Tennessee Titans vs Jacksonville Jaguars – The Titans defeated the Jaguars at home in week one as they were unable to protect quarterback David Garrard (seven sacks). The Jaguars offensive line is still not 100% but has played decidedly better in recent weeks and may not have to cope with the Titans' Kyle Vanden Bosch. The Titans have beaten the Jaguars on three straight occasions, but have struggled in recent weeks to put points on the board. Last week Kerry Collins threw for over two hundred yards for just the first time all season and when you couple that with the fact that the club doesn't have a legitimate deep receiving threat on their roster, I really like the way the Jaguars match up against the undefeated Titans in this one.
Jaguars 16 – Titans 14
St. Louis Rams vs San Francisco 49ers – Wow, this one ought to be a barn burner. Both teams have identical two and seven records and have had difficulty protecting the quarterback and moving the football through the air. Shaun Hill, starting his first game of the season looked totally over matched, particularly in the second half, versus the Cardinals, while Marc Bulger, one of the truly top signal callers in the league, appears to have lost confidence in his ability to make plays down the field (falling off far too many throws – might also be somewhat gun shy, after years of physical abuse). Without a running threat (Steven Jackson has been ruled out of this weeks contest), to offset the Rams disappointing passing attack, look for the 49ers to put the football in the hands of Frank Gore until the Rams show they can stop them. It may well be a very long afternoon for the visiting Rams defense.
49ers 20 – Rams 10
Arizona Cardinals vs Seattle Seahawks – The Cardinals have literally run away and hid from the rest of the NFC West division, but have only beaten the hapless Rams and 49ers on the road thus far in the season. Quarterback Kurt Warner has played extremely well in an offense that appears Taylor-made for his current skill level. He has a number of offensive weapons including Larry Fitzgerald, in my opinion the very best wideout in the game today. The Seahawks have not turned the ball over in three and been penalized very infrequently over the last four weeks, but still have not been able to generate much in the way of offense. Even with the Giants up next week, don't look for the Cardinals, to look beyond this divisional rival.
Cardinals 26 – Seahawks 17
San Diego Chargers vs Pittsburgh Steelers –The Chargers after experiencing some very tough luck at the start to the season, defeated both the Jets and Patriots, but lost two straight before barely holding on versus the lowly Chiefs (20 to 19) at home! The Steelers hope having Willie Parker back at full strength, can take some of the pressure off struggling quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (one touchdown and eight interceptions over the last three contests). Neither club has played as well as I had anticipated, but I like the home club in this conference battle.
Steelers 28 – Chargers 24
Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins – The Cowboys certainly hope the return of quarterback Tony Romo and Terence Newman from injuries and the bye week can get their club pointed in the right direction. Jason Campbell, coming off his worst game of the 2008 season ( zero TD's and two interceptions), has also been sacked ten time over the past two weeks. Clinton Portis, one of the most underrated backs in the game, has along with Campbell and Santana Moss been the difference makers all season for the Redskins, but in this critical divisional match-up is listed as questionable due to an injured knee. It's all going to depend on which Cowboys squad shows up in the Nation's Capitol Sunday evening, but I'm going to go with the more reliable game ready club in this one.
Redskins 26 – Cowboys 23
Cleveland Browns vs Buffalo Bills – After an excellent start to the 2008 season, the Bills have lost four of their last five ball games and find themselves in a tie with Miami at the bottom of the AFC East division. The good news is that a win over the Browns this Monday evening would put them in a potential three way tie with Miami and New England and just one game behind the division leading Jets! Make no mistake about it, General Manager Phil Savage and head coach Romeo Crennel are under a great deal of pressure and could well find themselves in the unemployment lines if they are unable to turn this thing around in the second half of the season. Defensively the Browns, the loser of two straight, put points on the board last week, but couldn't even come close to slowing down the Broncos offense. Trent Edwards has been under some pressure in recent weeks (two TD's, five interceptions and nine sacks over the last three contests), and the running game has virtually disappeared, but I don't believe the Browns have the people on the defensive side of the football or the consistency to slow down the Bills.
Bills 34 – Browns 24