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Game Capsules: Breaking Down Monday Night

Erik Siegrist

Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.

Arizona at San Francisco (+4), 43 o/u – Thursday, 8:25 p.m. EDT

Comments: The season is now officially threatening to go off the rails for the Cardinals. Not only are they at the bottom of the NFC West at 1-3, they're now going to be without the services of Carson Palmer for at least one week due to a concussion. Not that their passing game was anything close to the well-oiled machine it was last year, mind you, but the gap in quality between Palmer and Drew Stanton might be bigger than any other team's QB depth chart offers. He might be able to handle a 49ers defense that just lost NaVorro Bowman to an Achilles injury – maybe – but after that, Arizona faces the Jets, Seahawks and Panthers in rapid succession before getting its bye week. If Palmer is out more than one game, the Cards can pretty much kiss 2016 goodbye. ... The offense might be sputtering, but Arizona's defense has remained pretty stout. It’s allowed just 20 points a game, mostly due to a strong secondary that has more picks (five) than passing TDs allowed (four). The Cards also rank in the top 10 in completion percentage allowed and sacks, and last time they faced a Chip Kelly offense (Week 15 of last year) they held the Eagles to 17 points. ... Bowman isn't the only big injury for San Francisco's defense. First-round pick DeForest Buckner (foot) will miss Thursday's game, as will starting cornerback Jimmie Ward (quad). Glenn Dorsey is also still limited as he works his way back from last year's ACL tear. Those roster holes are more likely to benefit David Johnson, who's topped 100 yards from scrimmage in every game so far, than they are Stanton, though.


Predictions: Johnson continues to roll, racking up 130 combined yards and two touchdowns. Stanton struggles, throwing for just 160 yards. Carlos Hyde bangs out 80 yards, while Blaine Gabbert throws for 200 yards and a TD to Aaron Burbridge while running in a second score. 49ers, 20-17

New England at Cleveland (+10.5), 46.5 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

Comments: He's ba-a-a-a-ack. Tom Brady returns to the fold just in time, as the smoke and mirrors Bill Belichick was using to keep the offense humming under Jacoby Brissett failed to fool the Bills last week. The Browns' defense has allowed 10 passing TDs and only recorded six sacks, so this is pretty much the ideal matchup for Brady if he needs to shake off any rust. Cleveland's also given up 325 receiving yards to tight ends through four games (second-most in the league), so Brady's return might also help light a fire under Rob Gronkowski. ... On the other sideline, Cody Kessler has surprisingly held his own in his first two NFL games, although he's done it against defenses that rank 24th (Miami) and 22nd (Washington) in QB rating against. The Patriots haven't been elite against the pass so far, but their 88.0 QB rating against puts them 15th, a clear notch above Kessler's first two opponents. Belichick's schemes also have a knack for discombobulating rookie quarterbacks, so this could well be the week Kessler falls back to earth. New England also sits 15th in rushing yards allowed per game, but with a weak YPC allowed of 4.3 (21st in the league), so the same might not be true for Isaiah Crowell. ... Joe Haden is still nursing a groin injury but should play for the Browns. LeGarrette Blount's hip is bothering him again but he's been able to practice this week and should start, while Rob Ninkovich has served his suspension but could be held out for one more week as he deals with a triceps injury.

Predictions: Blount gains only 50 yards but does score. Brady throws for 310 yards and touchdowns to Gronk and Julian Edelman. Crowell rushes for 80 yards and a TD, while Kessler gets picked off twice but does throw for 230 yards and a touchdown to Ricardo Louis. Patriots, 27-20

Philadelphia at Detroit (+3), 46 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

