It might seem like Michael Vick as the X-Factor here going against his former team, but historically, Matt Ryan has played subpar against the Eagles. Ryan has a 79.6 passer rating with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. He is 1-2 against the Eagles as well.
To keep his team undefeated, Ryan’s performance needs similar to the first four games of the season and not his last two. Ryan’s played well enough to get the job done, but he can’t play like he did against Oakland against the Eagles.
Philadelphia is the team with the most to prove here. They have been consistently in close games and need to prove they can be a consistent team in the NFL. A win against the Falcons might not prove their consistent, but will have people focusing on them again. I have the gut feeling Mike Vick will come through against his former team.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
X Factor – Tony Romo
In their first match up, Romo was great. He and Kevin Olgetree had a big night with Ogletree catching eight balls for 114 yards. If Romo can do more of the same against the Giants secondary, the Cowboys should be able to win at home.
The New York Giants are on a roll. While I underestimated the Cowboys the first time around, I still think the Giants are a better team. Eli and company should prove it tomorrow.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
X Factor – Reggie Bush
There’s bad blood between Reggie Bush and the Jets. Bush said Darrelle Revis’ injury was a case of “what goes around comes around” after getting hurt himself in their first meeting.
Now after a lousy two weeks of trying to heal from injury, Reggie Bush is trying to return to form.
Both teams have played surprisingly well and their game should be close again. The Dolphins are coming off a bye week, but it seems like the for the first time the Jets are getting some momentum offensively. I like the Jets at home.
New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos
X Factor – Jimmy Graham
Tight Ends have always been easy targets against Denver’s defense. The Patriots took full advantage of it last year with their two explosive tight ends and even the Chargers took advantage of it in the first half of their Monday Night Game with Antonio Gates.
Jimmy Graham is questionable for Sunday Night, but he should make a big difference if healthy.
Coming off a bye week and with a lighter schedule in the second half of the season, the Broncos are poised for a run. In this game, that means literally running the football against one of the worst run defenses in football. Look for McGahee to have a big day and Peyton to have a couple of touchdowns too.