.
4) DALLAS—We have to say in a rivalry game like the Cowboys and Skins play, anything can happen so with that in mind and Romo going down( even though Brandon Weaton played well), the punishment must fit the crime and their drop off is not so severe. But as we move forward, how much pounding can Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray take? Jerry Jones needs to quit being a quack doctor and realize there is a major difference between playing with pain and playing injured. He’s being an ass! They host the Cardinals this week so no easy task beating this team if injured.
5) DETROIT—The Lions went to London and almost got thrown off a bridge. Trailing 21-0, who would have given them a chance other than luck and destiny and the Atlanta Falcons? They even got 2 field goal tries with :02 sec left in the game after missing FG #1 on a delay of game penalty and then sent #2 thru the uprights. The get a bye week and should come out fighting with Calvin “Megathron” Johnson back so these wins without him were huge.
6) PHILADELPHIA—The Eagles missed an opportunity last week as they came up on the short end against the Arizona Cardinals. In their 2 losses, if was left on the 1 yard line in San Francisco and a last minute score for the Cardinals and then their own penalty to wipe out a TD pass. They travel to Houston where defense prevails and will put Nick Foles to the ultimate test. They are a small favorite.
7) GREEN BAY—The Packers marched into New Orleans and the Saints boxed them up and sent them marching out with plenty of yardage but not enough points scored to win. It was all Eddy Lacy as he had a career-high 182 yards rushing and 123 receiving yards. They need to find other “outs” on their offense as Aaron Rodgers can get the ball to anybody so why is Lacy doing all the work? They can work on that this week during their bye.
8) SAN DIEGO—This is a dangerous under-the-radar team. They get little respect but on the other hand, little criticism. Their defense is awesome in a secondary that compliments their pass rush. Only Carson Palmer has throw for more than 300 yards so far this season against them which includes the likes of Russell Wilson and Peyton Manning. And if you’re not into their defense, they have Philip Rivers with a career year at QB. They will need everything clicking as they make that cross country trip to play Miami.
9) INDIANAPOLIS—Did the Colts have an off night and were exposed or did Ben Roethlisberger have the best game of his career? Ben was 40-of-49 for 522 yards with 6 TD’s. That was history in the making as he is the first QB to throw for 500 yards in a game twice. The Colts just could not hang with that. They entered with the best third down defense in the NFL. They left scratching their helmets and now head to New York on Monday to play the Giants.
10) SEATTLE—It was all Russell Wilson on the last drive while playing Carolina. He was 4-of-4 for 53 yards and a TD. The Seahawks just don’t play well at the Carolina venue. This was the leadership needed to quiet the off the field troubles that found Percy Harvin leaving and the locker room in disagreement. But winning a game like that has a way of replacing problems with enthusiasm. Now it’s back home to play Oakland to put those troubles away forever as a bad memory. There are new and exciting days ahead….well maybe….they still have a disgruntled running back that won’t be getting a new contract from the Seahawks in the name of Marshawn Lynch. He’s 28 and running backs are a dime a dozen and he’s not having a season to remember.
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TEAMS #11 THRU #15 ARE THE MOST AWESOME GROUP I CAN REMEMBER
11) SAN FRANCISCO—Kaepernick is the weak link. Defense is good. WR’s are great. Gore is perfect.
12) CINCINNATI—Easy schedule ahead. They should win 4 of their next 5 games.
13) BALTIMORE—This team is balanced and the defense is stronger than most thought.
14) PITTSBURGH—Never count out a veteran QB with a winners attitude. It spreads to all teammates.
15) BUFFALO BILLS–This team never quit in the past and will not quit with their new Owner now.

HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH FOR WEEK 10

HEISMAN TROPHY WATCH FOR WEEK 10

 by Wayne Allyn Root
The Heisman Trophy is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football in the United States whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. The following have met that requirement so far in the 2014 College Football season. There are others, but these are the most likely candidates to be invited to the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City.
1) DAK PRESCOTT–Mississippi State; (QB). Miss St is number 1 because of their defensive play this season. They are ranked 29th in points allowed but only 49th in passing yards. So why is Dak so important? He offers balance. He has thrown for 15 TD’s and rushed for 10 TD’s. Last week the pressure may have gotten to him somewhat as he threw an INT and had 2 fumbles. But to make up for it, he threw 3 touchdowns. His next game is Saturday vs Arkansas.
2) MARCUS MARIOTA–Oregon; (QB). Marcus’ TD to INT ratio is second to none as he has 24 touchdowns and just 1 interception. Amazing! Throw in 5 rushing TD’s and he’s wire to wire with Dak Prescott of Miss State. Last week he had a 5 TD afternoon against Cal in an 59-41 win. This week, his nemesis, Stanford will be all over him so it will be a key game as he marches to New York trying to collect a very important Trophy.
3) AMEER ABDULLAH–Nebraska; (RB). The man is fast. Make that very fast. Last week in the wink of an eye, on just 19 carries, Ameer rushed for 225 yards. That’s over a first down every time you touch to ball average at 11.8 YPC. He leads the Nation in rushing at 1249 rushing yards with 17 TD’s. If that’s not enough, he’s caught passes for an average of 13 YPR. The man is all-everything and the reason that Nebraska is sneaking up the polls. Wait until you see what he does this week against Purdue.
4) AMARI COOPER–Alabama; (WR). Amari is averaging almost 16 yards per reception for a total of 1132 yards this season. He’s scored touchdowns on 9 of the 71 catches he’s made. He may be the deciding factor this year on Bama winning the title game more than their vaulted defense if they make it that far. Last week vs Tennessee he caught 9 passes for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s a game changer.
5) MELVIN GORDON–Wisconsin; (RB). Melvin is a beast. He’s scored with 16 touchdowns on a 7.6 YRC for the season. Last week, he had 3 TD’s against Maryland, in the first half. This week will be a chance to compare Melvin to his counterpart from Nebraska, Ameer Abdullah. Ameer rushed for 225 yards last week vs Rutgers and this week, Melvin plays Rutgers. Good luck as we all know what you are aiming for.

COLLEGE TOP 10; WEEK #9

COLLEGE TOP 10; WEEK #9

by Wayne Allyn Root
One has to love how the Top teams are grouped so tightly together in the won/loss column as we approach next weeks first look from the Bowl Selection Committee. There are 15 teams that have one loss right behind the 3 undefeated’s. And if you make a case for Marshall there are 4 teams without an “L”. Add the results of the down the road “Egg Bowl” that will send a Mississippi team to the 1 loss column, the Committee will have a very difficult job. In reality, most teams control their own destiny but the bottom line is that expanding the NCAA Playoffs to an 8 team event will not dilute the product and eliminate teams that should not be in the mix anyway.
1) MISSISSIPPI STATE—The Bulldogs enjoyed a much needed rest from all the hoopla of beating LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn in 3 straight weeks. Now it’s off to Kentucky to play what some say are an improved Wildcat team. (Maybe they were speaking of basketball). The Bulldogs opened up an 13.5 chalk and plenty are curious to see if the Bulldog momentum will continue after this past week off. State’s offense, led by QB Prescott, is very impressive.
 
2) MISSISSIPPI—The Ole Miss Rebels played solid last week and defeated Tennessee 34-3. They have the most awesome defense in the Nation, ranked #1 and allowing just 10 points per game. (UPCOMING: Can’t wait for the Egg Bowl to see which come first and I’m not talking about the chicken or the egg. I am enamored with the offense of State vs the defense of Ole Miss). This week it’s off to play a very confused LSU team. Is an upset in store or will the Rebels D get the job done?
3) ALABAMA—In my opinion, this is the best “1-loss” team in the country…and maybe the best team- PERIOD. A week after Coach Sabin scolded the Crimson faithful for ranting at him for an 1 point win against Arkansas, he must have turned to some boosters and said to pay attention to the game against A&M. Bama blew the Aggie’s thru Mississippi and Louisiana before the first half was over and sent them thru Texas by the end of the game beating them 59-0. At one point in the Vegas Casinos “in-line gaming” where wagers are constantly made after every play, Bama was a 53 point favorite and still covered. Now we see Alabama is back on the road at Tennessee and is laying 17 point on the early line. Will this be an Arkansas repeat or an A&M blow-out?
 
