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2017 Season: Week 15 Preview

Week 15 is here and we have two teams from Pennsylvania already ticketed for the playoffs with their division crowns.  The Patriots, Jaguars, Vikings, Saints, Rams can join them this week if things break their way (the easiest being wins by New England and Minnesota giving them their respective divisions or the Jaguars only having to win to at least secure a wild card spot).  Will that happen?  Here are some Week 15 picks!

Last Week: 10-6

Season: 131-77

Locks: 6-8

Upsets: 4-10

Thursday, December 14th, 8:26 e.t.

Denver Broncos (4-9) @ Indianapolis Colts (3-10)

We open the 15th week with a stinker of a game in Indy.  The Colts just got done playing in a blizzard in a losing effort (albeit in overtime) while the Broncos dominated the Jets by pitching a shutout with their defense getting its mojo back.  I think that will carry into this week as Denver does have some playmakers on that side of the ball that can make life tough on Jacoby Brissett and company.

Denver 18, Indianapolis 10

Saturday, December 16th, 4:30 e.t.

Chicago Bears (4-9) @ Detroit Lions (7-6)

The Lions are fighting for their playoff lives right now and they almost let a 14-point second half lead slip away against a poor Buccaneer squad but nevertheless they are still alive.  They will have to win at home over Chicago to keep the dream going, which I think they will, but it wop’t be easy.  Detroit’s weakness right now is passing defense, something that the Bears do not specialize in taking advantage of , and that is the difference.

Detroit 27, Chicago 21

Saturday, December 16th, 8:30 e.t.

Los Angeles Chargers (7-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)

This is a massive AFC West tilt with the winner of this game in prime position to take the AFC West.  In fact, I’d say the winner is pretty much assured of it.  There aren’t many teams hotter than the Chargers right now and I can see them taking out the Chiefs in KC, but I like the home team here.  They are finding big plays on offense and a lot of that was a byproduct of them being able to run the ball.  LA is not good at stopping the run, so that could prove to be their downfall.

Kansas City 30, Los Angeles 27

Sunday, December 17th, 1:00 e.t.

New York Jets (5-8) @ New Orleans Saints (9-4)

The Saints were clipped by the Falcons last week on Thursday night and now things are tight in the NFC South.  I think New Orleans is the best team in that division still and they will need to prove it by taking advantage of a Jet team without its starting quarterback at home.  They will, handily in fact.

New Orleans 40, New York 17

Houston Texans (4-9) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4)

The Jaguars will clinch a playoff berth with a win over Houston and I think it will.  They are playing in front of a home crowd that is suddenly making Jacksonville a tougher place for opposing teams to play.  The Jaguar defense is number one in the NFL in total yards, turnovers, and sacks.  They are dominant and the Texans offense leaves a lot to be desired at this point.  The Jags get into the post-season for the first time since 2007.

Jacksonville 26, Houston 7

Arizona Cardinals (6-7) @ Washington Redskins (5-8)

The Redskins, once upon a time, were a frisky team that was capable of beating anybody on their best day.  Now, they have suffered far too many injuries to remain relevant and have been eliminated from playoff contention as a result.  The air has come out of the balloon and normally it is not right to pick the Cardinals traveling to the east coast, but I’m doing it here.  Washington hasn’t much to play for and that is a depressing scene.

Arizona 28, Washington 19

Miami Dolphins (6-7) @ Buffalo Bills (7-6)

The Bills gutted out a tough victory in the snow over the Colts and now they will remain home to take on a Dolphin team that upset the Patriots on Monday night.  Tyrod Taylor is slated to start this game and I think that will help against a Miami team that has a very inconsistent offense.  In the end I still don’t trust that unit to go into what might be another snowy game and get the job done.

Buffalo 17, Miami 10

Cincinnati Bengals (5-8) @ Minnesota Vikings (10-3)

The Vikings are home with a chance to win their division by getting a victory over a downtrodden Bengal team that just got waxed at home by the Bears of all teams.  That will not bod well for them.  The Vikes have a great team and an awesome home field advantage.  That will help them overwhelm the Bengals.

