By Nick Clarke
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a devastating loss last week and will look to rebound at home against a struggling Vikings team. The Vikings are exactly what the doctor order for the Cowboys to get their season back on track and get above the .500 mark once again. The Cowboys match up extremely well against the Vikings, especially on defense seeing as the Cowboys’ weak point is their pass defense and the Vikings’ weak point is their pass offense. Dez Bryant will be looking to grab attention for the right reasons this week against a horrible Vikings pass defense, Bryant likely will be matched up with rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who ranks 74th among active corners. The Cowboys’ defense and Brandon Carr in particular will look to rebound from a horrible showing last week, where they allowed 623 total yards, by containing Adrian Peterson, the NFL’s most talented running back.
Final Prediction: The Cowboys offense will come out firing with the return of DeMarco Murray and the Vikings won’t be able to keep up. The Cowboys will be have a huge lead going into the 4th quarter and play out the clock. Terrance Williams will see lots of targets again this week, with most of the attention focused toward Bryant and Witten, and will help Dallas move the changes, but look for Dez Bryant to cap off at least two of the drives with touchdowns despite the coverage. Cowboys, 27-13.
Phillip Rivers and the Chargers will travel to the nation’s capital fresh off a bye week. The Chargers have won 2 straight, one of which was an impressive win over the highly touted Colts, while the Redskins are coming off a 4th quarter collapse against the Broncos. Robert Griffin III will look for his physical rookie tight end Jordan Reed to find space and get open against the 26th worst pass defense in the NFL. The Redskins’ defense will have to step and create at least one big turnover (looking at you DeAngelo Hall) against Phillip Rivers, the league’s second highest rated passer, if they want to have a chance of staying in this game. The Redskins will probably be playing from behind for much of the game and will be forced to air the ball of it because of it.
Final Prediction: The Chargers will be up have a comfortable lead for most of the game, but Phillip Rivers will revert back to his old ways and throw a crucial interception that RGIII will turn into game winning points. Redskins, 27-24.
The Eagles will travel to Oakland looking to break a 2 game losing streak, while the Raiders are looking for consecutive wins for the first time all season. The Eagles will look to contain Terrelle Pryor, the Raiders’ dual threat quarterback; Pryor displayed his running ability last week with a 93 yard scamper for a score. The Eagles will be improving from last week at the quarterback position with the return of Nick Foles. Foles possesses the ability to lead the Eagles for the remainder of the season and he will look to prove that to Chip Kelly and the coaching staff against the Raiders. The Eagles will look to ease the pressure off Foles by using LeSean McCoy, who still leads the NFL in rushing yards despite gaining less than 60 yards on the ground in the previous two weeks, and the Eagles will look to get McCoy back on track by feeding him aggressively.
Final Prediction: Pryor will make one too many mistakes and Foles will sit back and watch McCoy take over. The Eagles won’t run away with this one due to their inept defense, but the upgrade at QB should be enough to push them past the lowly Raiders. Eagles, 19-13.