Seahawks look to keep rolling against Texans

Bengals-Browns expected to be close, Colts should win comfortably over Jags

Baltimore Ravens @ Buffalo Bills

Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m.

The Ravens won an ugly one last week against the Texans, and it seems like that will have to be their strategy as the season moves forward. Until RB Ray Rice returns from injury, the Baltimore offense will struggle to move the ball. Joe Flacco has been having difficulties, but he should start to turn it around as he gets more comfortable with his receiving corps without Jacoby Jones (due to injury) and Anquan Boldin. The Bills lost a close one to the Jets and they struggled to stop Geno Smith all day. Their defense will need to do a better job this week, as even with injuries, the Ravens still have a dangerous deep threat in Torrey Smith. Baltimore should pull this one out.

Prediction: Ravens 23-14

Arizona Cardinals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m.

The Cardinals’ secondary was simply torched by Drew Brees last week. They face Josh Freeman this week, who will not be nearly as effective throwing the ball. Arizona needs to establish their running game at some point this season, because Carson Palmer is no longer the quarterback that he used to be. He will need Rashard Mendenhall to relieve some pressure for their offense to be effective. Tampa Bay couldn’t get anything going against New England, and until Freeman can start playing better, their fortunes won’t change. Even against the Patriots’ iffy secondary, Freeman struggled to move the ball at all, as the Bucs only mustered up 3 points all game. The Cardinals will be focusing on RB Doug Martin, which will make it tough for Tampa to do anything.

Prediction: 16-6 Cardinals

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Minnesota Vikings

Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m.

Pittsburgh looked completely out of whack last Sunday night against Chicago. They made far too many mistakes on offense to have a chance, and Ben Roethlisberger needs to take better care of the ball. Normally, he makes good decisions and manages the game well, but this season, he seems lost. It’s hard to ask the aging Steelers’ defense to hold teams from scoring when they start in such good field position due to turnovers. The Vikings were shocked by the Browns last week and Adrian Peterson continues to underwhelm after claiming that he would rush for 2,500 yards this season. Christian Ponder played better, but teams are still daring him to beat them with his arm, and he hasn’t yet shown that he can do so. This may be a very sloppy game full of turnovers and miscues.

Prediction: 24-16 Steelers

New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m.

The Giants were embarrassed again last week against the Panthers and they are quickly spiraling downhill. Their defense couldn’t do anything to stop Carolina and Eli Manning looked terrible for the majority of the game. They’re lucky that the NFC East doesn’t have a dominant team, so they still have enough time to make a recovery, but as of now, it does not look good for New York. The Chiefs, on the other hand, come off a surprising win against Philadelphia, forcing plenty of turnovers and holding the high-powered Philadelphia offense to only 16 points. One of the only undefeated teams in the NFL, they are quietly proving to everyone that they can compete for a playoff spot in their first year under head coach Andy Reid. Their tough defense should allow them to keep their streak alive and send the Giants home 0-4.

Prediction: 20-17 Chiefs

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Sunday, Sept. 29,

Indianapolis shocked the 49ers last week, and it wasn’t even that close. They held Colin Kaepernick for the entire game and forced him into mistakes and bad decisions. Their acquisition of former Browns RB and first round pick Trent Richardson only further solidifies their offense, and adds a dimension to their running game that they haven’t had since Edgerrin James. Andrew Luck played well enough and he continues to win games early in his career, which is a great sign for Colts fans moving forward. Jacksonville was blown out by Seattle unsurprisingly, and they continue to search for a quarterback that can keep them in games. There isn’t much to say about this game, and the Colts should cruise to an easy win.

Prediction: 27-7 Colts

Seattle Seahawks @ Houston Texans

Sunday, Sept. 29,

Seattle looked terrific last week, albeit it was against Jacksonville. Russell Wilson threw 4 touchdown passes and he is off to a great start this year. The Seahawks are quickly emerging as one of the top teams in the league, and arguably the top in the NFC. They don’t have any holes on their roster and they should be favorites in the majority of their games the rest of the way, barring injury. The Texans haven’t looked like themselves this season, and they’ve struggled to score. They still have one of the best receivers in the NFL in Andre Johnson and one of the best running backs in Arian Foster, but they are still having a hard time punching the ball into the endzone. They will not struggle any less against the Seahawks this week and, unless Matt Schaub is nearly perfect, this one could be over early.