Minnesota 38, Cincinnati 14

Baltimore Ravens (7-6) @ Cleveland Browns (0-13)

The clock is ticking on the Browns.  Will they get a win in 2017?  I’m not so sure they will, certainly not here against the Ravens.  Baltimore did lose to the Steelers last week but the one sign of encouragement was that the offense came to play for the second straight week.  If this team can get that unit going then they will be a tough out for any team.  I like them to keep it rolling on offense against the Browns on Sunday.

Baltimore 27, Cleveland 17

Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) @ New York Giants (2-11)

The good news for the Eagles is they can clinch a first round bye with a win over the Giants here.  The bad news is they will be doing it without Carson Wentz.  I’m not sure how far the team can go in January without #11, but I do know they can get by the Giants who appear to be in full-on tank mode here.  Give me Philly on the road.

Philadelphia 22, New York 13

Green Bay Packers (7-6) @ Carolina Panthers (9-4)

Here is a fun NFC battle.  The Panthers just notched their biggest win of the season beating the Vikings 31-24.  Now they will host a Packer team that is still on the fringe of the playoffs and they get Aaron Rodgers back.  The timing could not be more perfect for the Pack either as they will have to win out to even have a shot.  That road begins here.  I like Rodgers to pick up where he left off and bring more hope to Green Bay with a close win.

Green Bay 26, Carolina 24

Sunday, December 17th, 4:05 e.t.

Los Angeles Rams (9-4) @ Seattle Seahawks (8-5)

Another big contest in the NFC takes place up in Seattle as the West is likely going to be decided with the outcome of this game.  With a Seahawk win they will sweep the Rams and put all the pressure on them while a Ram win would really put the ‘Hawks in a precarious position.  I’m taking Seattle here because they just don’t lose big home games like these.  Also, the Eagles ripped apart the LA secondary in the passing game.  Look for Russell Wilson to do the same.

Seattle 31, Los Angeles 27 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Sunday, December 17th, 4:25 e.t.

New England Patriots (10-3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)

Finally we have a massive AFC match-up and this one is a doozy.  The winner will, more likely than not, be the number one seed on the season and thus making them clear favorites to make it to the Super Bowl.  The Steelers offense really got it going against the Ravens late last week while New England’s was stuck in the mud against the Dolphins.  I really hate picking against the Patriots late in the year but I think I am going to.  It is time for the Steelers to finally step up and win that big game against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Pittsburgh 36, New England 33 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

Tennessee Titans (8-5) @ San Francisco 49ers (3-10)

It is very easy to jump on the Jimmy G train as he has opened up his Niner career with a 2-0 record.  The Titans are the better team record-wise but I’m not sure how much better of a team they actually are than San Fran and that is really telling.  I don’t trust the Titans or Mariota at this point so I am going to pick the 49ers to pull off their third straight win.

San Francisco 24, Tennessee 20

Sunday, December 17th, 8:30 e.t.

Dallas Cowboys (7-6) @ Oakland Raiders (6-7)

The Raiders were a no-show on the road in Kansas City last week and they have not been a good offense this season.  That all starts with the protection being provided by the offensive line.  That is a huge reason why there has been such a drop-off from last year to this.  The Cowboys have been playing the football we all had become accustomed to seeing over the past year and that should continue here in their last game without Ezekiel Elliot.

Dallas 31, Oakland 21

Monday, December 18th, 8:30 e.t.

Atlanta Falcons (8-5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)

Week 15 wraps up with a divisional game in Tampa.  The Falcons just notched a massive win over the Saints last week and will be able to keep that train rolling against one of the worst secondaries in the league.  The most encouraging thing from Atlanta is that their defense finally made some big plays and that will need to continue if this team hopes to make any noise past January this year.

Atlanta 35, Tampa Bay 17

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2017 Season: Week 14 Preview

We have hit the fourth quarter of the 2017 regular season and nobody has yet to fully clinch a playoff spot (although for teams like the Patriots and Eagles, it is all but a formality).  That field should change this week, as should the landscape of the league since there are some huge matchups coming as potential playoff previews.  Who will come out on top?  Here are my selections.

Last Week: 8-8

Season: 121-71

Locks: 6-7

Upsets: 3-10

Thursday, December 7th, 8:26 e.t.

