Toronto Sports Media Game of the Night: NFL Friday Preview

Cincinnati Bengals (2-3, 1-2 away) VS Atlanta Falcons (4-2, 2-0 home) @ Georgia Dome on CBS

Line: ATL -4

Total: 42.5

Reason to watch: The Bengals and Falcons are two teams that don’t play each other often, the last time these teams played was in Oct 29, 2006 in Falcons 29-27 victory. A lot has changed for the Bengals and Falcons since then and find themselves in a crucial Week 7 game. Consensus on this would be that Falcons, a very good home team will walk over a Bengals team that dropped it’s last two games to the Browns and Bucs before heading into their bye.

But, Cinncy did beat the Ravens this year and their tough secondary could cause problems for Matt Ryan. Atlanta was riding a four game winning streak before playing in Eagles team that was winless at home before last Sunday.

Despite the 31-17 loss the Falcons are still considered one of the top teams in the NFC, but they continue to struggle on the road ( or at least in the state of Pennsylvania, they’re 0-2 there in 2010)  and have a stretch of 4 of 5 weeks on the road from Nov 11 to Dec 19 ( they play @St. Louis, @Tampa, @ Carolina, @ Seattle, it’s not like it’s the toughest stretch ever but right before the holidays I’m sure it will make a tough run even harder).

CB Dunta Robinson will not be in the line up after his huge collision with DeSean Jackson last week, but Falcons LB Curtis Lofton who had 133 tackles in 2009 will be good to go Sunday.

Sum it up: Falcons are playing some of the best football in NFC and will try to pound it the football right at the Bengals. Falcons probably win in a shoot-out.

Washington Redskins (3-3, 1-1 away) VS Chicago Bears (4-2, 2-1 home) @ Soldier Field on FOX

Line: CHI by 3

Total: 40

Reason to watch: With both teams getting off to good starts I don’t think anyone would be surprised if either teams were to drop the next 5 or 6 games in a row and spend another season in the top 10 of the draft and out of the playoffs. The Redskins are definitely the team that looks like their stock is heading up between these two. The Skins have been a scrappy squad under Mike Shanahan playing in two overtime games already and if they only would have showed up Week 3 in St. Louis they’d be 4-2 as well.

The Bears are coming off an embarrassing loss at home last week against the Seahawks and look to have major problems from the secondary cause Mike Williams (the other Mike Williams from ‘SC) had 10 catches for 123 yards. Jay Cutler struggled throwing the ball he was 17 of 39 for 290 yards no TDs, while TE Greg Olsen went without a catch on 4 targets.

The Bears struggled running the ball too only rushing for 64 yards on 14 attempts. Seattle shut down Matt Forte too 11 yards on 8 carries.

Sum it up: This is going to be one sloppy football game. Both squads are struggling with their offensive lines and are struggling to establish solid run games. Expect an ugly game with lots of penalties. Redskins move on to 4-3 in wide open NFC East.

Philadelphia Eagles (4-2, 3-0 away) VS Tennessee Titans (4-2, 1-2 home) @  LP Field on FOX

Line: Ten by 3

Total: 42.5

Reason to watch: If you think last week had a lot of injuries, this game will definitely feature the cart driver once or twice when these hard hitting teams meet on Sunday. Kevin Kolb looked great last week and continues to look like he’s an awesome QB in spot starts. With Vick inching closer to returning and the pressure for Kolb to perform at high level will be even harder without DeSean Jackson this week. Jackson maybe speaking in klingon after getting blasted by Dunta Robinson, so pressure will be on second year pro Jeremy Maclin.

The Eagles defense doesn’t know which quarterback to prepare with Vince Young rehabbing a knee injury we won’t know till Sunday who will start. This is an advantage for the Titans, especially if Young starts because he’s so dynamic with his feet, plus the game plan between him and Collins is huge.

The Eagles are going to be without DT Brodick Bunkley, who needs elbow surgery and will miss the remainder of the season. DT Trevor Laws will try and step up and slow down Chris Johnson.

Sum it up: Unless the Titans pass D breaks down this is going to be a real low scoring affair. The Eagles losing Jackson also will be a huge blow to special teams. Titans end the Eagles perfect road record.

