The fifth week of the NFL season is upon us. As the season continues to shake out, separating the contenders from the pretenders, the big news is Tom Brady’s return to play against Bill Belichik’s “old” team the Cleveland Browns. Anyone who’s paid attention to Brady and the Browns should expect this one to be a clinic on how to destroy a weak opponent.
New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns 1:00pm CBS
Facing a team that many consider the elite gold standard of pro ball without your starting quarterback certainly wasn’t Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson’s idea coming into this season.
Statistically, Cleveland has outperformed New England so far this season, but the one stat that counts, wins, is a big goose egg for the Browns. If they manage to change that today, the Any Given Sunday rule will never ring more true.
Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens 1:00pm FOX
Kirk Cousins takes his Redskins 45 minutes up I-95 to take on the area rival Baltimore Ravens. While neither team was a projected Super Bowl contender, both have the potential to be in the mix when January rolls around.
Two proud teams with five NFL Championships between them and the bragging rights for the entire DC-Baltimore metroplex on the line should make this the day’s best inter conference match-up.
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions 1:00pm FOX
The game tape continues to pile up on rookie phenom Carson Wentz, but it remains to be seen if an opposing defensive coordinator can find a way to shut him down. The Philadelphia Eagles, alongside the Minnesota Vikings, are the sole remaining undefeated teams in the NFC.
Matthew Stafford wants nothing more than to come out of this game as the best quarterback to take the field in Michigan today, but his support cast is struggling for answers in the wake of Calvin Johnson’s retirement. Expect a lot of fireworks in this one.
Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts 1:oopm FOX
Da Bears continue their tour of AFC South towns as they prepare to take the field against an equally lost Indianapolis Colts franchise. Neither team has their arrow pointing up at the moment. Chances are, if you’re not a fan of either team this game will only interest you as the teams’ fortunes affect the other franchises in their divisions.
Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins 1:00PM CBS
Another battle of teams struggling to find their direction takes place in the storm ravaged city of Miami. Hurricane Matthew appears to have left the stadium in good shape after the NFL contemplated relocating and/or rescheduling this game earlier in the week.
Tennessee is coming off a loss to Houston and Miami is reeling from the smack down Cincinnati put on them last Sunday. While the Dolphins roster carries more talent, neither team has managed to put together a convincing performance this season. Maybe today is the day one of them does just that.
Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings 1:00pm CBS
In what many are calling the game of the week, 3-1 Houston enters the brand new US Bank stadium to take on the undefeated Vikings and their Purple Reign defense. With both offenses struggling to do anything highlight worthy this season, and two defenses that are stifling opponents, expect this one to turn on a bad call or mental mistake. Like an old west gunfight, the first team to blink will lose this one.
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00pm CBS
This game simply comes down to answering two questions, with those answers dictating who wins.
Can Ryan Fitzpatrick stop throwing interceptions like he’s Matt Schaub reincarnated? Can the Jets defense slow down the Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown air show?
Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos 4:05pm FOX
While many in the national media are calling the Texans/Vikings the Game of the Week, here at Red Zone Play we’re calling the Falcons/Broncos the battle of the season.
A renewed Matt Ryan and his historically good Falcons offense take on the reigning Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and his championship defense.
Atlanta is averaging 478.8 yards per GAME. Read that again and let it sink in.
The record for a total season is 467.1 by the New Orleans Saints in 2011.
The Falcons have also hung 45+ points on their last two opponents ands are averaging 38 points per game so far this season. Unless defensive guru Wade Phillips has something up his sleeve no one else has been able to think of, Denver is going to have it’s hands full trying to stay in this one. But if Von Miller can get on a roll, the Falcons may come crashing down to earth, albeit a mile high up…
Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys 4:25pm CBS
Yet another interconference matchup pits two teams vying for playoff contention as the Cowboys rookie led offense will try their best to overcome a swarming Bengal defense. The Cowboys D will have a much tougher row to hoe attempting to slow down the Andy Dalton to A.J. Green connection that’s racked up nearly 500 yards so far this season.
Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams 4:25pm CBS
In the “What Should We Expect From These Two” bowl, the Buffalo Bills – fresh off a shocking shutout of the New England Patriots in Foxborough last week – take on the surprising NFC West Division leading Los Angeles Rams. While Jeff Fisher and Rex Ryan often come up in the “How does this guy keep getting head coaching gigs” conversations around water coolers across the nation, they’re both finding ways to win and validating why they have the jobs they hold.
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders 4:25 CBS
Speaking of Los Angeles, two teams who used to call LA home renew their AFC West division rivalry today in the Oakland Black Hole. While the Chargers are stumbling and bumbling their efforts to win and encourage their fan base to pony up for a new stadium, the Raiders are making the best of their last year in the worst stadium in the league, finding ways to Just Win Baby before they potential ride off into the desert to turn Las Vegas into the newest home of the Black Hole.
As always when these two meet, expect fireworks, royal rumbles, penalties and possibly an ejection under the new personal foul rules.
New York Giants at Green Bay Packers 8:30pm NBC
Fresh off their Monday Night Football loss to the NFC Norse leading Minnesota Vikings, Eli Manning and the New York Football Giants are on Sunday Night Football against the NFC Norse Green Bay Packers. While New York has a new head coach and plenty of valid excuses not to win, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have no excuse if they fall to 2-2 tonight.