I'm 2-0, after picking both Carolina and Baltimore to win on Saturday. The Cardinals have nothing to be ashamed of for their 2014 season. They were simply in a game their woeful third string quarterback couldn't handle. Their ride ended, but Arizona has some great pieces to build around for 2015. Carolina won't get past their next opponent, and don't buy into their defense being able to handle a top shelf offense.
Baltimore has been my quiet Super Bowl favorite in the AFC for some time now. They aren't going to "WOW" anyone, but their key mistake level is low. The Ravens defense has some young talent, and they're playing at a high level. Good coaching brings out the best, and it's showing in Baltimore...
Today, the Cincinnati Bengals face the Indianapolis Colts. The Bengals have been hit and miss most of the year. Questions about quarterback Andy Dalton aren't going away anytime soon, but he gets the job done. For the Colts, it all comes down to Andrew Luck, which isn't a bad thing at all if you're an Indianapolis fan. The game will hinge of the Colts offensive line, and the Bengals' front seven. Don't discount the possible loss of A.J. Green for the Bengals, who is listed as "doubtful" for today's game.
The Bengals hold off a late comeback attempt by Andrew Luck, who passes for 375+ yards. Cincinnati wins in a close one: 31-30
The Lions and the Cowboys game falls on a "Gravity Works! Day", commemorating the fall back to Earth of Sputnik I in 1958... Yes, I really had to reach for this one, but I find it rather prescient because one of these "riding high" teams is going to fall... The Cowboys have been just as surprising as the Arizona Cardinals were in 2014, if not more so. No one - and I mean zip, zilch, nada - thought the Cowboys would be a good team this season. But the rise of a healthy DeMarco Murray, and their offensive line, helped make Dallas a formidable foe.
The Lions are... What? Seriously, outside of the addition of Golden Tate, they're the same team on a different day, right? Wrong! Head coach Jim Caldwell is the guy who may very well have found the formula to transition the Lions from being perennially dysfunctional to viability. If he could just get some of his players to not step on people? (See Dominic Raiola and Ndamukong Suh)
Detroit matches up well against Dallas, but they'll be playing in front of a hostile Cowboys' home crowd, right? Oddly enough, while Dallas has played well at home against some marginal teams, they've struggled against top opponents who feature - wait for it - great defenses at A.T.&T. Stadium. The Lions have a very good front seven, and a much improved secondary. Their defensive coordinator - Teryl Austin - is a hot, flavor of the week head coaching candidate, so he'll be auditioning today for a possible new gig after the season ends.
Filling in for an injured Tony Romo - Suh bites him and he heads to the hospital at half time for a Rabies shot - Brandon Weeden holds things together long enough to win. Cowboys: 42-38
Enjoy the games!