Bengals: After looking very solid against the Steelers in Week 3, many predicted that the Bengals would roll over the Browns in Week 4. Instead, it took
Cleveland @ Buffalo – 1:00 CBS
Browns: Just when I thought the Browns would shock us all and hammer out a tough win, they went and let Carson Palmer of all people run on them. However, what I saw last week was a rejuvenated squad who seemed to respond to their new (and old in a sense) starter under center. While Derek Anderson wasn’t exactly Peyton Manning, he did pass for over 250 yards and a touchdown. He also clearly benefited from Jerome Harrison’s strong day consisting of over 150 total yards. However, with Braylon Edwards now gone and Chansi Stuckey on the roster, one has to wonder who is going to step up for the team at receiver. Brian Robiskie is sure to get more playing time, but essentially their best receiver (besides Stuckey) is either Mohamed Massaquoi (eight catches, 149 yards in Week 4) or Mike Furrey. Not exactly who you want catching balls for your squad as they search for their first win. It’ll be interesting to see who becomes the go-to-guy in
Bills: I honestly thought that the Bills would take it to the Dolphins.
Steelers: The Steelers defense clearly misses Troy Polamalu. In what should have been a blowout game against
Lions: Matthew Stafford looked fantastic against
Redskins: After debating back and forth for weeks, I have fully come to believe that this year will be Jason Campbell’s last in
Panthers: I think that a bye week is exactly what
Cowboys: Nothing soothes the overrated quarterback’s soul after a bitter loss more than a matchup with the Chiefs in his next game. Tony Romo should be thanking his chosen higher power all week for getting this game in Week 5. Romo overthrew his receivers all day against
Chiefs: They may have only lost to the Giants by nine points last week, but the Chiefs were nowhere close to winning the game. Their defense turned Eli Manning into a clone of his brother, and despite throwing two touchdown passes Matt Cassel looked pretty un-franchise quarterback like yet again. I think it’s time for the franchise to just pull the plug on Larry Johnson though. L.J. averaged 2.9 yards per carry last week (18 rushes for 53 yards) while Jamaal Charles gained 24 yards on just two touches. On the season, Charles is averaging more yards per carry and per catch than Johnson. The Chiefs will lose size if Charles becomes the starter, but having L.J. as a goal line/down-and-short back wouldn’t be a bad thing. Todd Haley needs to do something to steady his team’s ship somewhat and Charles could be the answer.
Buccaneers: How much longer can Raheem Morris keep Josh Freeman on the bench? While keeping your rookie quarterback on the sidelines in his first year to learn the system is ideal, the fact of the matter is that he can’t be learning anything watching Josh Johnson take snaps. Johnson threw for 106 yards and averaged less than five yards per completion against
Eagles: Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook should be back for the team which could mean one of two things: either they excel and the Eagles see no drop off from their Week 3 win over Kansas City (they had a bye in Week 4) or the offense has trouble moving the ball and the QB/RB controversies begin amongst the Philly fans. While head coach Andy Reid clearly has remained loyal to McNabb throughout his 11 years in
Vikings: I refuse to buy into the Brett Favre love fest, but he absolutely wowed me on Monday night. However, the most impressive part of it to me was the fact that he was able to put up a QB rating of 135.3 and three touchdowns while Adrian Peterson did absolutely nothing on the ground. AP was held to 2.2 yards per carry and had a football ripped out of his arms at one point in what was clearly his most lackluster game of the season. Favre’s offensive line protected him very well and he spread the ball to eight different receivers over the course of the game. Even Sidney Rice put up 70 yards and a score. This win showed me that Favre still has something left in the tank, and if he was able to do that against
Rams: The Rams were shut out for the second time by an NFC West opponent this season on Sunday and showed no signs of going anywhere fast. I thought that Kyle Boller might be a little bit of an improvement over Marc Bulger, but I was so far off. Boller barely threw for 100 yards and had one interception, which left Rams’ fans wondering what to do next. Steven Jackson has been the only consistently decent player on the team this year, but the lack of a passing attack is allowing defenses to hone in on the backfield and limit him.