New Orleans Saints (9-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (7-5)

This is a big-time game for the Falcons and they are playing it at home on a short week, but unfortunately I do not see them winning and that is because of their defense.  They let Case Keenum complete 25-30 passes last week and can be run on.  That plays right into the Saints’ strengths and that should add up to a sixth loss.

New Orleans 34, Atlanta 27

Sunday, December 10th, 1:00 e.t.

Chicago Bears (3-9) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-7)

The Bengals’ playoff hopes are alive but they are in it still by a thread.  They do draw a poor Bears team and should roll this week since the Chicago offense has been very bad as of late (putting up just 10 points over the past two weeks).  As long as Dalton and company take care of the ball, they should be fine.

Cincinnati 27, Chicago 13

Indianapolis Colts (3-9) @ Buffalo Bills (6-6)

The Colts have been embarrassed twice this season by the Jaguars and will now have to hit the road to Buffalo to take on a middling Bills’ team.  The big question going in will be the health of Tyrod Taylor.  Buffalo is going to be a desperate team here and regardless of who starts at QB, I think they will win but it will be a squeaker.

Buffalo 17, Indianapolis 14

Dallas Cowboys (6-6) @ New York Giants (2-10)

Back under center goes Eli Manning as the Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese show has concluded mercifully in New York.  The Giants, at home would be a sexy pick since the team would be playing for pride but I still think they’re in full on tank mode and the Cowboys offensive line is back to its top form.  Dallas should win here.

Dallas 28, New York 14

Green Bay Packers (6-6) @ Cleveland Browns (0-12)

The Packers took down the Buccaneers at home in overtime a week ago and are playing much better team football since getting blasted by the Ravens a couple of games ago.  They should handle a Cleveland team that is on the brink of going 0-16 this season.

Green Bay 26, Cleveland 13

Detroit Lions (6-6) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8)

The Lions lost by 24 points last week and you can largely blame it on their defense as they let Joe Flacco and the Ravens look like a competent offense.  On the year, no “D” has been doing that more on a week to week basis than the Buccaneers.  Matthew Stafford will likely gut out his hand injury to lead his team to a win.  Also, the Lions may have something here with Tion Green.  Feed the kid the rock.

Detroit 27, Tampa Bay 20

Minnesota Vikings (10-2) @ Carolina Panthers (8-4)

No team in the NFL is hotter than the Vikings, and I have been burned the past three weeks for picking against them, so I am all done doing that.  They have proven themselves against some of the finer teams in the league and it starts with their defense.  Case Keenum is balling out as well and I think Cam Newton is in for a rough day against the Minnesota front.  Turnovers will sink the Panthers on Sunday while the Vikes play careful with the ball.

Minnesota 19, Carolina 10

San Francisco 49ers (2-10) @ Houston Texans (4-8)

The Jimmy Garappolo show got underway last week and it gave the Niners’ fans hope as he lead the team to a come from behind win in Chicago.  I think he makes it two in a row here because the 49ers have no reason to tank.  They have likely found their franchise quarterback so they can look elsewhere in the draft when a lot of the top picks will be used on signal-callers.

San Francisco 21, Houston 18

Oakland Raiders (6-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (6-6)

This is as close to a playoff game between two below-average teams as you are going to get in the NFL.  The Chiefs are still continuing a nose-dive while the Raiders have fought their way back to .500 by playing poor teams.  This is hard to pick but I am going to go with the Chiefs because A) They are the home team and B) I think their offense can get back to making some big plays against a bad secondary.

Kansas City 30, Oakland 24

Sunday, December 10th, 4:05 e.t.

Washington Redskins (5-7) @ Los Angeles Chargers (6-6)

This is an interesting game because you have two frisky teams that can play very entertaining contests.  I did want to pick the ‘Skins to win this one but in the end I cannot see their banged up offensive line standing up to Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, and company on the road.

Los Angeles 29, Washington 24

Tennessee Titans (8-4) @ Arizona Cardinals (5-7)

The Titans have been getting by with beating bad teams this season.  I think they were exposed by a Pittsburgh team a few weeks ago and the Cardinals are by no means on that level, but I do think they are better than a lot of the teams the Titans have been beating.  At home, I like Arizona to pull off a close win.  (These teams always play close games).