Comments: They haven't gotten a whole lot of attention yet, as the easy narrative hooks (undefeated start and outstanding rookie QB) have been given to Minnesota and Dallas respectively, but Philadelphia has to be one of the most surprising teams of the season's first quarter. The real hero of their 3-0 record has been the pass defense, though, which ranks third in QB rating against (66.1, just behind expected leaders Denver and Seattle) on the strength of a secondary that has yet to allow a TD and a pass rush that's racked up 10 sacks. The book seems to be out on Jim Bob Cooter's offense in Detroit, as even the Bears held Matthew Stafford in check last week, and with an extra week to prepare the Eagles' defense should be able to add another chapter. ... For his part, Wentz is in a pretty sweet spot this week. The Lions rank dead last in QB rating against, and are the only team on the season to allow both a completion percentage higher than 70 percent and double-digit passing TDs, managing just one INT for good measure. The rookie's attempted more than 30 passes in each of his first three NFL starts, and there's no reason to think the Detroit secondary is going to force the Eagles into a more conservative game plan. ... Stafford won't get much help from his running game Sunday. Dwayne Washington missed practice Wednesday while he recovers from an ankle injury, so Theo Riddick will have to carry a rushing load he's simply not cut out for while getting spelled by Zach Zenner. Philly could also be using a committee due to Ryan Mathews' own ankle injury, but he was able to practice fully Wednesday.

Predictions: Mathews starts and picks up 90 combined yards. Wentz throws for a career-high 330 yards and touchdowns to Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz and Dorial Green-Beckham, with Matthews hauling in 120 yards. Riddick manages 70 combined yards, mainly through the air, but Stafford is held to 240 yards and a touchdown to Marvin Jones. Eagles, 24-13

Chicago (+4.5) at Indianapolis, 47.5 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

Comments: The Brian Hoyer-Eddie Royal connection helped propel the Bears to their first win of the season last week, just as absolutely no one predicted. Jay Cutler's thumb should keep him out for at least one more game, but Hoyer may not know who he has to throw to until game time. Kevin White's now on IR with more leg problems and could need season-ending surgery, while Alshon Jeffery (knee), Royal (calf) and Zach Miller (ribs) are all less than 100 percent, with the latter two being held out of practice entirely Wednesday. The Colts aren't exactly known for slowing down opposition passing attacks, ranking 26th in QB rating against (100.4), but Deonte Thompson and Josh Bellamy don't seem like the kind of receivers capable of exploiting that weakness. ... Indy's own 1-3 start can't be pinned on Andrew Luck. He's on pace for over 4500 passing yards with a 62 percent completion rate and a 32:12 TD:INT, numbers in line with his 2014 breakout campaign, so it seems safe to say he's over last year's injury woes. Donte Moncrief's fractured shoulder blade has left T.Y. Hilton in his usual role as Luck's unquestioned favorite target, but Phillip Dorsett hasn't been able to step up in Moncrief's absence and it's hard to imagine the likes of Quan Bray or Cowboys castoff Devin Street filling Moncrief's cleats either. The Colts have been able to get away with that kind of one-dimensional passing game, and the Bears have too many key injuries in their secondary to prevent Luck from focusing in on Hilton, but as their schedule gets tougher (the Texans and Titans, both in the top 10 so far in QB rating against, loom in Weeks 6-7) they're going to have to diversify their target portfolio. ... As if the two teams didn't have enough banged-up players, Frank Gore missed practice Wednesday with a chest injury. If the veteran RB can't go Sunday, look for Robert Turbin to assume lead back duties with Josh Ferguson seeing a few more snaps in his passing-down role.

Predictions: Jordan Howard bashes out 80 yards and his first two NFL rushing TDs. Hoyer can't replicate the magic of the last two weeks, throwing for 240 yards and no touchdowns. Gore plays and rushes for 70 yards. Luck hits for 370 yards and four touchdowns, with Hilton scoring twice and pulling down 140 yards while Dorsett and Ferguson catch the other two scores. Bray returns a punt for a touchdown as well. Colts, 41-17

Tennessee (+3.5) at Miami, 43 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

