Best NFL Week So Far (Plus 2006 NFL Pick of the Year)
by Scott Long
I haven't seen a schedule all year that sets up better than this week. Even have my first 5 star release of the year. Here we go.
5 star Tampa Bay(+14) Chicago
While Devin Hester continues to save the Bears on offense, something has been happening to the formerly stout D. It began when big play safety Mike Brown went out for the year. Now All-Pro caliber tackle Tommie Harris has joined him on the IR, while the other tackle run-stopper, Tank Johnson is facing illegal weapon charges and won't play against the Bucs. Tampa is better than their record, Gruden won't be stupid enough to kick to Hester, and the weather is warm for the Windy City, so that won't be a factor. At least, this is how I've convinced myself it will happen.
In the year of the rookie QB, I see 2 of them leading their teams to victories. Here's what I wrote about Vince Young on January 10.
As someone who has never been sold on Michael Vick, you might be surprised to know that I believe Vince Young can be an excellent NFL QB. Young is a leader and has the type of body that can absorb hits, two things I question about Micheal Vick.
The combination of Vince Young and Jeff Fisher's coaching have revived a team which might have been the worst squad in the NFL, just 8 weeks ago. The Jags are a very up and down team. After the biggest win the franchise has had since there early days when the Brunell-led Jags went into Denver and won a playoff game, this week screams for a major let-down.
Sure Cutler has struggled, but Shanahan will get the Broncos back on track. The AFC's superiority will shine again in this game, despite the quality play of another rookie QB formerly of USC, giving the Cardinals a chance.
3-Star Washington(+10) New Orleans
3-Star Kansas City(+9) San Diego
3-Star Indy(-3) Cincy
Here are 3 other games, with last week's game having a major say on what will happen this week.
The Saints look to be due for a letdown, after their perfect play vs. Dallas. The Chargers played a similar flawless game against Denver. The Colts come home with a game they should be inspired for considering that their run defense looked like Reginald Denny by the end of the game in Jacksonville. I suspect Bob Sanders comes back to fortify them against Rudi Johnson enough to win by at least a TD.
2-Star Cleveland(+12) Baltimore
I know I'm starting to look like a fool with my weekly shots at the Ravens, but I just don't believe they are as good as their record. This is too many points for them to cover.