Arizona 24, Tennessee 22 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

New York Jets (5-7) @ Denver Broncos (3-9)

I think that the Jets are one of the more fun teams to watch this year and that is about the only reason anybody would want to tune into this game as the Broncos have been pitiful as of late, especially on offense.  A team that gives up 30+ points to the Dolphins gets no respect in this column.  I’m going with the Jets.

New York 23, Denver 10

Sunday, December 10th, 4:25 e.t.

Philadelphia Eagles (10-2) @ Los Angeles Rams (9-3)

The game of the week goes down in L.A. and Philadelphia looks to rebound from just their second loss of the season.  This is a hard game to figure and both teams are tied in scoring the most points in the league yet I think this will be a low scoring affair.  Call me crazy but I think the Eagles defense is the better unit and that will be the difference in an otherwise evenly matched game.

Philadelphia 19, Los Angeles 16

Seattle Seahawks (8-4) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4)

Here is another good afternoon game as the Seahawks who are fresh off of their finest effort of the season take on the Jaguars who just demolished a bad Colt team.  Seattle’s defense played very well and Russell Wilson proved why he should be in the MVP discussion with a win over the Eagles.  Going on the road in December is no problem for this team and this is not a time you want to play Seattle.  They will win handily.

Seattle 24, Jacksonville 6 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Sunday, December 10th, 8:30 e.t.

Baltimore Ravens (7-5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (10-2)

This is a game that has a little bit of juice to it now since the Ravens have been playing good football (especially on defense) and the Steelers who have been playing some pretty entertaining and close games this season.  That said, Baltimore will be without Jimmy Smith and I just don’t know how they are going to be able to cover Antonio Brown in this game.  Pittsburgh wins the game and the division on this night.

Pittsburgh 27, Baltimore 23

Monday, December 11th, 8:30 e.t.

New England Patriots (10-2) @ Miami Dolphins (5-7)

The Patriots are absolutely rolling right now while the Dolphins have been a joke offensively.  Their defense can frustrate Tom Brady slightly as he will be without Rob Gronkowski for this game but Brady seems to find a way every time despite injuries or takeaways.  Nothing changes as New England should throttle a poor Miami squad.

New England 30, Miami 10

2017 Season: Week 13 Preview

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now we have December football.  The weather turns colder while some teams get hotter and start to carve their way into the playoffs.  The winners of Week 13 will be revealed below!

Last Week: 13-3

Season: 113-63

Locks: 6-6

Upsets: 3-9

Thursday, November 30th, 8:26 e.t.

Washington Redskins (5-6) @ Dallas Cowboys (5-6)

It is do or die for both of these NFC East foes in Dallas on a big Thursday night game.  Luckily both teams will have had a full week to prepare for this contest.  I like the Redskins to win it because I like their quarterback more.  Defensively, the Cowboys have gotten roasted lately and are allowing a passer rating of over 100 on the season.  Kirk Cousins should take advantage of that.

Washington 34, Dallas 28

Sunday, December 3rd, 1:00 e.t.

Detroit Lions (6-5) @ Baltimore Ravens (6-5)

Here is a decent game between two playoff hopefuls who will be in some serious trouble with a loss.  The Lions played Minnesota tough at home last week while the Ravens slogged through a game with the Texans on Monday night.  Baltimore’s offense is bad and their defense is inconsistent.  I think this will end up being a great game and that favors the Lions who typically win those types of contests.  This is a toss-up though.

Detroit 23, Baltimore 20

New England Patriots (9-2) @ Buffalo Bills (6-5)

The Bills kept their season alive against Kansas City on the road last week while the Patriots continued to roll.  They should fly into Buffalo and take care of business against a defense that can be had.  The Bills will need to possess the ball for at least 35 minutes if they are to have a chance here.

New England 37, Buffalo 23

San Francisco 49ers (1-10) @ Chicago Bears (3-8)

Jimmy Garappolo will get the start for the Niners and that should give this team a shot in the arm going forward.  With that being said, the Chicago defense is good (although they were handled by Philly last week).  The Bears are also the home team.  I like them to win a very ugly contest that way.