Comments: While DeMarco Murray has turned back the clock to 2014 and the Titans defense has looked good through four games, Marcus Mariota has taken a big step backwards this season. Granted, he's faced a couple of tough defenses in the Vikings and Texans, but if you can't put up solid numbers against the Lions and Raiders, you're doing it wrong. Miami's pass defense has been nearly as bad as Oakland's (24th in QB rating against at 98.4, one spot ahead of the Raiders) but given Tennessee's lack of weapons and Mariota's struggles, it's hard to see him taking full advantage of that matchup. ... Mind you, Adam Gase hasn't transformed Ryan Tannehill into a star overnight either. Tannehill's YPA is a career-high 7.8 through four games under Gase, but he's also on pace for a career-high in interceptions without an increase in his TD rate, which is a bad combination. The Dolphins' offensive line issues, combined with Tannehill's at times brutal pocket awareness, will always limit his ceiling, and while the Titans don't have a terrific pass rush, their defense does rank eighth this season in QB rating against at 77.9. ... Obviously the biggest factor in this game will be the weather. As I write this, Hurricane Matthew is projected to have cleared southern Florida by Saturday as it crawls up the Atlantic coast, but there's still a possibility the league may have to shift the venue to Nashville. Even if the game does stay in Miami though, the field could be a bit of a mess, resulting in an old school, muddy war in the trenches that would seem to favor the Titans, who have Murray to carry the load, rather than the ragged committee the Dolphins have been using while Arian Foster recovers from hamstring and groin injuries.

Predictions: Murray churns out 80 yards and a TD, while Derrick Henry also scores his first NFL touchdown. Mariota throws for just 180 yards but avoids getting picked off. Jay Ajayi leads Miami's RBs with 60 yards, but Isaiah Pead is the one that gets into the end zone. Tannehill throws for 230 yards and a touchdown to DeVante Parker. Dolphins, 20-17

Washington (+3.5) at Baltimore, 45 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

Comments: Just as he did last season, Kirk Cousins used a big emotional win to kick his game into gear, and after posting a 1:3 TD:INT in Washington's first two games (both losses), he's flipped the script and recorded a 5:1 TD:INT during their two-game winning streak. For better or worse, this is clearly Cousins' team now, and while the Ravens arguably have the strongest pass defense of any team he's faced yet this year, their eight passing TDs allowed is more than any of Washington's 2016 opponents other than the Browns. None of those scores have gone to tight ends though, so Cousins may have to rely on someone other than Jordan Reed for his end zone targets. ... Baltimore's backfield situation seems to gain a little clarity when Terrance West had a big performance against Oakland and Justin Forsett got his walking papers (again), but this is still a muddle. Javorius Allen got his first touches of the season in Week 4 and didn't look out of place, while fourth round pick Kenneth Dixon is finally healthy enough to get into the mix as well. West has looked reborn this season but he also bounced through three teams in the previous two years while doing very little for some RB-needy teams in Cleveland and Tennessee, so he's far from a lock to keep it up. In the long term Dixon still looks like the best bet to seize the starting job, as his skill set is more reminiscent of what Ray Rice and Forsett provided at their peaks, but whether the long term starts in Week 5, Week 9 following the team's bye or Week 15 remains to be seen. Whoever gets the carries this week for the Ravens should be able to do some damage with them – Washington ranks 30th in rushing yards allowed at 133 per game, and 31st in YPC allowed at 4.9. The team just behind them in both? The Raiders, the team West ran roughshod over last week. ... Other than kick returner Devin Hester (thigh), the Ravens come into the game fairly healthy. Washington's a bit banged up on defense though, with Bashaud Breeland unlikely to play due to an ankle injury and Ryan Kerrigan nursing an elbow injury that limited him to eight snaps against Cleveland.

Predictions: Matt Jones is held to 40 yards, while Cousins can't maintain his momentum, throwing for 230 yards and a TD to Pierre Garcon. West leads the Ravens' backfield with 90 yards and a touchdown. Joe Flacco throws for 260 yards and scores to Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman. Ravens, 24-16

Houston (+6) at Minnesota, 40 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

