Sep 29, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) waves as he leaves the field following the win over the Philadelphia Eagles at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Eagles 52-20. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals – Carson Palmer in trouble
The key matchup of this game isn’t hard to see. The Arizona Cardinals just traded their left tackle to Pittsburgh from an offensive line that already wasn’t that good to begin with. Meanwhile the Carolina Panthers boast one of the best defensive lines in the NFL headlined by Greg Hardy, Charles Johnson and Star Lotulelei. Unless Bruce Arians has a secret plan for protecting Carson Palmer, then this game isn’t hard to predict.
Final score: CAR 24, ARI 13
Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys – Tony Romo takes Manning challenge
Who’s next in line? That is what the Denver Broncos offense is asking at this point because nobody has stopped them yet. Monte Kiffin and the Dallas Cowboys get the next crack but they have no reason to feel confident. Philip Rivers just lit them up for 31 points and they likely won’t have key pass rusher Anthony Spencer for the rest of the season. Unless Tony Romo can match Peyton Manning score for score, this game maintains the status quo.
Final score: DEN 42, DAL 28
Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers – Arian Foster vs. Frank Gore
Two teams with a lot of questions swirling about their legitimacy as Super Bowl contenders. The Houston Texans come in desperate to avenge their collapse against Seattle while the San Francisco 49ers are simply trying to right the ship on offense as their defense deals with some key injuries and losses. This game should be interesting because the teams are so similar in their approaches. It could come down to which one is able to establish the run.
Final score: HOU 23, SF 21
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders – Who can stop Philip Rivers?
Stability at the quarterback position is all important in this matchup. Philip Rivers is on a hot streak for the San Diego Chargers while the Oakland Raiders lost one quarterback to a concussion and demoted another after an ugly start against Washington. If Terrelle Pryor starts they may have a chance given the questionable Chargers defense but otherwise it’s hard seeing the Raiders stop Rivers.
Final score: SD 30, OAK 20
New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons – Geno Smith must limit mistakes
Two teams that are very hard to figure out through four weeks. The New York Jets are 2-2 and getting remarkably uneven play from rookie quarterback Geno Smith while the Atlanta Falcons have battled injuries and unfortunate finishes to reach 1-3. New York also can’t seem to stop playing sloppy football by turning it over and drawing lots of penalties. Such undisciplined NFL play won’t result in many wins, especially in a tough place to play like the Georgia Dome.
Final score: NYJ 17, ATL 27