by Ryan Meehan

Earlier this week posted this totally unnecessary story about Broncos third-string quarterback Brady Quinn that told the story of how he was the “Best Boyfriend Ever” according to his gymnast girlfriend whom he had flown to visit after Sunday’s game because she was having surgery. pulled the article because the comments section got a little too testy, but here it is on the FOX server:

I’m pretty sure I remember just a couple years ago there not being nearly as much news about what was going on with all of the Broncos’ quarterbacks.  I just felt the need to mention that because it was so irrelevant.  Just like the story about how LeBron Tweeted at NFL analyst John Clayton this week asking him when he could try out for an NFL team and everybody at the network actually took it seriously. So on that note let’s take a look at what’s really important this weekend. 

Carolina (1-4) at Atlanta (2-3)

For whatever it’s worth, the Panthers are the best 1-4 team in the league.  In other words, they could get hot at any moment.  Like a lot of other football fans, I’ve been very impressed by Cam Newton’s statistics thus far, but he is going to have to start winning games and this would be a great place to begin.  I’m really pissed at the Falcons last week because I picked them to upsetGreen Bayand they blew it.  They got out to a big lead early and then just completely shut off, so I’m not falling for it again.  Their rankings compared to other NFL teams show that they are really nothing more than the less than average team those numbers would indicate:  14th in passing yards, 23rd in rushing yards, and 28th against the pass.  The pass defense was expected, but with a guy like Michael Turner in the backfield, you’d have to figure the total rushing yards would be a lot higher.  It’s a far cry from team that was the one seed in the NFC last year, and very distant from the team that Peter King picked to go to the Super Bowl. 

Panthers 27, Falcons 24
Indianapolis (0-5) at Cincinnati (3-2)

Indy will get smoked here.  I’d be a liar if I said that I knew enough aboutCincinnatito explain why they’re 3-2, but I do know that they did beatBuffalowho’s beat everyone they’ve faced up until now.  The Colts overall morale has basically evaporated.  Sure, Curtis Painter might be good down the road, but almost every week there’s something in the news that suggests that Peyton Manning’s injury is getting worse and that his career is going to be drastically affected by it.  Manning has stuck by his team’s side the entire time, but has indirectly caused the whole team to look as if they should all be on antidepressants due to his surgery.  Maybe he can hook them up with some of his painkillers.  Wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened in pro football history. 

Bengals 32, Colts 6
San Francisco (4-1) at Detroit (5-0)

This one should be an easy pick, as the Niners can transform themselves into dumpster juice at any given moment.  Then you have to figure after Monday night that any home game the Lions have from this point forward is going to be difficult for any road team with that crowd.  I’m still looking forward to that Packers-Lions matchup on Thanksgiving and I’ll be thinking about it every week until then.  Even though the Lions appear to be on everyone’s list of favorite teams all of a sudden, I have to admit they are really fun to watch.  It’s cool to see the city get so excited about the team and to see them on the cover of Sports Illustrated and such.  Plus, everybody likes an underdog.  Suh is the real deal. 

Lions 33, 49ers 20
St. Louis (0-4) at Green Bay (5-0)

I can foresee the Packers finally figuring out a lot of their defensive problems after checking out the film from the first quarter of theAtlantagame last week.  And even if they don’t, it shouldn’t be much of a challenge against the Rams, who are 28th in passing, 25th in rushing, and (wait for it) dead last in stopping the run.  Not to bag onGreen Bayhere, but am I the only one who has noticed that for a team who won the Super Bowl last year, their schedule seems awfully easy?  The way the NFL used to do to this, it would have never happened, but since the Packers won the Super Bowl the year before the NFC North was scheduled to play the NFC West in conference they essentially won the lottery. 

Packers 42, Rams 16
Buffalo (4-1) at New York Giants (3-2) 

Of course the Giants playBuffalothe one year where they’re actually a real threat.  Why wouldn’t they?  And it’s practically a home game for the Bills as it’s in the same state and the way the G-men played at home last week it’s hardly an advantage.  The Bills are averaging almost 140 yards a week on the ground, and sinceNew Yorkcan’t tackle anybody look for that number to be even higher come Monday.   Sorry guys, you leave me no choice.   

Bills 30, Giants 26
Jacksonville (1-4) at Pittsburgh (3-2)


Real easy win for the Steelers here.  If you were waiting for the Jaguars to move toLos Angeles, I would think that everything is on schedule for that to happen. Pittsburghis still sort of beat up, but this is essentially a bye week for them. 

