New York Giants (0-5) at Chicago (3-2)
The Bears have dropped two games in a row, but a match-up in Chicago against the winless and hapless Giants may be just what the doctor ordered.
Eli Manning threw another three interceptions last week, giving him 12 on the season already. That’s slightly more than two picks a game.
Green Bay (2-2) at Baltimore (3-2)
The Packers are both fifth in the league in rushing yards per game average and fifth in rushing yards allowed per game. Both are good figures, but the Packers are once again banged up. Starting running back James Starks and starting linebackers Clay Matthews and Brad Jones have all been ruled out for the game against the Ravens.
That’s not to say that the Packers haven’t had success with an inconsistent running game or porous defense before, but this week it may be too much to overcome.
The Ravens are 2-0 at home and last week against Miami they finally got Ray Rice going, as he rushed for 74 yards and two touchdowns, while Bernard Pierce was also able to get 46 yards on 11 carries.
Cincinnati (3-2) at Buffalo (2-3)
Rookie starting quarterback E.J. Manuel is out and instead of starting back-up Jeff Tuel, the Bills promoted Thad Lewis from the practice squad. Lewis has played in one game in his career (last season with Cleveland) and is 22 of 32 with 204 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception.
It’s not a terrible line. He’ll have his hands full against the Bengals though. Cincinnati is 11th in the league in passing yards allowed per game and does a good job against the run too, ranking 10th in rushing yards allowed per game. They held Tom Brady to 197 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception last weekend, while sacking him four times and holding the Pats to six points.
Detroit (3-2) at Cleveland (3-2)
The Lions had a dud of a game last week and lost, while the Browns held on for a road victory.
Cleveland’s defense is stingy, but the Browns offense did look better with Brian Hoyer under center rather than Brandon Weeden, though the second-year quarterback did a fine job in relief last Thursday.
What hurts the Lions is not knowing the status of Calvin Johnson, who has a knee injury and didn’t play last week. Still, they are more talented at the skill positions than the Browns.
St. Louis (2-3) at Houston (2-3)
It’s no secret: Matt Schaub has been bad this season. He has nine interceptions on the year, he threw three interceptions last week, and he has thrown a pick-six in each of the past four games.
Houston isn’t a bad team, however. It was a bad game against the 48ers but they still have a strong defense and running game. They are just more talented than the Rams, even though St. Louis won last week.
Carolina (1-3) at Minnesota (1-3)
The Vikings signed recently released Josh Freeman, but don’t plan to play him Sunday. That being said, Matt Cassel did a fine job in his first game of the season, going 16-25 for 248 yards and two touchdowns.
The Panthers are 0-2 on the road. With Adrian Peterson running the ball behind him, if Cassel can have another solid outing like he did two weeks ago the Vikings should be in decent shape at home against another struggling team.
Oakland (2-3) at Kansas City (5-0)
The Raiders got a win over the Chargers last week at home. They did, however, almost let a 24-3 lead slip away before converting on third and long and getting a field goal to get back to a two-score lead.
Things, as they always are, will be tougher in Kansas City, who got a victory in Tennessee last week.
Kansas City wins.
Pittsburgh (0-4) at New York Jets (3-2)
Geno Smith had his finest game as an NFL quarterback, in prime time nonetheless. He completed 80 percent of his passes, threw for three touchdowns and didn’t throw an interception.
The Jets defense has been good thus far this season and getting Mike Goodson active gives the running game a boost – he rushed for 32 yards on three carries last week.
I don’t expect Pittsburgh to be winless all season, but at home the Jets should continue to ride the current momentum they have.
New York jets win.
Philadelphia (2-3) at Tampa Bay (0-4)
The Buccaneers got a much needed week off last week because things were quickly spiraling out of control, especially with former quarterback Josh Freeman. Freeman is released, but it’s questionable if this team can turn things around. It’s been a lot of losing over the past three seasons.
They’ve struggled offensively this season, as they are 31st in the league in both yards per game and points per game. They might have problems keeping up with the Eagles, who are second in yards per game and eighth in points per game.
Jacksonville (0-5) at Denver (5-0)
The Broncos are a historical 28-point favorite over the Jaguars. It may be a tough cover, but there’s a reason the line is that high.
Tennessee (3-2) at Seattle (4-1)
The Seahawks lost their first game of the season last week, but they haven’t lost a home game since 2011.
The Titans put up a decent effort against the Chiefs, but Ryan Fitzpatrick did throw two interceptions. Seattle is tied for the most takeaways in the league, with 15. They have seven interceptions, five of which have come at home.
New Orleans (5-0) at New England (4-1)
This is a huge match-up between two of the top teams in the league.
Right now, it looks like the Saints are rolling and on more of the same page than the Patriots. Much has been made of the Patriots lack of depth at wide receiver. Wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Danny Amendola are questionable for Sunday, as is tight end Rob Gronkowski, who has yet to play this season. Amendola and Dobson were the team’s top receivers in the team’s rough game against Cincinnati.
Last week Tom Brady completed only 47.4 percent of his passes and for only 197 yards. He was also sacked four times.
In his NFL career against Brady, Drew Brees is 3-0. The last time the Saints met the Patriots, the Saints were undefeated and Brees threw for 371 yards and five touchdowns. He has New England’s number.
New Orleans wins.
Arizona (3-2) at San Francisco (3-2)
The 49ers beat down the Texans last week. They have some momentum going up against the Cardinals. Since 2009 they are 7-1 against Arizona.
The Niners also have only lost three home regular season games since the start of the 2011 season.
San Francisco wins.
Washington (1-3) at Dallas (2-3)
Has Tony Romo failed to come through in the clutch before? Definitely. Did he throw an interception last week against Denver at the worst possible time? Yes. Should that take away from the game that he had and the season he’s having? No way.
Romo threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns last week. That’s the most yards in Cowboys history. And while Peyton Manning had seven touchdown passes in Week 1, he hasn’t thrown for that many yards in a game this season. That was also only Romo’s second interception this season.
The defense could’ve used a stop at some point against Denver, so it’s not all on Romo.
That being said, they should put up equally impressive numbers this week. The Redskins have given up the most yards per game this season.
Indianapolis (4-1) at San Diego (2-3)
Phillip Rivers’ second consecutive 400-yard game and third this season wasn’t enough to propel the Chargers past the Raiders, who previously had only one win to their name. Three interceptions, a season-high for Rivers in 2013, helped the downfall.
The Colts have won three in a row, including a big one over the Seahawks last weekend. The Colts are tied for the fewest penalties in the league with the fewest yards penalized and is second in the NFL in third-down percentage. They’re playing efficient football and getting the job done.
Bye Week: Atlanta, Miami
Last Week: 7-7
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer