Well, folks, we learned quite a bit this past weekend. One thing is for certain: The Patriots and Tom Brady have plenty of life left in them. They’re also have classy cheerleaders, who donned Devon Still‘s jersey in support of his cancer-stricken four year old daughter, Leah. It brought tears to Still’s eye on the sideline and reminded us all to be #LeahStrong.
We also learned that Aaron Rodgers is back in the groove and up to his old mischief. He is simply unbelievable. How does someone in such a pass-happy NFL throw so many touchdowns and just ONE interception? Speaking of touchdowns, we learned that Peyton Manning is good at what he does. Manning threw his 500, 501, 502 and 503 touchdown this past Sunday, leaving him five shy of Brett Favre‘s record. Will he break it this week?
The Saints have a much needed bye this week. They had to fight back to beat the lowly Tampa Bay Suck-a-neers and Rob Ryan’s future has to be in question. The Kansas City Chiefs also have a rest week as they recover from a tough loss at San Francisco. That leaves 15 games on the menu. Which are the ones we should watch closest? That’s what I’m here for!
1. The Peyton Manning Show comes to NYC.
That’s not entirely accurate, as Manning will actually be in New Jersey. You know, New Jersey, where the New York Jets play? I think he knows someone that lives around the stadium he can crash with for the weekend, so no need to worry Broncos fans.
The Jets are a bad football team and they hit a season low this weekend in San Diego. Not only were they shut out, not only did little known rookie Branden Oliver rush for nearly as many yards as the Jets total offense gained, but they had to endure the sad truth about Michael Vick. Vick, who combined with Geno Smith to throw for 74 total yards on the day, looked old and half of the superhero he once was. The Jets are stuck in the Geno Smith Era and there is no hope on the horizon.
Manning needs five touchdowns to tie the all-time record and that means six more will have him stand alone as the best touchdown tosser to ever the step on the field. He has a sour taste in his mouth from his last trip to MetLife Stadium. That time he didn’t get the ring, so you can be sure he will try to light up The Meadowlands and shatter a record. This game won’t be fun to watch if you’re a Jets fan, but if you’re rooting for football immortality, there is definitely a chance that Manning drops five touchdowns to at least leave The Garden State tied as the all-time great.
2. Yippie Ki Yay, Mother…
Are the Cowboys for real? Is Tony Romo ready to lead the Cowboys back to glory and out of their current dark ages. They passed a big test this past Sunday defeating the Texans on the road in overtime. What’s that you say? The Cowboys were home? Well, why were all those Texans fans there? It lessened the blow of the overtime loss for this Texans fan knowing that we deflated Jer Jones own ego on his own turf.
Anyhoo, Romo is pissed about it as well. He also has the best running back in the NFL right now. DeMarco Murray is averaging nearly 130 yards on 5.2 yards a carry and one touchdown per game. This is allowing Romo to get in his comfort zone and be Tony Romo again. Dez Bryant and Terence Williams are benefiting, putting together nice seasons of their own. They have the fifth best offense in the league and the second best rushing offense.
You know who has the best rushing offense in football? The Seattle Seahawks. Do you know who has the best rushing defense in football? Same answer. You see how this is adding up to be a huge game. This isn’t the same Seahawks defense that won the Super Bowl last season, but they are still pretty darn good. Richard Sherman, who just made sure Pierre Garcon doesn’t matter, leads the Legion of Boom against a high flying Cowboys offense. The Seahawks are allowing an uncharacteristic 21 points a game this season, and the Cowboys offense, especially with the game breaking ability of Bryant, could find the chink in the Seahawks armor. The question will be can the Cowboys defense stop Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, because thus far, nobody has.
The Cowboys need this win to stay ahead as their division transforms from the NFC Least back to the NFC Beast it was once known as. Richard Sherman would love to shut down a premier receiver like Bryant and talk about it. You can be sure all eyes will be on Seattle this Sunday.
3. Will the real Tom Brady please stand up?
I know, Brady and the Patriots seem to make this list a lot, but let’s not kid ourselves. There is a large contingent of NFL fans that love to watch the Pats get spanked like they did two Mondays ago. Likewise, their is a huge Pats fan base that enjoys watching them lay the smacketh down as they did this past Sunday night. The Patriots are must watch TV and this week is no different.
The reason isn’t so much the Patriots but the upstart Buffalo Bills. They came out of the gates hot with an impressive come from behind win in Chicago. They now sit at 3-2 and could easily be at 4-1 if E.J. Manuel didn’t throw the game away in Houston. But that is neither here nor there as this is Kyle Orton‘s team now. Orton didn’t blow anyone away in his first start on the road in Detroit last week, but he held steady against the then best defense in the NFL and helped lead a big comeback. The Bills have a steady run attack that will improve with a quarterback that is actually a, well, quarterback under center. They have big weapons in Robert Woods and Sammy Watkins on the outside. As Orton gets more comfortable with them and the three come a better collective whole, CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson become more effective.
The Patriots roll into Ralph Wilson Stadium red hot after decimating the Bengals on Sunday Night Football. There is no coincidence that the Patriots best offensive performance came behind Rob Gronkowski and Shane Vereen‘s best game of the year. Those two players are game changers on an offense deprived of legitimate wide receivers. This game has huge implications as the winner will have sole possession of the AFC East. In a division this poor, every game matters.
Game of the Week: Giants at Philadelphia.
Honestly, when I looked at the schedule at the onset of the season, I thought this game would be flexed. Low and behold Ben McAdoo has given new life to this Giants offense and Billy Davis has transformed the Eagles defense into a powerhouse. Huh?
It’s true. Eli Manning may be having one of his finest season’s of his career (or at least the best since their last Super Bowl run) and the G-Men are clicking. The Eagles offense has yet to find it’s groove, but their defense is a scoring dynamo, whether it be through the return game or turnovers. A lot of people thought that the Eagles would run away with the East, but all of a sudden their week six matchup is for first place. That’s got Game of the Week material written all over it!
Survivor Pool Pick of the Week: Well, folks, if you rolled with my Seahawks lock, you, like myself are still alive and well. If you rolled with my gamble Cleveland Browns pick, you probably had to change your under shorts, but at the end of the day, you too are still alive. This week, San Diego at Oakland and Denver at the Jets seem to be locks. Problem is, a lot of people have already picked these two teams. So, for my weekly gamble pick (on which I am now 4-1 on the season) I say Rise Up with the Falcons. They have looked awful the past few weeks, but they are at home against a terrible Bears defense in dire need of a win. Matty Ice excels under the bright lights of the Georgia Dome, and he should handle the Bears with no problem. If they start to give Antone Smith the ball more, they should roll to victory with ease.