This week, the Nick Foles-led Eagles travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers.
The Bucs have historically been trouble for the Eagles, whether it’s booting them from the playoffs (2003) or kicking a historically long field goal at the buzzer to win the game (2006).
And while the Bucs are 0-4, they have to win a game sometime. And this week, at least rookie Mike Glennon now has full game under his belt. And their defense is pretty good, unlike the Eagles. Glennon should have an easier day this week (although he did get to play against the also-not-good-on-D Cardinals in his first game, so maybe not).
One big question for this week will be the running game. Without the threat of Michael Vick taking off, defenses can devote a lot more energy and people to stopping Shady McCoy. But I think DJax is right – Revis Island CAN’T run as fast as he can. In the end, though, I don’t think the Bucs are going to be able to shut down the Eagles or keep them from scoring, and I think that’s what this game is going to come down to, particularly with the efficient if not flashy Nick Foles under center.
In the other matchups:
Giants at Bears: This has trap game written all over it, particularly with the Bears dealing with an additional loss on D (Nate Collins). But with both Eli Manning and Jay Cutler struggling, I’m going to have to go with the Bears at home on the short week.
Packers at Ravens: Speaking of defensive injuries, Clay Matthews is a HUGE loss for the Pack. Then again, they do still have Aaron Rodgers, and I don’t think the Ravens’ struggling D will be able to stop him. Packers.
Bengals at Bills: The Bills are starting their practice squad guy (Thad Lewis, and I had to look it up, too) against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Yeah, that’ll end well. Bengals.
Lions at Browns: Both of these teams are surprising this year, but I give the (slight) edge to Browns, assuming Megatron can’t go. I reserve the right to change this pick based on Sunday morning’s injury reports.
Rams at Texans: If Matt Schaub can’t get his confidence back at home against the Rams, who have only had three takeaways all year, the Texans should pack it up for 2013. Texans.
Raiders at Chiefs: 6-0 for Big Red? You know it! Chiefs.
Panthers at Vikings: Panthers, on the strength of their defense rather than Cam Newton’s arm. Also, if Josh Freeman *does* go in, they know what they’re facing.
Steelers at Jets: Jets. When do we start talking about “is Mike Tomlin’s job in danger?”
Jaguars at Broncos: Chef Spouse’s pick ’em league has several tie breaker mechanisms. One of them is which team will score the most points and the fewest points each week. This week, we’ll get them both in one game, as I (and everyone else) predict the Broncos ANNIHILATE the Jaguars. The Jags don’t have the WORST D in the NFL (that “honor” would go to the ‘Skins, closely followed by our hapless Iggles), but they aren’t good. It’s not going to be pretty.
Titans at Seahawks: The Titans have also been surprising this year, but the Seahawks are too well-rounded AND they’ve got their 12th man back.
Saints at Patriots: Geaux Saints! They have it going ON on both sides of the ball. Their defense is going to feast on the inexperienced Patriots receivers, and trust Drew Brees to pick apart the Pats’ average secondary.
Cardinals at 49ers: The 49ers have been far from transcendent so far this year, but the Cards just have no chance at all in this one. Actually, they might have the lowest score this week, as it’s entirely possible the 49ers shut them out.
Redskins at Cowboys: I’m guessing this is going to be another high scoring game, seeing as neither defense is very good (unless Tony Romo’s still tired from the shoot out with the Broncos). And the ‘Skins do have the advantage of coming off the bye, and two more weeks for RGIII to heal. Still, I think Romo will pull his head out of his ass long enough to get the divisional win at home. But don’t expect it to be pretty.
Colts at Chargers: Colts. Andrew Luck’s certainly not feeling the sophomore blues, helped by a strong rushing offense, which the Chargers have, thus far, shown no inclination to stop.
One bye: Dolphins, Falcons