Here’s how this weekend will go:
Baltimore vs. Tennessee– People have drawn parallels for this game, and the best one for me is the Giants/Ravens Super Bowl that Kerry Collins lost. I love Jeff Fisher as much as almost anyone, but the problem for him is that the Ravens’ D will be ready for everything Jeff throws at them. Collins may throw a decent deep ball (the way you beat the Ravens), but they don’t have a bona fide deep threat to make them pay.
How it will go: The game stays somewhat close, but Baltimore stays in control until a turnover in the 2nd half gives Baltimore firm control and it coasts from there.
Arizona vs. Carolina– Arizona won their Super Bowl last week, and while I like them with a healthy, non-traumatized Boldin much more than I do now, they’re still going down to a Carolina team that has more overall talent and the D that will make Warner and the Cardinals’ o-line make mistakes throughout the game, allowing them to handle it clearly.
How it will go: Carolina takes control on a turnover with the lead holding around two scores, with Stewart and Deangelo bleeding the life out of the redbirds.
Philadelphia vs. New York– We begin Coaching Sunday with an absolutely amazing coaching mis-match, which is semi-ironic because one of these coaches was on the precipice of being fired a little over a year ago, and it wasn’t Andy Reid. The game could end up with special teams playing a major, major factor, but I see clock management being a much bigger issue.
How it will go: It should stay close for most of the game, but the Eagles don’t have a #1 WR either and the Giants’ D is disciplined enough and talented enough to pull it out in the late 3rd/early 4th.
San Diego vs. Pittsburgh: I see the logic some people are using in thinking the Chargers keep this close, but I look at the sidelines and see Norvall and Tomlin and there is no doubt in my mind. Sproles is a good player, but Pittsburgh’s D is so much better than Indy’s, and the Chargers playing on the road in the slog will make them vulnerable for a Rivers mistake, and Scifres won’t have the requisite conditions to Ray Guy another game.
How it will go: The Steelers will hold a small lead into half-time, and then take control with an emotional 3rd quarter, leading to a Rivers force and a misleading final score.