The Texans lost on Thursday despite Matt Hasselbeck being 40 (props to him on playing the entire game through a bacterial infection). Not to worry, as Bill O’Brien thinks switching Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer on a constant will solve everything.
But on a note that actually works, here’s the week 5 primetime previews. Last week’s matchups surprisingly got competitive, so here’s hoping this week delivers with San Francisco at New York Giants and Pittsburgh at San Diego.
Sunday Night Preview: Giants Control Their Destiny
The New York Giants rank high up there amongst “Most Inconsistent Dynasties of all time”, just a spot below the San Francisco Giants.
Since 2007, NYG only made the playoffs 3 times, but they’ve made them count with 2 deep runs in 2007 and 2011. The problem? It’s pissed everyone off. How can a team rank inside the greatest dynasties in sports, let alone football, if they have more bumps than paid programming?
With that said, they seem to be the favorite to win the NFC East for several reasons: The Cowboys are without their QB, #1 WR, and now Lance Dunbar, amongst several others (they’re also facing the Patriots, in which they’ll likely lose this week to drop to 2-3). The Eagles’ entire team can’t gel in a game unless it’s too late. God forbid I trust Kirk Cousins to take the Redskins to a division title, and his game against Philadelphia last week was nothing special.
Eli Manning is one of the top active QBs in the league, though for the most part unspectacular in this new Ben MacAdoo offense. Whatever works for the Giants, though, since this is a far cry from the disastrous 2013 squad that started off 0-6. You can easily make a case that they should be 5-0 if they win Sunday, thanks to 2 game plagued by horrible clock management to kick off 2015.
Odell Beckham Jr. has yet to suffer the Madden Curse, and New York is playing at MetLife against the 49ers, a team nearly washed away of talent. Colin Kaepernick has regressed to the point where he’s in question to start in 2016. Luckily for him, there’s hope, as Blaine Gabbert is his backup. So for every time Jim Tomsula questions the sanity (and swag) of Kaepernick, there’s always the quality abysmal-esque stature of Gabbert to put him and his worries at ease.
When all of that’s considered, it’s more than enough to give the New York Giants the win on Sunday Night.
Monday Night Preview: Cedar Point’s Roller Coasters Can’t Compare To San Diego In Primetime
What does Philip Rivers have in common with Ren and Stimpy? Both are known for a wide variety of facial expressions. What does Rivers have in common with San Diego in primetime? A wide variety of visual expressions.
You know what I’m talking about, right Rivers?
Anyways, the point I’m trying to make is that the San Diego Chargers are a team that never seems to find any consistent balance when playing in primetime, and this is especially true since 2011. See the chart below for further details.
One bright side to the 7-8 record is that San Diego still outscored its opponents by an average of 25.47-22.13 per game, though an amount of this can be traced to garbage time points. The last primetime game they played was a thrilling victory in San Francisco as well, so that’s another silver lining.
And guess what? The Chargers are pulling a Derek Jeter and will receive yet another gift basket; Ben Roethlisberger is not playing on Monday Night due to an injury he suffered against the Rams in week 3. Martavis Bryant returns off a suspension for the Steelers, though word is he may not play due to (you guessed it) injuries of his own. As a fantasy owner, I feel constipated when I think of the crap going on with Bryant health-wise.
As a result, expect Pittsburgh to focus on a ground game. More so, expect Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams to rake up a significant amount of fantasy points. Bell has been fantastic since his return in week 3, and Williams has been really good as a backup. They must carry the load, however, as Michael Vick, and receivers that lack depth outside Antonio Brown, are cringe-worthy.
The Chargers themselves aren’t turning heads at the moment, but Philip Rivers is coming off a fine game against the Browns. The key for the defense is forcing the Steelers to beat them by passing (and that’s obviously by shutting down the run game, mind you). Antonio Gates is also returning from a 4-game suspension, which sucks since everyone will talk about how he played basketball at college….AGAIN. In addition, he’s no longer in his prime, and I wouldn’t be surprised if LeDarius Green carried more reps.
The Steelers are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Ravens, so they’ll likely be angrier to start Monday Night. That said, I like the Chargers winning this one. Close, but a Chargers win nonetheless. As Mike Tomlin would say, “Obviously, it is what it is.”