Week 7 is about to kick off, so let’s not waste a lot of time, and get straight to the previewing:
Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings, 1pm ET
The Arizona Cardinals may be one of the most intriguing teams in the NFL right now. For one thing, they were one of the teams who had a QB battle during the offseason, as the Cardinals had finished their 2011 season on a 6-1 note under John Skelton, but had paid Kevin Kolb the big bucks. John Skelton entered the season as the starter, but was injured Week 1, and Kevin Kolb took over. The Cardinals raced out to 4-0, with Kolb showing massive improvement, and then lost suddenly to the St. Louis Rams two weeks back. Enter last week against the Bills, Kolb continues to struggle a little bit, gets hurt, and in comes Skelton. Just when the Cardinals had another chance in over time, Skelton throws an interception, the Bills kick the game winning field goal. Good night.
Now, with Kolb out 6-8 weeks, Skelton has another chance to redeem himself, if he can right the ship and keep the Cardinals from losing a 3rd straight game, he has a chance to take over the job for good. Unless he gets hurt himself, and in comes 3rd string QB Ryan Lindley.
Minnesota on the other hand has been surprising this season (4-2) and Christian Ponder has been outstanding. The Vikings defense is 11th against the pass (allow 217 ypg) and 10th against the run (96 ypg) despite having a turnover ratio of -1. Ponder has only thrown 4 INTs so far, and it took him until Week 5 to do so. As long as he can continue to keep the turnovers down, the Vikings can continue to be successful, and possibly make a run at the NFC North.
Dallas Cowboys @ Carolina Panthers, 1 PM EST
Cam Newton needs a monster game to turnaround his and Carolina’s season. Reports have been surfacing that Newton spent his bye week playing video games and not really focusing, which, to each his own, I don’t think you can come down on him for it, but if his teammates aren’t happy….oh boy! Newton is 25th or lower in all passing categories, with an unimpressive 4 TDs and 5 INTs, but can still rebound if he puts up a good performance today. The Panthers are 1-4 this season, and while all hope may be lost, it’s not too late to mount a decent season, we’ve seen it before. It won’t be easy, the Panthers have Dallas, at Chicago, at Washington, and then Denver and Tampa Bay at home.
Dallas, on the other hand, had a huge meltdown within the final minute against Baltimore last week, they need this game to get themselves ontop of an NFC East division that has been tougher than many accounted for. Romo is tied for second in the league in turnovers (9 INTs), and Jason Garrett simply refuses to run the football. With no balance offensively, Dallas is predictable, and it puts Tony Romo into tough situations. If the Carolina defense can get after Romo, the Panthers have a legitimate shot at pulling the upset.
Sears: SEA, MIN, CAR, GB, WAS, TEN, IND, PATS, OAK, PIT, CHI
Craig: SF, BUF, DAL, HOU, IND, MIN, NYG, GB, NO, NE, OAK, PIT, CHI
Seahorn: SF, BUF, NYG, NO, DAL, HOU, IND, GB, MIN, NE, OAK, CIN, CHI
McQueen: SF, NO, BUF, NYG, DAL, BAL, IND, GB, ARI, NE, JAX, PIT, CHI
Ryan: SF, BUF, CAR, HOU, IND, ARI, WAS, GB, TB, NYJ, OAK, PIT, DET