It’s all very well saying that the Seattle Seahawks are technically 2-2, but that’s not what the record shows. Although the absolute fury of the replacement-referee-based upset can now be replaced by the simple dejection of the performance-based upset, it’s still a loss.
There are a few teams on upset alert this week, but there are three games in particular that look to be primed for surprises.
Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams
The Rams have won both home games and lost both away games this year, so the prediction that they’ll win this one seems a little basic.
However, what they have done this year is play like a unit, which has been sorely lacking of Rams teams the past few years. Jeff Fisher has turned them into a tough, physical team that is very difficult to beat.
Although the game against the Washington Redskins was horrible to watch, they got the job done. This was something that they failed to do against Detroit in Week 1, which saw them give up a late touchdown to lose the game.
The key to victory here is to get at Kevin Kolb as early as possible. Miami managed to sack the Arizona quarterback eight times last week, so expect Rams DE Chris Long to make Kolb’s life a misery behind a poor Cardinals offensive line
Having a kicker with a 100-percent record could prove to be the difference in the end, with the Rams taking this one by three.
Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Fresh off a 431-yard game last week, Ryan Tannehill will look to come away with his first career road victory as a Miami Dolphin. Meanwhile, the Bengals have won their last three and are sitting pretty at 3-1 for the year.
Although Cincinnati has the better quarterback, the better defense and the better receivers, this game is poised for an upset.
Both Tannehill and receiver Brian Hartline are coming off games where they posted career-best numbers—Hartline is now the leading NFL receiver with 455 yards—and running back Reggie Bush has been a revelation.
If the Dolphins can get those three facets of their offense working simultaneously, they will cause a lot of problems for the Bengals. It’s a definite trap game for the Cincinnati team, and the Dolphins have won six of their last seven games at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Dolphins have thus far shown only glimpses that they could be a good team. This game could provide the impetus they need to get their season going.
San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans Saints
It seems strange picking the New Orleans Saints for a surprise victory at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but that goes to show how disappointing they have been this year.
Sitting at a lowly 0-4, the New Orleans defense has been horrendous, against the run and the pass. Even though Robert Griffin III played a great game in Week 1, that Saints defense should not be decimated by a rookie quarterback playing his first NFL game.
The New Orleans offense isn’t a problem, and in fact ranks third in the NFL with 320.8 yards per game (via TeamRankings.com).
The problem the defense has had is that it hasn’t been able to get at the quarterback, which allows too much time to pick throws and complete each pass. It doesn't matter if they're facing Aaron Rodgers or RGIII, that isn’t going to win many games.
However, the Saints have to win sometime, don’t they? Surely they won’t go 0-5?
It’s vital that they get the running game going here, with Pierre Thomas currently the team’s rushing leader. Someone has to give Drew Brees the support he needs, and establishing the run is the best way to support the pass.
This should come down to the wire, but New Orleans takes it via a game-winning drive from Brees.