Denver over Raiders – Another snore fest from Thursday night football pits 2 division rivals against one another. If you’re on the west coast you may want to tune in especially if you’re a Bronco fan and want to see them beat up on the Raiders. You won’t even be able to view Seymour punching a random opponent or otherwise losing his temper since he’s been ruled out. Denver should beat up the Raiders pretty good. I’m starting the Denver defense against Carson Palmer and hoping for a couple Pick-6es.
Tampa Bay over Philadelphia – Philly played a closer game last week against Dallas and Bryce Brown looks good in terms of his speed. He seems to have a bad case of fumble-it is though and if he doesn’t learn to carry the ball close to the body and cover it up, he’ll lose a few more. Very fast aggressive runner but I find myself yelling at the TV telling him to pull the ball in. Tampa Bay looks good and, yes, that still feels weird to say. They’ve had a couple losses to ATL and DEN lately but against the lower echelon teams, they win. They’re a middle of the road team, and Philly is on the lower end so Tampa should really win this one. Martin should completely blow up against this Defense.
Cincinnati over Dallas – This is a tough call because I think it could actually go either way. Most of the year I’ve seen some good things from Cincinnati and Dallas often under achieves. Since this is a key game for both, I’m betting Dallas will be more likely to choke.
St. Louis over Buffalo – Another tough to call game. The records are roughly the same, and both are inconsistent. St. Louis has a great pass rush and all the injuries along the offensive line is going to make it very difficult to get all the blocking schemes right. The Bills are favored by 3 but with the inconsistency in the line – I have to give the edge to the Rams.
Atlanta at Carolina – The Falcons have won the division but not the conference so I think they will still be playing hard with all the starters this week. SF, GB, CHI all still have a chance to catch up so they should be going for the lock down on home field advantage. Depending on how the rest of the weekend goes, they could clinch that prize – losing would not put it out of reach but would make it that much harder. Carolina has perked up a bit but I’m still not sold. It might be a close game but Atlanta wins on the road.
Chicago over Minnesota – Ponder, while not doing too bad has made too many mistakes lately for me to feel confident in him this week. Chicago’s D is tough and should force him in to some bad decisions. The amazing Adrian Peterson will still get his yards and maybe a TD or 2 but it won’t be enough. Seriously, is this the fastest any major star has recovered from an ACL?
Browns over Chiefs – I don’t want to pile on KC. The team has been through enough, so I’ll keep it short. I think the Browns will win.
Redskins over Ravens – The Ravens have not looked like Superbowl contenders in the last few games. Granted there are a lot of injury issues but all teams have to deal with that. They still have a good receiving crew, a solid running back and a decent QB but something just does not look right. They are the ultimate “play to the level of your opponent” group lately. That is except for the Raider blow out. 13 – 10 against Pitt without Ben, 16 – 13 vs a not-so-great San Diego team, and a loss to Pitt last week 20-23. Not good. Washington looks charged up and exciting. I think RGIII gets another win.
Pittsburgh over San Diego – Pitt is starting to get healthy again. Troy is back, Harrison is picking up steam, Big Ben is back – most of the RBs look good, the Offensive line is looking good. How about Pouncey as a guard? Talk about a talent. Good job by the coaches looking at the strengths of the players and finding a good mix. San Diego comes in to visit a team pumped up to make the playoffs. Pitt should win this handily.
Colts over Titans – I think there is high potential for upset on this but I’m still going with the home team. Luck continues to shine. He’s another amazingly talented rookie leading his team to victory and I think he’ll do it again this week. The Titans have not won one game at Lucas Oil Stadium and they’ll have to wait until next year to try it again.
Jaguars over Jets – The Jaguars have been very poor this year but I think all the drama and uncertainty around the Jets give them a slight advantage. Tebow may or may not play, maybe Sanchez loses out to McElroy again – who knows, it’s a mess. The Jags are banged up but focused. I look for them to take it to the Jets with a lot of focus on the passing game.
49ers over Dolphins – The 9ers just look way too tough to pick against them this week. Yes, they lost last week but so what. They will crush the dolphins. Too bad for Alex Smith that he lost the starting job but the team looks just as solid with CK at the helm.
Seahawks over Cardinals – Even without Browner the ‘hawks will beat the sliding Cardinals. Just as much as New Orleans 0-4 start was an anomaly so was the 4 – 0 start for the Cards.
Saints over Giants **UPSET ALERT** – I’m picking the Saints over the Giants this week. Drew will bounce back after his very poor performance and pull out a victory at the Giant’s place.
Packers over Lions – The Lions continue their slide this week. Green Bay beat the Lions by 4 earlier in the year and I think they will do it again. Sure, Megatron will get his catches but the rest of Detroit is stoppable and he cannot do it all by himself.
Texans over Patriots – The Monday night team has to be laughing at the poor Thursday night crew. This is a marquee game that most American football fans will love to watch regardless of what is normally their favorite team. Thursday night gets Raiders/Broncos which I would argue has far less national appeal even though many are eager to watch Manning come-back crusade. But, I digress. The Pats are favored in this one but I am picking the Texans. From everything I have seen this year they seem to be the better team. JJ Watt will continue his campaign for Defensive Player of the Year and help his team to a victory.