The Minnesota Vikings have won two of the last three games against the Kansas City Chiefs, but this is clearly a new and unpredictable Vikings team. The only constant seems to be Adrian Peterson, who appears to be back in form with 75 rushes for 372 yards and three touchdowns on the season. The bye week may have given the Vikings coaching staff time to develop a more effective plan for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to connect with receivers Mike Wallace, Kyle Rudolph and Adam Thielen. Minnesota is currently in second in the NFC North division but is falling quickly behind the seemingly unstoppable Green Bay Packers.
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs would be quite happy to sport a 2-2 record right now. Instead the team is 1-4 and sitting at the bottom of the AFC West Division, losing the last four. The loss on Sunday to the Chicago Bears stung in many ways. After an impressive first half, it all went downhill, starting with running back Jamaal Charles tearing his ACL in a non-contact play. Jaye Howard and Allen Baily made big plays on defense, and the Chiefs will need them to step up again if they expect to turn this around. They won’t. Vikings will win with big numbers from A.P. in Minneapolis.
Can the Detroit Lions continue a three-game win streak against the Chicago Bears? Sitting at 0-5 this season and at the bottom of the NFC North Division, it seems unlikely.
Coming off an energizing win against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the Bears are looking to improve to 3-3. With Quarterback Jay Cutler behind center again, Chicago appears to be moving in the right direction after a dreadful start. They simply need to find ways to put points on the board, as the team ranks 28th in the league with an average of 17.2 points per game. The offensive line must do a better job of protecting Cutler, who has been sacked seven times this season.
The Lions can’t seem to pull off a win. The team’s 16.6 points per game is 30th in the league. The rushing yards might tell the real story with a 49 average, ranking the team 32nd. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford hasn’t built any confidence with teammates, coaches or fans, either. He was benched midway through the third quarter on Sunday in the 42-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals after three interceptions. Meanwhile, Coach Jim Caldwell says Stafford is still his guy. Stafford better turn things around quickly, and he will. The Lions will pull off a win in at Ford Field.
Despite the team records, this looks to be a good game, at least on paper. Surprisingly, the Cleveland Browns offense is outperforming the Denver Broncos in total yards per game, passing yards per game and rushing yards per game. Not surprisingly, the Broncos have won the last three match-ups against the Browns. Could this game end Denver’s streak?
The Broncos, perched atop the AFC West, keep finding ways to win behind quarterback Peyton Manning. The 16-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday was far from pretty. Manning threw two interceptions, but the Denver defense has been spectacular with big plays from linebacker Von Miller and cornerback Chris Harris.
The losing record of the Browns puts the team in third place in the AFC North. Even so, a win against the Broncos will reenergize the team. Quarterback Josh McCown, with six touchdowns and only one interception on the season, will need a big day. He could use some help from the running backs, but he won’t get any. Look for McCown to connect even more with Travis Benjamin and Gary Barnidge if the Browns want to stay in the game. Denver’s luck will end, and the Broncos will suffer its first defeat on Sunday. CV