Jacksonville Jaguars (3-3, 1-1 away) VS Kansas City Chiefs (3-2, 2-0 home) @ Arrowhead Stadium on CBS

Line: KAN by 10

Total: 37.5

Reason to watch: The Jags are probably going to start Trent Edwards, which if you ask any Bills fans will tell you it’s the home of three and out. Kansas City lost a heartbreaker last week to the Texans, but they have a great coaching staff to help a young team move past it. The Chiefs offense will benefit from a Jags defense that will be worn down from an offense that won’t give them much time to rest.

With no one comparable to Andre Johnson in the Jags wide receiving core, the Chiefs defense can go back to applying outside pressure on the QB with Brandon Flowers, one of the corner backs in run support.

Sum it up: Chiefs may struggle in the 1st quarter but wear down the Jags in a big win.

Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1, 2-0 away) VS Miami Dolphins (3-2, 0-2 home) @ Sun Life Stadium on CBS

Line: PIT by 3

Total: 41

Reason to watch: This is the crown jewel on the Sunday one o’clock games. The Steelers are probably the best team in football right now, and that’s scary considering they just got Roethlisberger back and looked to not have missed a beat. I’d talk about Colt McCoy but I’m covering the Browns game next so I’ll hold my apologize till then.

The Dolphins bounced back after their bye week with a big win in Green Bay to try and keep their playoff hopes alive in a division that features two one loss teams. Can’t forget, a big shout out to Dolphins LB Cameron Wake, the former two time CFL Defensive MVP, had a break out game last week against the Packers with 3 sacks, to give him 6 on the season.

Sum it up: If you consider yourself a hardcore football fan and high scoring games don’t mean as much to you as the casual fan, oh boy, you’re in luck. 41 seems like a lot of points.

Cleveland Browns (1-5, 0-3 away) VS New Orleans Saints (4-2, 2-1 home) @ Superdome on CBS

Line: NOR by 14

Total: 43.5

Reason to watch: First, i’d like to start by apologizing to Browns QB Colt McCoy, I thought he was going to get schmized by the Steelers defense. But in his first career start against the leagues No.1 defense, McCoy was 23 of 33 for 281 for a 1 TD and 2 INT (well played McCoy, well played). So what does young Colt get for surviving the Steelers, a date with the Saints and their Blitz loving DC Gregg Williams.

New Orleans looked like it had a wake up call two weeks ago against Arizona and wasn’t going to be upset twice, handily beating the Bucs 31-6. Drew Brees was great going 21 of 32 for 263 yards 3 TDs and 1 INT ( two of those TDs over 40 yards). The Saints looked like they had a huge hole at running back and had to turn to pre season hero Chris Ivory, and he did not disappoint with 15 carries for 158 yards. The Saints rans for 212 yards in total and look like they are back to business.

Sum it up: Saints win big. two touchdown big? I don’t know.

The games nobody but the fantasy guys are watching:

St. Louis Rams (3-3, 0-2 away) VS Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2, 1-2 home)

Line: TAM by 3

Total: 38

&

San Francisco 49ers (1-5, 0-3 away) VS Carolina Panthers (0-5, 0-3 home)

Line: SF by 3

Total: 33.5

What to expect: Both home teams will win this one. Mark it in stone, the Rams will continue to struggle on the road, while the 49ers will follow up their first win by handing the now Matt Moore led Panthers to their first win. Poor Foxy probably started packing up the office weeks ago.

Buffalo Bills (0-5, 0-2 road) VS Baltimore Ravens (4-2, 2-0 home) @ MT&T Bank Stadium on CBS

Line: BAL by 14

Total: 40

Reason to watch: In a game of not by how much but by how many, the Ravens will be looking for blood after dropping a game they should of had in New England. The Ravens will bring major pressure against a wonky Bills o-line, luckily Bills Harvard grad QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has a few more brain cells then most guys in the league (and 200 times more then yours truly) may take a knocking.

Sum it up: Maybe the Ravens send out the second unit and C.J. Spiller starts living up to that large contract.

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