New Orleans over Atlanta – Atlanta is favored but I think Drew and the crew will pull this one off. They still have a chance to earn a playoff spot and what better way to keep their season alive than by defeating a division foe. The Saints have the worst ranked run defense in the league but The Falcons seem to be taking the running back by committee approach. So unless one of them break off a huge run, I’m not thinking we’ll see any one of them have massive numbers. Roddy White, Gonzales and Jones should also put up big numbers for the birds. On the Saints side, Jimmy Graham blew up against the Falcons in their last match-up. I look for that to happen again.
Pittsburgh over Baltimore or Baltimore over Pittsburgh. Pitt turned the ball over 8 times last week and still had a chance to win that game. The week before they held Baltimore to 2 field goals and no offensive scores. If they have Ben, they win both of these games and I would look for the trend to continue. If he plays, Pittsburgh wins. If not, those playoff chances are looking slim.
Bears over Seahawks – The Bears have been an up and down team this year especially against quality opponents. They have mostly underperformed against teams with winning records with the exception being last week and against Dallas in week 4. The defense has remained strong all year and if Cutler can stay clean against the Seattle pass rush, the Bears have the best chance at this one. Forte looked OK in limited practice and if he can’t go, the Bears will turn to Michael Bush. 21 carries 60 yards and 2 TDs last week which is not too shabby.
Texans over Tennessee – The Texans have looked ‘human’ over the last couple games but should move back to ‘super’ status this week. I’ve all but written off the Titans for the year but they could get wins against the Jets (week 15) and Jax (week 17) later in the year. Not this time though. From a fantasy perspective it will be very interesting to see how Chris Johnson does against the Houston D. They are ranked #2 against the run so I’m thinking he’ll have a pretty tough day at the office. I thought that before when he went on to torch the Chicago D for 141 yards and a TD though. Houston has been more consistent and I think they will shut him down. He also torched Houston previously but I think they got him this time.
New England over Miami – What is going on with this Miami team? They lose to Tennessee and Buffalo then come from behind to beat Seattle? If we follow that pattern they should beat New England… However, that’s not what I’m thinking will happen this week. The Pats are going to need to keep winning (and hope that Houston loses) in order to get some home field lovin’ during the playoffs. Since nothing is locked up yet, they will be pushing hard for the W and should dash the hopes of Flipper fans everywhere.
Buffalo over Jacksonville – It’s on the schedule so I think they have to play these games. Seems like they should avoid injury and just call in sick on this one. Even the Bills fans have decided to sit this one out. Well, the teams will be there even if no one else is and I think the home team will take this one down. Jacksonville has been playing better but I still can’t actually pick them to win a game.
Colts over Lions – ** UPSET** Andrew Luck has been impressive this year. I’ll admit I was more impressed with RGIII when the season started but Luck has really shown me and his opponents a lot. This is an away game so it might be tough but this Detroit team has struggled against opponents with winning records. Here come the colts at 7 and 4 – I know, “when did that happen?” crosses my mind too. But here they are tied with Green Bay, and the New York Giants for overall record and # 5 overall in the AFC. The team has rallied around their coach and this new QB and I think they continue their winning ways in Detroit this weekend. This assume Suh does not Judo throw Luck to the ground or kick him in the unmentionables.
Carolina over Kansas City – Carolina seems to have found a spark while KC seems stuck in Reverse. The trend continues this week and KC will lose their 9th in a row. If they could get out of their own way, I’ve seen them look really good at times. There are just so many mental errors and turn overs to think they can pull the whole thing off after 60 minutes of play.
Packers over Vikings – The Packers are favored by up to 9.5 points. I don’t see that happening but believe they will beat the Vikings at Lambeau. They will be shaking off the lopsided defeat at the hands of the Giants last week and taking out a little revenge on the Vikes. Look out for Jared Allen though – he should rack up a couple more sacks this week and get Rodgers jersey a little more dirty.
Denver over Tampa Bay – Hard to get a read on both of these teams. Denver is 8-3 and TB is 6-5.Both are beating the teams they are supposed to beat and they happen to be in one another’s division. The AFC West is weak as is … well, Carolina from the NFC south. Denver is playing well at home so I will give them the edge this time. I think Tampa Bay is a quality team and should cover the 8 pt spread.
Raiders over Browns – The Raiders got crushed last week in Cincy – if that doesn’t motivate them to bounce back, nothing will. Not much else to say about a match up between two 3-8 teams. I’d like to see the Raiders get the ball to Marcel Reece even more. According to reports he’ll be the primary back this week so it looks like I’m getting my wish. Weeden is banged up but is listed as probable. He should be able to put up a couple TDs against the Raiders but I think they’ll ultimately lose.
San Francisco over St. Louis – Poor Alex Smith – apparently Harbaugh does not believe in the “you can’t lose your job due to injury” philosophy. That’s OK though for the 9ers because Kaepernick looks to have some real skills. I’m not sold yet but he’s 2 for 2. He’ll be dealing with a pretty good pass rush this week and we’ll see if he can repeat his success. Regardless, the whole team plays these games and on paper the 9ers look way better than the Rams. I think reality will prove that theory and the 49ers will leave with another W under their belt.
New York Jets over Arizona – Despite how down I am on the Jets, I think they can pull off this victory against the Cardinals. They’ve lost 7 in a row now which is pretty amazing considering how they started the season at 4 and 0. That’s not the trend you want. The Jets on the other hand have to deal with poor overall play but at least they have won a game recently. They are at home so I give them the edge.
San Diego over Cincinnati – This is a pretty evenly matched game but San Diego should get the victory this time around. They lost a close one last week to a pretty good Baltimore team. Cincy has a good defense against the pass so we may see more carries for Mathews and Battle. San Diego needs this win to keep their coach (my opinion) and I’m thinking he’ll have them well prepared.
Dallas over Philly – So, we’ve learned Foles is not the answer and even though I feel good about picking up Brown off the waiver wire last week, the man needs to hold on to the ball. If he does not correct that this week, and I don’t think he will, he’ll be coughing it up again. I’m thinking 1 TD and 2 fumbles for our new Eagle friend. Since Philly will be struggling to put up points due to having an absent offensive line and an injured star receiver, Dallas better win this. No excuses guys.
Washington over New York Giants – RGIII takes on the Giants again. Washington lost 23-27 a few weeks back as a visiting team. This time they will turn the tables on their division foes and come away with a win against Eli and his crew.