4) FLORIDA ST—Yes, 4th. But I do include them in NCAA Playoff- so Seminole fans be thankful for little things! This team plays nobody week in and week out. Their one tough opponent Notre Dame was “jobbed” by the referees. Fl;orida State should be out of it right now. I have to admit, Jameis Winston looked great in the 2nd half against Notre Dame. For his sake, I hope he stays “under-the-radar” the rest of the season. It’s even affecting the behavior of Jimbo Fisher, so it has to be taking a toll on the rest of the team. Remember that this is a team sport no matter how much Winston is in the news. Winston is in line for many NCAA Awards and Trophies if he continues to play smart both on and off the field. Florida St gets a bye week and then the followingThursdaythey play in Louisville. With a week and a half of idle time, QB Winston needs to stay indoors and study or stay focused on the practice field. His NFL “stock” is crashing.
5) OREGON—The Ducks have rebounded well from their Oct 2nd loss to Arizona by defeating UCLA and Washington in back to back weeks. This week may be a surprise. It remains to be seen how focused they will be on Cal with the Stanford game following this week. And if that’s not enough, they play at Utah after the Stanford game on the road. So where does Oregon line up their Ducks? Laying 18 points on the road may be difficult but the Oddsmakers won’t give away free money with an easy pointspread so we’ll have to wait and see how practices go this week and what they are willing to show as far as this week’s game plan is concerned. Stay tuned and come backFriday. But…if they “win out” I predict they’ll land in the Playoffs (hopefully replacing Florida State).
 
6) AUBURN—The Tigers are still very much into the season ending race as they have just 1 loss at the hands Mississippi State and on the road. They need to run out and also beat Bama in the Iron Bowl. They play South Carolinathis Saturdayafter having their bye week last week. It seems everyone has lost all respect for the South Carolina and Steve Spurrier program as the Tigers are favored by 17.5 points a week before having to play Ole Miss. Will they or can they “rev” it up after the bye week is the most asked question?
7) NOTRE DAME—Nobody with a clear head could have been disappointed last Saturday night with the game Notre Dame played in their first road game of the year at Florida St. I for one am furious that the officials put the results in the flagged penalty away from the ball and didn’t leave on the field. It had nothing to do with the receiver being open for the TD catch. Congrats to both teams in a well played contest. The Fighting Irish get the week off and return in 2 weeks to play their nemesis; Navy.
8) GEORGIA—It seems as if they replaced Todd Gurley at running back (with Nick Chubb as Chubb rushed for 202 yards on the road at Arkansas). Not an easy thing to do as the Bulldogs won easily 45-32. Georgia is ready to represent the SEC East and has a shot to run the table to get to the title game. They have a bye week and then get to destroy Florida on Nov 1st.
9) MICHIGAN ST—Old Sparty hooked up 56 points on Indiana U last Saturday. IU fans must be screaming for the basketball season to start after that blowout. It could be another blowout this week as State host Michigan. Or not. At least throw out the stats for this year. This is a state rivalry game; especially for MSU. Anyway, the Vegas Oddsmakers have listed the Spartans a 17 point favorite. I understand that Michigan has improved the past few weeks. But look who they played- Rutgers and Penn State. The Spartans are real competition.
10) TCU—Is QB Boykin any good? He threw for 410 yards last week as they crushed Oklahoma State 42-9. That was a “statement” game for the Horned Frogs a week after blowing a huge late game lead to Baylor and losing 61-58. This was a nice bounce back game for TCU. Now they turn their attention to Texas Tech as an 3 touchdown chalk. It’s a lot of points but it can be done playing at home. But the Red Raiders may have some rage of their own to reveal having played 2 decent games the past 2 weeks.
 
