MUST WATCH GAMES
Washington at Giants/Falcons at Cowboys/Eagles at Jets
Three of these games involve the NFC East.
Tonight the Giants host Washington in their second primetime game in ten days. MetLife Stadium will then immediately undergo the transition from Giants to Jets as the Eagles come to New York in an early contest on Sunday. The other early game also involves the NFC East as the Falcons travel to Texas to play the Cowboys.
Each of the NFC East teams have their share of flaws. The Cowboys have been struck by injuries. First came wide receiver Dez Bryant suffering a foot injury that will cause him to miss at most 12 weeks. Last Sunday quarterback Tony Romo broke his clavicle and could result in him missing 8 weeks. Tight end Jason Witten - who last missed a game in 2003 due to a broken jaw – has an ankle injury, but is believed to be playing on Sunday.
I sure hope so. He is on my fantasy team.
If the Cowboys are to keep pace with the Falcons, they will have to rely on their running game and will need another excellent defensive performance. Linebacker Sean Lee was named the NFC’s player of the week for his 14 tackles and an interception against the Eagles.
LikeI said at the beginning of the season, I am not buying the Eagles. So far after two games it appears that running back DeMarco Murray was the product of his offensive line in Dallas. Coach Chip Kelly made it known that every position on the team will be evaluated. You know who the backup quarterback for the Eagles is right now? Mark Sanchez who used to quarterback the Jets.
The Giants might want to ask that kid in Texas who built a clock to help with their time management. In two games, the Giants blew 10-point fourth quarter leads.
Washington won last Sunday over the Rams and could end up winning the NFC East by default.
As for the other teams not in the NFC East in these games, the Falcons are 2-0, but could easily by 0-2.
Watching the Jets on Monday night and I was impressed with how their defense has played and in part that is due to their 2-0 start. Through their first two games the Jets defense has created 10 turnovers. For now head coach Todd Bowles is sticking with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick as Geno Smith recovers from a broken jaw.
49ers at Cardinals/Bills at Dolphins/Bears at Seahawks
The afternoon slate asks this question: “Who are they?”
Are the 49ers the team who dominated the Vikings in Week 1 or were torched by the Steelers in Week 2? The Cardinals are 2-0 and are leading the NFC West. The Bills beat the Colts comfortably in Week 1, but had trouble with the Patriots in Week 2. The Dolphins have opened their first two games on the road with a win at Washington and then a loss to the Jaguars. The Seahawks are 0-2 and open at home against the Bears.
Agree, Denny Green. They are who we thought they were.
Broncos at Lions/Chiefs at Packers
The last two games of the week feature inter-conference matchups. Three of the four teams involved played in primetime games in Week 2; the Packers played on Sunday Night while the Chiefs hosted the Broncos in Kansas City last Thursday Night.
The Chiefs had an epic meltdown in their national television appearance. At one point the Chiefs led 14-0 and were headed towards another blowout win a la last season’s win over the Patriots where the national press declared the Brady-Bellichick Era done. It was looking like the obituary for Peyton Manning’s career was going to be written.
That was not to be.
Denver scored two touchdowns to tie the game at halftime. Kansas City scored a touchdown to take a 24-17 lead with less than 3 minutes remaining in the game. Manning led the Broncos on a vintage drive capping it with a touchdown pass to Emanuel Sanders to bring the game within one and the new 33-yard extra point was made to tie the game.
It was appearing that the game was heading to overtime and loyal followers of the Colbert Nation would have to wait for the appearance of their leader.
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles fumbled the ball and Denver recovered to take a 31-24 lead and secure the victory.
And there was much rejoicing not just here in Denver, but across the Colbert Nation as well.
It was Denver’s defense for the second consecutive week that contributed to the victory. Their defense will be on red alert having to deal with Detroit’s wide receiver Calvin Johnson. The Lions are 0-2 after a meltdown in Week 1 at San Diego followed by their defense being trampled by Adrian Peterson in Minneapolis in Week 2.
The Packers have taken a very early lead in the NFC playoff picture after their 27-17 win over the Seahawks in Green Bay on Sunday night. Green Bay has a 3 game lead over the defending NFC champions by virtue of their 2-0 record vs. Seattle’s mentioned 0-2 record, and should Green Bay and Seattle end the season with the same record, the Packers would win the tie-breaker on head-to-head.
As I said in my NFC North preview, the NFC better have their winter weather gear ready to go for a potential January trip to Wisconsin.
And now the picks.
Kickoff times are Mountain Time
Sunday afternoon games airing in Denver are noted by (DEN)
Picks are in BOLD
THURSDAY NIGHT, CBS/NFL 6PM
Washington at Giants
Chargers at Vikings (DEN)
Colts at Titans
Raiders at Browns
Bengals at Ravens
Jaguars at Patriots
Steelers at Rams
Falcons at Cowboys (DEN)
Saints at Panthers
Eagles at Jets
Buccaneers at Texans
Bears at Seahawks (DEN)
Bills at Dolphins
49ers at Cardinals
SUNDAY NIGHT, NBC 6:30 PM
Broncos at Lions
MONDAY NIGHT, ESPN 6:30 PM
Chiefs at Packers