“Throw me the friggin’ ball this week – ya hear ?”
A Pick Six for Week Nine
Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins – Live ESPN Friday PM
Bengals Quarterback Andy Dalton had a stellar game last week throwing 4 touchdown passes to receiver Marvin Jones in a 49-9 shellacking of the New York Jets. A real dark horse now in the AFC playoff race, they face a Dolphins team who must be kicking themselves post last week’s game. Up 17-3 against the Patriots they fell into a trap whereby they had 24 points put on them in the second half and eventually lost 27-17. The Dolphins are struggling and should find Cincinnati too much from a defensive side of the game to break down. Watch for Bengals running back Giovanni Bernard to have a big game after a quiet one in last weekend’s massive win.
Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys
Minnesota travel to Dallas this week to take on a Cowboys team that were beaten in the last 12 seconds in Detroit last week. The loss was not the main story though – the rant Dez Bryant had at his team mates for not throwing the ball to him much was. His rage was the main talking point and he has come out saying it was more motivational then frustration. The Cowboys are one of those teams that fail to deceive considering the talent they have. The Vikings are a shadow of their former self and their star player, Adrian Peterson, is not as dominant as he has been previously. Who the Vikings Quarterback is not known with Ponder and Freeman both competing, however both are average at best. It could be a long day for them in Texas.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Last year’s Superbowl winners the Baltimore Ravens do not at this stage look like they will be competing come the season end for the Championship again. Their offence looks a shadow of last season’s which is probably expected considering the number of players they released in the post season. Sitting with only 3 wins so far they come up against the Cleveland Browns who were unlucky not to get a result against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. They certainly had a go and look offensively more aggressive than they did at the start of the season. A divisional match up could see this as a 50/50 game in terms of who wins.
New Orleans Saints at New York Jets
The New Orleans Saints come to New York as an under the radar team that has only lost once this season – and that was in the last play of the game against the Patriots. Drew Brees is a model of consistency and can be explosive when he wants to. The Jets meanwhile came back with a thump after their win against the Patriots the week previously, and were thrashed by the Bengals. Nothing was expected of them this season and perhaps nothing will be now. Rookie Geno Smith at Quarterback is learning the ropes and could struggle here against a Saints defence that has gone from one of the worst last this season to one of the best, in terms of points conceded per game. This could be a defensive type match up however the Saints should have too much class here
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans – Live ESPN Monday PM
Both teams come off a bye so will be refreshed. The Colts won a cracker against the previously unbeaten Broncos with Andrew Luck comprehensively outplaying his predecessor, Peyton Manning. The downside for them was the season ending injury to Lucks main weapon in Receiver Reggie Wayne. This could have a big effect on their season. The Texans are sticking with local Houston resident Case Keenum at Quarterback, who in his first start against the Chiefs did not disgrace himself. What this means for incumbent Matt Schaub is unclear however it’s all part of the best chance of winning. The Colts have a great chance of winning their division and in this match up they will want to consolidate their position atop of the AFC South
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers – Live ESPN Tuesday PM
One of the oldest rivalries in the NFL this NFC North matchup is always competitive with real feeling between both teams. The Bears lost Quarterback Jay Cutler to a torn groin muscle in their last game pre a bye, and by the time Cutler returns it’s conceivable that the Bears will have fallen out of contention for a playoff spot. Veteran Josh McCown will take the reins here in one of the toughest environments in the NFL. The Packers had a comfortable win over divisional rivals Minnesota last week, and here have another divisional Monday Night Football match up. Considering the amount of injuries they have they seem to find both new game plans and different ways of winning. Having only lost two games this season they should start as favourites here, and take advantage of Chicago’s loss of their main man.
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