Honorable mention: Kansas State. These well mannered boys from Kansas are silent, but deadly.
Wayne Allyn Root

 

THE NFL TOP 10 REPORT: WEEK # 8

THE NFL TOP 10 REPORT: WEEK # 8

by Wayne Allyn Root
It was said here first throughout these Top 10 writings that Seattle was not last years team. Now with “Give Percy no Mercy” gone to the Jets and the Seahawks 0-2 the past 2 weeks, it’s anyone’s game. But, Seattle is still a great team and a dangerous team so they just need to get the chemistry back and rush the QB. Denver is playing just awesome and has a huge game Thursday against San Diego ( fresh off a “look-ahead” loss to the Chiefs.) The defense is helping Andrew Luck in Indianapolis and the Eagles are flying high. Meanwhile, Dallas is the surprise (except to WAR) team of the NFL and continue to win. There’s a lot of football left but for Week #8, it’s Denver at the top.
1) DENVER—Is Von Miller more important to the Broncos team than Peyton. No, but he’s tearing up the offenses and has an NFL leading 8 sacks. The Bronco defense is more improved than the Broncos offense. Congrats to Peyton Manning for breaking Brett Farve’s record of TD passes. The Broncos have a task ahead this week as they entertain the Chargers and are more than a TD favorite.
2) DALLAS—Another record is broken. In 1958, Jim Brown opened the season with 6 straight 100 yards+ of rushing and now that record belongs to Demarco Murray with 7 in a row. The Cowboys play hated division rival this week as the Redskins come into the Jerry Jones house with a 3rd string Colt McCoy QB and some missing defensive pieces. Cowboys need to stay injured free.
3) PHILADELPHIA—It is said that looking back to Championship teams, TO’s and special teams were a major part of their success. Of the 21 TD’s the Eagles have this season, 7 have come from that route. This week off a bye, Philly is heading to the desert to play Arizona and should be a “live” underdog getting 2.5 points. But Carson palmer may have other thoughts. It will be a good game.
4) INDIANAPOLIS—Andrew Luck has the offense on fire. In the past, it had to be Luck outscoring the other team to win in high scoring affairs. But when and where did this defense come from. In the past 5 weeks, the Colts defense has stopped the opposition on 3rd down 43 of 51 attempts. Both sides of the ball are crushing the opponents. They travel to play the Steelers this week and see if Ben R can complete a 3rd down play.
5) ARIZONA—They sit at the top of the NFC West. Who would have thought they’d be ahead of Seattle and San Francisco? Carson Palmer is back and for those not scoring; he’s 10-2 in his past 12 starts to go with a fantastic defense. With his wide outs, they could go a long way so don’t count these guys out. They may be the real deal.
6) GREEN BAY—The Pack seems to never leave so it’s hard to say, “The Pack is Back” (as long as Aaron Rodgers is there). With four straight games with 3 touchdowns and no INT’s, he gets to break that record this week in New Orleans. It shouldn’t be that hard as the Saints defense is ranked 29th in defensive efficiency.
7) BALTIMORE—The Ravens destroyed the Falcons last week by 22 points. Their margin of victory is the NFL’s highest at 12.7. This week they may have revenge on their mind from week 1 as they play a team that has a chance to go winless in October in Cincinnati. Something has to give in terms of streaks.
8) NEW ENGLAND—The Patriots beat the Jets last Thursday and have had a much needed 10 day break. They play Chicago this week. Brady is 3-0 against them and Chicago couldn’t wait to leave town after a 0-3 home start in home games. What will give as the Pats are 7 point favorite? The word from the locker room is the Bears players “detest” Jay Cutler. After reviewing Cutler sacks etc. it is noticed that his teammates will not offer a hand to pick him off the ground. Maybe the locker room gossip is true. For now, bad chemistry.
9) SAN DIEGO—Check out the Thursday Night Headline: Philip Rivers No. 2-ranked QBR and 5-2 record vs. Peyton Manning No. 1 QBR and a 5-1 record. What a game if all goes to the headlines. Too bad the Chargers are off a loss, or maybe that’s how to defeat a great Bronco team. We’ll see as the Oddsmakers are offering +7.5 points.
10) DETROIT—The Lions are doing things right with their defense. Last week’s 4th quarter against Drew Brees and his Saints were one for the Brees record books. The stopped him and, after it was over, Brees was 0-10 in passing with 1 INT and blew a 2 TD lead and takes another road loss.
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THESE TEAMS WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE
11) SEATTLE—They are 3-3 but not for long. All they need is a pass rush where they rank last in the NFL.
12) SAN FRANCISCO—Another 3-loss team that needs some in house chemistry. Less injuries on the defense will also help.
13) CINCINNATI—Not winning a game in October? The pressure is on this week vs Baltimore this week.
14) KANSAS CITY—They should go from 3-3 to 5-3 with the Rams and Jets up next.
15) PITTSBURGH—Thanks for those last 3 minutes Monday night in the first half.

