Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos – Peyton Manning: 8 TD passes?
Peyton Manning already tied the NFL record for touchdown passes in a game, chucking seven against Baltimore in the opener. While he likely won’t have to against the Jacksonville Jaguars, their defense is so bad and his offense is so good (and at home) that he could easily claim the record outright with eight TD passes. That should set him up comfortably to reclaim the single-season record Tom Brady stole from him back in 2007 while pushing the Denver Broncos to 6-0.
Final score: DEN 56, JAC 21
Tennessee Titans at Seattle Seahawks – 12th man to the rescue
Jake Locker is out. Chris Johnson isn’t anything like the player he once was. That means Ryan Fitzpatrick must carry the Tennessee Titans with help from a solid defense against a Seattle Seahawks team that boasts the best secondary in football and by far the best home field advantage. After their ugly loss in Indianapolis, the Seahawks will welcome a return home and unless they suffer some kind of major letdown should ride defense and power running to another win and keeping their lead in the NFC West.
Final score: SEA 24, TEN 10
New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots – Jimmy Graham Cracked
One thing Bill Belichick does probably better than any other coach is taken away what a team does best on offense. That means the New England Patriots will have some NFL schemes ready to slow down New Orleans Saints star tight end Jimmy Graham. Whether it works will depend on the discipline of the defensive backs as well as help from the crowd in Foxborough. Tom Brady usually bounces back well from bad games. That doesn’t mean it will be easy against the Saints strong pass rush.
Final score: N.O. 21, N.E. 23
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers – Kaepernick in trouble
They may look recovered from their rough early start but the San Francisco 49ers aren’t out of the woods yet. Their defense just learned they might never get Aldon Smith back and their offense, mainly Colin Kaepernick still can’t find his rhythm. Help will certainly be needed from Frank Gore, but that is no guarantee against the stingy Arizona Cardinals defense. They rank 3rd in the league against the run and stand ready with Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu to challenge the weakened 49ers receivers. This one could degenerate into an ugly defensive brawl.
Final score: ARI 16, S.F. 14
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys – Robert Griffin III itching
Robert Griffin III must be licking his chops. After getting a win in Oakland, his Washington Redskins come out of the NFL bye week against a Dallas Cowboys pass defense that gives up an average of 326 yards per game. Griffin should be sharper than during the first weeks of the season and perhaps ready to use the mobility that has been missing from his game thus far. If so, Dallas doesn’t have the pieces to stay with him defensively. That means Tony Romo will have to score, breeding a classic shootout.
Final score: WAS 38, DAL 37
Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers – Philip Rivers bounce back
Lost in the hoopla over the running trends is that history might not say what some are thinking about this game. Philip Rivers, despite his frustrating night against Oakland, has played well in his career against the Indianapolis Colts. He’ll have home field advantage and brings plenty of experience facing a 3-4 defense. Andrew Luck has gotten bye more on ball control and moving the chains offense of late. It has worked wonders, but if forced can he match Rivers in a gunslinger matchup?
Final score: IND 21, S.D. 24