The Schein Nine  

 

Patriots-Colts Deflategate redux heads week full of rematches

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They say revenge is a dish best served cold.

Well, I say revenge is a dish best served ... in Week 6!

This week's NFL slate features a delicious assortment of games with potential payback on the menu.

Here are my thoughts -- and predicted winners -- for nine revenge-infused bouts:

1) The genesis of Deflategate

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET

Every game, all season

I'm not sure if you are aware, but "Deflategate" was a thing. Something tells me it's top of mind for the Patriots. Yeah, it's going down for real on Sunday night.

Tom Brady is on the ultimate revenge tour in the wake of Deflategate, which spawned from New England's 45-7 demolition of Indianapolis in last season's AFC Championship Game.

Aaah, memories ...

The noise has been omnipresent ever since, and it's been quite a melodrama to watch: From some questionable reporting to Bill Belichick referencing "My Cousin Vinny" to Ted Wells' investigation/report to Richard Berman making more of an impact on this football season than Richard Sherman.

Brady and the Pats never fully got their due for beating up the Colts and then winning the Super Bowl -- and that's, essentially, thanks to four simple words: "more probable than not." Does it sting? Does it matter? Yes -- and, oh yes.

Patriots 51-14 over Indy.

2) The Bruce Arians Bowl

Arizona Cardinals at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Don't let the spin get in the way: The Steelers fired Bruce Arians as their offensive coordinator following the 2011 campaign. Since then, he's won a pair of Coach of the Year awards.

On Sunday, Arians returns to Heinz Field for his first regular-season game against the team that canned him. I'd say this means something. You know the Pittsburgh heartbreak still stays with Arians. And it should. He's a prideful coach. And honestly, he's become a better coach than Steelers head man Mike Tomlin, the guy who unceremoniously jettisoned him.

The Cardinals are one of the best and most complete teams in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Steelers might be forced to start Mike Vick over the injured Ben Roethlisberger for a third straight game. I'm thinking Arians gets his revenge -- and in a big way if Big Ben's a no-go.

3) Remember The Drive? The Fumble??

Denver Broncos at Cleveland Browns, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Just the sight of the Broncos' uniform is enough to make Browns fans queasy. Pretty sure the mere mention of Jan. 11, 1987 is illegal in Cleveland. Same goes for Jan. 17, 1988.

John Elway's Broncos are undefeated. The Browns are suddenly getting solid play under center, with Josh McCown becoming the first quarterback in franchise history to post three straight 300-yard passing games, including a whopping 457 last Sunday.

But with Denver's defense, Browns fans should hide their eyes yet again. Orange Crushed once more.

4) Can Cam and Co. finally nip the 'Hawks?

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

Carolina is undefeated at 4-0. And the Panthers have been the epitome of toughness, winning the past three games without their best player (Luke Kuechly). Cam Newton has been tough. Josh Norman, too. Greg Olsen has been stellar at tight end.

But a fair question lingers, given Carolina's underwhelming schedule to this point: How do these Panthers stack up against the big boys?

The Seahawks are 2-3 and just blew a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in Cincinnati. Seattle has major issues, ranging from the offensive line to finding Jimmy Graham to play calling to the Super Bowl-loss hangover.

But the Seahawks are still viewed as superior to the Panthers. Carolina is Seattle Lite.

The Panthers are still smarting from losing two games against the Seahawks last season, including a divisional playoff bout. In fact, the Cam-led Panthers have played Seattle four times and lost four times -- with three of those defeats coming by five points or less. The Panthers can gain revenge and respect with a win.

However, in Seattle, I like the Seahawks to come away with a big win. Sorry, Cam and Co. Maybe next time.

5) Super Bowl XLVII rematch

Baltimore Ravens at San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

OK, so Harbaugh v. Tomsula doesn't have the same sizzle as Harbaugh v. Harbaugh. Actually this coaching matchup has zero appeal next to the Super Bowl XLVII showdown. Forget apples and oranges -- it's like comparing apples and Oldsmobiles.

But Anquan Boldin is still involved, albeit with the other team. Remember that Super Bowl, when Colin Kaepernick was regarded as an up-and-coming star? Yeah, that seems like a million years ago.

I like Baltimore in this game. Big.

6) Lions ... clowns ... Bears ... Oh my!

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Chicago has lost four straight to Detroit. Sunday feels like the perfect time for payback. The Lions are winless and rudderless. Shoot, Matthew Stafford was benched for Dan Orlovsky last week. Yes, that Dan Orlovsky.

Meanwhile, Jay Cutler has looked tough and clutch. And suddenly, the Bears are playing with purpose and energy, having won two straight. Sounds crazy, but true.

Nobody puts Jay Cutler in a corner. Bears win!

7) NFC South venom

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints, Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET

On Wednesday, a caller named "Dr. Falcon in Los Angeles" rang into my SiriusXM Radio show, "Schein on Sports." He wanted his team "to put pain into the souls of the Saints."

OK then.

These teams -- and fans -- loathe each other. Atlanta swept the Saints last year. A brutal New Orleans team would like nothing more than to hand the undefeated Falcons their first loss of 2015. I'd like Jennifer Aniston to return my calls. We all have dreams.

This Atlanta team -- led by Dan Quinn, Kyle Shanahan, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the rapidly emerging Devonta Freeman -- is legit. No revenge for you, Saints. Enjoy the evening, Dr. Falcon.

8) Rex's Hue-bris

Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Rex Ryan is coaching the Bills. Hue Jackson wanted the job -- and I think he should have received it. Look at what Jackson has done with the Bengals' offense during this undefeated season. Cincy wideout Mohamed Sanu raved about Jackson "putting players in position to succeed while putting pressure on a defense" when he popped on my SiriusXM show.

Rex has swagger, but still struggles to manage the quarterback position. Starting Tyrod Taylor was one thing -- a good thing, to his credit -- but haphazardly trading Matt Cassel was another. This was an easy first guess. You need a reliable backup with Taylor's knack for getting outside of the pocket and general playing style. If Taylor can't go on Sunday, the Bills are stuck with EJ Manuel in a big spot. Oof.

Jackson would've been a better choice to coach the Bills. And he will make sure Buffalo knows it.

NFL on Yahoo!

Watch with the world as the Buffalo Bills take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first ever free global NFL live stream on October 25 at 9.30 a.m. ET. The game is available across Yahoo on your phone, tablet, laptop, console or connected TV. For free!

9) Short story

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

The entire sports world is buzzing! Will Cecil Shorts III get revenge on the Jaguars for letting him go??

OK -- even I can't sell that one. Yeah, think we've just about reached the end of this edition of Schein Nine.

But the stunningly-awful Houston defense is due to rise to the occasion, right?

J.J. Watt dominates, then teams up with Vince Wilfork to carry Shorts of the field in victorious fashion.

I can dream, right?

Follow Adam Schein on Twitter @AdamSchein.

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