Raiders: The Raiders are officially the worst offense in the league statistically and that fact won’t be helped by Darren McFadden’s meniscus injury that will keep him out 2-4 weeks. McFadden had been less than stellar anyway, but if there was one bright spot of hope for this team, it was their running back. Michael Bush will become the starter now, and so far this year Bush has averaged four yards-per-carry and has found the endzone once. The team will lose some speed, but gaining more power could allow them to throw a bit of a curveball to the Giants. By no means will
Falcons: Matt Ryan’s statistics right now are a little misleading. He ranks 26th in the league in passing yards, but the guy is one of four quarterbacks who have only played in three games this season because of an early bye. In reality, right now the only signal callers that rank ahead of Ryan in QB rating are the Manning brothers, Drew Brees, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. That’s some pretty elite company. However, the one thing that worries me is that when he finally played a decent team in New England in Week 3 (after facing off against Miami and Carolina), Ryan came up short, throwing for just 199 yards and not a single touchdown. This week,
49ers: Shaun Hill continues to do just enough to get his team wins. On top of that, Glen Coffee (despite averaging just 3.1 yards per carry) capably filled in for Frank Gore, racking up 106 total yards. One of the main reasons that San Francisco continues to roll on though is the emergence of Vernon Davis, who continues to live up to his pre-2006 draft hype this year. Offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye is known for featuring tight ends in his offense, and Davis has responded by becoming the third-best TE in fantasy football through four weeks and is sixth among all tight ends in yards (behind Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates, Chris Cooley, Brent Celek and Jason Witten).
Cardinals: The one thing that has surprised me most from the Cardinals this year is not their 1-2 record or their league-worst running game, but actually their receivers and lack of production. Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston were all 1,000-yard receivers last year and Fitzgerald was a Top 5 pick in some fantasy leagues. As of right now, Fitz leads the team in receiving yards, but only has 181 of them (good enough for 44th in the league). Meanwhile, Boldin actually has one less receiving yard than running back Tim Hightower. If the team wants any chance at catching/keeping up with
New England @ Denver – 4:15 CBS
Patriots: The Patriots backfield has been a black hole for fantasy owners, and that fact becomes even truer when they are facing a solid run defense. Against the league’s top defense in
Broncos: Kyle Orton is rated as the ninth-best quarterback in football right now. He hasn’t thrown an interception yet compared to five touchdowns, and last week he even got Brandon Marshall involved in the game for once. This
Jaguars: Wow Jacksonville really opened my eyes last week. I thought that
Seahawks: It seems as if Matt Hasselbeck’s ribs haven’t gotten any better in his time off and it looks like Seneca Wallace will be getting another start this week. Wallace did throw for over 250 yards against
Colts: This is just going to be an ugly Sunday night game. I’m sure the network executives at NBC were drooling when they got this matchup in the offseason, but now it’s going to be Peyton Manning and his league-best QB rating facing off against Tennessee’s league worst pass defense. Manning leads the league in passing yards as well and is also tied for the league lead in passing touchdowns. He has thrown for over 300 yards in each of his first four games and I see no reason for that trend to change this week. This is going to be one of those games where you just sit back and be thankful that you get to watch an artist like Peyton work his magic because quarterbacks like him are once in a lifetime.
Titans: Last week, everyone said that the Titans were in a must-win situation because surely there is no way that they can start off 0-4 and still make the playoffs. Well,
New York Jets @ Miami – Monday, 8:30 ESPN
Jets: The acquisition of Braylon Edwards could make this team a lot more dynamic down the line, but despite the fact that Edwards will be starting on Monday night I don’t see how he could have any impact until a couple weeks from now. We all remember how Roy Williams looked after being traded in the regular season from
Dolphins: After starting out 0-3, I was sure that