One of the unbeaten teams is the Houston Texans. Coming into the year everyone knew they had probably the best running game in football, and their defense should be pretty good. The thing that has made the Texans so complete is their ability to run the ball has opened up the passing game. On the other side of the ball, it all starts with J.J. Watt doing his best Dwight Howard impression.
The other is the Atlanta Falcons.
The talk at the beginning of the season was the ability of Roddy White and Julio Jones working together for a full season. I had no doubt there wasn’t going to be a problem. Their both all-pro receivers and Matt Ryan has shown signs of being an elite quarterback. Michael Turner sure has shown he’s not dead yet balancing it out nicely. Finally the defense is performing nicely being led by veterans John Abraham and Sean Weatherspoon and a couple young guys, Thomas DeCoud and Williams Moore.
It’s alright to mention the winless team too. The Cleveland Browns have played in so many close games this year. Besides last week, which they actually took the lead early in the game and seemed to be running away with is before Eli took control, the Browns have kept all the games within 10. Trent Richardson is performing very well on the ground and through the air. Brandon Weeden would look a little better but he doesn’t have anyone to pass the ball to. On the defensive side, D’Qwell Jackson looks like the real deal. He’s a half a sack away from his total last year and already has two interceptions and 31 tackles. The best scenario for the Browns right now is to land another, yes another top five draft pick and take Marquise Lee from USC and they’ll be just about complete to compete.
There are four teams on byes this week: Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, and Jacksonville Jaguars. This really hurts fantasy owners having two elite quarterbacks, Drew Brees and Cam Newton on byes along with all their weapons. The bears defense and running backs will hurt some people and nothing really bad about the Jaguars being on byes. As for the match up’s this week here are my picks and some insight. I am doing this late and after the Thursday night game but I had picked the Pittsburgh Steelers. Simply because of Ben Roethlisberger and his weapons. I know the defense is ailing, but so is the Titans offense.
Atlanta Falcons (5-0) vs. Oakland Raiders (1-3)
My Pick: Atlanta Falcons. Oakland has really been one of this year’s disappointments. Carson Palmer came in last year and almost turned around the Raiders and their running game was great last year. This year Darren McFadden is struggling which leads to Palmer and the pass game struggling and their defense has been pretty bad. The Falcons like I stated earlier, are clicking on all cylinders and should improve to 6-0.
Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-5)
My pick: Cleveland Browns (upset). There is no doubt the Bengals are talented. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are going to become one of the best hook-ups for years to come. The Law Firm isn’t doing terrible and the defense is doing great; but just not consistently. Like stated earlier, the Browns are looking good and this is their second meeting within four weeks of each other and the Browns are home and so hungry for a win. The Browns win close with Richardson having a huge game.
St. Louis Rams (3-2) vs. Miami Dolphins (2-3)
My pick: St. Louis Rams The Rams are finally over .500! And their leading receiver goes down. It bothers me because I have Danny Amendola on my fantasy team, but as for the Rams it shouldn’t be bad. They’ve finally sought protection for Bradford so he can throw the ball. The emergence of Daryl Richardson is great for Steven Jackson so he can rest and the defense is finally playing up to what was expected. The Dolphins are also hot. Reggie Bush is leaving off where he was last year, and Ryan Tannehill is loving Brian Hartline. Even though the Fins have the best running game in the league; Bradford should have a nice game against the Dolphins 27th ranked pass defense and Rams win on the road in a mini upset.
My pick: New York Jets Yes I know the Colts beat the Packers, don’t need to remind me and they’re running with high emotions right now and the Jets are coming off of a loss. Honestly, last week, wasn’t totally bad for the Jets. They stayed very competitive vs. the best team in the AFC. The Colts go on the road to play a team that thinks they should’ve won last week and the Colts will probably come in a little on the cocky side because they took down the Packers. Jets pretty big at home.
Detroit Lions (1-3) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
My pick: Philadelphia Eagles Another disappointment this year has been the Detroit Lions. Their lack of ability to run the ball is the reason for the 1-3 record. The defense is clearly not as dominate as a year ago; only sacking the quarterback nine times and recording no picks. The Eagles on the other hand is frustrating. Like the other two veteran quarterbacks in the division they have their really good days, then really bad days. I think we see the good side to Michael Vick this week, and they win relatively big at home.
Kansas City Chiefs (1-4) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3)
My picks: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Well it took the Chiefs almost five weeks and Brady Quinn is their starter. Matt Cassel is out with a concussion and Brady Quinn will get his 10th chance to prove himself. Jamaal Charles is clearly the hottest back right now and Dwayne Bowe seems to be their only threat through the air, so Quinn probably won’t be passing it much. The Bucs on the other hand have no doubly played every game close this year and they are ranked 4th in the NFL for opponents rushing yards. I like the Buccaneers close at home because of their ability to stop the run.
