ATL over DET – If ATL wants to clinch home field and get a bye week – they need to win Saturday night*. The question is, after the drubbing they put on the Giants, will there be a let down or will they continue to roll? I think there will be a bit of a let down here but that Atlanta will ultimately come away the victor. They need to get that running game going to get deep in to the playoffs so, maybe we’ll see more M. Turner tonight. Detroit is trying to end the year on a high note after losing 6, so I look for a strong effort from them against of the NFL’s front runners.
NYJ over SD – I’m going out on a limb here and taking the new QB, Greg McElroy to win over the Chargers. The Jets are not a bad team and like many others have been riddled with injuries on both sides of the ball (Revis and Holmes to name a couple marquee players) but they’ve really suffered from poor QB play, especially lately. Almost anyone, except perhaps the likeable but ineffective Tebow, would be an upgrade at this point. Why not? The season is lost and why not give the 3rd stringer a try. I’m sure SD will throw everything at McElroy to rattle him but I’m taking the Jets in this one.
HOU over MIN – Houston playing at home and they still want the home field throughout the playoffs. This is enough incentive to keep the starters out there and try to win this football game. Minnesota trying for a playoff spot too so it should be a good one either way. I give the edge to Houston, as long as they don’t give the edge to APete.
TB over STL – Tampa Bay did not show up last week against the Saints, but I think they’ll bounce back this week against a weaker STL team and one outside their division.
NOS over DAL – Despite Dallas getting a much needed win over the Steelers last week, I’m still not a believer. On the other side, the Saints defense still gave up a ton of yardage again last week but did not allow a score. So, from a fantasy football perspective, it’s looking like Dallas offensive players will have a big day but I think the Saints offense will generate more points.
WAS over PHI – The city of brotherly love will get a treat this weekend as they get to watch one of the best rookie QBs in the league. Unfortunately he’s on the other team and may be slightly off his game after coming off a knee injury. Washington wins this on one the road.
IND over KC – Indy lost last week to the rival Texans and may not be able to improve their position too much in the playoffs but KC is too easy right now to pick them to win a game even if it is at home. Luck and crew use this as another tune up for the playoffs.
NEP over JAX – Brady is a little dinged up and may not be 100% this weekend but just about 50% of him may be all that’s required to lift the Pats over the Jags. The Jags have some pride and will look to take down one of the best teams in the league but it won’t be enough.
PIT over CIN – Pittsburgh looked off again last week but this is now THE game of their season. Pittsburgh is a more veteran team and should handle this pressure better than the Bengals. This is make or break for both teams but I think that Pittsburgh will win at home.
MIA over BUF – The Dolphins are favored but I see this as a coin toss. Miami doesn’t really show too much of a home field advantage and they lost to the Bills last time around when they played in Buffalo. Still, I take the home team Dolphins in this game.
CAR over OAK – Cam and his crew have been on a roll the last couple weeks and will continue it as they run over the visiting Oakland Raiders. Steve Smith will probably have a career day against the 20th ranked pass defense.
GBP over TEN – After watching last Monday night’s game, I’ve reconfirmed one thing: The Titans are just not a good football team. NYJ had to hand them the game to secure the win and the Titans struggled all night to take advantage of the numerous Jet turn overs. This week will be much more difficult and the Packers should run them over.
DEN over CLE – Denver’s stock keeps climbing – They’ve won 9 in a row. While Cleveland has won 3 out of the last 4, their streak is over as of last week. This week the Browns will lose again, on the road, in the mile high city. Even if they were roughly equal teams, the Broncos have much more to play for right now and they are at home. Not good for the Browns.
NYG over BAL – What a topsy-turvy last 5 weeks for the Giants –Lose big to the Bengals, Win big over Green Bay, Lose to rival Washington, Win big over Saints, Lose BIG to the Falcons… this soul be a ‘win big’ week for them. On the other side we have Baltimore. Simply put, they are just sliding. Their slide continues this week which makes the AFC North a big mess.
CHI over ARI – I picked against Arizona last week and they ended up proving me wrong. They ended their losing streak at 9 but they’ll start a new one this week against the Bears. While the Bears have lost 6 of 7 they have lost to teams with winning records. Arizona can’t claim to be in that club. I look for the Bears defense to take over the #1 spot in interceptions after this game. They are currently ranked #2 and have 21 picks compared to Arizona’s 22.
SF over SEA – What’s the over under on how many times we’ll hear the words “Playoff atmosphere” in this game? I’ll put it at 7. This is fine because frankly, this is a huge game for both teams. If the ‘hawks win, they are in the playoffs and could be on their way to a division title. If the 49ers win, they clinch the division and make a statement that says “maybe next year” to the Seahawks. It looks to be a great match up and I’m sure the crowd will be fully charged for this one. Both Wilson and Kaepernick have looked great. The defense and running game of both teams look good – really this is a great matchup on paper. I give the slight edge to the 49ers in this one based on their solid defense and winning record against the Seahawks (they’ve won the last 4).
*correction on the game day.