NFC week 6
Sports Analyst Tim CarrollTim is a freelance Sports Reporter with previous work in the Daily Vidette at Illinois State University.Last week: 10-4, 18-11 overall.
Thursday 15 October, 2015
Atlanta Falcons (5-0) at New Orleans Saints (1-4)
The Falcons continue to keep it going, this time after escaping somewhat of a scare at home against Washington. The Falcons seem like a different team though this year. The thing that separated those division champion teams they had a few years ago and recently has been the running game. Matt Ryan was trying to keep this team afloat with no support from the line or any running backs. Devonta Freeman appear to be the answer there. They won last week on the strength of 153 rushing yards and a touchdown. They also benefitted from a good defensive performance and the game winning pick six. The Saints, meanwhile are in a total tailspin. The defense couldn’t stop an offense that hadn’t looked good all year. The offense has peaked at 26 points this year. They, quite simply, don’t look very good. With that being said, the Saints are at home. The Falcons are more known as a team that’s much better at home. You never know what can happen any given Sunday.
Prediction: Atlanta 30, New Orleans 24.
Sunday 18 October, 2015
Chicago Bears (2-3) at Detroit Lions (0-5)
The Bears were recently pronounced as the worst team in the NFL per ESPN’s Weekly Power Ranking following their 26-0 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. But following back-to-back comeback victories against Oakland and Kansas City, they’re feeling good about the John Fox era. Meanwhile the Lions – like the Saints – are in a total tailspin. Their defense has no flare without Ndamukong Suh. The offense has no running game. Matt Stafford, Megatron and Golden Tate cannot do it all on their own. Meanwhile, their playing a Bears team that doesn’t beat themselves, as of right now, you better have more talent and stay efficient to beat the Bears. The Lions may have more top end talent, but do they have the capabilities to score in bunches against the Bears. Jay Cutler may make a bad interception somewhere, but it won’t matter if Detroit can’t score a lot of points.
Prediction: Chicago 23, Detroit 20.
Kansas City Chiefs (1-4) at Minnesota Vikings (2-2)
The Vikings, coming off their bye week, are still feeling confident about their playoff hopes. A sound defense, young and efficient quarterback, and that guy known as Adrian Peterson lead the way as they try to breakout in the NFC. And the Kansas City Chiefs just went from team with bad luck to bad team. It just seems like Alex Smith is no longer a guy who can even manage a game for you. He’s become incapable of making a big throw when it matters. He still doesn’t appear to be mistake prone, but the turnover numbers don’t tell the whole story. The defense obviously hasn’t been what we thought it was going to be. But they only surrendered 18 points to the Bears. That should be enough to get the win in today’s NFL. Teddy Bridgewater will be looking to have a big game Sunday, as the Chiefs still specialize in stopping the run.
Prediction: Minnesota 27, Kansas City 19.
Carolina Panthers (4-0) at Seattle Seahawks (2-3)
Yet another undefeated team on the slate for the Seahawks, as they’ve played a rough schedule early this year. They lost last week in a thriller against the Cincinnati Bengals. They’ve also lost to the Packers and that wild game against a tough Rams team. However, they’ve won both of their home games this year. With that being said, those wins came against the far-less talented Bears, and the Lions. The Panthers are no joke. The defense is playing as good as it has in the Ron Rivera era, and the offense is rolling with Cam Newton's mobility and passing efficiency. They’ve scored more point every week, and really hope that trend continues this week. With that being said, the defenses they’ve played have been less-than stellar. The Seahawks will be by far the toughest defense they’ve played this year, and won’t likely be able to take as big an advantage of Cam’s running ability. Look for Russell Wilson to continue building chemistry with Jimmy Graham, and for the Seahawks front seven to get after Cam.
Prediction: Seattle 28, Carolina 17.
San Diego Chargers (2-3) at Green Bay Packers (5-0)
The Chargers head into Lambeau Field after several costly mistakes led to a defeat from the Steelers, led by Michael Vick, who’s biggest play of the game came from a play drawn up by Ben Roethlisberger. The Chargers won’t simply be playing a player a great quarterback is coaching, they’re going up against the best QB in the game today, Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has shrugged off numerous injuries to continue playing at an MVP level. And unless the Chargers sign Robert Quinn, Chris Long and Aaron Donald from the Rams, I doubt Rodgers throws 2 interceptions at home again this week. The Packers defense, meanwhile, may be the unsung hero in Green Bay. Their pressure on the quarterback has led to mistakes and a lot of opportunity for Rodgers and Co. This one may be over early, unless Philip Rivers carries the load.
Prediction: Green Bay 34, San Diego 20.
Baltimore Ravens (1-4) at San Francisco 49ers (1-4)
In a rematch of Super Bowl 47, you can see how quickly and far the mighty have fallen. Both teams look nothing like they did in that game, as long-time stars Patrick Willis, Frank Gore, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed – among others – are long retired or have moved on to other places. Sure, Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick are still the quarterbacks, but a lot has changed since then. Kaepernick is no longer an upstart young-gun, and his flaws have been magnified. Joe Flacco, while still an excellent QB, may not be as good without a solid run-game behind him. While both teams’ defenses are still good, neither have the same firepower they once did. It’ll be interesting to see which team can get back on track here with a victory. This game will ultimately come down to which defense and run game can make the most plays.
Prediction: Baltimore 21, San Francisco 13.
Monday 19 October, 2015
New York Giants (3-2) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)
The New York Giants come into Philadelphia following the Eagles most convincing win of the season. Their running game finally looked like an NFL running attack. That helped Sam Bradford make key plays that would help this team to victory. With that said, the Eagles still left you wanting more. DeMarco Murray was given the ball 20 times for 83 yards on the ground. Production should have dictated that Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles got some more touches, but the paycheck, sadly, is dictating Murray get the ball pounded to him. The Giants are currently the hottest team in the NFC East, with a 3 game win streak coming into the week. They appear to be the most for-real team, after 3 solid victories following 2 crazy defeats. The Giants have a nice balance going with Eli spreading the ball around to all receivers and the running game, while not good, has been passable, and Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings are good receivers out of the backfield. If the Eagles are to prove they are at least capable of being a playoff contender, it would be a nice statement victory to win at home this week.
Prediction: New York 24, Philadelphia 20.
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