Monday, September 27, 2021

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Game Day


Minnesota Vikings (2-1) vs. Denver Broncos (3-0)
When: Sunday, Oct. 4
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado
Kickoff: 3:25 p.m. CST

The Minnesota Vikings have looked like a formidable team with wins against the Broncos helmet Vikings helmet Detroit Lions and the San Diego Chargers the past two weeks after laying an egg in San Francisco in week one. Adrian Peterson appears to be back to his old self with two touchdowns last week, while Teddy Bridgewater is doing just enough — with Peterson in the backfield, that’s all he needs to do. Meanwhile, the defense is as strong as it has looked in years. But are they strong enough to handle Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Denver?

With close wins over the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs, and a tough win over Detroit last week, the Broncos simply find ways to win. And that’s what you expect from Manning. His numbers aren’t stellar, at 81 of 127 with five touchdowns and three interceptions, but the stat that matters the most shows in the team record.

Bottom line: If the Vikings defense can put hits on Manning, they might pull it off. If not, look for Broncos to continue in the win column.

Dallas Cowboys (2-1) vs. New Orleans Saints (0-3)
When: Sunday, Oct. 4
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CST

Prep Iowa

The Dallas Cowboys pulled out a squeaker in week one with a win over the New York Saints helmet Cowboys helmetGiants, handled the Philadelphia Eagles in week two and then lost to the Atlanta Falcons in a disappointing week-three game. Yes, starting quarterback Tony Romo is out until week 11, but this team should still prosper even with Brandon Weeden behind that big offensive line. After a few more losses, don’t be surprised to see Matt Cassel at the job. With Des Bryant out, the run game simply has to be more of a focus.

Having said that, the winless New Orleans Saints are simply awful. With losses to the Arizona Cardinals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers, the Saints have dug themselves into a hole that will be tough to escape. Don’t blame backup quarterback Luke McCown. He is holding his own as a replacement for Drew Brees, but he can’t do it all on his own, despite completing 30 of 37 passes last week. He gave the Saints a chance to win against the Panthers, but the defense let them all down. Expect more of the same on Sunday.

Oakland Raiders (2-1) vs. Chicago Bears (0-3)
When: Sunday, Oct. 4
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
Kickoff: noon CST

Are the Oakland Raiders for real? It would appear so. With wins the past two weeks Bears helmet Raiders helmetagainst the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns, they seem to be ready to go to 3-1. The loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in week one may have been a wake-up call for Coach Jack Del Rio and the boys. And after fending off a late comeback from the Browns, the Raiders finally showed that they could win a game in the Eastern Time zone. Even so, they haven’t been in the playoffs since 2002. It’s early, but so far, so good.

What do you say about the Chicago Bears? After being blown out by the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, the season’s outlook is getting dimmer and dimmer. Quarterback Jimmy Clausen is painful to watch, which was apparent last week with just 22 passing yards in the first half. He is now 23 of 40 for 184 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception. Enough said. Jay Cutler is expected to be out at least another week, possibly more. The pain will continue. CV

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