The fickle nature of the NFL was illustrated this past weekend. If you woke up from a coma, you'd think Peyton Manning was the worst, Kirk Cousins was the best and Andy Dalton wasn't clutch. While that last one may be true, the first two absolutely are not. The New Orleans Saints could probably find a way to let Baylor score 21 points on them. I also think we've written Manning off two or three times this season and somehow he's come back with good games each time. We'll see how many of those Broncos fans chirping and complaining will be happy with Brock Osweiler's output.
Record: 23-17-1 (1-3 last week)
Dallas Cowboys (2-7) at Miami Dolphins (4-5)
Tony Romo is slated to make his long-awaited return for this one as the Cowboys try to snap their losing streak. Dallas' offense has stalled, scoring just 71 points in the last five games. The running game figures to struggle against a Miami defense that has held opponents to 100 yards or fewer on the ground in four of the last five. You can't deny the toughness that the Fins have had since changing coaches. They are coming off a win in Philadelphia and have to be feeling pretty good. The offense did just enough to win and should be happy to be home after three straight on the road. Miami has gone under in 20 of its last 26 against the NFC East. The Dolphins also have covered each of their last two against those four teams. I think we are getting good value with the home team. Romo's return doesn't solve all that ails the Cowboys. SELECTIONS: Under 47 and Miami Pick
St. Louis Rams (4-5) at Baltimore Ravens (2-7)
Baltimore has had the worst luck this season following another tough (and controversial) loss, this time to the Jaguars. The Rams come to town and they were undressed by the Bears last week. The Ravens have moved the ball well on offense although they'll look to get a little more from the ground game. St. Louis has sprung some leaks on defense, allowing its last two opponents to pile up 298 yards rushing combined. The Rams have a made a quarterback change, turning to Case Keenum, but he doesn’t figure to be the catalyst to jumpstart this anemic offense. Todd Gurley isn't as effective with eight and nine defenders in the box. The Rams have failed to cover in 13 of their last 20 road games and in an odd trend are 10-26 ATS in road games where the total is between 38.5 and 42. SELECTION: Ravens -2
Denver Broncos (7-2) at Chicago Bears (4-5)
The aforementioned Brock Osweiler gets the call at QB as the Broncos travel to Chicago to play the Bears. Osweiler's appearance means this team will probably get a bit more conservative. The problem with that is Denver is only averaging 86 yards per game on the ground. The offensive line just hasn't opened too many holes. The Bears’ defense is playing a lot better than we thought this unit would fare. So is Chicago's offense with Jay Cutler at the helm. Denver's defense didn't play poorly against the Chiefs even with having to defend a couple of short fields. Money is streaming in on the Bears because of the quarterback change. If it keeps moving and we get Denver at anything over two points, take the road team. SELECTION: Under 41.5
San Francisco 49ers (3-6) at Seattle Seahawks (4-5)
It's been a rough year for Seattle, who has already lost two games at home. The Seahawks figure to get real healthy against the 49ers, whose offense is in bad shape. You've got Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, a banged-up Carlos Hyde leading the ground game and a wide receiver corps without Anquan Boldin most likely. Seattle won 20-3 in San Francisco on Oct. 22 in a game that saw the 49ers put up just 142 yards of offense. This is almost like the Seahawks earlier home against the Jimmy Clausen-led Bears, which they won 26-0 as a 16-point favorite. The 49ers have already lost road games by 40 and 21 points. SELECTION: Seattle -12.5
- I don't understand the Raiders love. They have sprung some leaks defensively and are now without Aldon Smith, who had been
playing well. This week Oakland's flying east and taking on a suddenly confident Lions team. I'm guessing there are some who think Detroit will be too full of themselves after winning in Green Bay? Matthew Stafford should have a field day against a banged-up Raiders D. Still, it's hard to trust the Lions in a situation that they should win.
- I really wanted to take the Packers in their game against the Vikings. It's the perfect time to get the better offense and a defense that's capable of a lot more. Minnesota has won five straight and is a covering machine right now. The Vikings are doing it with a real good run game (Adrian Peterson) and a defense that is playing well despite forcing just two turnovers in the last four games. If the Packers can stack the box against Peterson, then they should be able to bottle up the Vikes. This is the type of game that Aaron Rodgers wins. Strong lean to the road team.
- Man, the Sunday night game features so many trends and things to consider. You've got a Bengals team that picked up its first loss on Monday night and are traveling on a short week out west to face an Arizona team that is flying high after a win in Seattle. Cincinnati's defense is rolling right now, holding the last three opponents to just 10 points each. The Cardinals present a whole new challenge with their potent aerial attack and a defense that is hot in its own right. I really like the under in this one although I thought the game against the Seahawks also was an easy under. Lean to the under in this one.
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.