Buffalo at Detroit
Oscar: The Bills were off to a solid start, until they ran into a brick wall, a.k.a. the Bears’ defense. Detroit struggled offensively against the Vikings. Jon Kitna may struggle if Roy Williams doesn’t start, but he’ll find a way to get the job done. Lions will please the home crowd with a win.
J: Maybe the Lions’ front office will learn a lesson now and not draft receivers in the first round three years in a row. They might want to look into upgrading their offensive line because when a player like Kevin Jones cannot gain any yards on the ground, something is wrong. The Bills have a solid running game and if they can stop committing stupid mistakes, they will improve their record. The Bills will win this one on the road.
Carolina at Baltimore
O: A battle of two good defenses with the Ravens having the edge on the defensive side of the ball. The Panthers have a better offense, and have enough of a defense to stop Steve McNair and co. Panthers take one on the road.
J: The Panthers are just starting to get their offense clicking, but if you are going to stand a chance against the Baltimore defense, you need to be firing on all cylinders. The Ravens’ offense faces the same difficulty with Carolina’s defense, but more so because their offense is not as good. Baltimore gets the nod because they are at home and Oscar picked Carolina.
Cincinnati at Tampa Bay
O: The Buccaneers are starting to find their offensive groove, while Cincinnati lost it after losing bad to the Patriots in Week 4. The Buccaneers actually did not play bad offensively against the Saints last week, with Bruce Gradkowski filling in for Chris Simms. “Cadillac” Williams looked like his rookie form, rushing for 111 yards. Despite some signs of life from the Bucs, don’t expect them to go and beat the Bengals. Carson Palmer struggled two weeks ago, so expect him to bounce back and have a good game.
J: Chad Johnson better get his game together and start making some plays soon, before another Bengal gets arrested and overshadows whatever touchdown dance he has planned. Tampa looked pretty decent last week, but Cincinnati’s defense can handle it and will win on the road.
Houston at Dallas
O: With Drew Bledsoe’s job on the line, expect him to step up against the Texans. This game will not be as lop-sided as one would think. David Carr has the highest passer rating in the league, so he should have a decent day. Bledsoe will silence his critics by winning a shootout in Dallas.
J: I do not know what is harder to believe, David Carr still having the best passer rating or T.O. not demanding another quarterback. Houston is still only 1-3, though, and Dallas was close to beating a strong Eagles team last week. The Cowboys should be able to put up some numbers that will boost their egos for another week or two.
N.Y. Giants at Atlanta
O: While it is tempting to go with the Falcons at home, I must go with the Giants. The Giants’ defense finally woke up by limiting the Redskins to three points. Their defense will not stop the run, but will slow it down, forcing Michael Vick to use his arm. Look for the Giants to leave Atlanta with a win.
J: Do not expect a lot of red zone touchdowns in this game. Atlanta has only scored three times from inside the 20-yard line and the Giants five times. The Falcons will probably have John Abraham and Ed Hartwell back for this game, which will help put pressure on Eli Manning. The Falcons will win this one in the Georgia Dome.
Philadelphia at New Orleans
O: Is there anyone that can stop Donovan McNabb? The Saints are rejoicing after Bush scored the first touchdown of his career. He’s going to have to do that many times against the Eagles for the Saints to have a chance. Eagles stay hot and get another win.
J: It has been fun to watch the Saints go 4-1 because their fans needed something positive in their city, but the fun will stop here. Philadelphia is looking really good and continues to dominate despite key injuries. The Eagles will win this one comfortably.
Seattle at St. Louis
O: It was a good thing that the Seahawks had a bye last week. It gave them time to dig out of their offensive slump, after having lost to the Bears 37-6. Expect them to find their winning ways against the inconsistent Rams.
J: The Seahawks have had to revise their offensive strategy since losing Shaun Alexander. Their new pass-first strategy looks a lot like the Rams during their “Greatest Show on Turf” days. The Rams, on the other hand, have adapted a balanced attack, utilizing running back Stephen Jackson on their way to a 4-1 record. Sunday night, it will be 5-1.
Tennessee at Washington
O: Who would have known that Tennessee would only lose by one to the Colts? Do they have a chance with the Redskins? Nope. They still aren’t good. The Colts took the Titans lightly, but Joe Gibbs won’t allow that. The Redskins will beat the Titans.
J: I do not know what that was last week, but the Titans almost beat the Colts. Maybe they should implement the Texas Longhorns offense that Vince Young ran in college, it worked for a 19-yard TD run for him last week. On the other hand, Mark Brunell should never be allowed to run the option again. The man ran behind his pitchman, who does that?! The Redskins are my pick.
Kansas City at Pittsburgh
O: Where are the Super Bowl champs? They haven’t really showed up so far. Ben Roethlisberger has to shake the rust off. The defense is doing their job, but Big Ben can’t find his mojo. The Chiefs have found their mojo, but the Steeler defense will find a way to put a stop to that. Big Ben finally leads the Steelers to a much-needed victory.
J: If the Steelers lose this one they might have a tough time making the playoffs. Kansas City has played decent even after losing Trent Green. Their defense is ranked fourth and backup quarterback Damon Huard has the second highest passer rating in the NFL. Pittsburgh will turn their season around and get their second win of the season.
Miami at N.Y. Jets
O: The Jets are going to have to put last week’s 41-0 loss behind them and take it out on the Dolphins. Chad Pennington should bounce back. As for Miami ? there is not much to say. Miami should look on the bright side. At least they’re not Oakland. Jets win.
J: Miami has a pretty good defense, but that’s it. Having Daunte Culpepper and Joey Harrington on the same roster might have sounded like a great idea in 2001, but not now. Pennington and the Jets will look to redeem themselves after last week, and will win at home.
San Diego at San Francisco
O: The Chargers are looking really good. Phillip Rivers has really stepped up for his team so far, and expect him to do the same against the 49ers. Chargers win big on the road.
J: The Chargers are one of the best teams in the NFL. They will face few problems beating the 49ers in San Francisco this week.
Oakland at Denver
O: The worst team in the league against one of the best defenses in the league? The Raiders are ranked as one of the top defenses, but their poor play is no match for Denver. Jake Plummer has to improve his numbers to silence his critics. The Broncos win at home.
J: If you do not have anything nice to say, it’s better not saying anything at all, so I won’t even comment on the Raiders this week. Denver wins big.
Chicago at Arizona
O: Matt Leinart looked impressive last week. The Cardinal organization should be happy to have picked up such a promising quarterback. He will be tested against a scary Bears defense, and will definitely fail. Rex Grossman will lead his team to another victory.
J: The Cardinals aren’t exactly facing the Care Bears this week. Chicago is probably the best team in the NFL so far and will dominate.