NFL TOP 10 REPORT

THE NFL WEEK 7 TOP 10 REPORT

by Wayne Allyn Root
For week #7, let’s re-group and step away from the Seattle Seahawks. Maybe chemistry was replaced with cockiness. Maybe extra practice is now called extra interviews. They’re a great team and they have the remainder of the season to prove it. Denver has played the best and the Dallas Cowboys are making a fast track to the top. Excuse my bragging- but I was the only football expert in America who saw this coming. I predicted Dallas would shock the critics and doubters with a much improved D and perhaps the most unstoppable offense in the NFL. People laughed. Look who’s smiling now! San Diego showed it can rally on the road and the Eagles are back in many professional’s good graces. After-all, they could be undefeated as their only loss was a stranded 3 feet of real estate needed to defeat San Francisco a few weeks back. The rest of the Top 10 teams need to begin their countdown, get serious and avoid “bad losses” against inferior opponents. Those will not be forgiven and it will show in their standings and possibly keep some teams out of the playoffs all together. (Think Detroit Lions, 2013, games 15 and 16).
1) DENVER—Peyton, Demaryius and Julius. They struggled somewhat last week in New York but still had a win and cover. The MGM Sports Book Director kicked a hole in the wall during the final minutes after that Pick 6 from Geno. This week, it’s a real game and on NBC-TV against a great defense and an ever improving run first offense in the San Francisco 49ers.
2) SAN DIEGO—We might have to give the MVP game ball to Philip Rivers thru the first 6 weeks. His team would never in a million years be sitting at 5-1. Yes they had a road comeback win at Oakland but that was a rivalry game so those things happen. The AFC West is filled with these type of heated matches and another one is this week as the Chargers host Kansas City Chiefs.
3) DALLAS COWBOYS—There are folks that haven’t watched a football game in years that are now claiming to be huge Cowboy fans. They don’t know the difference between a chuck wagon and a bandwagon. But America is “OK” with that. What a “clutch” throw from Tony Romo on 4th and 20. A great win for “America’s Team”. Now, put away the six-shooter so you don’t shoot yourself in the foot Cowboy players. You have a division game against the New York Giants.
4) PHILADELPHIA—Chip Kelly runs everything fast. At the team photo shoot Monday, (where the Raiders took 3 hours), Coach Kelly set a record at 4 minutes and 40 seconds. One of his more proud moments. Speaking of fast, the Eagles soared high and fast as they dominated the Giants. They get a fast 2 weeks off to decide between a Nick Foles good passing game or LeSean McCoy’s 149 yards of rushing from Sunday. And they hope Darren Sproles heals fast!
