Cam Newton is questionable, but it sounds like he should be able to play in this game. He will be without his tight end Greg Olsen. But, the Saints defense is not very good. The Panthers offense should be able to slice and dice through the New Orleans secondary. It would be surprising if the Carolina Panthers did not beat the New Orleans Saints by double digits in this game. This game is in Indianapolis, which gives the Colts a big advantage.
These two teams will likely not win 8 games total between them. It will be an interesting, and probably ugly affair at Lucas Oil, but look for the home team to prevail in this one, as the Browns remain winless.
That's why his name was caught up in the trade swirls this offseason. Alas, rookie Cody Kessler will become Cleveland's 26th starting quarterback since Anticipate Isaiah Crowell getting 20 carries for the Browns. Thinking this is the week Adam Gase's offense starts to move.
Not necessarily because it's facing the Browns , but because Miami is finally playing at home and -- hold on to your socks -- quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be allowed to change the play at the line of scrimmage. Cleveland leads the NFL in rushing yards on first down. The Browns are already over on the season. The Ravens looked flat for much of the day in Cleveland , while the Jaguars were hot garbage in San Diego.
Baltimore has struggled running the ball consistently, particularly on first down. So quarterback Joe Flacco is facing second-and-not-manageable far too often.
The connection with veteran receiver Mike Wallace looks legit. And, as mentioned in the Power Rankings , how fun has it been to watch Dennis Pitta get involved after his improbable comeback? Jacksonville must come up with answers defensively and vertically, as the Jaguars had none versus Philip Rivers last Sunday -- and Flacco is not shy with his deep ball.
The best recipe for Jacksonville success is engendering a healthier ground game and getting receiver Allen Robinson involved early , even if it's on bubble screens. Touchdowns are going to be hard to come by, with Detroit running back Ameer Abdullah on injured reserve and the Green Bay offense in a funk.
Is there any hope to turn it around? The Packers must feed Eddie Lacy. The running back was inactive for these teams' last meeting in Green Bay -- a rare Lions win at Lambeau -- but he ran over Detroit while playing in front of the home crowd in 99 yards and '14 yards.
If Aaron Rodgers is indeed off again, why not provide help? Green Bay seemed to get away from Lacy, going exclusively to James Starks for long stretches on Sunday Lacy looks more explosive than he did last year.
The Lions need not be concerned about quarterback Matthew Stafford or even their defense, which fared pretty well on Sunday. Discipline is the name of the game for Detroit this week.
The Lions suffered -- suffered -- through 17 penalties against the Titans. If the Broncos can go with him at quarterback, which seems possible, they will secure a legit chance to run the table at home in the postseason again. This matchup with Cincy presents one of the toughest challenges on their schedule. The Bengals are still without Vontaze Burfict , but they're at home after spending the first two weeks on the road.
With the crowd behind them, I think they'll win. Cincinnati certainly does NOT want to fall to -- especially considering unbeaten Baltimore and Pittsburgh both having winnable contests this weekend. The Bengals must get touchdowns -- not field goals -- in the red zone.
Anderson could go off in this contest, as the Bengals have allowed the most rushing yards in the NFL thus far. It's OK if you are. Bradford was accurate, cool under pressure and ultimately victorious in his first start for the Vikings.
These Panthers are a different animal. Start with the fact that, believe it or not, Carolina's passing game has been far more effective than the Packers ' aerial attack so far. The mild trouble Minnesota's defense experienced with Aaron Rodgers getting out of the pocket last Sunday night will be amplified when Cam Newton exits stage left.
Bradford is not one to scramble He is really going to miss the presence of Adrian Peterson , and the respect All Day demands from the back seven. Panthers prevail over a really tough opponent. I know you all remember that one. Los Angeles bested the Bucs in a defensive slugfest. Tampa Bay starter Doug Williams went 2 for 13 with 12 yards passing and a pick before getting hurt. Meanwhile, the Rams rushed 53 times for yards! Couldn't this game go the same way? Los Angeles should run the football, control the clock and limit the Bucs' ground game with no Doug Martin to defend.
Problem is, I trust Jameis Winston to not turn the ball over this week. You can bet he and his teammates will be fired up after getting embarrassed in Arizona. Did any of you fine readers attend that '79 championship game? Vance McDonald last Sunday. Wow, so many last second and controversial finishes. And kudos to the Niners for putting in the effort. I think we learned that Blake Bortles and the Jags are comfortable playing overseas. I fully expect things to correct themselves back on our continent.
Meanwhile, the Bills will struggle to score points, but their rookie CBs are solid. They still have a lot of talent, but will be wildly inconsistent all season.