New York Jets @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals didn’t show much on Sunday night but they were trying for a while and the Jets dominated them. The Jets have the best defense in the league statistically and it wasn’t even close. They also have the best running game in the league. If the Jets get behind early I don’t see how they can win with Mark Sanchez at QB, but I think Thomas Jones, Brad Smith and Shonn Greene run all over the Bengals and lead the Jets to victory.
Matt: Jets 27 Bengals 17
Ryan: Bengals 21 Jets 20
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
It’s hard enough to beat a team twice in the same season, let alone 3 times. The Eagles looked awful last week but there isn’t a better coach at getting his team to the Conference Championship (and then losing that game) than Andy Reid. I don’t really trust Donovan McNabb but I don’t trust the Cowboys either especially their wide receivers. Expect Sean McDermott, the Eagles Defensive Coordinator to step it up this week and call a much better game.
Matt: Eagles 31 Cowboys 27
Ryan: Eagles 28 Cowboys 24
Balitmore Ravens @ New England Patriots
The Ravens had more hard luck losses this year than any team I can think of and being in those situations all year should help them out a lot. The lack of Wes Welker on offense for the Patriots will also help the Ravens a lot. The Pats will use Julian Edelman the same way they used Wes Welker but expect him to only catch 70% of the balls Welker caught throughout the season. Welker was near the top of the league with a 76% catch/target ratio but I would expect Edelman to be closer to ~60%. Look for Ray Rice and Willis McGahee to run the ball 40 times this game.
Matt: Ravens 24 Patriots 21
Ryan: Patriots 30 Ravens 27
Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals played extremely well in January last season, especially the defense. Last year they tore apart Falcons rookie QB Matt Ryan but I don’t think a QB is playing better than second year starter Aaron Rodgers. If the Packers can keep Rodgers off his back they can not only win this game, they can win the Super Bowl. This game will be a lot closer than the game last week in Arizona but I think the difference makers in this game are Anquan Boldin (if he plays, otherwise Early Doucet) and Tim Hightower. They will need to step up and catch 15 balls between them. If they can do that the Cardinals can win this game, but I think the injury to Boldin hurts the Cardinals a lot this game.
Matt: Packers 27 Cardinals 23
Ryan: Cardinals 31 Packers 28