5) SEATTLE—This may be a “bad” loss for Seattle. Russell Wilson lost for just the second time at home in his career. He was less than 50% on his passes and no touchdowns. But defensively, some blame has to come down on those cocky guys in the secondary. It was 4th and 20 for all the marbles….not a usual Seahawk result as the pass was completed for a first down. Now the hard part, back to back road games; ouch! Thru the first six weeks, the Seahawks have played #’s 1,2 and 3 (Denver, San Diego and Dallas) and ended with an OT win, a loss and a loss. Tuff schedule to say the least. Same story as past SB winners…It aint easy to repeat.
6) ARIZONA—The Cardinals are sitting on top of the NFL’s most difficult division. And without their starting quarterback. The won and somehow covered against Washington and now the travel to play Oakland. This team has chemistry and a will to prove that they should not have been left out of the playoffs last year. They have taken matters into their own hands.
7) SAN FRANCISCO—This is the third team in the top 10 from the NFC West. San Francisco turned it on in the second half of the Monday night game crushing the Rams after trailing by 14 points in the 2nd quarter. They are a “run first” offense team and now that Gore is averaging 5 ypc, Kaepernick can count on the running game and balance it with his passing and running ability. The 49ers have a great defense and will get even better when some of their injured pieces start returning in time for the stretch run.
8) GREEN BAY—Is a 15 to 1 ratio any good? When it’s 15 TD’s to 1 INT’s as in Aaron Rodgers we think it’s incredible. They did what championship teams do last Sunday: Win a game they shouldn’t have and steal a game one the road. They accomplished both at Miami and left town like the mouse that caught the cat. Now it’s time to host the Carolina Panthers and try to stop Cam Newton.
9) INDIANAPOLIS—It was a game that they were supposed to lose. It was for first place in their division. It was on the road and on Primetime Thursday. The Colts looked great defeating Houston Texans despite the tremendous effort of MVP candidate JJ Watt. All night long it was Luck to TY Hilton. When the dust cleared, Hilton had a career night of 223 receiving yards and Andrew Luck was a perfect 9 for 9 in passes to him. Now they entertain a wounded Cincinnati Bengal team.
10) NEW ENGLAND—Tom Brady has had vintage back to back games against Cincinnati and Buffalo. Throughout his career, he’s had Hall-of-Fame games in Ralph Wilson Stadium. In a one score deciding game, Brady had a 3rd and 16 and he made it by 1 yard. He then put the game out of reach the next play with a TD finishing the Bills off 37-22. The only games that count in this division are this week when the Pats host Rex and the Jets this Thursday. I really think that if Ryan ended the season 2-14, but the 2 wins were against New England, he would feel like he’s had a great season. Should be a war in New England!
by Wayne Allyn Root


Wayne Allyn Root

 

