1. 49ers vs. Cardinals
The 49ers defense recovered nicely as they held a Houston offense to just three points last week. San Francisco is currently fifth best in passing yards allowed with 94. The 49ers defense is tied for fourth in total interceptions, which bodes well for a team squaring off with Carson Palmer this week. Palmer has already thrown nine interceptions, along with just five touchdowns this year, meaning the 49ers should be awarded plenty of opportunities this week.
2. Bengals @ Bills
The Bills are starting practice squad product Thad Lewis at quarterback as E.J. Manuel recovers from a knee injury. Last week, the Bengals held Tom Brady to his first game without a touchdown pass in 52 contests. The Cincinnati defense has recorded nine turnovers this season, along with allowing an eighth best 87 points. Furthermore, the Bengals defense has recorded 11 sacks over the last three games, while the Bills offensive line has allowed a league high 43 quarterback hits, meaning Lewis could be under duress this week.
3. Texans vs. Rams
The Texans were manhandled by the 49ers last week, but now they face a Rams team that is fresh off a win in the Bridgewater Bowl. The Houston defense has only recorded 3 turnovers this season, which ranks near the bottom of the league. Nonetheless, they have managed to record a sixth best 14 sacks this season. The Rams offense is averaging a third worst 311 yards per game, as they square off with a Houston defense which has allowed just 132. If the Texans fans can take a moment away from burning Matt Schaub jerseys, they may see some prosperity this week.
4. Seahawks vs. Titans
The Titans travel to the dreaded 12th man this week, with a Harvard leader still at the helm, which bodes well for the Seahawks defense. Seattle leads the league with 15 total takeaways, while Ryan Fitzpatrick recorded two interceptions last week and has a history of throwing it up for grabs. In 2012, he threw the fourth most interceptions in the league (16), while starting for the Bills last year. This bodes well for the Seattle defense who has allowed a seventh best 81 points this season and are nearly unstoppable at home.
5. Bears vs. Giants
Thursday night football has been one of the biggest debacles over the first five matchups and owners who have started defenses who play on Thursday, have benefited from the sloppy play. This week a winless Giants team enters Solider Field to face Da' Bears, who are second in the league with fourteen takeaways. Chicago has allowed just eight touchdown passes through five games, which makes the Giants twice as vulnerable, especially when their offense is averaging a third worst 16.4 points per game.
6. Broncos vs. Jaguars
Is this even fair? Denver has to play the Jaguars this week, but the Broncos defense is looking to recover from allowing 48 points and 506 passing yards to Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense last week. What a perfect way to do so, against Blaine Gabbert and the discombobulated Jags. Jacksonville managed to lose the Bridgewater Bowl last week and are dead last in every category including points per game (10) and yards (251). The Broncos are tied for third with seven interceptions and should be able to create plenty of turnovers against Jacksonville this week.
7. Chiefs vs. Raiders
The Chiefs defense is taking the league by storm and the group is surprisingly tied with the Seahawks for the most takeaways (15). Furthermore, they lead the league with a whopping 20 sacks and have recorded 3 or more in each of their first six games this season. The Raiders offensive line has allowed a fifth worst 3.5 sacks per game average, which means the Chiefs should pressure Terrelle Pryor. Nonetheless, Pryor hasn't thrown an interception over his last four contests, but this week he enters hostile environs for the first time.
8. Colts @ Chargers
The Colts defense has forced ten takeaways this season and are steaming hot after recording two against a talented Seattle team last week. The next step is to continue this trend against a Chargers team that recorded five turnovers last week, including three interceptions from Phillip Rivers. To put his into context, Rivers only threw two interceptions entering last week's game with Oakland. If the Colts can continue to pressure the quarterback and put Rivers under distress, the Indianapolis defense will do very well this week.
9. Cowboys vs. Redskins
The Cowboys are looking to recover from a pounding of 414 yards and 51 points from Peyton Manning and the Broncos last week. They can take a breath quickly and reestablish themselves against RGIII and the Redskins. The Dallas defense is tied for fifth in total takeaways, with ten and only two teams have scored as many defensive touchdowns as the Cowboys (3). The Redskins defense is allowing a 142 yard average to running backs this season, which means the NFL's fourth best rusher Demarco Murray (399 yards), could manhandle a reeling Redskins defense.
10. Vikings vs. Panthers
The Vikings defense has been pitiful this season, allowing a fourth worst 324 passing yards per game, along with 123 points this year. Josh Robinson has been destroyed, but A.J. Jefferson and Chris Cook are said to be healthy and ready for action this week, which should help the situation. The Panthers offensive line has awarded a seventh worst 15 sacks and will be without starting left guard Amini Silatolu for the season with a knee injury. The Vikings defensive line is fourth in takeaways with twelve and is fresh off a five sack performance against the Steelers. The Panthers offense is currently the third worst passing team in the league and Cam Newton has nearly thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns, which benefits the Vikings defense.
Browns vs. Lions
The Lions struggled last week after a late deactivation of Calvin Johnson at Lambeau Field against Green Bay. Johnson's status is uncertain for this week, which could cause the Lions offense to be as one dimensional as they were last week. The Cleveland defense has surprised critics this season, recording a whopping 18 sacks and eight takeaways. Detroit's offensive line has allowed 23 quarterback hits, which means the Browns should be able to pressure Matthew Stafford, causing turnovers.
Jets vs. Steelers
The Jets defensive line absolutely manhandled the Falcons last week and Muhammad Wilkerson looked like a stud. The Jets have allowed a second best 76 rushing yards per game average, which could change the Steelers game plan. New York will look to stop running back Le'Veon Bell in the rushing game, in an effort to put the ball in the hands of the water buffalo to make poor decisions. Ben Roethlisberger has thrown as many interceptions as touchdowns this year and the Steelers offensive line has been just as anemic. The Jets mean business and will blitz the Steelers to shreds on Sunday, en route to a great performance this week.