We asked for a good Thursday Night Football game and got it with Vikings-Cardinals. Too bad that won’t happen for another decade.
This week’s Primetime Previews are breath, since I haven’t had much time to write them. So here’s previews for New England at Houston and New York Giants at Miami.
Sunday Night Preview: Brian Hoyer’s Winning Ways
It’s rare to say the New England Patriots are a mess. That was said last year after the infamous Monday Night loss at Kansas City.
With injuries being dealt to the offense, Tom Brady is unable to get the ball out as quick as he would like to. Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Rob Gronkowski aren’t healthy, and as a result, the Patriots have lost 2 straight games, including a shocker against the Eagles at home.
On the other side of the ball lies Brady’s old backup QB, Brian Hoyer, and the Texans. With the powers of DeAndre Hopkins and some lucky plays, Brian Hoyer has tricked the world into thinking he is a winning QB.
Technically, he IS 14-10 as a starter, but that has more to do with coaches/receivers winning in spite of him. Sure, he’s doing well enough, I guess, but it’s hard to believe the Texans can’t do better at QB (Watt)?
Speaking of Hopkins, he’s arguably been the best wide receiver in the league this season, staying dominant at the catch point while playing at a very high level. Against a struggling Pats team at home, Houston has a chance to gain ground in the AFC South.
Bill Belichick knows how to get the most out of a limited cast, so this game will be close. I ultimately think the Patriots win, as the Texans entire offense seems to be Hopkins. Force Hoyer to throw to someone else, and that will likely commit turnovers. Gronk is active tonight, but I’m expecting him to be rusty, and we know how players usually react to that.
Clowney and Watt are great, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Houston won tonight. Ultimately, however, I think the Pats pull out an ugly victory.
Monday Night Preview: Leap Year Is Now
It’s an odd numbered year and it’s 4 years after 2011, which means the New York Giants are guaranteed a Super Bowl during this time, or something like that.
In a division where the teams are so bad that the competition is good, the Giants have been as inconsistent as the rest of the bunch. Eli Manning has been erratic with his accuracy recently, but with an otherworldly talent like Odell Beckham Jr, there’s not much need for it.
On the other side of the ball, the Dolphins have been the most disappointing team of the year in my opinion. Ryan Tannehill has pretty much stuck around, with mixed results, but there’s clear talent on the roster. When given time, Tannehill has been above average, and Lamar Miller is a great runningback when given the ball. DeVante Parker and Jarvis Landry have been huge recently, and on defense, so have Rashad Jones and Ndamukong Suh. So why is this team 5-7? Coaching. Or a lack of, I should say, as Joe Philbin put this team in an early hole at 1-3 with his plan of forcing Tannehill to throw constantly and for Miller to rot.
Under Campbell, this talented roster has shown life, but not enough to be a contender. A loss would pretty much end their playoff hopes again.
At home against a bizarrely inconsistent team, the Dolphins should have the advantage. One cause for concern is if Manning gets hot, he doesn’t stop, so the defense has to be aware of that. There’s virtually no run game for the G-Men, so Miami has to force Eli to beat them deep.
The Giants defense must shut down Lamar Miller early. Miami is coming off an ugly win against Baltimore, and it many games this season have trailed big because the run game was either shut down by the defense or the coaches. Force the pass game to come back.
Like the Sunday Night game, this shouldn’t be a blowout, but I have the Dolphins barely winning.
(Photos via people.com, usatoday.com, sportsworldnews.com, and rantsports.com)