*Home team in CAPS
Carolina Panthers over ATLANTA FALCONS-
The Falcons are a difficult team to figure out. They have talent; Michael Turner, Roddy White, Gonzo, and Matt Ryan, but they’ve just been very inconsistent. In three games this season they didn’t score more than 14 points-two games-over 30. Ryan has thrown for 7 TD’s but has 6 picks. And Roddy White has averaged a pedestrian 72 yards a game receiving and only has 2 scores in 5 games. The team is just ‘under-performing’. The Panthers, led by Cam Newton have been in every game they’ve played losing by a touchdown or less in every contest, losing by 3 last week vs the Saints. If they can play a little better defense, we believe Cam gets his first win on Sunday.
BALTIMORE RAVENS over Houston Texans-
The 3-1 Ravens have to be feeling good about their chances this week. In the three games they’ve won, they’ve outscored their opponents 106-31! Two of those games coming from normally pretty good defensive teams in the Steelers and the Jets. Now they’re coming off a bye week & play a banged up Texans unit who are without the services of Mario Williams and Andre Johnson. The Ravens, we feel one the best-if not THE best team in the AFC, should take care of business this week in a fairly one-sided game.
CINCINNATI BENGALS over INDIANAPOLIS COLTS-
We’re picking the Bengals because they have two things going for them in this game that stand out the most; a mismatch and a superior ‘D’. The mismatch will favor Bengal’s stud A.J. Green who is averaging 16.8 yards per reception to go along with his 3 touchdowns. He will be going up against Colts CB Jacob Lacey who had no answer for Dwayne Bowe last week. Bowe had 7 receptions good for 182 yards and 2 touchdowns. The ‘D’ we’re referring to is Cincy’s rush defense which has only given up a sparse 3.1 yards per rush and is ranked seventh in the league. And since Joseph Addai is out with a bad hammy, that leaves Donald Brown and Delone Carter to try and penetrate the strong Bengals line.
DETROIT LIONS over San Francisco 49ers-
The 49ers have been awesome on defense over the last several games including their 48-3 romp over Tampa Bay last week. Although they haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown this year, they aren’t as adept againt the pass where they are a distant 23rd in the league. That’s music to Matthew Satfford’s ears with a receiver the caliber of Calvin Johnson. Megatron has reeled off 2 touchdowns per game in all but one game this year and there’s no reason why he won’t put those numbers up again this Sunday. The 49ers receiving corps takes a hit this week as Braylon Edwards and Josh Morgan will be out. We think the Lions will take their league tieing record to 6-0 with a win in their building.
Minnesota Vikings over CHICAGO BEARS-
Plain and simple, the Viking’s front line, which is led by perennial all-star, veteran Jared Allen, have helped them to be ranked fourth against the run which will not bode well for Matt Forte. That will force Jay Cutler to heave the pigskin more than he would like to. We think with the pressure he’ll be under for a major part of the game, the Vikes will force turnovers and get their share of sacks. Lots of sacks. The Vikings, well they have Adrian Peterson and the Bears do not have an answer for him. In their last four games, ‘Da Bears’ have given up three touchdowns to opposing backs while allowing just under 6 yards per carry. They’ll need a lot more than Johnny Knox to pull this one out. Vikings are our pick.
*Last week 3-2