Chicago 14, San Francisco 12

Indianapolis Colts (3-8) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4)

Indy has suffered a lot of excruciating losses this year and they did hold a lead in the fourth quarter last week.  One of the games they were never in this year was the one at home against these Jaguars.  The Jacksonville defense is good and they hit a bit of a bump in the road in Arizona but I think they will bounce back at home in front of a suddenly raucous crowd.

Jacksonville 24, Indianapolis 10

Denver Broncos (3-8) @ Miami Dolphins (4-7)

Here’s an ugly contest.  Two offenses that have been atrocious this year will square off in Miami and this is a tough one to pick since both squads are so futile.  I will go with Denver only because I think they can win this game with their defense, even without the suspended Aqib Talib.

Denver 12, Miami 9

Houston Texans (4-7) @ Tennessee Titans (7-4)

In a rematch of a Week 4 game that saw the Texans put up 57 points, I think it is safe to say we won’t be seeing any 50 burgers out of this one.  Tom Savage is nothing more than a backup quarterback while Marcus Mariota has been struggling largely lately.  The Titans have to be the least impressive 7-4 team also but they should take this contest at home since I do trust their offense just a little bit more.

Tennessee 21, Houston 17

Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) @ New York Jets (4-7)

The Chiefs continue to fade and desperately need to win this game otherwise they will be tied in the AFC West (more on that in a second).  I think they will take this contest on the road in their second trip to the Meadowlands this year.  Their offense will wake up a bit and I think we see the Chiefs return to more of their early season form (a watered down version, albeit).

Kansas City 24, New York 21

Minnesota Vikings (9-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (7-4)

This is arguably the best game of the week and a huge one in the NFC.  Both teams are red hot and are in great shape to get to the playoffs.  Julio Jones finally had a monster game this year and he typically will follow those performances up with a dud but this will not matter.  This will be a week that Altanta’s offense really showcases its ability against a good defense and I am also predicting that this will be a game where Case Keenum falls back to earth a bit.

Atlanta 35, Minnesota 24 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) @ Green Bay Packers (5-6)

The Packers gave Pittsburgh a good run for their money a week ago on the road but ended up botching the clock management situation at the end of the game and losing it in the end.  That should all but ensure their swan song of a 2017 season, but I think they will come out fighting for their lives at home and will pick up a victory over a defensively challenged Buccaneer squad.

Green Bay 30, Tampa Bay 27

Sunday, December 3rd, 4:05 e.t.

Cleveland Browns (0-11) @ Los Angeles Chargers (5-6)

It’s funny how the Chargers are suddenly favorites to win the AFC West after the Chiefs started out 5-0 and these guys were 0-4.  They are a talented team and they should really wreak havoc in the Cleveland backfield.  No chance that the Browns get their first win of the year twice in a row against the Chargers.

Los Angeles 38, Cleveland 13

Sunday, December 3rd, 4:25 e.t.

Los Angeles Rams (8-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (5-6)

L.A. came out and played a hell of a game against the Saints at home proving that their 24-7 loss to the Vikings was a potential fluke.  Now they take on an Arizona team who they shut out back in Week 7 33-0.  I think the Cards will do a much better job at trying to keep this game close, but ultimately they do not have the offense to keep pace with the Rams should this game turn into a shootout.

Los Angeles 29, Arizona 21

New York Giants (2-9) @ Oakland Raiders (5-6)

The big story heading into this game is the fact that it will be someone other than Eli Manning starting for the Giants at QB for the first time since 2004.  Instead it will be Geno Smith in a big spot and I definitely do not like his chances.  Heading across the country against a Raider team that is still very much in the playoff hunt in the AFC, the Giants will lose again.  Oakland’s offense will wake up as well.

Oakland 45, New York 13

Carolina Panthers (8-3) @ New Orleans Saints (8-3)

Here is another game that could be up for nomination as the game of the week.  First place in the AFC south is up for grabs and it’s going down in the Super Dome.  How about a bit of an upset?  The Panthers defense is good but I like them to win because I think their offense can take advantage of the Saints “D” which has been vulnerable due to the injuries it has suffered.

Carolina 34, New Orleans 31 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

Sunday, December 3rd, 8:30 e.t.

Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (7-4)

This is the third major NFC tilt that could be considered the game of the week and it pits the best team in the league against the Seahawks in Seattle.  This will be the first time since 2012 that Seattle is not a home favorite, and for good reason.  Their defense has been struggling while the Eagles have been blowing everybody they play out.  I really want to pick Seattle here, but I just can’t.  Their defense is faltering and their offensive line just is not able to protect.  Russell Wilson cannot do it all.

Philadelphia 27, Seattle 24

Monday, December 4th, 8:30 e.t.

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)

Week 13 of the season concludes in Cincy and one of the most intense rivalries will take the center stage.  The Steelers will likely keep the Bengals in this game as they have been prone to doing over the past few years but in the end they are too hot to be stopped by Cincinnati.  Also, I really can’t see the Bengals going to 6-6 on the year, so there is that.

Pittsburgh 30, Cincinnati 20

2017 Season: Week 12 Preview

Thanksgiving is here and there are a lot of pundits out there that would argue that this is the point in the year where the NFL campaign actually begins.  We are all done with BYE weeks and are ready to hit the final stretch of the regular season.  Which teams will pick up crucial wins this week?  Here are my picks!

Last Week: 7-7

Season: 100-60

Locks: 5-6

Upsets: 2-9

Thursday, November 23rd, 12:30 e.t.

Minnesota Vikings (8-2) @ Detroit Lions (6-4)

One of the best games on the Week 12 slate takes place in the early Thanksgiving window as the Lions try to complete the season sweep of Minnesota.  I really think they have a shot here but their rush defense has been atrocious over the last two weeks and that will play right into the Vikings hands.  That said, I like Matthew Stafford to bring his team back with the game on the line and pull off the upset at home.

Detroit 23, Minnesota 21

Thursday, November 23rd, 4:30 e.t.

Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) @ Dallas Cowboys (5-5)

Here is a hard game to pick.  These two teams have been going in opposite directions lately, but Dallas is home for this match-up and that could help.  However, if Tyron Smith isn’t in for this tilt then the Cowboys are really in trouble because the Chargers come at you with Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa.  Good luck to Dak who has gotten no help since Ezekiel Elliot was suspended.

Los Angeles 26, Dallas 19

Thursday, November 23rd, 8:30 e.t.

New York Giants (2-8) @ Washington Redskins (4-6)

The Redskins are the hard luck team of the league this season.  They have played some very good teams tight and Kirk Cousins has been on fire.  Sure, the Giants were able to upset the Chiefs last week but I don’t think they stand a chance here on the road.  The defense is still prone to miscommunications and I see Washington torching them.

Washington 35, New York 14

Sunday, November 26th, 1:00 e.t.

Cleveland Browns (0-10) @ Cincinnati Bengals (4-6)

The battle of Ohio sees its first installment of the season here.  The Browns have been playing competitive football lately against good teams but have fallen just short.  On the road in the division I can see them upsetting the Bengals but I don’t have the cajones to actually pick them.  The Cincy offense is due for a breakout game and this might be it for them.

Cincinnati 30, Cleveland 10

Buffalo Bills (5-5) @ Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)

If this game had taken place three or four weeks ago it would have been the premier matchup of the week, but as it is it is another lame-duck contest with both teams flailing at the moment.  The Bills will go with Tyrod Taylor again after the disastrous start from Nate Peterman, but I don’t see him getting his team the “W”.  The Chiefs are limping into this game and will be looking to get off the mat.  This is still a good team and it will show on Sunday.

Kansas City 29, Buffalo 17

Carolina Panthers (7-3) @ New York Jets (4-6)

It is weird how nobody talks about the Carolina Panthers as one of the better teams in the league.  Their defense has been great and the offense is getting there as well.  The Jets have fallen off a bit after their surprising start and I don’t like their chances going against the Carolina “D” this week.  I don’t expect a blowout here, but with the Panthers getting their ground game going, I can’t see them dropping this one.

Carolina 25, New York 19

Chicago Bears (3-7) @ Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)

The Eagles were sleepwalking through the first half on offense in Dallas a week ago but really got it going after the break.  Their defense was strong throughout.  Meanwhile the Bears were busy blowing a chance to bring the Lions to overtime in Chicago.  Both “D’s” are solid but the Bears offense is not in the same class as is the Eagles.  That is going to make the difference in Philly.

