By Josh Satler www.profootball101.org
1. Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns. The Ken Dorsey led Browns head to Nashville to face the 11-1 Titans this Sunday. That’s right, I said Ken Dorsey. This has all the making of complete domination by the Titans’ D.
In addition to the top QBs being out, TE Kellen Winslow will also miss this game as well. Look for Tennessee to take away the running game and bring severe pressure after Dorsey which will result in sacks and turnovers.
2. Baltimore Ravens vs. Washington Redskins. The Skins have had trouble scoring lately and it won’t get any easier when the team heads to Baltimore on Sunday Night. The Ravens are in the thick of the play-off race and are the stingiest team against the run.
And as seen last Sunday vs. the Giants, when you can take RB Portis out of the game plan, the Redskins become very average. Look for another solid effort out of Baltimore.
3. Indianapolis Colts vs. Cincinnati Bengals. Even without star safety, Bob Sanders, the Colts’ defense has been a bright spot for this team over their five-game winning streak. And in last Sunday’s victory over the Browns, it was the fumble return of DE Robert Mathis for a TD that decided the game.
This week, they get the Bengals, a team that just scored three points at home to Baltimore. Look for another stellar performance out of Indianapolis.
4. Washington Redskins vs. Baltimore Ravens. This game is pretty much do or die for the Redskins in terms of their playoff chances. Sitting at 7-5, realistically they need to win out to have any shot at playing in January. And the one saving grace for the team this season has been the play of its defense.
Playing against Joe Flacco, who hasn’t looked like a rookie for weeks, we see the Skins getting after him and forcing him into errors. This should be a low-scoring game regardless.
1. Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins. It’s been a wild ride in the wrong direction for the Bills over the past month and a half. After beginning the season 5-1, the team currently sits at 6-6 and in last place.
Look for their defense to play a spirited effort in this game (played in Toronto) and for the front seven to get after Pennington.
2. Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams. The Cardinals are a completely different team at home than on the road and so are the Rams in that they’re much worse on the road.
The Cards will try and stack the line (of scrimmage) to take RB Jackson out of the game. If they can do this successfully, look for Bulger to be forced into a few errors from the pressure he receives from the defensive line.
Others with favorable matchups:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are no slouches, but Pittsburgh is as tough as anyone in the NFL. And having to potentially play without Marion Barber, we’d like the Steelers to be able to pressure Romo throughout the game and force the QB into a few interceptions.
2. Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins are sitting at 7-5 and very much alive in the play-off race. In this game, they have a chance to completely bury a division rival’s postseason chances and with Trent Edwards likely not being able to go, the Fins will get after Losman and Co.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers. This one is for all the marbles in the NFC South. The Buccaneers head to Carolina for a Monday Night showdown.
Tampa has historically played well against the Panthers and obliterated them 30-7 in their earlier season contest. Look for Tampa’s cover two to once again have a lot of success and for DeAngelo Williams to be held in check all night.