Green Bay vs Houston
The season is already in week 6 and as the season wares on there is one undefeated team in the Houston Texans, and several teams with subpar records. The Texans appear to have separated themselves from the rest of the league. The Texans have defense, a running game, and a passing game. The Texans face a struggling Packers team at 2-3 on Sunday night, the Packers have faced all kinds of adversity this year, this is a huge test for Green Bay. So will this game have a lot of big plays or will this game be won on the defensive side of the ball. Green Bay needs to shore up their defense after a lack luster performance last week. The Texans defense took a blow on that side of the ball with Cushing’s season injury, although this will impact what the Texans do defensively they will still be a tough defense to score on. Green Bay needs to step up and play a complete game. The Packers lack a running with Cedric Benson out for at least 8 weeks, can Alex Green by the guy to carry the load, only time will tell. I am not going to talk about each and every matchup, but I will highlight a few games of interest to me. Keys to a Packer win, stop the run and get pressure on Schaub so he can’t beat you down the field, control the line of scrimmage to allow Rodgers to run the offense, the Wide Receivers need to work harder to get open and try to get some kind of running game going. The Packer defense still tends to give up big plays on defense, they will need to play more consistent and get off the field on 3rd and long. The Keys to a Texan win, establish the run against a Packer defense that is susceptible to the run and still tends to have big gaffs on defense. The Texans will be missing Brian Cushing the rest of the year, I don’t think the Texans will call defense any different with him out Bradie James will take over at that position. If the Texans can take advantage in the screen game it could be a long night for the Packers defense.
Key Match-ups this week
Baltimore vs Dallas
The Cowboys have big play ability, but are so inconsistent on offense and the defense seems like it is playing from behind. The Ravens defense is as good as they have ever been, and I like the Ravens to win this one going away. Joe Flacco is playing really well and should have a big day through the air with the big play ability of Torrey Smith; Ray Rice should be able to run on the Cowboys D. Tony Romo will have his hands full going against a stingy Ravens secondary. I don’t see the Cowboys running on the Ravens defense, they are one of the best at stopping the run. The Cowboys could make a statement this week if they can keep the turnovers to a minimum against the Ravens and come out with a Victory. If the Ravens take advantage of the aggressive rush by the Cowboys they will win going away.
Philadelphia vs Detroit
The Eagles come into this game 3-2 and have not been very impressive on offense, the main reason is Mr. Vick is struggling; he has been careless with the football. The Eagles will have to take better care of the ball if they want to right the ship. The Lions come into this game with a record of 1-3 and haven’t done much of anything to stop opposing teams this season. The Lions had high expectations coming into the season after making the playoffs last season. Matthew Stafford isn’t playing bad, but he is still injury prone, his shoulders are damage goods if you ask me. The Lions have to play better defensively and establish a running game, their secondary is not very good, and the Eagles should have a big day against the Lions secondary. The keys to victory for Eagles, don’t implode, and protect the ball. Mike Vick has to play better, although they are 3-2 they could very easily be 1-4. The Eagles secondary should contain Calvin Johnson, and everything else should fall in place for the victory. The Lions have to protect better and keep Mike Vick in check and force him in to mistakes to win.
NY Giants vs San Francisco 49ers
The Giants are 3-2 and the 49ers are 4-1, this should be about the same game we saw last year, although I believe the Giants have actually improved their offense by subtraction, but so have the 49ers. Can Alex Smith take that next step in a game that will be one of the bigger games he has played in this year. The 49ers running attack is stout as is the Giants, the Passing game is about the same with these two teams. I have to give the edge to Eli in this matchup, if he limits his interceptions the Giants will come out on top. Can the Giants force the 49ers into a one dimensional team forcing Alex Smith to beat them. The 49ers defense should be in Eli’s face most of the game, he will have to get the ball out of his hands early and often. The Giants are 2nd in points and yards, 3rd in Passing yards per game and 12th in rushing. The Giants will face their toughest test this season facing a 49ers defense ranked 1st in points allowed, 2nd in yards and passing yards and 7th against the rush. The Giants will have a tough test in stopping the rush as the 9ers have the best rushing attack in the league, the key to a Giants win will be to stop the rush and put the game in Alex Smith’s hands. The Giants can win this game with Eli in the passing game, controlling the line of scrimmage will be key to stopping the pass rush by the 49ers. I look for this to be an evenly matched game and with the 49ers playing at home I look for them to win by 3 in an exciting rematch of the NFC Championship game.
The Minor details of Football
I like to think that when I watch a football game I am going to see the best from all players on the field. I have noticed over the past several weeks of the season there are several things that have bothered me when I watch a game.
What happened to tackling the guy with the ball instead of lowering your shoulder and trying to put a big time hit on an opposing player, most of the time the opposing player bounces off the guy trying to knock him down with his shoulder resulting in more positive yards. It’s time these guys start wrapping up and tackle someone; also players trying to strip the ball opposed to just tackling the opposing player is another way for the other team to get positive yards.
The NFL has tried to make the game safe by making it almost impossible to touch the Quarterback, although their heart is in the right place these guys aren’t any different than anyone else on the field. I understand the fact that the Quarterback is usually what makes a team tick, but let’s get rid of the brushing of the facemask as a personal foul. Granted there are guys who are out to hurt someone by launching themselves and spearing another player with their helmet. So start making the correct calls, I think we as fans of the game would be happier with the calls if they were consistent when dealing with the Roughing the Quarterback Personal fouls type of calls.
Everyone likes the big hit, and no one wants to see a hit cause a serious injury, but come on Refs let’s start calling the game with consistency in all aspects of the game.
Why do defenses start playing a zone defense in 3rd and long situations, your defense is just basically giving the opposing team a higher percentage to convert the 3rd down into a first down. Why not play your pressure defense on 3rd and long or play man-to-man defense and force the issue, instead of giving them a higher rate to convert on 3rd down.
The play calling can be so predictable sometimes, 1st down run, 2nd down, pass and 3rd and long pass; teams have a better chance to move the chains if you pass on first down in my opinion. I think it will open up the playbook more if you start out passing, it kind of loosens up the defense