Will the Cowboys ever win without quarterback Tony Romo? They keep trying, bless their hearts, but have fallen short each time since Romo went down in Week 2, the most recent being a 33-27 overtime heartbreaker to the Eagles. Perhaps the football gods are punishing Jerry Jones for signing Greg Hardy. Dallas’s last chance to win without Romo may be this one, since he is expected to return for its Nov. 22 game against the Dolphins.
But this one will not come easy. The Buccaneers, led by quarterback Jameis Winston, have proved to be a feisty bunch, a team capable of beating anyone when it is playing well and the ball bounces its way a time or two.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had to be taken to the locker room on a cart after spraining his left foot in last week’s 38-35 victory against the Raiders, but he refused to rule himself out for this one against the Browns, against whom he is 18-2 in his career. But Coach Mike Tomlin sounded less optimistic, stating that the team would “leave the door ajar” for Roethlisberger, though only “slightly ajar.”
If Big Ben cannot go, Landry Jones will start for Pittsburgh. In his only start this season, a 23-13 loss to the Chiefs, Jones completed 16 of 29 passes for 209 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Pittsburgh may also be without running back DeAngelo Williams, who also has a foot injury. Williams rushed for 170 yards last week filling in for the injured starter Le’Veon Bell.
Cleveland is also facing some uncertainty at quarterback. Starter Josh McCown is still struggling with a rib injury, meaning Johnny Manziel may be under center for the Browns once again.
When these teams met this season in Kansas City, the Broncos won in improbable fashion, returning a Jamaal Charles fumble for a touchdown with seconds left in regulation as the Chiefs were attempting to run out the clock and send the game into overtime.
Denver will be without cornerback Aqib Talib after he was suspended by the league for a game after hitting the Colts’ Dwayne Allen with a Three Stooges-esque eye poke. Starting in Talib’s place will be the rookie Bradley Roby. It was Roby who scooped up the aforementioned fumble and returned it for the game-winning touchdown in Week 2.
Coming off a 37-29 victory against Green Bay that served to emphasize that the Panthers are indeed a legitimate force, Carolina appears to be walking directly into a classic trap game. The Titans with Marcus Mariota under center are a more dangerous team than they are without him. Mariota’s performance against the Saints in a 34-28 overtime win earned him A.F.C. Offensive Player of the Week honors, and he became the first rookie in N.F.L. history to toss four touchdown passes with no interceptions in a game twice in a season. He is also performing well where it matters most — Mariota’s 115.6 passer rating in the red zone leads the N.F.L.
Desperate to add weapons to their passing game, the Rams have signed the concussion-plagued wide receiver Wes Welker. They are among the league’s worst teams at converting on third down this season and hope that Welker, something of a third-down catch specialist throughout his career as a slot receiver, can help in that regard. In their last three games, the Rams have attempted to convert on third down 37 times and have succeeded only four times.
It took awhile to get going, but the Eagles appear to have gotten their swagger back. They have won three of their last four, with Chip Kelly’s offense piling up yardage and points in those games; the Eagles have averaged 438 yards and 28 points per game in their last four.
The Dolphins appear to have been dealt a reality check in the last couple of weeks after winning two straight after Joe Philbin was fired as coach. After blowing out the Titans and the Texans under their new coach, Dan Campbell, Miami has been beaten handily by the Bills and the Patriots in its last two games.Type your paragraph here.