Philadelphia vs. Carolina
The Skins must contain Carson Wentz, blanket Zack Ertz, and tackle Blount. They are a legit contender right now. CANT WAIT.
San Francisco vs. Washington
It was much closer than it should have been but the Skins pulled it out. I mentioned earlier in the week that this was a game the Redskins would have lost just last year but due to improved players, coaching, and depth the team is able to overcome trying situations such as these (*cough* Refs). The defensive line has vastly improved because of depth, development of players, and coaching. The depth will be tested with the news that Johnathan Allen is out for the season. We’ll see if the line can keep up the results they've been getting going into the Eagles matchup.
Pittsburgh vs. Kansas City
The Steelers have been so up and down this season I’m not sure what to make of them. There's been a lot made of potential internal issues with the Steelers and at least one was confirmed with Martavis Bryant asking for a trade. Even with all that the Steelers arguably played their most cohesive game of the season and were able to defeat the previously undefeated Chiefs. The play of the game had to be Antonio Browns ridiculous catch on the sidelines between Kansas City’s corner and safety. Big Ben didn't play an interception-free game but he looked much better than he did last week against the Jags. A large part of the credit for the win is due to Pittsburgh’s defense which stifled Kansas City for the overwhelming majority of the game.
Cleveland vs. Houston
Well, the Browns certainly haven’t figured out Deshaun Watson yet. Watson turned in another impressive performance which included three touchdown tosses and certainly is in consideration for OROY honors up to this point. As mentioned last week regarding the Browns I still don’t know what Hue Jackson is doing. Apparently, Kevin Hogan is not the answer having thrown three picks in this game both off target to their intended receiver. This week Hue Jackson demoted Hogan to 3rd string promoted Cody Kessler to 2nd string and reinstalled Deshone Kizer as the starter. I can’t help but feel bad for Browns fans when the optics of your head coach's decision making looks so bad.
Tampa Bay vs. Arizona
Adrian Peterson is back and I’m glad for him. I doubt AP will be this effective every week. It will be interesting to see what becomes of Peterson role once David Johnson returns. Carson Palmer reversed father time and without a doubt had his best game of the season against Tampa Bay’s defense. Never ask me for season predictions because I have been horrid this year. I thought Winston would have a career year and he hasn't lived up to the hype I’ve placed upon him, the Bucs defense would be legit and that they would challenge for the NFC South instead they fall to last place in that division and I’m not sure they make it out. On the bright side, they have a fine backup in Ryan Fitzpatrick (for now at least).
Los Angeles (Chargers) vs. Oakland
How far the Raiders have fallen. Who would have predicted at the start of the season that Oakland and LA would have the same lowly record in the AFC West? Derek Carr played in his first game since sustaining his back injury a couple weeks ago and he was not good. The Raiders are not doing well in any facet right now but whats slightly shocking is how pedestrian Marshawn Lynch has been and to a bigger point how unimpressive the offensive line has been. The Chargers are not much better but their defense rattled Carr and they were able to eek out a win along with superior QB play.
Jacksonville vs. Los Angeles (Rams)
The Rams started things off with a bang. Pharoh Cooper ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. Then the Jaguars answered with a bang as Leonard Fournette ran for a long TD. The Rams’ offense continues to be productive with Jared Goff under center complimented by Todd Gurley. What McVay has done to that offense is really remarkable up to this point and you could argue he’s revitalized the career of Robert Woods who I’ve liked since his time at USC. The key players in this game were Gurley and Fournette and if you like running the ball you would have enjoyed this contest. The Rams defense also helped seal the deal with 5 sacks which caused Bortles to fumble 3 times. I think both the Rams and Jags are building something interesting. The Rams need investments in the defense. The Jags need an investment in a QB.
Baltimore vs. Chicago
Mitch Trubiskys outing wasn't prolific or impressive but he didn't make many mistakes and that's how the Bears won this game. Heck, when your RB accounts for a touchdown thrown you know you are trying to help your QB out in every way possible. What will help out any QB is a prolific running game and Jordan Howard has been so impressive this season running the ball. The Bears had him run the ball 36 times this game and it worked to the turn of 160+ yards.
This is a game you study when you want to find out how Special Teams can make a tangible difference. The Raven offense was horrible but their punt and kick returns for touchdowns gave them a fighting chance going into overtime. The special teams' excellence didn't kick in during overtime though and the Bears win this one with a field goal.
New England vs. New York (Jets)
The Jets aren't nearly as bad and people made them out to be. The Patriots aren't nearly as good as people think. The Pats may very still make it to the AFC title game but I’m not sure they win it.
Dolphins vs. Atlanta
Jay Ajayi got back to his old form in this one, however, he still has yet to score a touchdown this year. The Dolphins are another weird team. Optically they haven't looked good to me but somehow they are 3-2 and tied for second in the AFC East. I still think Jay Cutler is trash but he played better than Matt Ryan this game. The Falcons defense was shockingly anemic in their ability to get pressure and get to Cutler. I’m also still waiting for Julio Jones to have his breakout game of the season. I’m not exactly sure what’s up with Atlanta but they look like a shell of themselves right now.
Detroit vs. New Orleans
If you love offense watch this game. It was outrageous. Both teams defenses were laughably bad. There were some exceptions regarding individual performances. Cameron Jordan's deflection turned interception turned touchdown comes to mind as well picks by Kenny Vaccaro and Marshon Lattimore. There were a couple picks by the Lion defense as well but the story of the game was Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. It’s crystal clear now that AP was the third wheel and that Sean Payton intends to carve out featured roles for both Ingram and Kamara on offense. Mavin Jones and Golden Tate both had great days receiving but things get tougher for the Lions going forward with Tate’s injury. With the result from the Minnesota Packers game I’m not sure if Detroit will keep pace in the NFC North with the state of their defense.
Green Bay vs. Minnesota
Unfortunately for Green Bay, it looks like we’ll be finding out a lot about what Brett Hundley can do. I’m cautiously optimistic for the Packers as this has been a wild start to the NFL season but its hard to see how with the loss of Rodgers they can keep going the trajectory they have been. Can they rely on the run game? Or will they force Hundley to throw? This is a prime opportunity for the Vikings or Detroit or any other team that wants to step up and take the NFC North. It's going to be interesting.
New York (Giants) vs. Denver
The Giants are still dead but this is a good opportunity for the brass to see what they have in their young players that normally wouldn't see the field on offense. Is Paxton Lynch still injured? The Bronco’s know what Osweiler is but the inconsistency from Trevor Siemien is going to kill them its hard to see the Broncos sticking with him past this year. The shocker in all this is that the Giants found a run game against a good defense.
Indianapolis vs. Tennessee
I know its the Colts but this is probably what the Tennessee coaches envisioned the offense would look like with a healthy Marcus Mariota under center. Tennessee relied on their running backs then relied on Mariota to make a few key plays. That Derrick Henry for touchdown run was straight from an Alabama highlight reel I’m sure. Henry got the majority of carries and made the most of them. The 19/12 split between him in Murray is interesting but is more effective than when Henry is limited to under ten carries. Tennessee is in the thick of it now with Jacksonville and Houston in the AFC South.