NFL Week 4: Chiefs at Broncos Game preview
Denver Broncos’ general manager, John Elway, famously stated that Case Keenum had a better season than Kirk Cousins last year in explaining why he signed the former Viking passer while the soon-to-be Viking passer was still on the market.
But Elway’s decision will be judged based on what the pair do this year. Through three games that include the ambush at the hands of the Buffalo Bills, Cousins owns a higher completion percentage (68-61-percent) and the two are even at 6.9 yards per attempt.
The big difference, the one that wins games, is the touchdown to interception ratio. Cousins has 7 touchdowns and two picks. Case Keenum has throw for only 3 scores and been picked off 5 times.
Keenum only threw 7 interceptions in all of 2017, along with 22 touchdowns. If the 2-1 Broncos are going to catch the 3-0 Chiefs atop the division this week, Keenum has got to figure out what is going on.
Fortunately, if there is one team in the league willing to help quarterbacks solve some issues, it’s the Kansas City Chiefs. They have given up the most passing yards in the league and opponents average 30.6 points per game.
Those points haven’t been enough to hand the Chiefs a single loss thanks to the most potent offense in the league. Pat Mahomes has spared Andy Reid from any questions about trading Alex Smith with a record-setting 13 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Kansas City’s offense has strength at every position. Tyreek Hill is a one-man wrecking crew, scoring from anywhere in the receiving, rushing, and return games.
Travis Kelce has back-to-back 100-yard receiving games at the tight end position. Nine different players have caught Mahomes’ 13 touchdown passes.
When Reid decides to mix the running backs into the game plan, will there be any stopping Kansas City? Denver gets their shot this week in the thin air of the Mile High City.
How to watch the Broncos vs Chiefs game
Monday Night Football will be produced and broadcast nationally and internationally by ESPN. For those of us without cable or satellite television, there is still another option.
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Who will win the Broncos vs Chiefs game?
Denver’s defense is the next to get tested by the speed and diversity of Kansas City’s offensive machine. Vonn Miller is having an excellent season, but will he be able to slow down Mahomes?
Kansas City seems intent on allowing Mahomes to assault the record book. Most of the records he is gunning for belong to former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. It was Mannings 12 touchdowns in the first 3 games that Mahomes made moot with his 13th.
In that same season, Manning threw 20 touchdowns before he suffered an interception. That is next in Mahomes sights. Denver would love to be the team that denies him that honor.
But it would probably be a hollow victory. Case Keenum and his wide receivers are salivating at the thought of going against the Chiefs’ porous secondary. But it is a tall order to outgun Mahomes and his troops.
Denver will put up a fight, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter. Final score: Chiefs 37, Broncos 33
NFL Week 6 Game Preview: Ravens vs Titans
NFL Week 6 Game Preview: Ravens (3-2) at Titans (3-2)
Their records indicate an even matchup, but when the Titans face the Ravens Sunday, they will have the advantage of being a team without a definitive identity playing a squad with a proven game plan.
Tennessee put themselves on top of the AFC South with creativity, as much as skill. They’ve survived an overtime thriller and a defensive slog. But, they lost an opening day shootout and come off a bitter last-second loss in another defensive gem.
What kind of team are the Titans? They are a running team that is not running well. They have a franchise quarterback who can’t carry them. Scrappy is the term that comes to mind when we see the manner in which they play. Never out of it, but never quite in control, either.
Meanwhile, Baltimore tries to exert authority behind a powerful defense and a veteran offense. Sometimes it works… and sometimes they lose a field goal battle to the Browns like they did in Week 5.
Both teams will try to rebound from unexpected losses to boost their 2018 playoff aspirations. But can the Baltimore defense keep the scrappy Titans under control? Can the scrappy Titans defense give Joe Flacco and company another week of disappointment?
Injuries and roster moves
Baltimore has three cornerbacks among five defensive players listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Brandon Carr missed practice Wednesday and appears to be at risk for the game against the Titans.
Tennesse has a similar issue at linebacker. Wesley Woodyard, Robert Spillane, and Will Compton are all listed as questionable.
Safety Kenny Vaccaro is already ruled out for Week 6.
Offensive tackle Taylor Lewan is questionable with a foot injury.
The Ravens 3-2 start has lessened discussions about John Harbaugh’s future after his 11th season in charge. Harbaugh followed up five straight years of playoff appearances with a Super Bowl Championship in 2012, but that was six years and only two winning records ago.
With long-time general manager Ozzie Newsome already announcing his retirement at the end of this season and a quarterback change imminent, Harbaugh’s departure would make a new regime truly complete.
Mike Vrabel’s first coaching experience hasn’t been easy, but he is getting the most out of a flawed team. Already, he’s adeptly worked around injuries to his quarterback and lead rusher, as well as a malcontent in the receiving corps to keep his team’s playoff aspirations in play.
How to watch the Ravens-Titans game
CBS will provide this late-game broadcast to fans in and around Tennessee and the greater Baltimore area. Many fans will watch the CBS Sports broadcast on Sling TV without the need for expensive cable or satellite providers.
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Who will win the Ravens-Titans game?
Baltimore is hoping division rival Pittsburgh the best this week as a Steelers victory could let the Ravens pull into a first-place tie with the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFC North if Baltimore can take care of the Titans.
Tennessee owns the AFC South tiebreaker with 3-2 Jacksonville, with another head-to-head battle still pending. They need a win to hold onto first place in the meantime.
The home fans in Nashville are anxious to see their Titans crack the tough Baltimore defense, but the odds seem to favor Baltimore holding serve.
