Who would have thought that we would be talking about the Tennessee Titans as a team in trouble. Yes they are winless, but that isn't the only issue by a long shot.
Aside from the fact that they can't score enough on offense, their normally top ten defense is not stopping anyone. It is rare in the NFL to see a team go from super bowl contender one year, to pathetic the next.
They don't have their defensive coordinator from last year, and that is a bigger deal than people realize. You are not only changing coaches, you are changing philosophies. Jim Schwartz had their defense playing at a high level, with help from current defensive coordinator, Chuck Cecil.
That is why one has a hard time figuring out why the defense is struggling as much as they are. They did lose Albert Haynsworth, but why change the from their attacking style defense? Why change things just to put your own stamp on the defense?
It's Jeff Fisher's problem to fix. He's got issues on offense as well. Kerry Collins is struggling on offense and they can't extend drives and score points. They need to find out if they have a franchise quarterback or not because Collins is not the answer.
As a coach, do you remove Collins, insert Young, and go into the draft next year knowing whether or not you need a franchise quarterback? I say yes. Even at the expense of winning games.
Try telling that to a coach who thinks his job is on the line.
The Cleveland Browns are another franchise that is in very bad shape, from top to bottom. In steps Eric Mangini as the new coach, but the rumors are still flowing that he has lost the players and they don't respond to his disciplinarian approach.
Mangini finished badly in New York, and it would have served Cleveland better if they took their time and did an extensive, careful search for a coach, rather than jumping to hire Mangini.
The Browns are lost on offense with no leader. Derek Anderson has not looked like the quarterback that put up big numbers a couple of years ago, and that is an understatement.
If you are in rebuilding mode, like the Browns are, it makes no sense not to play Brady Quinn and let him grow as the team grows. He hasn't played enough to know whether or not he can get the job done.
That decision reaks of a coach trying to save his job, rather than do what is in the best interests of the team, long term. Defensively, the Browns aren't bad. Well, they weren't bad untill D'Quell Jackson went down, and Shaun Rodgers, Kamerion Wimbley, and others got the flu.
The Browns are pretty much a rudderless ship at this point. They are years away from being relevant again.
The Washington Redskins as an organization are in worse shape than any other franchise in the NFL. Daniel Snyder has adopted a pattern of over-paying free agents in an attempt to buy a championship team.
You can't buy chemistry or continuity though, as they have found out. They have a meddling front office, a quarterback with no confidence, and offense that can't score, and a coach that is pretty sure he will not be there next year.
The offense averages 13 points a game, and it is obvious that Jim Zorn's system doesn't fit the personnel that he has. That is a mistake that quite a few teams make. They were previously built as a power running team, but the leadership went ahead with this new offense without the necessary personell.
They have to bear most of the responsibility for that. Jason Campell may not be their franchise quarterback, but the organization hasn't done much to put him in a situation to succeed either.
They have embarrassed their coach by stripping him of play calling responsibilities, and made him a lame duck. They really need to hire a football guy and take this team in another direction. This whole organization needs an over-haul.
The Chargers are 1-4 against the spread this season, and haven't done a good job on defense. Kansas City hasn't done much better, as their lone win was on the road. This is a last stand of sorts for the Chargers, so take them and give the points.
Indianapolis -14 At St. Louis
The Rams have actually played better away from home, and the Colts are 3-0 against the spread on the road. The only way this doesn't get to ugly is if the Colts call off the dogs in the second half, and the Rams make it look respectable. Take Indy and give the points.
Two evenly matched teams. Cutler starting to get it done for Chicago, and Carson Palmer has his old form back for the Bengals. Whoever gets the better quarterback play will win. I like Cutler and Chicago to pull it off at the end.
Green Bay -9 At Cleveland
The Packers can put up a lot of points in a hurry and on the surface shouldn't have problems covering but their defense is not very good. The Browns play better at home, and even with the drama they have going on there, take the Browns and the points.
This is the marquis game this week. The Steelers have only covered once this year, and have had problems putting teams away. The defense hasn't been quite as dominant. The Vikings are 3-0 against the spread this year, but they really haven't played anyone yet. Pittsburgh should win a close one, but the Vikings should cover the spread.
The Raiders defense is good, even though their offense is putrid, with the over-weight and highly ineffective Jamarcus Russell. Mark Sanchez is a struggling rookie quarterback, and that should continue in Oakland. Whichever defense gets the most turnovers should win. Take Oakland and the points.
We don't know how the trip to London will affect the teams. Tampa Bay is a bad team, but New England hasn't covered away from home. Too many points here. Take Tampa Bay and the points.
I like Houston to pull the upset here. The 49ers have shown some chinks in the armour of late, and even though Houston is only 1-2 at home, I think they will surprise the 49ers. Take Houston and the points.
Philadelphia -7 At Washington
Washington can't score, averaging only 13 points a game, and are 0-3 at home against the spread. McNabb and friends should be able to score enough points to cover. The natives are restless in Redskin land, so if the Eagles get up early, it could be ugly. If Washington hasn't played well against bad teams.... Take the Eagles and give the points.
I have no confidence in teams from the west traveling north. The Giants have underachieved as of late and need an impressive win, especially at home. The Cardinals passing attack is coming together, but the Giant defense will prevail. Take the Giants and give the points.
The Saints are undefeated against the spread this year, and are due for a loss. I don't think it will be here though. Their defense is stout, and Miami's offense, short of the wild cat, doesn't scare anyone. Take the Saints and give the points.