Philadelphia 30, Chicago 16

Tennessee Titans (6-4) @ Indianapolis Colts (3-7)

So you wanna be a playoff team Tennessee?  Go win this game.  On the road against a division rival, this is a game that the Titans have to have if they want to remain relevant in the AFC.  Marcus Mariota had a tough outing against the Steelers’ defense a week back but this is the Colts’ defense this time around.  He should have a nice bounce-back game against that much weaker unit.

Tennessee 31, Indianapolis 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6) @ Atlanta Falcons (6-4)

The Falcons put together one of their best efforts of the season in Seattle and look like they are about to go on a bit of a run.  The Buccaneers have won back-to-back games, but not against good opponents.  On the road in Atlanta, I do not like their odds at stopping the Falcon attack given that their defense is still a mess.

Atlanta 37, Tampa Bay 17

Miami Dolphins (4-6) @ New England Patriots (8-2)

The Patriots are headed for a 14-2 or 13-3 season in all likelihood and the Dolphins will prove to be nothing more than a speed bump for them.  The Miami offense his non-existent at times while New England’s is probably the best in the league.  That mismatch is something that I cannot get over.

New England 41, Miami 13

Sunday, November 26th, 4:05 e.t.

Seattle Seahawks (6-4) @ San Francisco 49ers (1-9)

This might be the week we get to see Jimmy Garappolo under center for the first time as a Niner off of their BYE.  On a short week the Seahawks will have to go on the road to deal with San Fran.  That said, I like them to pick up the “W” because their offense has been pretty good lately and I do not like the 49ers to slow Russell Wilson down.

Seattle 33, San Francisco 21

Sunday, November 26th, 4:25 e.t.

New Orleans Saints (8-2) @ Los Angeles Rams (7-3)

The game of the week takes place in L.A. and the Saints will ride their eight game winning streak into town to take on a Ram team fresh off of an embarrassing loss in Minnesota.  I like the Saints on the road because of their running game.  I can see them controlling the clock with it and keeping the explosive Rams offense on the sidelines, shortening the game.

New Orleans 30, Los Angeles 28

Denver Broncos (3-7) @ Oakland Raiders (4-6)

The Broncos season has taken a total nose-dive after they lost to the Giants and the defense has been gassed.  The Raiders have not been much better but they still have all of their players and are capable of making a run at that #6 seed.  If they are to do that, it will have to start here and I think it will.  This is a good chance for the Oakland offense to get right.

Oakland 27, Denver 13 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-6)

We can call this the Blaine Gabbert Bowl since Blaine Gabbert will be taking on his former team.  The Jaguars have been hot and ride into town on a four game winning streak.  The Cardinals have not been good this year but I really like their chances at an upset here.  They are going to do it with their defense because I don’t necessarily like their offense to stand up to be league’s best “D”.

Arizona 14, Jacksonville 13 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

Sunday, November 26th, 8:30 e.t.

Green Bay Packers (5-5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (8-2)

The Steelers offense finally looked like the one we all thought they were last week versus Tennessee and now they will draw the Brett Hundley led Packers in prime time.  With the Pittsburgh defense balling the way it is now I can see them really spanking Green Bay here.

Pittsburgh 34, Green Bay 13

Monday, November 27th, 8:30 e.t.

Houston Texans (4-6) @ Baltimore Ravens (5-5)

The Ravens recorded their third shutout of the season on the road in Green Bay last week and will get to face Tom Savage’s Texans on Monday night.  Sure, Tom Savage played the game of his life against Arizona last week, but overall he is not a good quarterback and the Ravens have demolished most teams they’ve played without a good one.  That should happen again here.

Baltimore 24, Houston 10

2017 Season: Week 11 Preview

Week 11 is here and there are some huge matchups on the docket for the week.  It is do or die for a few times and there are a couple others who are looking to all but cement their spot atop their respective divisions.  There are also some saucy NFC games upcoming too so this should be a fun week.  Here are my picks!

Last Week: 10-4

Season: 93-53

Locks: 4-6

Upsets: 2-8

Thursday, November 16th, 8:26 e.t.

