Miami 24 Carolina 17
The Fish won without Ronnie Brown who is out for the year. Ricky Williams played both parts in leading the team to a critical win against the Panthers scoring 3 TDs. CR QB Delhomme was back to his normal production completing less than 50% of his passes and throwing as many TDs as picks.
Fish QB Henne did just enough to keep the ball moving to get the win.
Indy @ Baltimore
The Colts are playing well but Raven QB Flacco is more than capable of taking advantage of the injuries in the D backfield of the Colts. The Colts D has never been great at stopping the run and may end up struggling IF the Ravens can get their ground game going again. That depends on the health of both RBs Rice and McGahee. I would not be surprised if Baltimore will pull off the upset.
Atlanta @ NY Giants
Both of these teams need a win to stay in the NFC wild card race. The Falcons are in the worst shape being 4+ games behind the undefeated Saints. They have no chance to win the division and must win conference games to stay in the WC race. Right now they are tied with the Packers for the second WC spot. Both of their RBs are hurt but key reserve Norwood should be able to go. He and Snelling will share the running duties.
The Giants have injury problems of their own. QB Manning and RB Bradshaw both are hurting but will play. Manning has not been as effective since the injury to his foot. RB Jacobs seems to be a step slower than he was last year. There is no report of an injury but he is averaging only 4.1 per attempt which is much lower than his career average.
Manning’s problems have been as much the injury as his young inexperienced WRs. There have been a lot of drops which are drive killers. The O line has also failed to protect him and drive defenders to make room for the running game. As a unit they played much better last year.
The Giants D is still playing at a high level and they should win at home.
San Diego @ Denver
At one time Denver had a 3 game lead over the Chargers but after losing the last 3 games, they are now tied in the loss column. The Chargers need to beat the Broncos to clime out of 6th place in the second WC spot and into the division lead. They play KC and Cleveland in the next two games which should be 2 wins. The Chargers need to get their running game going because they need O balance. QB Rivers has done a lot with very little help. The D needs to put pressure on the Denver QB.
Denver isn’t sure if QB Orton will be able to play because of an ankle injury. If not, they will certainly lose with QB Simms at the helm.
This should be one of the best games of the week and I see the Chargers winning regardless of the Bronco QB.
NY Jets @ New England
Spygate II is always fun to watch. The Jets have fallen and they can’t get up. Pats win easily.
Philly @ Chicago
The Eagles need the win to stay in the 1st WC spot in the NFC. They were in the lead in the division until they lost to the Cowboys and the Chargers in the last two weeks. QB McNabb has fallen into bad habits as the O line has failed to protect him. He has also lost RB Westbrook for at least several weeks. That makes the Eagle O totally one dimensional.
The Bears have fallen out of the playoff picture for now. QB Cutler has been frustrated by the lack of playmakers he has to throw to. The running game with RB McCoy has struggled. The D has played well but can’t overcome the shut down of the D.
Even a loss to the Lions will not get Mangini fired.
There is a lot of chatter but Owner Lerner doesn’t have the stones to fire Mangini. He will let whoever he hires to oversee the team do it. The Lions win.
Nothing will come of the Cable ruckus.
Raider coach Cable will not be suspended for either his history of possible wife abuse nor the confrontation with Hansen.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .