The Good Copp of last week is Jake “The Snake”, posting an 8-6 record. The Bad Copp – Dave was 6-8. Coming off a week where some teams kept the ball rolling (Broncos, Vikings, Saints), some solid wins (Steelers, Texans, Arizona), and of course some “wow” games (Patriots, Raiders, Bills) - This week look for the same.
Crime of the Week:
D.Copp – I like the Dallas Cowboys over The Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons front line will look to keep the Cowboys defense from lassoing Matt Ryan - While the Falcons have not given up sack in 4 games, the Cowboys have tallied 10 in the last three. Both teams will bring the offensive fire-power though – Both average about 24 points a game, but the Cowboys average almost 100 yards more total offensive than those Dirty Birds. DeMarcus Ware is healthy and I expect to see the three-headed monster in the Cowboys backfield to produce (Falcons allow 118 rush yds/gm). Roy Williams may play, but either way we get to see more of Miles “Of Yardage” Austin. The ‘Boys have the tools to take this one.
J.Copp Rebuttal – The Cowboys are coming off of an overtime victory against Kansas City, not exactly dominant. The Boys will be without Roy Williams and their secondary is looking very vulnerable to the Falcons air show. I’d look for Dallas to be cautious of the big play and try and take rowdy Roddy White out of the game. That only leaves, future hall-of-famer, Tony Gonzalez and the burner Michael Turner to tear it up. The Falcons D has looked much improved, and I think they will continue to get better and they will definitely be competing for a playoff spot this year, even with the Saints in their division.
J. Copp – I’ll take the Chiefs over San Diego.
Yeah I said it! I think Matt Cassel will be a good quarterback in the NFL, a great move this off-season for the Chiefs. San Diego will be deflated coming off of a tough loss to a red-hot Denver team. I think the K.C. defense is getting better and playing Washington last week was a confidence boost (as it is for every team this year). This one will be very close but the Chargers O-line hasn’t been able to protect Rivers, and the Bolt’s pass rush hasn’t been there this year either. What has happened to Shawn Merriman ? He can beat up his girlfriend but he can’t beat up opposing offenses hmmmmm... I’d look for Larry Johnson and Jamaal Charles to rack up some major yardage, and in the end Kansas City will pull off the upset.
D.Copp Rebuttal – Obviously there is no argument here. The Chargers won’t have to do anything overly shocking to win this game. Oh and it’s on Monday Night Football – advantage Chargers. I’m not saying Cassel won’t be solid, but I am not going to say the Chiefs Backfield will show any kind of improvement. The Chargers are rested and ready to go after their bye week, while the Chiefs are coming off their victory high last week… against the Redskins… If a victory over the ‘Skins is a high point of your season then… well you know.
D.Copp – Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Randy Moss, and Laurence Maroney … yeah Maroney! … Will be licking their chops going into this what could be this weak’s biggest blow-out. While the Bucs secondary is giving up less than 200 passing yards a game, they are giving up 13 touchdowns through the air. The Bucs Defense is also giving up the fourth most points in the league, and the Patriots scored a couple points last week (Re: Blow-out in Foxborough; Pats 59 – Titans 0). I’m just looking forward to see Brain Hoyer behind center again – 9/11, 52 pass yds, 1 Rush TD last week – GO BIG TEN!
J.Copp – The Patriots are back to their old ways. Going for the jugular against down opponents. They were throwing on fourth down up 52-0! Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are ruthless and I think it will be no different this week against a weak Buccaneers defense. I feel bad for Ronde Barber, the last of the remaining play-makers on that legendary Tampa Bay Super Bowl defense. He’s went from being on a feared and respected defense to being on a team that just hired a new inexperienced head coach, and a team that is already waving the white flag this year. Things can’t get much worse for Tampa, but I think this is the last game before the Josh Freeman era begins in Tampa, and that might not be a good thing for Buc’s fans. This game will be harder to watch for Tampa Bay fans than British television. On a positive note for Tampa Bay, the fans from England won’t really know what’s going on anyways.
Case File Investigation:
Week 6: Bears – Lost, Bengals – Lost. Last week the Bears couldn’t get anything going on the ground, while “Cut ‘Em Up” Cutler had a 300 yard game with a couple touchdown tosses. Cutler threw a couple interceptions too, but the Bears Grizzly ‘D’ made up for it holding Michael Turner to 30 yards, and picking Matt Ryan off twice while holding him to less than 200 yards. The Bears need to score when put in position – Last Week: 2 drives, Bears 37 (2 punts); 1 drive, Bears 38 (Interception); 2 important drives, third quarter, Bears 40 (punt, fumble). The Bengals saw Cedric Benson breakdown and rush for 44 yards, but the big criminals of last week’s loss are the TE’s – 2 lost fumbles (one on Houston 44, and one with less than 6 minutes left in the game. C.Benson needs to rebound from his worst game of the season, and the Bengals defense needs to pick-up the slack from Atwan Odom going down (8 sacks – 2nd in NFL, 1 Blocked Kick).
-Keys: C.Benson v. Bears Run ‘D’, Bengals Pass Rush v. J.Cutler, Turnovers (5 combined last week).
New Orleans Saints at Miami Dolphins
This will be a great game. I love the wild cat offense and how much excitement it brings every week. Yes the Saints offense is exciting too, with Brees and all of those weapons, but I’m a sucker for the wildcat. There is news that there will be more wrinkles in the wildcat this week, and you can bet that you’ll see more Pat White throwing the ball this week. The 'Phins looked tough last week beating up the much talked about Jets defense. The Saints you could say have also looked pretty good, just tearing up all of their opponents this year including a solid New York Giants team. In the past it was always something holding the Saints back, like having a paper thin defense or having no running game. This year with the addition of Gregg Williams as D coordinator, and Pierre Smith and Mike Bell running the ball really well, things have changed. The Saints look invincible and no one has found their kryptonite yet, but I think the Dolphins will have some tricks up their sleeve. This is the game of the week hands down.
-Keys: Wildcat vs. New Orleans D, Chad Henne vs. Darren Sharper, Can the Dolphins pass rush get to Brees
San Francisco 49ers at Houston Texans
AT A GLANCE – keep an eye on this game. Everything is bigger in Texas – even the holes for Gore to tear-up. Crabtree will make his debut, but the real story at WR is going to be A.Johnson as usual. Texans have potential at ‘D’, while the 'niners have proven their ‘D’ thus far this season.
-Keys: Gore v. Texans Rush ‘D’, Texans Receiving Corps (and Slaton out of backfield)
1. Steelers Rush ‘D’ against A.Peterson
2. Dallas Running Game
3. 49ers Secondary v. Houston Receiving Corps
1. Vikings pass defense against Big Ben
2. Mark Sanchez’s decision making against the Raiders
3. New Orleans defense against the Wildcat of Miami