Season Preview: Denver Nuggets
Quietly, the Denver Nuggets have turned into an offensive juggernaut led by a budding superstar in center Nikola Jokic.
With already a quarter of the NFL season over, only two teams remain undefeated and only one team remains win less. There wasn't a whole bunch of headlines in Week 4, but there could be a ton in Week 5. The Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have a bye week this week. My record last week was 6-9. My record this season is 31-30-2.
Indianapolis Colts 13 New England Patriots 27: Tom Brady will be getting one his favorite targets back this week in wide receiver Julian Edelman. Josh Gordon got his feet wet last week in the Patriots system. Will see what happens as the season moves on. Andrew Luck played well last week, but he will be in for a different game this week and he doesn't particularly play well against the New England Patriots.
Tennessee Titans 31 Buffalo Bills 17: Marcus Mariota shined last week for the Titans in an overtime win at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. Against a average defense, Mariota could have another big week. The defense is also not playing bad either. Josh Allen could be uncomfortable all game long on Sunday.
New York Giants 13 Carolina Panthers 30: Carolina's defense will make Eli Manning look petrified early and often. The lack of mobility by Manning is killing the Giants offensively. Speaking of mobility, Cam Newton will be mobile early and often and he could be tough to stop. Olivier Vernon will most likely be back for the New York Giants defensive unit. However, the Panthers defensive unit seems to be healthy.
Miami Dolphins 14 Cincinnati Bengals 28: The Dolphins got crushed last week against the New England Patriots on the road and they could lose big again this weekend on the road against a very good Bengals team. Cincinnati's offense looks sharp at the moment and wide receiver Tyler Boyd is becoming a reliable target for Andy Dalton. The Cincinnati Bengals defense could rough up Ryan Tannehill early and often.
Baltimore Ravens 31 Cleveland Browns 28: The Ravens are in a possible trap game this weekend. Baltimore had a big win last week on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens can't afford to lose to the Browns, especially if they want to get back to the playoffs. Joe Flacco has been playing inspired football right now. The defense is one of the best in the NFL.
Green Bay Packers 20 Detroit Lions 16: Both teams are limited offensively right now. It might be interesting to see how it will play out. Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford can not do it all by themselves. It will be interesting to see how both defenses will play. The team with the ball last will probably win this game.
Jacksonville Jaguars 17 Kansas City Chiefs 24: Patrick Mahomes is playing at an elite level right now and he will continue to do that against an elite Jaguars defense. Jacksonville will be without running back Leonard Fournette once again and they will need to rely heavily on quarterback Blake Bortles once again. The most interesting match up will be cornerback Jalen Ramsey on wide receiver Tyreek Hill. Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt will be the difference in this game for the Chiefs.
Denver Broncos 20 New York Jets 13: The Broncos can't let a free fall happen again this season. If they want to make the playoffs, they are going to have to beat the Jets. New York doesn't have a very good offense and Denver's defense will be ready to rake. Case Keenum will be a game manager for the Denver Broncos offense.
Atlanta Falcons 35 Pittsburgh Steelers 42: The Falcons high flying offense will put up points once again this week. The defense will have a tough time stopping the Steelers offense. Atlanta's defense doesn't make any key plays when the game is on the line. Pittsburgh's defense isn't much better either. This game could seriously be an All-Star Game on Sunday. Whoever has the ball last will win.
Oakland Raiders 24 Los Angeles Chargers 30: Derek Carr led the charge in the Raiders comeback last week. He will have another good game against a suspect Chargers defense. The issue is, the Oakland Raiders will have a difficult time stopping the Los Angeles offense. Melvin Gordon is a force running the football and Philip Rivers is still playing at a high level.
Minnesota Vikings 35 Philadelphia Eagles 28: This is my upset special of the week. The Vikings offense looked really good against the Rams defense last Thursday night and I expect the Minnesota offense to look really sharp against the Eagles on Sunday afternoon. If the Minnesota Vikings can ever get a running game going, they will be in great shape. As for the Philadelphia Eagles, they will put points on the board, but the defense will let them down again this week.
Arizona Cardinals 14 San Francisco 49ers 20: The 49ers played hard last week on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers without Jimmy Garoppolo and they came up short. C.J. Beathard played good by completing 62.2 percent of his passes for 298 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions. San Francisco is a better football team right now than the Arizona Cardinals are. This could be Arizona's best chance to win a game this season with Josh Rosen once again starting this week.
Los Angeles Rams 38 Seattle Seahawks 24: Jared Goff was a wizard last week and he will be once again this week. The Rams love to run a no huddle offense most of the time and it keeps the opposing defense on its heels. Seattle has won two in a row and they are making things interesting at the moment, but it will all shatter away for them this weekend. Safety Earl Thomas is done for the season with a fractured leg.
Dallas Cowboys 24 Houston Texans 21: The Texans were basically handed a win last week against the Indianapolis Colts on the road in overtime. The Cowboys earned their win last week against the Detroit Lions. Dallas doesn't have as many play makers as Houston does, but they are better coached and will line the scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
Washington Redskins 16 New Orleans Saints 37: This game was a classic last season and it was a game won by the Saints in overtime after trailing by double digits in the fourth-quarter. New Orleans is one of the best teams in the NFL and they will be getting running back Mark Ingram back this week. It adds another toy to that offense. Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas have already made an impact on the offense this season. Taysom Hill will also keep making an impact on offense or on special teams. Drew Brees might carve up the Redskins defense. New Orleans's defense might have found a groove after last week and teams don't like throwing to Marshon Lattimore's side.
Bold Predictions: 1. Julian Edelman catches 8 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown in his return from suspension against the Colts.
2. The Panthers defense will force four turnovers on the Giants offense.
3. Kirk Cousins will throw for 400 yards for the second straight week against the Eagles.
4. Dak Prescott will out play Deshaun Watson.
5. Melvin Gordon rushes for 200 yards and three touchdowns against the Raiders.