Eric Walden's NFL Four Downs: Don't let both O-line and passion go missing
Cincinnati at Baltimore,11 a.m., Ch. 2 • Did you know Ray Rice has run for 259 yards this year on 2.7 yards per carry? For all the attention paid to the Ravens' offseason losses of big-name players like Anquan Boldin and Paul Kruger, Baltimore's brass ought to be buying ad space on milk cartons, inquiring whether anyone has seen their mysteriously missing offensive line.
Carolina at San Francisco,2:05 p.m., Ch. 13 • With new-school quarterbacks Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick leading the way, these aren't your grandfather's Panthers and 49ers. Yeah, I know, the analogy doesn't really apply, considering the Panthers didn't start playing until 1995, ergo your grandfather never even cared about the Panthers. I get it. The point is, this isn't gonna be some classic dropback matchup like Joe Montana vs. â¦ Jake Delhomme â¦ OK, I give up.
Denver at San Diego, 2:25 p.m., Ch. 2 • Even a resurgent Philip Rivers can't hang with Peyton. The Chargers' top wideout, Keenan Allen, would be Denver's fourth-stringer. And can you name a San Diego defender besides Eric Weddle? My point is, this game should be a mismatch. So why might the Chargers be OK? While I'm sure they're not happy Broncos coach John Fox needed heart surgery, I'm also sure they're not devastated that Jags castoff Jack Del Rio is now in charge.
Dallas at New Orleans, 6:30 p.m., Ch. 5 • Drew Brees said of the Saints' loss to the Jets last Sunday: "We just didn't get the job done. That part is disappointing." Fascinating stuff. Look, I understand not getting too high or too low, but where's the urgency, the excitement, the joie de vivre? (New Orleans being a French town, they ought to understand that.) Methinks Monsieur Brees could use a little Dez Bryant getting in his face.