We are almost at the halfway point in the season and the elite teams are beginning to separate themselves from the pack. Injuries have taken several teams out of contention for the moment, most notably the Atlanta Falcons who are without Julio Jones, Roddy White and Steven Jackson. Ouch!! We took it on the chin last week (1-4), bringing our season record to 16-14. We look to get off the carpet this week with the following Best Bets…
*Home team in CAPS
EAGLES over the Cowboys- Unfortunately, the Cowboys have two key players listed as doubtful going into their game in Philadelphia on Sunday. For Defensive end DeMarcus Ware (strained quad), it will be the first game that he has missed in his career. RB DeMarco Murray (sprained MCL) has insisted that he’ll play this weekend while the Cowboys have said they will be cautious with him. In either case, their defensive line is in shambles and they’ll face the high-octane offense of the Eagles with Nick Foles under center instead of Michael Vick.
49ers over the TITANS- Even though the Titans are 3-3, they have beaten a 1-4 Steelers team, an inconsistent Jets team, and a pretty decent Chargers team. They will step up in class this week and take on the 49ers who have beaten their last three opponents by 24, 31 and 12 points respectively. We don’t think that Tennessee has the defense to stop the Niners although they might slow them down, but not enough to garner the victory.
CHIEFS over the Texans- Houston has been in a free-fall having lost their last four consecutive games. Beleaguered quarterback Matt Schaub (ankle/foot), will yield the start this Sunday to little known and undrafted backup QB Case Keenum. Starting your first career NFL game AT Arrowhead Stadium is no easy task especially when your team is minus -12 in turnovers. The Texans are in disarray and would be hard pressed to beat any team at the moment, let alone the Chiefs.
Ravens over the STEELERS- This is an ongoing heated rivalry and every game is a war when these two teams face one another, but we’re going to go with the underdog in this one. The reason? There’s three… For one thing the Ravens have won their last three regular season games at Heinz Field. For another the Steelers win last week against rookie quarterback Geno Smith and the Jets is not that impressive. Lastly, Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 18 times this season and you can expect the Ravens to add to that total.
GIANTS over the Vikings- We haven’t been able to win once with the G-Men this season (0-2) but we think that given the improvement in their 27-21 loss to the Bears last week, we’ll give them the distinct edge. Now if only Eli Manning can have just one game where he only throws to the players wearing his team’s blue uniform, then the Giants will have a shot at winning their first game of the season. Center David Baas is set to return in the Monday Nighter and now that N.Y. has had some semblance of a running game with Brandon Jacobs going off for 100+ yards and 2 scores last week, the addition of Peyton Hillis could put less pressure on Eli Manning and his errant passes of late. Giants win their first game in front of their home crowd on Monday!