Analysis and Preview

By Zack Cimini

Week five of the NFL season was one of the craziest weeks in a long time. We saw one of the best comebacks ever, and Dante Hall return a kick for the fourth straight week. We also saw a star NFL player in Emmitt Smith have one of those games that makes you think he is done. Every star NFL player has that game that finally catches up to them, and makes them realize they need to call it quits. Who can forget Dan Marino?s Thanksgiving disaster, and then his playoff collapse against Jacksonville?

Give David Boston a lot of credit for what he did last week. He has been facing a lot of torment from everybody and bounced back from it with a huge game. Also Terrell Owens came back from the dead, and had a solid game against Detroit.

How about all of the surprising teams so far this season? Dallas, Carolina, and the Colts are doing what nobody thought they could do. In fact both the Panthers and Colts are undefeated, which means their match up is the game of the week.

NY Giants vs. New England
The Patriots are the scariest 3-2 team in the league, especially if they can continue to get great play out of Mike Cloud. Both of these teams have had an up and down start to their season, and a win could propel that team into a winning streak. New England?s offensive line better be ready this week, because Strahan and that defensive line are going to get after Brady.

Chicago vs. New Orleans
The Bears finally got their first win of the season, and looked solid in doing it. For the second straight week Anthony Thomas has shocked people, and now looks like a solid starter in fantasy leagues. The Saints are by far the biggest disappointment on the season, and a loss here would be disastrous. Does anyone know what happened to Donte Stallworth?

Tampa Bay vs. Washington
Ouch, the Buccaneers have had two of the worst losses a team could possibly have. Their loss to the Panthers was the result of poor special teams, and last week it was just a total breakdown. What is it with Monday Night that brings out huge fourth quarter comebacks? We saw something very similar a few seasons ago with Miami and the Jets. Washington has been on a two game slide, and needs this one to get back on track. It all boils down to which Tampa Bay defense shows up to play. If it?s the one that played in the second half, than Patrick Ramsey and Lavernues Coles are going to have career days.

Miami vs. Jacksonville
It looks like Jacksonville is set at quarterback for a long time. Leftwich was very impressive against the Chargers, and this time he didn?t throw any interceptions. But that was against a weak defense, and this week he?ll face a tougher challenge against Miami. Expect Miami to throw in a lot of different packages to confuse Leftwich. The key to this game will be Fred Taylor, who always seems to have huge games against Miami?s defense.

Oakland vs. Cleveland
The Raiders are one more loss away to being tied with the Saints as the biggest disappointments. At 2-3 the Raiders are lucky that they aren?t 0-5. Their two wins against San Diego and Cincinnati could have easily been losses. Tim Couch has rejuvenated this team, and looks like he can get them back into the division title race.

Philadelphia vs. Dallas
With the Redskins and Giants struggling, the Eagles have already made up for their early season losses. With a win against Dallas they could end up in a four way tie with Washington, Philadelphia, and Dallas. If you?re those three teams you have to be kicking yourselves for letting the Eagles back into the race.

Kansas City vs. Green Bay
Hey Green Bay, keep the ball away from Donte Hall. A lot of people forgot that the Seahawks were undefeated with the way that the Packers destroyed them. Kansas City is going to fall sooner or later, so why not this week? The Packers match up well with the Chiefs and should put up a great game.

Houston vs. Tennessee
The old Titans will try to show the new Texans that they still control both cities. The key to this game is Steve McNair. He played great last week, but didn?t get enough support from his defense. The Texans aren?t going to light up the scoreboard, so all McNair needs to do is have one of his average games.

Carolina vs. Indianapolis
A great offense vs. a great defense is always a great game. Last week the Colts proved that the offense can out duel a great defense. The reason the Colts even had a shot is because the Buccaneers didn?t do a great job in ball control. That has been the Panthers strength all season, and they?ll ride Stephen Davis until the clock runs out.

Pittsburgh vs. Denver
Jake Plummer and the Broncos suffered their first loss of the year, while the Steelers lost big time to Cleveland. The Steelers just have not been getting enough out of their running game, and their defense isn?t as top notch as it used to be. The Steelers defense should be able to stop Plummer, but the key is can they stop Portis?

Buffalo vs. NY Jets
Santana Moss will get his first start of the year, and could be the key ingredient the Jets have needed. Drew Bledsoe and the Bills survived a scare from the Bengals last week, and will need to play better or they?ll be handed another loss. The Jets should be able to win this game if Vinny Testaverde doesn?t have to throw on every down.

Baltimore vs. Arizona
Marcell Shipp will get the start this week and could surprise people with his skills. The Ravens will continue to do what their game plan has been all year, and that is let Jamal Lewis win them games not Kyle Boller. If the Cardinals could play together they would be a .500 team, but they can?t and the Ravens defense will force plenty of pressure on the Cardinals O-line.

San Francisco vs. Seattle
The 49ers can get back into things if they can knock off the Seahawks. The Seahawks defense has been lit up on several occasions, and will have trouble stopping the 49ers set of receivers. Matt Hasselbeck will need to be more effective, or the Seahawks could go a long losing streak.

Atlanta vs. St. Louis
If only Michael Vick would be playing. Doug Johnson did his best last week, but the Falcons defense couldn?t stop Randy Moss. If they can?t stop him alone, just imagine what Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce will be able to do.


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