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You say hello, Panthers happily say 'bye'

Ron Green Jr.: Among the many special things about the NFL season, aside from the beer commercials and Cam Newton highlights, is the bye week.

Every team gets one and, if league rules allowed it, some might trade a draft pick or an overpaid veteran for a second off week.

Bye weeks are so good, I had one myself last week.

This week, the Panthers, the Jaguars, the Lions and the Vikings are given the free pass. It's a time for bruises to heal, legs to get refreshed and cashing in frequent flyer miles. Watching film means watching George Clooney, not two-deep zones.

It's a time for players to take a deep breath and hope their ribs don't hurt. It's a time for coaches to game plan a weekend with their wives. It's a time for fans to wash their team jerseys.

In the meantime:

Miami at Kansas City: The Chiefs have quietly won four games in a row. The Dolphins have just as quietly become not just winless but something worse - irrelevant. Wonder how Andrew Luck likes South Beach? Chiefs 32, Dolphins 7.

Atlanta at Indianapolis: The Colts disappeared quicker than "The Playboy Club" television show and free t-shirts. Falcons 34, Colts 10.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans: No surprises here. Saints 26, Bucs 13.

New York Jets at Buffalo: Last week the Bills gave quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick a six-year contract extension worth an estimated $59 million with $24 million of it guaranteed. Who says a Harvard education is overrated? Bills 23, Jets 20.

Seattle at Dallas: Going out on a limb here, but I still think the Cowboys will make the playoffs this season. But, like Harold Camping who recently called his string of incorrect predictions about the end of the world "embarrassing," I've been wrong before. Cowboys 35, Seahawks 21.

Cleveland at Houston: Leftover Halloween candy question: Have you already eaten all the Kit-Kats and baby Snickers bars the kids got? Thought so. Texans 30, Browns 13.

San Francisco at Washington: After going 267 games without his team being shut out, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan could be looking at starting a streak in the other direction the way his team is going these days. 49ers 28, Redskins 10.

Cincinnati at Tennessee: There's still room on the Bengals' bandwagon if you haven't jumped on board yet. Don't wait too long. Bengals 24, Titans 20.

Denver at Oakland: Neither the Tim Tebow nor Carson Palmer experiments worked last week. If at first you don't succeed, punt, punt, punt ... Raiders 24, Broncos 6.

New York Giants at New England: Remember earlier this year when Giants QB Eli Manning said he considers himself one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks? Here's another chance to prove it, going head to head against Tom Terrific. You've heard it before - you can't spell elite without E-L-I. Patriots 27, Giants 20.

St. Louis at Arizona: Another NFC West game. Enough said. Cardinals 21, Rams 17.

Green Bay at San Diego: As the undefeated Packers continue to win, the question becomes when does a flirtation with perfection become serious dating? Right now, the Packers and the '72 Dolphins are still just friends. Packers 31, Chargers 14.

Baltimore at Pittsburgh: Sunday forecast: Partly cloudy and chilly with a 40 percent chance of concussions. Steelers 13, Ravens 10.

Chicago at Philadelphia: Do you miss Hank Williams Jr. and all his friends on Monday nights yet? Me neither. Eagles 29, Bears 14.

Season: 67-34

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