Welcome to the start of a weekly prediction column I will be writing for Arch City Sports. To make things as simple to follow, I will only be covering 4-5 games a week. Those games being any game you see on prime time and the local team to Arch City Sports, which is the St. Louis Rams.
Thursday Night Football
The NFC North is easily the most exciting division in the NFL after the first four weeks. It is the only division that does not have a team with a losing record. This game changes that. Both the Packers and Viking are sitting at 2-2. One of the biggest surprises of the season is the Packers slow start. Getting blown out by the Seahawks, almost dropping a game to the Jets, and not being able to capitalize on a key division game against the Lions, it looked like the Bears were going to be able to roll the Packers at home. Instead, Rodgers came alive and put the offense back on track in big fashion. The Vikings have been riddled in controversy since week 2. Somehow, without their star running back, the Vikings are still ranked 8th in rushing. However, when it comes to the Vikings, they sit in the middle of the pack in defense. This could honestly go either way, but with reports of Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater nursing an ankle injury, and Christian Ponder as a backup, I have trouble believing the Vikings can go into Lambeau and steal a win. I also believe Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are back to a strong offensive form. Packers take a shot at the top of the North, 28-10.
The Local Team
The Arch City Sports home team is coming off a bye after a heartbreaking loss to the Cowboys. The Eagles are coming off the first loss of the season after being exposed by the 49ers. Just using an eyeball test I could easily call this one for the Eagles. But let me remind you of a couple interesting stats. The Rams are ranked in the top ten in passing yards, compared to the Eagles who are ranked 23rd in pass defense. The Rams also have the third best passing defense. One of the scariest stats for the Rams is their 30th rank in the rush defense. But even with LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles, the Eagles are only 26 in rushing yards so far. If anything puts me off, it is that this is a road game for the Rams, and they are notorious for being bad on the road. But the numbers don’t lie and Austin Davis should have new-found confidence now that he knows the job is his. I actually expect Davis to have a break out game and lead this team to a major upset. Rams steal a tough road game, 28-27
Sunday Night Football
The Patriots are not playing like they have the last ten years. Ranked 30th in pass yards and 29th in total yards, the constant question of what happened to Tom Brady has been brought up a plenty the last couple days. Their Monday Night game against the Chiefs was embarrassing on such a public scale. If there is anything they can be proud of, it is their defense, allowing only the fourth least amount of yards in the league. And their pass defense ranks second to none. I think this is a classic case of a team on the rise facing a team on the fall. The Bengals are one of two teams left who remain undefeated and a large part of that is due to the Bengals stars getting more comfortable together. It seems all pieces work for the Bengals, who now leads the league in net points and they have stars at each of their skill positions. Any other year, I say there is no way the Patriots drop one at home to the Bengals, but going forward I think we are watching one of the most dominant teams in the AFC. Bengals continue to make the league take notice, and win big in prime time 34-14.
Monday Night Football
Last week Kirk Cousins looked sloppy against the Giants. No other way to put it. Causing five turnovers by himself, it is said the former back up QB is not the answer Washington was hoping for. Meanwhile on the other side of the ball, the Seahawks were able to bounce back from a devastating final drive from one P.Manning and execute one the prettiest drives I have ever seen, beating the Broncos in over time. If anything gives me pause about picking Washington, it is their defense. They are a lot better than most give them credit for, only allowing an average of 87 rush yards a game; it will be an interesting match up against top running back Marshawn Lynch. While the pass defense looks as if they are struggling a bit, they did just come off back to back games against two of the top passers in the league in Phillip Rivers and the for mentioned Peyton Manning respectively, I expect a very tough Seahawks defense to take advantage of the young backup quarterback, 21-3.
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