NEW YORK JETS (-3) vs. OAKLAND RAIDERS –
With losses to New England and Miami last week the Jets are right back in the division race with their sloppy but acceptable win over the Bengals. Just like 2 seasons ago, the Jets schedule is definitely in their favor (next 4 games are against Raiders, Chiefs, Bills, and Rams). They could very possibly be 7-2 before their showdown in Masshole country (but I’ll be happy with 6-3).
Two weeks in a row the Jets defense will be facing an inexperienced young quarterback. Jamarcus Russell is raw and has lots of potential. He definitely has Dante Culpepper-esque qualities. But the one thing that he’s missing that Culpepper had is Randy Moss. Russell has no help on offense. Javon Walker is clearly not the player he was in Green Bay and Darren McFadden, who started out great, is now battling injuries since week 2 and has been ineffective the last few weeks. The Jets defense has been stellar against the run averaging 69yds/game, 3rd in the NFL. If the Raiders can’t run the ball this will put more pressure on Russell to try and make plays. I’m sure Mangini and company will bring the pressure on the rookie with some blitz packages and have him try and beat them through the air.
Last weeks win for New York was sloppy considering they were coming off a bye. Let’s just say they were a little rusty and give them the benefit of the doubt. Jets need to reestablish the running game with Thomas Jones and Leon Washington. Favre doesn’t need a dominating performance, just less turnovers in the redzone (on a side note, Chad Pennington is like 60:1 in TD: INT ratio in the redzone). If they move the ball and control the clock this should be another snooze fest and a “W” for Jet nation.
Jets 34, Raiders 13
WASHINGTON REDSKINS (-7.5) vs. CLEVELAND BROWNS –
The Brownies are definitely on a momentum boost after beating the defending Superbowl champs on Monday night. But I will say this, from the little I saw of the game that was not the same Giants I’ve seen so far this season. Do I think the Giants are overrated? No. I still believe they are one of the top 5 teams in the league and are my pick to win the NFC division. They just simply got outplayed and outcoached. The defense looked tired and they couldn’t apply any pressure on Anderson. And it was also interesting to see the old Eli emerge from the depths of his pre-playoff/Superbowl stardom.
After their road win against Philly I bet the Redskins were licking their cleats at the next 3 games on their schedule (STL, CLE, DET). They could possibly be 8-1 before they head into their bye. But after the huge upset they suffered against the Rams, this week’s game doesn’t look as easy as expected. Browns certainly have the momentum going in their direction. Redskins are beat up on both sides of the ball with lots of injuries to many of their starters. Cleveland looks to be getting healthier and could get Kellen Winslow back. But I’m not sold on Cleveland just yet. Last week was one game and their only other win came against the Bengals. Washington is home and they always play better at FedEx field. Redskins will win this game but they won’t cover the spread.
Redskins 26, Browns 20