Detroit is staring down a potential 1-4 start, a year after beginning the season 5-0 and reaching the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. Since that start, the Lions are 6-10. Another loss today, and a return to the playoffs seems unlikely. Only 6 out of 101 teams to start 1-4 since 1990 have reached the postseason, and the NFC looks like the tougher conference, making 10 wins seem like a necessary target.
The Eagles have been involved in close games all year, though, thanks to their own turnovers and miscues. If Detroit wants to win, the recipe involves turnovers, and getting Calvin Johnson in favorable situations and taking advantage of the opportunities.
Dallas at Baltimore: Dallas has had almost two weeks to stew over that dreadful Monday night game against Chicago. Have the offensive line and receiver timing issues been worked out? Baltimore had a pretty bland game offensively last week, surviving thanks to continued Kansas City miscues.
Kansas City at Tampa Bay: Romeo Crennel and Greg Schiano will have a contest to see who can run the ball the most in this one, as neither trusts their passing game.
Cleveland at Cincinnati: Joe Haden is back from his Adderall suspension to go head to head with A.J. Green. The matchup may be decided by what Cincinnati does against the other cornerback, Buster Skrine.
St. Louis at Miami: Two teams that courted Jeff Fisher strongly this offseason. He chose St. Louis, in part because Bradford was in place. We’ll see how that looks today.
Oakland at Atlanta: The Raiders pass defense has been horrid, and they’ve had two weeks to get ready for Julio Jones and Roddy White. Darren McFadden has yet to have a huge game. They will need it today to have a chance.
Indianapolis at NY Jets: The Jets get a little healthier with Stephen Hill back, Keller back, and Nick Mangold in. They still need to stop the run better, and Vick Ballard gets the start for the Colts.
4 PM Games
Buffalo at Arizona: The Bills defense is under fire, and gets a wounded offense that struggled blocking last week, and is down both top running backs. Moveable Object vs. Stoppable Force?
New England at Seattle: Seahawks are allowing only 53.3% completions to receivers and 11.5 yards per reception so far this year. Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd will try to test that.
NY Giants at San Francisco: The NFC title game rematch features the always dangerous Giants going against the team that is playing best right now. Must see TV.
Minnesota at Washington: The Vikings are 4-1, and Percy Harvin should be a matchup nightmare today. Robert Griffin III is expected to play a week after leaving a game with a concussion.
[photo via US Presswire]