Comments: Both teams come into this game missing the face of their respective franchises, but only one of them doesn't seem to miss their superstar. The Texans won their first game without J.J. Watt last week, but it wasn't a performance that inspired a lot of confidence. They let the Titans score what was for them a season-high 20 points, and the Houston offense remains decidedly out of sync as DeAndre Hopkins was basically invisible, which is hard to do with a guy who's 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds. Facing a Vikings defense this week that's been nasty against both the run and pass and is allowing just 12.5 points a game, second-best in the NFL to the Eagles, it's hard to imagine Brock Osweiler suddenly turning things around. ... Jerick McKinnon is never going to be the fantasy stud Adrian Peterson is (was?), but he put together a pretty solid showing last week and now gets to take aim at a Houston defense that's been surprisingly vulnerable on the ground, with or without Watt in the lineup. The Texans rank 27th in yards per game allowed (125.3), 29th in YPC allowed (4.6) and 29th in rushing TDs allowed (six). Matt Asiata is still around to pilfer goal line carries, but McKinnon looks like he could be poised for a nice run as Minnesota's starter. ... Stefon Diggs hasn't practiced this week due to a groin injury, while Kyle Rudolph is dealing with a minor rib injury, so there could be even more pressure on McKinnon to produce if the Vikings' passing game lacks its biggest threats.

Predictions: Lamar Miller has his worst game as a Texan, managing just 50 combined yards, while Osweiler throws for 230 yards and a TD to Hopkins but gets picked off twice, one of which is returned for a score by Terence Newman. McKinnon rambles for 110 yards and a touchdown, and Sam Bradford throws for 240 yards but no TDs. Vikings 20-10

N.Y. Jets (+7) at Pittsburgh, 48 o/u – Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT

Comments: Maybe the Jets had it right the first time when they didn't seem interested in re-signing Ryan Fitzpatrick. An unfathomably bad 1:9 TD:INT over the last two games has kicked the New York media rumor mill into overdrive (the only thing more ridiculous than a front office potentially looking to Tony Romo to be its savior is thinking about what Jerry Jones would ask for in a Romo trade), and while you can to some extent point to game flow and quality of opposition to excuse those performances, it's still nine interceptions in eight quarters. I mean, Brandon Weeden even thinks that's embarrassing. Here I've been waiting for all the rookie QBs to fall on their face, and instead it's the 33-year-olds who are playing like rookies. Maybe the Jets should just throw Christian Hackenberg out there and see what happens – he can't be any worse, right? The Steelers' young secondary has allowed a lot of passing yards so far as teams try to keep up with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, but they've been semi-respectable on a per-play basis, ranking in the middle of the pack in YPA allowed (7.7, 18th in the league) and QB rating against (87.8, good for 14th). If Fitzpatrick can shake off the last two weeks he could put up some good numbers Sunday, even with Eric Decker (shoulder) probably out again, but in leagues that count INTs as negatives he's basically unusable until he proves he's got his confidence back. ... Le'Veon Bell rag-dolled the Chiefs for 178 yards from scrimmage in his return last week, but the Jets could pose a stiffer challenge. They're currently second in the NFL in both YPC allowed and yards per game allowed, behind the absurd numbers the Packers have put up through their three games. Then again, both LeSean McCoy and Christine Michael managed 90 combined yards against them, and good as those guys are they aren't Le'Veon Bell. ... Darrelle Revis may not play due to a hamstring injury, but given how he's looked when on the field this year that could be addition by subtraction for New York. Quincy Enunwa was also a late add to the injury report with a knee injury. Ryan Shazier (knee) is the biggest name missing for Pittsburgh.

Predictions: Matt Forte rushes for 60 yards, but Bilal Powell leads the backfield with 80 combined yards and a receiving TD. Fitzpatrick throws for 320 yards and a second score to Brandon Marshall, who tops 100 yards, and “only” throws two picks. Progress! Bell stays hot, picking up 140 combined yards and two TDs (one rushing, one receiving), while Roethlisberger throws for 330 yards and three passing touchdowns, with Brown and Jesse James catching the other two. Brown also hauls in 150 yards. Steelers, 34-17

Atlanta (+6) at Denver, 47 o/u – Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EDT