Prediction: 30-17 Seahawks

Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns

Sunday, Sept. 29,

The Bengals are currently tied for first place in AFC North, and for good reason. They upset the Packers last week and they are going to continue to be a very dangerous team this season. Most NFL fans have heard about A.J. Green and Andy Dalton, but it is actually the Bengals’ defense that is surprisingly stout. They stopped Green Bay on a crucial drive at the end of the game to secure the win; possessions like that will help them reach the playoffs again this year. Cleveland grabbed a win last week using a plethora of trick plays and good coaching. They may have also found a quarterback for the time being in Brian Hoyer, as he played very well considering this was his first career start. He made some great throws and gave the Browns’ offense a punch they haven’t had in a while. This game could be interesting, and it should go down to the wire (as Bengals-Browns games normally do).

Prediction: 27-24 Bengals

Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions

Sunday, Sept. 29,

The Bears’ defense was suffocating against the Steelers last week and they forced a ton of pressure on Ben Roethlisberger. They have always been good at forcing turnovers and this season is no exception. Julius Peppers is still a major threat in the pass rush and even without former cornerstone Brian Urlacher, Chicago still has a formidable defense. Jay Cutler has been somewhat inconsistent, but overall good. Detroit pulled out a win against Washington last week and they have found another quality running back in Joique Bell while Reggie Bush recovers from his injury. If the Lions’ defense steps up, they will be a very dangerous team this season.

Prediction: 31-27 Bears

New York Jets @ Tennessee Titans

Sunday, Sept. 29,

The Jets played their best game this season, and they needed it to beat Buffalo. Geno Smith improved greatly over his start against New England. Bilal Powell rushed for 149 yards and they will need him to produce again this week, in case Smith is not quite as dynamic as he was against Buffalo. The Titans also got a good performance from their quarterback, Jake Locker, this week as he ran for 68 yards and a touchdown. If he plays like this every week, the Titans will be very tough to beat. They have a solid defense and, if he can help their offense move the ball, they may have a chance to overtake Houston and Indianapolis this season.

Prediction: 23-14 Titans

Washington Redskins @ Oakland Raiders

Sunday, Sept. 29,

Robert Griffin is looking better and better every week. Even though his performances aren’t leading to wins, Washington has to be happy to see that he is making a quick recovery. His arm looks as good as ever and Washington’s offense looks like they are nearly where they were last season. The Raiders were the latest victim of Peyton Manning and the Broncos, but there were still some positives to take away from the game. Terrelle Pryor continued to look better than many expected and he may be the quarterback of the future for the Raiders. This could be a high scoring game and it should be pretty entertaining from start to finish.

Prediction: 23-20 Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles @ Denver Broncos

Sunday, Sept. 29,

The Eagles were a mess last week against the Chiefs. Their offensive line couldn’t protect Michael Vick at all, leading to 6 sacks and 2 interceptions. The Eagles’ defense, however, played well at the beginning of the game, as the Chiefs struggled to move the ball early, but it appeared that they were worn down once the second half came around. They were plagued by many of the same problems that they had last season, which ultimately led to their 4-12 record. On the other hand, Denver looked flawless once again last week, and I don’t expect much to be different this week. The Philadelphia secondary is suspect, to say the least, and Peyton Manning should have no problem picking them apart.

Prediction: 41-30 Broncos

Dallas Cowboys @ San Diego Chargers

Sunday, Sept. 29,

The Cowboys won comfortably last week over St. Louis and their offense was unstoppable for most of the game. When Tomy Romo plays how he did last Sunday, Dallas is incredibly difficult to beat. He spread the ball around to all of his weapons, and when he does that, the Cowboys are nearly impossible to defend. The Chargers lost due to a late touchdown by the Titans, and they have already suffered two close losses this season. Philip Rivers continues to play well on the early season, but Ryan Mathews wasn’t quite as effective as San Diego would have liked. When they pull everything together, they are a very dangerous team in the AFC.

Prediction: 24-20 Cowboys

New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcons

Sunday, Sept. 29,

The Patriots’ offense is still incomplete, but it is quickly getting more and more potent. Tom Brady is beginning to trust his young receiving corps much more and, when Rob Gronkowski returns, they should be as high-powered as they have been in the past. Their defense also did a good job holding the Buccaneers to only 3 points last week, and that game should be a nice confidence boost for them. The Falcons were shocked last week by Miami, and they will absolutely come into this game with a chip on their shoulder. This could end up being a very high scoring game, especially with all the receiving weapons that Atlanta has.

Prediction: 31-27 Falcons

Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans Saints

Sunday, Sept. 29,

Miami is one of the most surprising undefeated teams in the NFL. They have been improving every week and their offense seems to have finally caught up to their defense. Miamai has always played solid defense, but they usually have problems scoring. This year, those issues seem to have been rectified and they will be in contention for the AFC East title. The Saints looked like the same team that won the Super Bowl last week, and Drew Brees looked like his All-Pro self. When New Orleans is firing on all cylinders, they are virtually impossible to slow down, let alone stop. This will be a very interesting game and it is a must watch.

Prediction: 34-30 Saints