WEEK #6 NFL TOP 10 REPORT

WEEK #6 NFL TOP 10 REPORT

by WAYNE ALLYN ROOT
So far, it’s been about last year’s Super Bowl teams; Seattle and Denver. San Diego and Dallas may have been somewhat of a surprise after 5 weeks of play. Both are 4-1 and are on the road this week. Cincinnati caught New England in a bad spot and got thrashed and Green Bay goes to play where the Pats have already lost; in Miami. San Francisco has the “key” gameon Monday Night as they visit St Louis. No telling what’s going on inside the lockerroom of the 49ers. One of the most disappointing losses (of 5 games) last week was in Detroit as Buffalo stole one from the Lions.
1) SEATTLE—The NFL is in trouble. We know the Seahawks can win at home. Now we know they can win and cover on the road, even if it’s in the final 30 seconds of the game. Russell Wilson put on a running clinic on Monday Night against Washington. Now it’s home sweet home where the Cowboys look to roam as an 8 underdog to the Seahawks.
2) DENVER—This was a great bounce back win for the Broncos after having their guts churning for two weeks following the Seahawks “almost win” and then their bye-week. It’s Peyton Manning to Demaryius Thomas as Denver fly’s high to New York to play the J-E-T-S. We’ll see how they perform on the road again as a 7.5 favorite.
3) SAN DIEGO—The Chargers are a solid 4-1 and except for a few point at Arizona could be the only undefeated team in the NFL. Philip Rivers is reaching the pinnacle of the passing game. The Charger defense scored that “rare” shutout and blanked the NY Jets. These guys are for real and head off to the hated Oakland Raiders.
4) CINCINNATI—Want to know the recipe for disaster? Hit the road against a team that was embarrassed the prior week and convert ZERO 3rd downs for the entire game. Now it’s your turn to come off an embarrassing loss as you are at home against Carolina. Seems fair enough with the “on any given Sunday” NFL.
5) PHILADELPHIA—This season the Eagles are living positively by the turn-overs and take-a-way’s. But last week it almost came back and bit them as they tried to blow a 27 point lead the Rams. I like Chip Kelly’s offense but it is so fast that the defense is on the field to long. They rank #28 in both pass defense and run defense. That may get them thru the NFC East but it won’t get them thru the playoffs. And with Dallas at 4-1 and the Giants winning 3 straight, that may not even keep them on the top in their own division.
6) DALLAS—America’s team is ON FIRE!! The Cowboys are on a 4 game winning streak and the bandwagons are filling up fast with old Cowboy fans jumping onboard. They have a great offensive line for DeMarco Murray to run thru. It also give Tony Romo an extra 1.5 second to pass. Murray joins OJ and Jim Brown as the only 3 players to open up the season with 5 straight 100+ yards of rushing. That must make Papa Jerry so proud. Now if they can pull out the upset of the season this week vs Seattle on the road.
7) GREEN BAY—Aaron Rodgers can throw and Eddie Lacy can run. They have had lots of rest since the blowout against the Vikings last Thursday night. They dominated in every facet. This week, they should find out how close they are to really playing well as they will be tested in Miami. A team off their London win and a bye week. The Packers need to remember that the Dolphins have already defeated New England at home.
8) SAN FRANCISCO—The 49ers played well enough to win against Kansas City. So is the question that great teams find a way to win and does the make San Fran great, or that San Francisco played a poor game and squeaked by to victory? At 3-2, this week will tell us a lot about the on and off the field 49ers. They play on Monday Night, on the road, against division foe St Louis Rams. Frank Gore should run for 150+ yards on paper against #30 against the run Rams. Now let’s see him do it on the field against a Jim Fisher coached team.
9) INDIANAPOLIS—Luck is on fire. Last week against the Ravens, he was 8 of 9 for 129 yards in the 4th quarter alone!! And if that wasn’t enough, he was a perfect 4-of-4 for 107 yards on throws of at least 15 yards or longer. Now the first round of the home and home AFC South series championship is this week as they find themselves headed to play defensive minded Houston Texans to see who sits on top after week #6.
10) ARIZONA—The Cardinals would have liked to go into Denver without having to do it off their bye week. The Cards defense kept the game close for awhile but when in Denver and against Manning, you must score to win, not just keep it close. The Cardinals are back to the desert to play Washington, who will show up and give them a great test.
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DO NOT FORGET ABOUT THESE TEAMS
11) NEW ENGLAND—-Brady is declining but we’ll wait for more judgement after playing Buffalo this week.
12) NEW YORK GIANTS—Won 3 games in a row. Impressive. But this one is the most important at Philly.
13) BALTIMORE—This team is fickle. Win, lose and then win and then lose. Bad “D”!
14) DETROIT—It was defense and discipline for the first 4 games. Then the Bills came in and stole one.
15) PITTSBURGH—No one has thrown the long ball better than Ben R this year. He’s connected on 56% of throws at least 15 yards downfield. GO DEEP!