Dallas Cowboys (2-2) vs. Baltimore Ravens (4-1)
My pick: Baltimore Ravens This game is going to be a lot closer than people think. The Raven defense is obviously slowing down a bit, being ranked over 20th in both opponents rushing and passing yards. Their not sacking the quarterback like were used to seeing or creating as many turnovers as before. But their running game is still just as good as anybody’s and that opens up the passing game for Joe Flacco. The Cowboys on the other hand is doing great passing the ball and defending the pass, but horrible running the ball and defending the run, which will the be deciding factor of the game. Ravens at home and Ray Rice has a big game.
Buffalo Bills (2-3) vs. Arizona Cardinals (4-1)
My pick: Arizona Cardinals There is no way the Cardinals lose two in a row; especially to the Bills at home. Their defense is playing awfully well led by Patrick Peterson and Daryl Washington. Kevin Kolb is finding ways to win games and get passes to Larry Fitzgerald which is fine by the Cardinals. The Bills though can flat out run the ball no matter who carries the ball. The defense hasn’t been playing been playing up to quota though, ranking 30th in the NFL in opponents rushing yards; that’s why I really like William Powell to have a great game this week. Cardinals win at home.
New England Patriots (3-2) vs. Seattle Seahawks (3-2)
My pick: New England Patriots Who would’ve guessed that coming into this game both teams would have the same record. Well as a Packer fan the Seahawks should be 2-3, but whatever. To be positive for Seattle their defense is playing great, a lot like the Bengals last year which might raise some concern for Brady and company. But that offense is too good. If you play on Brady’s team he’ll find a way to use you in the offense. And all the Patriots have to do is stop the run like their good at and force Russell to throw and the Patriots will win easily.
(Side note: I’m one of the biggest Packer fans. Plus I really hate the Patriots, so I’ll be rooting for the Seahawks, but this is my non-bias writing)
New York Giants (3-2) vs. San Francisco 49ers (4-1)
My pick: San Francisco 49ers A repeat of the NFC championship that I didn’t watch for two reasons. You can guess one, but the other was because I was moving into the dorms at the time. Let’s present day now and this still sets up a great match up. Both quarterbacks are just outside the elite status and that’s basically because their teams can run the ball very well. Alex Smith is becoming one of the leagues most accurate quarterbacks and Crabtree is his favorite target and Vernon Davis is still a red zone threat. Eli Manning just doesn’t like the first half of ball games; always making second half comebacks but the 49er defense steps up big for a close win.
Minnesota Vikings (4-1) vs. Washington Redskins (2-3)
My pick: Washington Redskins Raise your hand if you jumped on the Redskins bandwagon when they beat the Saints in week one. Yeah that’s majority of you. But then they blew one to the Rams and realized the Saints just aren’t the same this year. I’m taking the Skins this week if RGIII plays and it looks like he’ll toughen it out. Mike Shanahan finally won on a running back and found a great back up; RGIII. RGIII is doing great now that everybody on his receiving core his healthy. The Vikings though, have a great run defense so its going to come down to defenses and the Vikings luck runs out this week at Washington.
Green Bay Packers (2-3) vs. Houston Texans (5-0)
My pick: Houston Texans My last article said the Packers aren’t in trouble and if they lose four games through six their obviously in trouble. What I meant is they have a legit chance at beating the Texans, but looking at it realistically the Texans shouldn’t lose. They have a lethal run game and the Packers are 17th in the league for opponent rushing yards. But you can also look at this, the Texans rank 20th in the NFL in passing yards and if the Packers DB’s decide to play like their advertised on paper it should create some problems for Matt Schaub and if B.J. Raji is good to go; that’ll bare good for stopping the Texans rushing attack. I think though, the Texans are too powerful right now at home. It’ll be close; don’t get me wrong.
Denver Broncos (2-3) vs. San Diego Chargers (3-2)
My pick: San Diego Chargers As sad as this sounds; this game could determine who wins the division. The Chargers have talent like crazy; they just find ways to blow games. The problem is, Phillip Rivers throws too many interceptions to win games. They can obviously run the ball no matter who the carrier is; kind of like the Bills. The big story I think is, it’s week six and Peyton Manning is still the only quarterback who has played for the Broncos. He almost has 1,500 yards and 11 TD’s and only three interceptions. The Broncos can also run the ball, but they have a problem stopping it and that should be good for the Chargers. San Diego at home with no matter who their running back is having a good game.