Comments: After three games against inferior defenses to open the season the Falcons were supposed to get a reality check, but nobody told that to Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Last week's incredible performance against the Panthers basically served notice that Atlanta can outscore anybody – even the team playing their defense. The next two weeks will be the real test though, as they travel to Denver and then Seattle, who merely rank first and second in QB rating against this season. Those two squads have combined for 29 sacks and nine INTs through four games and oh, by the way, the Seahawks have a bye this week and will be well-rested and well-prepared. Every year there are teams that get off to hot starts which prove to be mirages, and Atlanta may well be one of them. On the other hand, if they come through the toughest part of their schedule at 3-3 in a division that suddenly looks very winnable, trying to outscore their opponent every week could be a viable path to the postseason. ... Trevor Siemian hurt his non-throwing shoulder last week but Paxton Lynch stepped in and the offense didn't miss a beat, because apparently the NCAA and NFL are basically the same level of competition now. Siemian looks like he'll play, but whoever is under center for the Broncos will be facing a Falcons defense that's surrendered a league-high 13 passing TDs already and sits 29th in QB rating against at 104.8. He's been unpredictable with his production to say the least, doing little against the Colts but lighting up the Bengals, which means he'll be lucky to produce even semi-useful numbers in this one if the pattern holds. ... Virgil Green (calf) could return to the lineup for Denver this week, while Atlanta's skill players are all healthy, or at least as healthy as Julio ever is.

Predictions: Devonta Freeman ekes out 70 combined yards and a TD, while Tevin Coleman adds 50 yards. Ryan throws for 220 yards but does hit Jones for a touchdown. C.J. Anderson gallops for 110 yards and a score. Siemian starts but manages only 190 yards, although he does find Emmanuel Sanders and Devontae Booker in the end zone. Broncos, 24-20

Cincinnati at Dallas (+1), 45.5 o/u – Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EDT

Comments: Vontaze Burfict's return last week helped the Bengals defense find their 2015 form again, as they held the Dolphins to just seven points. Dak Prescott continues to shine as he approaches the NFL record for consecutive passes without an INT to begin a career (he's 31 unpicked attempts from tying Tom Brady's mark), but he also has yet to stare down a top 10 pass defense. Cinci only ranks 16th on the year in QB rating against so far, so they don't qualify either, but they do have four interceptions after plucking 21 last year, third in the league. Prescott's ability to avoid mistakes (or at least not getting burned for the ones he does make) could be the difference in this one. ... With Dez Bryant (knee) likely out again, the Cowboys will continue to lean heavily on Ezekiel Elliott. The rookie has gotten at least 20 carries in every game of his young career and has started to thrive on the big workload as he gets acclimated to the pros. The Bengals are one of just two teams yet to allow a rushing TD on the season (along with, bizarrely, the Lions), but if Elliott gets enough cracks at the end zone they could find it very difficult to keep that goose egg. ... I hope you're sitting down for this one: Lance Dunbar isn't practicing due to a knee injury. DeMarcus Lawrence, who was supposed to bolster the Dallas pass rush this week after serving his own suspension, is also dealing with a back issue, as is kicker Dan Bailey. Andy Dalton's been sacked 13 times already, so Lawrence could make a quick impact if he is able to play. Tyler Eifert's return from his own back injury will have to wait at least one more week for the Bengals.

Predictions: Jeremy Hill rushes for 60 yards, while Giovani Bernard picks up 70 combined yards, but neither scores. Dalton throws for 220 yards and TDs to A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. Elliott is held to 80 yards but does get a touchdown. Prescott's streak without an interception ends short of the record, but he still throws for 260 yards and a TD to Cole Beasley, and leads the game-winning drive for a field goal. Cowboys, 23-20

Buffalo (+2.5) at Los Angeles, 39.5 o/u – Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EDT

