What They have to Do to Win on Sunday -Early Games

<b><u>Arizona at Detroit</u></b> <br> <b> What the Cardinals have to do to win:</b> <br> Offensively, since rookie QB John Navarre will be making his first start on the road, they will have to try to establish the running game early.

The worst thing they can do is fall behind so the pressure won't be on Navarre to win the game for them.

When they do have to pass the ball, they'll need their receivers to make plays down field because it may be hard to run the ball without veteran RB Emmitt Smith who is not expected to play due to injury.

WR Anquan Boldin had a huge game against the Lions in his first game as a pro last season so they should get him more involved.

Defensively, get after QB Joey Harrington who has been struggling and could be pulled at any time.

Do not let RB Kevin Jones get off to a good start. He has been able to do so in the last two games.

Also, limit the number of big plays down field to WR Roy Williams.

What the Lions have to do to win:

Offensively, get Harrington off to a good start. Williams matches up well against their defensive backs so he could open things up for their offense.

Get Jones the ball more in the second half. He has put together two solid first halves in the last two games only to see paltry numbers in the second half.

Defensively, blitz Navarre early and often. He tends to hold on to the ball too long so they can make it a long day for the rookie signal caller. If they can get enough pressure on him, Navarre should turn the ball over plenty on Sunday.



Buffalo at Miami

What the Bills have do to win:

Offensively, establish the running game early. They should have success in that area since MLB Zach Thomas is out due to injury. That should help get single coverage on no.1 WR Eric Moulds.

Defensively, pressure QB A.J. Feeley who has been playing well of late. He's very beat-up so if they can knock him around, they should force him out of the game. That would a disaster for Miami as no.2 QB Sage Rosenfels hasn't show that he's ready to play.

What the Dolphins have to do to win:

Offensively, with RB Sammy Morris not expected to play again due to injury, it will be very hard to run the football against one of the best run defenses in the Bills. They'll have to rely on Feeley and WR Chris Chambers and TE Randy McMichael to make plays in the passing game.

They should go after CB Terrence McGee who will likely make another start for veteran CB Troy Vincent who is expected to play in a reserve role this week.

Defensively, they have to find a way to stop the run. Rookie LB Derrick Pope did a solid job when filling in for Thomas last week but his task will be tougher this Sunday against McGahee.



Cincinnati at Baltimore

What the Bengals have to do to win:

Offensively, it's not going to be easy but they'll have to find some sort of success in the running game. If now, the Ravens will have an easy time double-covering no.1 WR Chad Johnson.

Defensively, RB Chester Taylor is good enough to find success against them so they'll have to sure up their run defense or it will be a long day.

What the Ravens have to do to win:

Offensively, Taylor should have some success against one of the worst defenses in the league. If he does, that should open up the passing game. If TE Todd Heap plays, they should get him involved because the Bengals aren't that good at covering that position.

Defensively, they almost always do well against the run at home so they should keep a safety deep so WR Chad Johnson can't make plays down field. Without that threat, the Bengals' offense could struggle all day.



Minnesota at Chicago

What the Vikings have to do to win:

Offensively, establish the running game in order to loosen up the Bears' secondary who will see the return of CB Charles Tillman to the starting lineup. Even though MLB Brian Urlacher is expected to play, he likely won't be 100% so they should have some success on the ground.

Defensively, pressure QB Chad Hutchinson who has little mobility and could cough up the ball a few times. They'll also have to do a much better job against the run.

What the Bears have to do to win:

Offensively, the only area we them having any success is on the ground so it's important that they get Thomas Jones the ball early and often. He's probably their best weapon on offense so they should also get him involved in the passing game where he could get matched up on the Vikings' linebackers who have not played all that well this season.

Defensively, be sure to double-team WR Randy Moss and take away the long passes with a safety over the top.

They'll also have to control their running game.

LDE Adwale Ogunleye should have another good game against the Vikings as he'll draw RT Adam Goldberg. Ogunleye had two sacks in the week three matchup.



San Francisco at St. Louis

What the 49ers have to do to win:

Offensively, they have to find a way to establish the running game in order to keep the high-powered Rams' offense off of the field. If they can, they'll be able to get one-on-one matchups for their receivers.

Also, get the ball in the hands of TE Eric Johnson. The Rams have given up four touchdowns in the past two weeks to that position.

Defensively, they have to find a way to get some pressure on QB Marc Bulger or it will be a very long day for their secondary.

What the Rams have to do to win:

Offensively, attack the 49ers' secondary who will be without several key starters. If successful, that should help open up things underneath.