Final score: Baltimore 17, Titans 12
NFL Week 6 Game Preview: Chiefs vs Patriots
Sunday Night Football features the greatest quarterback of all time against the greatest quarterback of the young 2018 season. Tom Brady will host young Patrick Mahomes in Week 6’s most anticipated matchup.
Brady comes off consecutive 38-point outings against the Dolphins and Colts. The return of Julian Edelman and emergence of rookie rusher Sony Michel stabilized a shaky Patriots offense in time for the second quarter of the season.
Mahomes just put 30 points up against what was the top-rated defense in the league. He continues his assault on Peyton Manning’s season touchdown record.
Kansas City’s defense came alive last week, with five turnovers and several important stops when Jacksonville’s offense looked like it might start revving up. Any semblance of defense could keep the Chiefs unbeaten for years with the way its offense is playing.
Kansas City didn’t even need Tyreek Hill to pile up his usual yardage and scoring totals to keep their winning streak alive at 5. Running back Kareem Hunt had a slow start but emerged as a vital component of the Chiefs attack in Week 4.
Brady, the master craftsman, doesn’t need the explosive weapons the upstart from the Midwest surrounds himself with. He’ll bring a cadre of veterans with him who know a thing or two about winning football games.
Injuries and roster moves
Kansas City put guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and safety Armani Watt on injured reserve Wednesday. Coach Andy Reed all but ruled out linebacker Justin Houston (hamstring) for Sunday’s tilt.
Safety Eric Berry got limited practice time in this week, but it will be at least another week before he gets back on the field.
In New England, wide receivers Josh Gordon and Chris Hogan, tight end Rob Gronkowski, and running back Sony Michel were all limited in practice Wednesday. The quartet is listed as questionable, but it would be a surprise if any of them was not active Sunday night.
Two of the longest tenured head coaches go head-to-head in this classic matchup. Offensive guru Andy Reid versus the defensive scientist, Bill Belichick.
Both coaches are future Hall-of-Famers when they most likely leave the game on their own terms. Each calls the other a genius. They’ll bring their best stuff to New England this week.
How to watch the Patriots-Chiefs game
NBC Sports broadcasts Sunday Night Football across the nation and overseas. Millions of Americans fed up with rising satellite and cable costs will follow the NBC broadcast on their favorite internet device instead.
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Who will win the Patriots-Chiefs game?
Pat Mahomes could give an early victory to the young guns trying to steal the mantle from their veteran counterparts. But Tom Brady has made it clear he has no intention of going away quietly.
Both defenses look improved from just a couple of weeks ago, but they haven’t faced quarterbacks nearly as skillful as this pair.
Each passer looks unstoppable, but each coach will find a moment to introduce something new or unexpected. Brady’s experience gives him the edge in a battle of the coaches’ wits.
Final score: Patriots 38, Chiefs 31
NFL Week 5: Falcons vs Steelers Game Preview
Pittsburgh has their first game out of the national spotlight in three weeks, facing the Falcons at home in the early set Sunday.
Baltimore shut down the Steelers for the most part last week, allowing 14 points in a short stretch of the first half, before clamping down in their 26-14 victory.
Pittsburgh doesn’t anticipate a repeat performance against a Falcons defense that just gave up 80 points over two weeks to the Saints and Bengals.
Atlanta lost both of those games despite scoring 74 points of their own. Their defense is struggling after the loss of three starters since opening day. They could not make late-game stops that could have provided a win in either of the two contests.
Ben Roethlisberger has to be anxious to put last week’s struggles behind him against the Falcons secondary. Pittsburgh’s diminished running attack in the absence of Le’Veon Bell shouldn’t matter much in this game.
Matt Ryan undoubtedly looks forward to facing the Steelers secondary, too. Atlanta’s passing game has new life with the addition of rookie Calvin Ridley. Mohamed Sanu and Julio Jones find themselves more open. Even tight end Austin Hooper is seeing a few passes.
Running back Devonta Freeman will also return to the Falcons lineup after missing a few weeks with a knee injury. Freeman and Tevin Coleman are no liability in the pass game, either.
This could come down to which front line can put the most pressure on the opposing passer. Neither team can hold coverage very long in a normal game, but with the plethora of passing targets on the field, the defensive secondaries could be exhausted by halftime.
If you like offense, this could be a fun game to watch.
How to watch the Steelers vs Falcons game:
Fox Sports will produce this early game and broadcast it in much of the Southeast and up into the Pittsburgh market for cable and satellite television viewers.
Millions of savvy NFL fans will follow the live stream of Pittsburgh-Atlanta on Sling TV or DirecTV Now. Fubo TV also offers live stream NFL action in most US markets.
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YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, and PlayStation Vue also let you watch live stream NFL action on most NFL-contracted networks.
Check out the providers’ websites to see what they offer in your neighborhood.
Who will win the Steelers vs Falcons game?
Atlanta is desperate for a win after their two consecutive heartbreakers left them 1-3 and at the bottom of the NFC South standings. They face division rival Tampa Bay next week before the Giants send them on their bye.
Pittsburgh already has a loss and a tie in their division and don’t the 3-1 Bengals or Ravens to extend their lead. With rumors of a Le’Veon bell return coming soon, they want to stay close enough for it to matter.
Atlanta’s passing attack was ramped up when Freeman was injured. How the Falcon offense approaches this game could make a difference. With the problem their defense has stopping the ball, we expect them to keep the pedal down and chase points.
Roethlisberger is at home, which means the “good” Ben should show up. There is a little concern about the beating he took the past two weeks and the letdown of a “normal” game.
But that will prove to be unfounded. Pittsburgh’s defense will come through one more time than the Falcons’. But it will be fun. Final score: Steelers 44, Falcons 38