Even though this year has sucked for more reasons that I can recount in a football post, I will fondly remember this year as the one in which first time quarterbacks really had a chance to shine. Cody Kessler has played solid for the Browns, but Kevin Hogan coming off the bench truly bamboozled the Bengals defense. Cleveland is a perfect 0-7, but no team offers as much fun while losing as the Brownies do. Settling down after a wild beginning, Carson Wentz was fairly solid against the best defense in the NFL, handing the Vikings their first loss. Wentz is now 5-2. That's not bad for a rookie, especially a rookie from a NoDak FCS college. Both Trevor Siemian and Dak Prescott are 5-1 in their NFL starts. Yes, I know. Siemian has that Broncos D covering his worthlessness, and Prescott hides behind the NFL's best offensive line handing off to Ezekiel Elliot. Wrong attitude, people. A good quarterback is one who plays to his team's strengths to get solid victories. The best do so under the worst of pressures. Siemian knows that Paxton Lynch is seen as the 'future of the franchise'. He doesn't care. He is so very calm in controlling the flow of the game, while keeping control of the ball. It is being said that he is too cautious, and only dinks and dunks relying on the running game. Uhh, 27 to 9 against a very good NFL defense is hard to argue with in the value of controlling the game. Prescott is flashier, and likely has a higher ceiling than Siemian. Still, both of those young men play under the pressure of hard acts to follow. Prescott has the shadow of Tony Romo breathing down his neck in every game. Siemian follows the Greatest Quarterback of All Time, with Kubiak and Elway constantly waiting to replace him with the Elway clone, Lynch. The Eagles were smart in trading Bradford away. Wentz knows his worth and future. Siemian and Prescott, not so much.
This is why I love football. Humans are striving for greatness, and unlike most of us have a petulant metric with which to measure it. I'm loving the journeys of these three young men, and can't wait to see all 3 make the playoffs in their first starting years.
Jacksonville (2-4) at Tennessee (3-4) - Titans
The Jaguars just can't seem to get it together.
Washington (4-3) at Cincinnati (3-4) from London AGAIN - Bengals
As always, you are welcome to disagree with me, but I find these games from the UK to be annoying marketing stunts, and really wish they would go away.
Kansas City (4-2) at Indianapolis (3-4) - Chiefs
Solid defense against no defense.
Arizona (3-3-1) at Carolina (1-5) -Panthers
Home team, and I really can't see them going anywhere but up.
Oakland (5-2) at Tampa Bay (3-3) - Buccaneers
Risky pick of the week. But the Raiders seem to have problems on the east coast.
Seattle (4-1-1) at New Orleans (2-4) - Seahawks
They play Brees well.
Detroit (4-3) at Houston (4-3) - Lions
They're finding ways to win.
New England (6-1) at Buffalo (4-3) - Hatriots
New York Jets (2-5) at Cleveland (0-7) - Jets
Now that the Fitzpatrick curse has been appeased, he'll play well for a while.
San Diego (3-4) at Denver (5-2) - Broncos
Not in our house.
Green Bay (4-2) at Atlanta (4-3) - Falcons
I just can't trust Green Bay yet.
Philadelphia (4-2) at Dallas (5-1) - Dallas
The Philly D is coming on, but they will be tested by Prescott and Elliot.
Minnesota (5-1) at Chicago (1-6) - Vikings
Especially if Cutler is back.
Byes: Miami, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, New York Giants, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Last Week's Score: 8 - 7, 53%, Overall: 64 - 43, 60%