Analysis and Preview

By Zack Cimini

How bad can a team be haunted by one team? All-Pro kicker Olindo Mare missed not one but two field goals, and than their awesome defense allowed an 82 yard touchdown in overtime. It?s crazy how the NFL works but now the AFC East is stocked again. Especially, now that Chad Pennington is expected back in the next week or two.

The two unbeaten teams both barely stayed alive in Minnesota and Kansas City. Can these two teams stay undefeated until their match up later in the season? I doubt it, they?ll both be lucky to survive a couple of more weeks.

How about the offensive performances by Dallas and New Orleans? Quincy Carter continues to grow in confidence, and their defense continues to play stellar. For how bad the Saints have started out the season they are right in the mix of things; especially if they can beat Carolina this week.

Well here is a preview of week eight. Don?t forget Atlanta, Green Bay, Washington, and Oakland all have byes this week.

New York Giants vs. Minnesota
The Giants continue to lose close games, and are losing ground quickly on the Cowboys. It?s hard to believe a team this talented is struggling to produce. This team has always been known for being able to go from hot to cold quickly. Well, now is the time to switch to the ?on? button. The Giants defense should be able to limit the Vikings offense, but it?ll be up to the Giants offense to win this game. They?ve been plagued by turnovers and that?s always the number one reason for a loss.

Cleveland vs. New England
The Patriots are back on top of the AFC East, and will probably stay there for awhile. If the Browns were in any other division they?d probably be in trouble, but they have a great chance of winning their mediocre division. In order to do that though, they need to get some solid wins out of their division. It?ll be tough this week against a pumped up Patriots team.

Carolina vs. New Orleans
The Panthers are known for rolling off wins, with the ability to roll off losses as well. They?re hoping that isn?t the case this year, but if Stephen Davis doesn?t produce they will continue to fall. Jake Delhomme definitely can?t carry this team. The Saints season is far from over, and they still have the most talent offensively out of any team in their division. They just need to do something with it.

Dallas vs. Tampa Bay
Not many people are talking about the Buccaneers 3-3 start, but I bet with another loss they?ll be talked about. The Cowboys are for real, and could be the strongest team in the league right now. They have one of the best defenses, and their offense is loaded at wide receiver. The only question that might haunt them is Quincy Carter. Is he a settled down quarterback or will we see his erratic style of play come back out of him? As long as he doesn?t throw costly interceptions, than this should be a winnable game for the Cowboys.

Tennessee vs. Jacksonville
McNair vs. Leftwich is one of those match ups that you love to see. Of course McNair is going to tear him up this season, but in four or five years it?ll be Leftwich?s turn to do it to end McNair?s career. For now though, it?s all about McNair who is the MVP of the NFL right now. Just look at what he is doing with an average Eddie George and a group of no name receivers.

Denver vs. Baltimore
It?s going to be hard for the Broncos to win without Plummer in the lineup. When Steve Beuerlein was in the game he had a very hard time moving the Broncos offense. Danny Kanell did a great job, but the Vikings didn?t game plan for him. They won?t have to do too much offensively against the Ravens, because of Kyle Boller. But they?ll need to put up around 17 to 20 points.

Detroit vs. Chicago
The Bears have been playing tough lately, and should be able to win this battle of one win teams. Joey Harrington has struggled since week one, and will continue without Charles Rogers.

Seattle vs. Cincinnati
Surprise, surprise the Bengal?s can actually put up points now. Their offense has been moving the football well all season, and if Corey Dillon can get back to 100 percent watch out. You have to remember this division is very weak, and the Bengals have actually been playing solid on defense as well. Seattle is 5-1 but their schedule has been very questionable. If the Bengal?s defense shows up, they should be able to get a ?W?

St. Louis vs. Pittsburgh
Eh, remember that quarterback Kurt Warner? Everyone has forgotten about Warner with the way Bulger has handled this team. Just imagine how well he?ll be able to lead this team with a healthy Marshall Faulk. Torry Holt has become one of the NFL?s elite receivers, and is no longer in the shadows of Isaac Bruce. His play has been exceptional and the Rams are where they want to be. The Steelers are in serious trouble and this is a turning point game for their season. They had a bye week off and should be poised to come out strong.

San Francisco vs. Arizona
The 49ers had a great win against the Buccaneers, and now will need to avoid a let down to the Cardinals. The 49ers have realized that Terrell Owens is their key to winning, and expect them to keep going at him this week. For Arizona they are going to need to limit their turnovers on offense. Jeff Blake has been hounded every week, and it seems like they are never on the field.

Houston vs. Indianapolis
Peyton Manning and company need to keep winning to stay ahead of the Titans. The Colts know that they?ll need a bye this year, and in order to get that they need to win the division. They shouldn?t have a problem this week, and I?d expect a big game from Marvin Harrison.

NY Jets vs. Philadelphia
The Eagles season was saved thanks to Brian Westbrook. The Jets are creeping right behind their AFC East mates, and could make a run later in the season. This game will likely be low scoring, and could come down to a last second kick.

Buffalo vs. Kansas City
Kansas City has been able to hang on for three weeks now, and sooner or later that luck is going to fall. If Drew Bledsoe can air it out and keep up with the Chiefs than this could be the week. Travis Henry vs. Priest Holmes should also be a great match up, but in the end I think it?ll come down to whichever revamped defense plays better.

Miami vs. San Diego
Wow, who scheduled this great game? The Dolphins are going to need this one to recover from last week. For Olindo Mare that type of game could pay off in the future. When an All-Pro kicker has a game like that, it?ll usually make him focus even more. When he makes a game winning late season kick or playoff, he?ll be able to look back on that game.


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