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Thanks for signing up. Please check your email for a confirmation. Steven Ruiz August 29, 5: College football returns this weekend with an exciting slate of games featuring four match-ups of Top 25 teams. Matt Canada takes over for D. Durkin, who remains on administrative leave. Texas will win, but Maryland will keep it close enough to cover. Washington has one of the better secondaries in the league, so Jarrett Stidham could have trouble finding open receivers.
The Tigers defense should be one of the top units in the country, but the Washington offense, led by QB Jake Browning, has plenty of talent, too. Not to mention Chris Petersen devising its gameplan.
We know West Virginia is going to put up a lot of points. The Mountaineers have an NFL quarterback in Will Grier and return two productive receivers and four-fifths of the offensive line.
The question for bettors is, will Tennessee be able to score enough to keep up? West Virginia wins this one in a blowout. This feels like a make or break year for Jim Harbaugh. Michigan should be better on offense after landing transfer Shea Patterson.
And the defense, which endured so much turnover last offseason, returns a lot of its production from The Wolverines will win this one straight up. This should get ugly. But there is a lot of talent here. Mike Leach has his work cut out for him this season after losing a ton of offensive production. He survived universal "bust" declarations to become one of the most successful QBs of the past two seasons.
He has one star WR, two excellent rushers, a head coach with faith in him and a seemingly unshakeable confidence.
On the other sideline, the Giants apparently decided in the off-season to ship their running game to Indianapolis and their defensive line to Atlanta. And don't blame Eli. His stats stink because he has been trying to win single-handedly, from behind, with no protection and no running game.
If you're wondering where the winning Eli Manning went -- he's in Chicago wearing No. The bottom line is that the offensive and defensive lines that Tom Coughlin carefully built and nurtured into the foundation of two Super Bowl wins are falling apart. Unless the front office has given Coughlin some young blood that's going to start improving sometime soon, this season is over. Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions. What a difference a happy and healthy Jay Cutler makes.
The Bears have pulled off a couple of last-second wins and made perennial powerhouse Pittsburgh look pitiful. Chicago trailed in total yards, passing yards, first downs and total plays.
They gained a bit more than half as many yards per play as Pittsburgh, but they ran the ball for yards and won. Oh, and Cutler threw the ball to someone other than Brandon Marshall. That leaves them with no WR to play opposite Calvin Johnson--again. Fans hope that one of the young no-name WRs is the next Wes Welker. They're hoping it really hard. The Detroit defense should be a true test of Chicago's beefed up O-line. If Cutler stays clean, the Bears win on the basis of momentum and lack of drama.
Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers. Tony Romo made three TD passes during his 24 tosses on Sunday. Don't look now, but Dez Bryant appears to be maturing before our eyes--which is a frightening prospect for opposing DBs. DeMarcus Ware has returned to his QB-terrifying sack form. The defense held Bradford and the Rams to 3. Even losing Anthony Spencer probably won't derail a Dallas D that has been lifted back on track by septuagenarian Monte Kffin. Meanwhile, the Chargers found another way to lose.
They led most of last Sunday's contest and lost on a final yard drive by the all-grown-up Jake Locker. Philip Rivers was of on the day, with 7. Six injured starters contributed to the collapse, but a blocked FG made the difference. How, exactly, does one have a yard-field goal blocked?
Never mind, the answer would probably just depress San Diego fans. I have faith in new head coach Mike McCoy, but he has to be wondering where the Chargers hid their mojo. Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings. The Steelers have a great QB and a rookie rusher who has yet to see the field. The Vikings have a great pass rush and the Steelers have O-line problems.
If Ben Roethlisberger can stay upright he could dismantle the Minnesota secondary. I have to go with Pittsburgh. But I don't have to watch this flailing away of two teams. Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans. He and the front office have built a roster stocked with talent and coached with fire. Coaching kept the 'Hawks sharp in what could have been a letdown game across the country at 10AM on their body clocks. Wilson needed to start spreading the ball around--glad he listened to me.
The offense achieved 28 first downs and had the ball for more than 32 minutes, partly courtesy of a Seattle D at full strength for the first time in This is the best team in the NFL right now. Too bad special teams and the offense gave up touchdowns. This will be a fortitude-tester for Houston. I'm not at all convinced he can do that, especially if Andre Johnson's shin is still bothering him.
New York Jets at Tennessee Titans. Okay, Bud Adams, where are you hiding the real Jake Locker? You know, the one that can't throw two accurate passes in a row? Where did this clutch guy come from? This guy who achieved 14 passing first downs on 23 completions out of 37 throws at 8. Adams is feeling pretty vindicated right about now. Coach Mike Munchak should be proud of his improved team, which has yet to turn the ball over this season.
Jets' rookie QB Geo Smith is faring far better than expected and Mark Sanchez is graciously assisting from the sidelines as he heals and considers his next job. Against the Bills' weak secondary, Smith threw for yards with an Did I mention the decimated secondary? Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills. Ray Rice is still sidelined with his hip injury. While good news for backup rusher Bernard Pierce who is quite competent and Mr.
Pierce's fantasy owners, this is not particularly glad tidings for the Ravens. Joe Flacco went of on the day. He did average 7. He and the rest of the offense should fare better against a Bills' D that gave up yards to a unit led by the Jets' Geno Smith and a rushing squad spearheaded by Bilal Powell. Week 3 marked the return of the ferocious Ravens' D. LB Daryl Smith essentially won the game last week with a pick-six. The Bills' own rookie signal-caller E. Actually, the young man is remarkably composed out there.
This week he gets welcomed into the Big Boy league against the reigning Champs. With enough run support from Fred Jackson and C. Spiller who is expected to play after an injury , Manuel may survive the day. Winning is another matter entirely. Washington at Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have an intriguing young quarterback in Terrelle Pryor. In three games, Pryor has improved each week and shown surprising maturity on and off the field. Unfortunately, he has a concussion, as does CB Tracey Porter.
Griffin threw for yards and survived the onslaught of the Detroit Lions' defensive line, which is no small feat even if one is not returning form ACL surgery.