Look for Dunn and Vick to Lead The Falcons to Victory Sunday
By Yong-yi Zhu
ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR
Here’s what to expect in the next week of NFL play:
Game of the Week: Falcons at Panthers
The Panthers have only one running play of over 20 yards, last in the league. The Falcons, on the other hand, lead the league with 16 of them. Even though the Panthers have a better record, the Falcons are still going to pound down the Panthers’ defense. Falcons RB Warrick Dunn and QB Mike Vick are going to have a field day with their legs.
Upset Special: Bengals at Steelers
That onside kick at the beginning of the third quarter against the Colts was ill-advised for the Steelers. If they are going to make mistakes like that, they’re not going to make the playoffs. The Bengals hung tough against the Colts, the Steelers sputtered against them. I’m going to give the Bengals this game, because I don’t think Steelers QB Rothlisberger is 100 percent yet.
Broncos at Chiefs: The Bronco rushing offense is actually better than that of the Chiefs. Denver played a really tough game Thanksgiving Day, and they are on a roll. Their passing defense is nothing to boast about, but their rushing defense is absolutely dominant. The Broncos should win this one by a touchdown or more.
Bills at Dolphins: The Bills rushing didn’t appear against the Panthers. They need to do better this week if they are to beat the Dolphins. Miami will use its tandem of rushers to pound down the Bills and win by a field goal.
Cowboys at Giants: Both teams were overtime losers last week, and their stories were similar. I think the Cowboys are a better football team right now, especially seeing how they were able to keep Broncos QB Jake Plummer in check. They will win by a field goal.
Jaguars at Browns: The Jaguars better watch out because this is a major trap game. They know that Indy is coming to town next week, but the Browns game is just as critical to their playoff run. Without Byron Leftwich, the Jags are going to struggle in the passing game, which will hinder their running game as well. This might be an upset as the Browns have the potential to beat Jacksonville.
Vikings at Lions: Lions Coach Steve Marriocci is gone even though the Lions’ problems are not entirely his fault. This is not what the team needs at the moment. The Vikings are going to notch another win on their way to a potential playoff run.
Redskins at Rams: The Redskins need to rebound from their stretch of blowing games in the fourth quarter. The Rams have been just the opposite, really strutting their stuff in the fourth quarter against the Texans.
Jets at Patriots: The Patriots should be able to manage this game. They came off a tough loss against the Chiefs, but we saw that Tom Brady does not give up. They will still make the playoffs, before beating the Jets by two touchdowns on the way.
Raiders at Chargers: The Chargers need to be very careful against the Raiders. San Diego essentially needs to win all its remaining games to get to the playoffs, and they cannot look past these guys. The Chargers are playing incredibly well at the moment, so they should be able to pull out this victory behind the arm of QB Drew Brees and the legs of RB LaDanian Tomlinson.
Seahawks at Eagles: Seattle will dominate the Eagles. Philadelphia is done. They have no quarterback and no star wide receiver. The fall of the almost Super Bowl winners will be a swift and painful one.
Packers at Bears: The Bears defense will suffocate another victim. Even though the Packers won’t lose by much, they still won’t have a chance against this tough hitting Chicago team.
Texans at Ravens: How can you ever pick the Texans again after their colossal collapse against the Rams last week? Even Ravens QB Kyle Boller can pick apart this defense and win by a touchdown.
Buccaneers at Saints: The Bucs need to rebound from their anemic performance last week. The Saints are the perfect victims. New Orleans will lose by two touchdowns.
Cardinals at 49ers: Cards QB Kurt Warner is hot right now. He beat the Rams and almost took down the Jaguars as well. The pathetic 49ers are going to be his victims this week.
Titans at Colts: What we learned Monday night: nobody will beat the Colts this year. Case closed.