Comments: The Bills' defense stomped all over Bill Belichick's boys in Week 5 like Hillary Clinton dismantling Donald Trump at a presidential debate, shutting New England out just one week after the Pats shut out the Texans, which perhaps bodes poorly for Buffalo's chances of scoring any points this week. With Sammy Watkins unavailable, Tyrod Taylor has taken a big step backwards, seeing his YPA drop from 8.0 last year to a woeful 6.7. LeSean McCoy has been productive and is on pace for his first season with more than 1500 yards from scrimmage since 2013, but will probably see more stacked boxes going forward if Taylor can't give other teams a reason to respect the Bills' passing game. The team's recent coaching shakeup just rearranged the deck chairs on this Titanic – other than McCoy the Bills simply lack weapons, and no amount of clever scheming can change that. ... You could say the same things about the Rams, who have Todd Gurley and, uhh, well, Todd Gurley, but a lack of big names in their passing name hasn't stopped them from jumping out to a 3-1 start that includes wins over Seattle and Arizona. They're also one of only two teams in the NFL with a winning record and a negative point differential, with the Texans being the other, but that's what happens when lose a game by shutout (the Rams' blanking came in Week 1 at the hands of the Niners). You can't even point to a particular strength of the defense as the reason behind their early success. The Rams have an uncharacteristic seven sacks through four games, putting their streak of four straight seasons with 40-plus in jeopardy, and while Aaron Donald came alive last week, Robert Quinn could miss Sunday's game with a shoulder injury. They currently sit 10th in QB rating against (one spot behind Buffalo, in fact), but it's a ranking that seems like it could drop in a hurry if they don't start generating more pressure. ... The Bills' defense isn't 100 percent either. The team was expecting to get Marcell Dareus back from suspension this week, but he strained a hamstring in practice and may not play. Stephon Gilmore is also limping due to an ankle injury.

Predictions: McCoy reels in 100 combined yards and a touchdown. Taylor throws for 190 yards and a TD to Charles Clay while adding 40 yards and a score on the ground. Gurley has his best game of the season, running for 120 yards and two TDs, and Case Keenum throws for 250 yards and a touchdown to Tavon Austin. Rams, 27-21

San Diego (+3.5) at Oakland, 50 o/u – Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EDT

Comments: So, how will the Chargers blow this one? Three times in four games now, San Diego has coughed up a fourth quarter lead, an incredible run of late-game ineptitude, and while Melvin Gordon's fumbling might get most of the blame for the Week 4 defeat, there's really plenty of responsibility to go around. Incredibly, if you just look at their statistical performance so far you'd think the Chargers were doing pretty well. They're actually winning the turnover battle at plus-1 (yeah, I couldn't believe it either), their QB rating against is a respectable 11th at 85.7, and their run defense ranks in the top 10. They just haven't been able to close the deal. Even if they get a lead in this one, though, another collapse could be looming. Getting Antonio Gates (hamstring) back, even in a limited capacity, might at least help boost morale, but the Raiders are a bad team to face when you're down two starting cornerbacks – Jason Verrett's knee injury landed him on IR, and Brandon Flowers is out with a concussion. ... Oakland, meanwhile, heads home all fat and sassy after their big win in Baltimore. Their defense remains a mess – they're 25th in QB rating against at 98.6, but that's a lot better than their feverish 32nd place ranking in YPC allowed (5.1) or 31st place in rushing yards allowed per game (1134.5) – but Derek Carr's 9:1 TD:INT can cure a lot of ills. Strangely, Amari Cooper has gotten none of those scores, but the second-year receiver is still on pace to top his impressive rookie numbers in targets, catches and yards. So is Michael Crabtree, but with the benefit of a 16-TD pace as well. Expect those touchdowns to start evening out. ... Latavius Murray is out with a toe injury, which will give DeAndre Washington a chance to show that the Raiders don't need Murray anyway. Washington's been very impressive in his limited touches so far, posting a 6.4 YPC, and while the Chargers sit ninth in YPC allowed at 3.6, they've also come up short when it matters just like the rest of the team, giving up seven rushing TDs in four games.