Steelers 24, Jaguars 13
Philadelphia (1-4) at Washington (3-1)

Although last year was last year, it’s difficult for me to get those two Eagles-Redskins games out of my head because of the manner in which they were won.  I still don’t fully believe in the Skins, as Rex Grossman always seems prone to a relapse of failure.  On the other hand, it’s do or die for the Eagles.  If they lose this game they lose more than just five straight securing last place for another week, they lose the attention they so desperately crave from the sports world.  I’m not really sure there’s even a reason to pay attention to the Eagles if they blow this one.  It’s going to be a bang-up game in which Vick will likely be on the ground more than he had previously complained about being.  I’m taking Philly this time but if they make me look like a goon I probably won’t take them at all the rest of the year. 

Eagles 21, Redskins 20
Houston (3-2) at Baltimore (3-1)

Fuck,Houstonhas a rough schedule.  Week after week it seems like the football gods are doing everything in their power to make sure the Texans never make the playoffs.  I see the Ravens coming out lazy after a bye week. 

Texans 17, Ravens 12
Cleveland (2-2) at Oakland (3-2)

I’m sincerely hoping thatOaklandcan keep going strong, because I’d like to see them take the AFC West this year.  Mostly because I think the Chargers don’t deserve it, and it would be nice to see a little diversity in that division.  I think we all know the Raiders could have very easily lost that game againstHouston, giving up 473 total yards and only getting 51 yards from Darren McFadden.  I expect him to step up against a team that has some defensive holes that will end up being filled by second stringers.  Browns center Alex Mack didn’t practice Wednesday because he’s recovering from an emergency appendectomy, and CB Joe Haden is still reeling from a knee injury he suffered during week four.  DE Marcus Bernard is out for the year after suffering a broken hand in a motorcycle crash Monday. 

Raiders 24, Browns 12
Dallas (2-2) at New England (4-1)

I’m hoping that this will be an awesome game. Dallashas been talking a lot of shit about how Rob Ryan is going to make sure that Tom Brady will be pressured constantly, but I think that’s a lot easier said than done. 

Patriots 33, Cowboys 23
New Orleans (4-1) at Tampa Bay (3-2)

I have to admit I was kind of hoping Tampa was going to get exposed last week so their bandwagon jumpers would shut up, and my prayers were answered.  The Saints may not be the same team that won Super Bowl 44 (I would say they aren’t) but nonetheless they sure look damn good this year.  There are a lot of sports fans that will constantly tell you the NFL is trying to protect, and they’re right.  And much like them, I think it sucks.  But think about if you’re a Saints fan.  That’s exactly how you want the game to be called. You know that you have an A-A+ range offense and that how hard you hit the quarterback doesn’t really matter because you ain’t fuckin’ back there that much either.  No team right now in the league benefits from the way the game has evolved likeNew Orleansdoes.  And I don’t mean that in a derogatory way because the hand they are dealt just happens to be a great one. 

Saints 39, Bucs 14
Minnesota (1-4) at Chicago (2-3)

This is the Sunday Night game.  The Bears got beat by a good Lions team last week in a game where their offensive line made a ton of critical mistakes.  The Vikings finally won something but not a lot of people noticed.  Donovan McNabb said this week that “This whole mechanics thing is getting out of hand” when the media questioned him about what he was doing about his mechanics to improve his completion percentage.  Here’s the thing about that:  First off, that’s the type of thing that you say to the media late in the season if there’s some debate on whether or not you really are a 10-2 football team.  It’s something you say when you’d be confident enough to mean it.  Also now that Dono is older, he can’t throw the ball as far as he used to so the completion percentage isn’t going to matter if they’re facing 3rd and 14 almost every single set. 

Bears 28, Vikings 23
Miami (0-4) at New York Jets (2-3)

The Jets HAVE to win this game.  It’s at home, it’s a divisional game, and the Patriots and the Bills are really starting to pull away.  This one gives Rex Ryan an excellent opportunity to try something fancy that could spark some kind of trend that could get that offense going and more importantly, STAY GOING.  I don’t have anything to say about the Dolphins.  I expect Sporano to get fired in the next couple of weeks and then I would also expect the entire team to begin restructure.  They stopped caring week two anyway. 

Jets 31, Dolphins 7
Bye Weeks:   Kansas City Chiefs,Tennessee Titans,Denver Broncos,San Diego Chargers,Arizona Cardinals,Seattle Seahawks

The Broncos plan to turn over a new leaf with Tebow under center.  Until the Cardinals or Seahawks can really get hot and stay over .500 for at least two weeks, I don’t care.  The Chargers will likely just go to Cabo San Lucas since they assume they can just skate into the Super Bowl with ease.  I still don’t know what to believe about the Titans, and next Saturday night the Chiefs will have been undefeated for almost a month. 

Other stuff to watch for: 

I’m still looking to see that breakout game from Mark Sanchez and to be honest with you, if it doesn’t happen soon I’m not sure it will ever come.  That’s not to say that they might never win a Super Bowl with him (see Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson) but the guy has to step up and become the leader of that team.  Watch for the Buccaneers to lose by more than twenty points again and the sports media to ignore them the rest of the year. 
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