Before last night’s game between the Vikings and Packers started, I already had a feeling that it could go south pretty quickly for the visiting team. For one, the Minnesota hasn’t had any success in the past few years when they’re at Lambeau Field. I’m pretty sure it’s been since Brett Favre was on the Vikings since their last win. Anyways, more of the same last night. Green Bay struck early and often, turning their game against the Vikings into a rout and now the Packers are on a nice stretch of a back-to-back wins. Remember just a couple of weeks ago, after their loss to the Lions, when many were wondering if the Packers were in some serious trouble? Aaron Rodgers doesn’t. Rodgers didn’t need a monster game but he was efficient (12-17, 156 yds, 3 TDs) and teamed with a big bounce back game from Eddie Lacy (105 yds, 2 TDs) it was smooth sailing for Green Bay. The game was over by halftime. In fact, once it was reported that most the game would be played in the rain, it felt like a large task for the Vikings. Christian Ponder (instead of Bridgewater) playing on the road against the Packers, in the rain, isn’t something that seems prosperous. By the third quarter, a couple of Lacy touchdowns put the game out of reach and despite some late efforts by Minnesota, the game was in the books. Now it’s time for the Vikings to try and get things back on track. But a lot of that is going to depend on their health because if Teddy Bridgewater’s injury lingers longer than expected, it could be a very bleak season. They’re at home against the Lions and then head to Buffalo, so a couple of key games for them. Same for the Packers, as they try to continue their momentum. They’re in Miami next, Panthers at home and then head to New Orleans. Those are three games that could vault them into one of the best teams in the conference.
Sunday’s games have plenty of potential. I guess that’s what happens with only two teams are on bye and one of them happens to be the Oakland Raiders. Nine games for the early slate, and we have some very intriguing teams going head-to-head. The Bears are in Carolina in a battle for two of the toughest teams to figure out. Speaking of tough to figure out, the Falcons are in New York to take on the Giants. Atlanta looked good after they dismantled the Bucs but then tripped in Minnesota. The G-men started abysmally but have won big in two straight games now. We also have the battle of Texas, with the Texans coming into my neck of the woods to take on the Cowboys. I’ll be attending this game and, like many others, will be watching to see which of the teams is for real. The Bills are in Detroit, setting up a nice game between two division leaders. Which team stays atop their division? As far as non-Dallas games go, i’ll be interested to see what happens when the Ravens are in Indianapolis. The Colts have been trending up but so have the Ravens, and it should be one of the best games of the week. The day gets better as we have the Cardinals in Denver for the game of the week. For some reason people have forgotten that the Cardinals are still undefeated and they put that on the line against Manning and co. The Chiefs in San Francisco should be nice and the Jets in San Diego should give us a gauge on both of those teams. The day ends with the Bengals in New England. If the Patriots want to shut everyone up, this is the game to do so because the Bengals might be the best team in the league.
Lots and lots of home favorites this weekend. I like Arizona (+6.5) and San Diego (-6.5) this weekend.