Ouch! Last week was a rough one for this prognosticator but whatever – the show must go on. If you watched the New England game, they looked DOMINANT. They laid the smack down on the upstart Texans and showed them who was boss in the AFC – Next up Tom and Bill B face off against the sometimes powerhouse 49ers. Check below for my thoughts on that matchup.
Philly over Cincy – This is another semi-snore game for Thursday night football. What’s interesting is that at the beginning of the season you might have thought these teams would have the opposite win loss records. Obviously this is not the case but at least there is some intrigue here in that Cincinnati is trying to make a playoff run. Now, I’ve been down on Philadelphia almost all year but over the last couple weeks, I’ve seen a few things that make me think they can pull off this upset. All they can really do right now is play the role of spoiler for Cincinnati’s playoff hopes and I think they will play it well. I’m looking for Bryce Brown to continue to roll – the kid is fast but needs to learn how to hold on to the ball a little better. If Philly can shut down the Dalton to A.J. Green connection they’ll have this one in the bag.
NYG over ATL – While the Giants lost to Washington a couple weeks back that was a divisional game which can often go either way. Before that they beat Green Bay and then beat New Orleans last week. They seem to be turning it at the end of the year again and I think their momentum will carry them to a win against a suddenly human looking Atlanta team. They are a strong home but if they Giants want a home playoff game they need to win out and hope for some help. I give the edge to a more motivated Giant group.
NOS over TB – I’m not a jumping off the Brees bandwagon yet. The team is struggling and he’s at the helm but I’ve watched this guy play over the years and have to think that he’ll bounce back again. They played SF, ATL and NYG in that stretch and those are 3 very good teams. Tampa Bay is also a good team but I don’t think they can stop the Saints offense.
HOU over IND – This looks like a great matchup based on how these teams performed this year. Who would have thought the Colts would bounce back from last year to end up at 9 and 4 and looking at a playoff spot? Well after getting crushed by the Pats last week I look for Houston to bounce back and take a little of their frustration out on the Colts. Texans win over Colts at home.
DEN over BAL – Peyton Manning is taking his Broncos on the road. Will he fall apart in the first half like he has a couple times this year or will he keep it together the whole game? I’m banking on the former. The Ravens seem to be slowly disappearing and the Broncos are coming on – Broncs for the win.
MIA over JAC – Florida battle! Miami is playing at home and the Jags have been mostly terrible. Miami just looks stronger overall and by the time the dust settles – they’ll be 6 and 8.
WAS over CLE – Regardless of whether or not Griffin III plays I’m taking Washington over Cleveland. They’ve had their issues this year but Cleveland seems to trip themselves up over tougher opponents. Yes, I’m discounting their three wins in row. The barely beat the Steelers who handed them the ball 47 times, and they beat the Raiders and Chiefs – just about everyone beats those teams. Washington wins.
MIN over STL – This is a small ‘upset’ pick. Adrian Peterson still amazes. St. Louis is middle of the road against the pass and the rush as is Minnesota but I think the offense of the Vikings matches up better against the Rams D versus the other way around. It should be a close one with the better, more consistent, running game coming out on top.
GB over CHI – Green Bay is on the road this week taking on the apparently angry Chicago Bears. Apparently J. Finley made a negative comment about Bears LB Urlacher and it has angered Urlacher’s teammates. Whatever. The Packers will stick with the game plan they had last time and it will be up to the Bears to adjust. I’m thinking it will not be enough and like the Giants, the Pack will go in to January on a roll.
SEA over BUF – Surprising Seahawks – These guys are playing some football now and congrats go out to R. Wilson and his team. These 2 teams with opposite 8/5 records meet up on Sunday afternoon at Buffalo. Lynch will be visiting his old team and will probably go off on them. Seattle is looking strong and could surprise some of the big boys should they make it in the playoffs. Losing this week would put a serious hurt on their playoff hopes so I’m looking for a big game from them.
CAR over SD – The odds makers have San Diego favored in this one but I see this as a more evenly matched game with the momentum swinging in favor of Carolina. Still not a total bandwagon jumper for SuperCam but he’s got the raw athleticism to take the team on his back against a mediocre SD team. They used their coach as a rally point last week but now they’ll come back to earth and lose this home game to the Panthers.
DET over AZ – Two teams on the wrong side of the streak – Only one will keep that streak alive and it will be Arizona. Detroit has been so close in a number of their losses and they’ve even had the lead for good chunks of those games. This week, all will seem right in the motor city even though they are away from home.
PIT over DAL – Last week was an ugly one for the Steelers. The team looked slow and lethargic for most of the first half while San Diego played some inspired defense. The Steelers will right the ship this week against the Cowboys. The post season is on the line for both teams with the Steelers in a better position to get in if they win. I trust that the Steelers will handle the pressure better and will take a victory back to the Steel City.
OAK over KC – Unless Oakland is playing for the best available draft pick, they should win this game over the KC Chiefs. J. Charles will likely go for more than 100 yards but Palmer will make up the difference with plenty of receptions for his receivers and maybe one or two for the Chiefs. Despite a couple turn overs the Raiders should come out on top.
NEP overSF – Last week the Pats made a statement that said “Hey, we’re the best in the AFC.” This week they could prove that they’re the top dog in the NFL and earn their #1 power ranking. This is the Chess Master vs the Juggernaut – Belichick’s game plans vs Harbaugh powerful team. Don’t get me wrong, Harbaugh has gotten this 9er team going and has tapped in to the potential of each player but Belichick seems to get more from less. This week we’ll have to see who can get the most out of their teams – Advantage to New England. They have the home game and one of the best ever quarterbacks. I can’t wait to watch this one.
TEN over NYJ –I’m taking Tennessee in this game simply because they are the home team which should give them an advantage. It’s not much of an advantage really since they are only 2 and 4 at home. If they can find more of whatever they ate before the Miami game, they’ll blow out the Jets but – if not they’ll just barely squeeze by the Jets.