Defensively, get after QB Tim Rattay who has not played well in weeks.

They'll also have to do a much better job of tackling in the running game than they did last Monday against Green Bay.



Atlanta at Tampa Bay

What the Falcons have to do to win:

Offensively, the Buccaneers usually play well against the run so they'll have to find another way to move the ball down field. The best way to move the ball against a cover-two defense is to work the ball in the middle to the tight end. That means they should be able to find Alge Crumpler open.

Defensively, limit the time QB Brian Griese has to throw the football. Over his career, he's had a hard time throwing under pressure.

Also, double-cover WR Michael Clayton who burned them in the first matchup.

What the Buccaneers have to do to win:

Offensively, they'll have to protect Griese because the Falcons have one of the best pass rushes in the NFL. If they can, they should be able to make plays down field. CB Jason Webster is hurt so if he plays, he may not be able to move that well. He didn't play in the first matchup and Clayton had a solid performance.

Defensively, control QB Michael Vick and keep him in the pocket. Don't let him get outside where he's dangerous with his feet or his arm.



Carolina at New Orleans

What the Panthers have to do to win:

Offensively, run the ball early and often against perhaps the worst run defense in the NFL. RB Nick Goings should be able to set things up early in the game. If he does, that should open up the passing game. They should be able to make plays down field against the shaky Saints' secondary where CB Mike McKenzie looks to have lost a step or two.

Defensively, they will have to find a way to stop the run or it could be a long day.

What the Saints have to do to win:

Offensively, they have to get RB Deuce McAllister the ball on the ground as much as possible. With MLB Dan Morgan not expected to play for the Panthers, they should have their way in the running game. If successful, that should help open things up down field in the air.

Defensively, they have to control the running game. They did a good job last week against the Falcons in that area which is why they had a good chance to win that game. They'll also have to get pressure on QB Jake Delhomme or he could carve them up. The Panthers have become a pass-orientated offense these days so it's important they don't give up big plays.



Houston at New York Jets

What the Texans have to do to win:

Offensively, it won't be easy but they have to find success against the Jets' front seven which arguably has been one of the best in the NFL this season. If they can, that will help get one-on-one coverage for second-year WR Andre Johnson.

Defensively, they'll have to control the Jets' rushing attack which has been solid all season. That's how they have been setting up the deep passing game which has found a rival the past few weeks.

What the Jets have to do to win:

Offensively, establish the running game early in order to be able to attack the Texans' secondary which has been giving up a lot of big plays in the air this season.

Defensively, shut down RB Domanick Davis who has been very successful in the run and pass game for several weeks. If they can get that done, they'll have an easier time doubling Johnson.



New England at Cleveland

What the Patriots have to do to win:

Offensively, pound the ball on the ground where the Browns really struggled last week. They should find success there considering MLB Andra Davis was lost for the season during last week's game.

If the running game gets it going, they'll be able to attack the Browns' secondary who could be without solid cover CB Daylon McCutcheon due to injury.

Defensively, get after whoever starts at quarterback for the Browns. If it's rookie Luke McCown, blitz him early and often as he's probably not ready to play.

What the Browns have to do to win:

Offensively, they have to establish some sort of a running game to take the pressure off of the quarterback to win the game. That would also help them control the clock and limit the number of possessions the Patriots' offense receives.

Also, when called upon, WR Antonio Bryant will have to come up big again like he did last week. He does matchup well against the cornerbacks who will be filling in for injured starters Ty Law and Tyrone Poole.

Defensively, new starting MLB Barry Gardner must do a good job against the run. It's imperative that they control RB Corey Dillon because the Patriots set up their passing game with play action and rollouts.



Tennessee at Indianapolis

What the Titans have to do to win:

Offensively, they have to be successful in the running game in order to keep the best offense in the NFL off of the field (Colts). If they can get that done, that will help get single coverage for their receivers who will have to step up their play because the Titans will likely have to score over 30 points to have a chance to win the game.

Defensively, we would suggest the Titans to go to more nickel coverage's in order to control the Colts' outstanding passing game. It's better to give them yards on the ground than in the air.

What the Colts have to do to win:

Offensively, the Titans are banged up in the front seven so they should run the ball plenty early on. If successful, they'll be able to spread the defense out where QB Peyton Manning has been operating to perfection.

Defensively, get after whoever starts at quarterback for Tennessee. The Titans tackles are banged up so they should bring pressure off the edge.


Scout NFL Network Top Stories