Predictions: Gordon rebounds with 90 yards and a touchdown. Philip Rivers throws for 340 yards and scores to Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams. Dexter McCluster also returns the season's first kickoff for a touchdown. Washington fizzles, rushing for only 50 yards, but Jalen Richard adds 60 yards and a score. Carr throws for 250 yards and two TDs to Cooper, who pulls in 110 yards. Chargers, 31-24

N.Y. Giants (+7.5) at Green Bay, 48 o/u – Sunday, 8:30 p.m. EDT

Comments: While Odell Beckham's lack of touchdowns and general frustration get all the attention, it's hard to argue with him that the Giants' offense just isn't fun any more. They've scored the sixth-fewest points in the NFL so far (and less than the two teams that have already had their byes), and while Eli Manning's 7.8 YPA is his best since 2011, it's being fueled mainly by short, conservative passes rather than bombs. The Packers may force Ben McAdoo to open things up despite himself, however. Green Bay's run defense has been ridiculous – they're 1.8 YPC allowed not only leads the league, it's half of seventh place Buffalo's – but their pass defense sits 29th in QB rating against and has a secondary beset by injuries, as Sam Shields (concussion) is out and Damarious Randall (groin) is hobbled. If McAdoo insists on trying to establish the run and play it close to the vest though, this one could get out of hand in a hurry. ... The Giants' front seven has also been stout against the run, sitting third at 3.2 YPC allowed, but it's amazing how little production $200 million in free agent contracts actually gets you these days. Despite their offseason spending spree to reinforce the defense, the Giants are the only team in the league without an interception yet and are tied with the Falcons for last place in sacks with a measly four. Aaron Rodgers' numbers are still abysmal, but the Packers looked like the Packers again in the first half against the Lions before essentially shutting things down, and if he gets time in the pocket Rodgers should be able to pick New York's own injury-riddled secondary apart. ... Larry Donnell is also out with a concussion, while Rashad Jennings is iffy as he recovers from a thumb injury. Jared Cook is out for the Packers with an ankle injury.

Predictions: Orleans Darkwa starts and gets held to just 30 yards, but Paul Perkins again makes a splash in limited touches, gaining 50 combined yards. Manning throws for 280 yards and three TDs, two to Beckham (finally!) and one to Will Tye, with Beckham totalling 120 yards. Eddie Lacy rumbles for 60 yards and a score. Rodgers throws for a season-high 310 yards and touchdowns to Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Trevor Davis. Packers, 31-24

Tampa Bay (+7) at Carolina, 46 o/u – Monday, 8:30 p.m. EDT

Comments: Cam Newton's concussion leaves him officially questionable, but the 1-3 Panthers may want to start questioning the wisdom of throwing him out there at less than 100 percent. The season is far from a lost cause, but if they pick up another couple of losses it might be time to start worrying about the long-term health of their franchise player. Newton's playing style is always going to lead to big hits, but it's fair to wonder if he ever fully recovered from getting hammered by the Broncos in the second half of Week 1. The team does get their bye in Week 7 though, and next week get to face a soft Saints defense, so expect them to ride Cam until then as much as the league's concussion protocol allows them to. ... Jameis Winston is rapidly running out of compadres. Vincent Jackson's face is on milk cartons, Austin Seferian-Jenkins got kicked to the curb (or at least the Jets, which is basically the same thing), and now both Doug Martin (hamstring) and Charles Sims (knee) are iffy, which could leave the running game in the hands of Jacquizz Rodgers and undrafted rookie free agent Peyton Barber. Don't expect much from whoever gets the carries Monday night though. Carolina's done a lot of things wrong so far but stopping the run isn't one of them, as they sit sixth in YPC allowed (3.5). Fortunately, Winston still has Mike Evans, and against a Panthers' secondary that seems to really be missing Josh Norman and sits 30th in YPA allowed (8.6), that might be enough. ... Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) doesn't look ready to return for Carolina, while Tampa's front seven is really beat up with Gerald McCoy (calf) and second round pick Noah Spence (shoulder) among the players listed as questionable.

Predictions: Barber leads the Bucs backfield with 40 yards. Winston throws for 260 yards and TDs to Evans and Cameron Brate, but gets picked off twice. Fozzy Whittaker picks up 70 combined yards and scores. Newton starts but doesn't make it to halftime before being sidelined again. Derek Anderson takes over, throwing for 220 yards and touchdowns to Ted Ginn and Philly Brown. Panthers, 24-14

Last week's record: 9-6, 6-8-1 ATS, 10-5 o/u
2016 regular season record: 35-28, 26-35-2 ATS, 32-29-2 o/u