Not a Good Day to Pick Up You’re First Win: The Colts, Rams and Dolphins are all still winless, but they face the Titans, Saints and Giants respectively. While the Titans game could be winnable for Indy, its on the road making it a bit tougher. I think all three teams will remain with a zero in the win column after this week, and the ‘Suck for Luck’ standings won’t change.
Rookie QB Battle: We’ve already seen Newton vs Gabbert, and Gabbert vs Dalton, now we get to see Newton vs Ponder. It’s hard not to like Newton in this game after his performance last week against the Washington Redskins, but don’t count out Ponder so fast. The Vikings have been in just about every game this year, and contrary to what Donovan McNabb believes, the rest of the Vikings team is pretty decent. Sure they need some help at WR and along the offensive line, but Ponder can win some games with this group. He looked pretty poised last week against the Packers, and he won’t face near the defensive pressure that he saw last week. I picked Carolina to win this game, but I really wouldn’t be shocked one bit to see Ponder get his first ‘W’.
Pats vs Steelers: Now this is the game of the week on the NFL slate. With the Ravens losing last week and having an easy game against Arizona, and the Bengals with an easy game against Seattle, the Steelers can’t afford to lose this home game. Yes it is the Patriots and it won’t be nearly as easy as the Cards or Seahawks, but Pittsburgh needs to show that they can beat a good team. New England is coming off a bye so that is a huge advantage, but they were having some defensive issues prior to the bye. If the Pats defense can’t stop the run, or pressure Roethlisberger they could be in for a long game. The Steelers even without Hines Ward are expected to air the ball out more, and could take a lead allowing their ground game to do the rest. This should be a shoot out and an close one, but I think Pittsburgh wins 31-27.
Oh Canada!: The Skins head to our neighbor in the north to face off with the Buffalo Bills. While it is nice that it is not a true ‘home’ game for the Bills, they are likely to have a slight crowd advantage. Buffalo also is healthier (and that is with them missing a couple key starters) and a better offensive team to begin with. For the Skins to win this game, they are going to need to find some way to shutdown Fred Jackson. The Skins have struggled vs the run this year, and if Jackson gets going they are in for a long day. On offense the Skins have to establish their own ground game, and hopefully turn to some young guys in the passing game. With Santana Moss and Chris Cooley out, strong games by Leonard Hankerson, Niles Paul and Terrance Austin could make John Beck‘s life easier. In the end I think the Bills offense will be too much and they win this game 31-17.
Battle For The NFC East?: Neither the Cowboys or Eagles sit atop the East, but this game could help decide who wins the division. The Redskins seem to be floundering due to injury and inexperience (also add lack of talent), while the Giants are dealing with their own injury woes and could implode down the stretch with an extremely hard schedule. The Eagles and Cowboys on the other hand could be peaking at the right time. Philly is the most talented team in the division, and when Trent Cole returns they are basically back to full strength. The Cowboys are arguably the 2nd most talented team in the division, and they have survived the toughest part of their schedule. They have a pretty easy road from here, and could take the division. I like the Cowboys to edge out the Eagles in this game, but I think it will be close 24-21.