Tennessee Titans (6-3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2)

The first game of the week is a dandy and the best one on tap pitting two AFC teams.  Both of these squads eeked out tight wins against inferior teams last week and are on a collision course at Heinz Field.  The Steelers should not have much trouble winning this one, however.  I expect their defense to step up and smother the Titan rushing attack making life tough on Marcus Mariota throwing the ball.

Pittsburgh 26, Tennessee 14

Sunday, November 19th, 1:00 e.t.

Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) @ New York Giants (1-8)

The Chiefs will win this game easily.  The Giants have given up on this season and are too banged up to beat even the listless 49ers, let alone a quality team from the other conference.

Kansas City 39, New York 10

Arizona Cardinals (4-5) @ Houston Texans (3-6)

This is a hard one to call since both teams are bad without their starting quarterbacks.  I do think that the Cardinals have a slight edge if Houston is planning on rolling out Tom Savage again.  Not to mention, Arizona has spent the entire year trading losses and wins.  It is time for a win on the road.

Arizona 19, Houston 14

Detroit Lions (5-4) @ Chicago Bears (3-6)

Detroit has played well against NFC North competition this year and their offense has cranked it up over the last few weeks.  They did get off to a slow start against Cleveland at home but finished strong.  The return of Kenny Galloday to the lineup helped.  The Lions offense should carry them to the “W” over the Bears on the road.

Detroit 27, Chicago 20

Los Angeles Rams (7-2) @ Minnesota Vikings (7-2)

This is probably the best game on the schedule for the week, and the hardest one to pick.  It pits two teams that could be meeting again in the playoffs also.  This should feature a lot of defense, I think.  Both offenses have been explosive to this point in the season but I can see both getting slowed here.  I think Minnesota’s “D” is better, but the Rams have been a dominant road team.  I like them to win, just barely.

Los Angeles 13, Minnesota 10 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

Washington Redskins (4-5) @ New Orleans Saints (7-2)

The Saints proved to everybody that they were a legitimate Super Bowl threat by going on the road and hanging 47 points on a good defense that was previously undefeated at home.  They can run the ball and their offense is in control of games.  That will go over well against a Washington team that has been inconsistent on defense.

New Orleans 30, Washington 24

Baltimore Ravens (4-5) @ Green Bay Packers (5-4)

This is, to me, the hardest game to pick this week.  I am going to lean towards Green Bay for two reasons, however: 1) They are the home team and 2) Their offense is much, much better even with Brett Hundley at the helm.  He looked pretty good in Chicago last week and I like that to continue into this game as well.

Green Bay 20, Baltimore 18

Jacksonville Jaugars (6-3) @ Cleveland Browns (0-9)

I was really tempted to pick the Browns in an upset but I just can’t because the Jaguars pass defense is very good while Cleveland’s passing attack has been abysmal (although much better last week).

Jacksonville 20, Cleveland 7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) @ Miami Dolphins (4-5)

Here is another one that is hard to pick.  The Buccaneers were able to win without Jameis Winston and Mike Evans last week and they should be in good shape to defeat a bad Dolphins team this week, but I think I am going to go with the ‘Phins at home.  That was my original pick to win this game all the way back when it was first scheduled to be played in Week 1.

Miami 20, Tampa Bay 19

Sunday, November 19th, 4:05 e.t.

Buffalo Bills (5-4) @ Los Angeles Chargers (3-6)

Philip Rivers has been in concussion protocol for the week, but the team is optimistic that he will play on Sunday versus Buffalo who plan on tossing the offensive keys to Nathan Peterman for this game.  My one question is: Why?  What do they expect him to give the team over Tyrod Taylor.  This is a bad move in my opinion and one that will cost them the game.

Los Angeles 23, Buffalo 16

Sunday, November 19th, 4:25 e.t.

New England Patriots (7-2) @ Oakland Raiders (4-5) (in Mexico)

The Raiders are hoping to make something out of their season and they have a tough draw with the New England Patriots.  The Pats just played a high altitude game in Denver and are looking to play another one here.  The defense has been holding their opponents to under 17 points per game and Tom Brady is out here doing Tom Brady things.  Oakland won’t have the horses to run with the Pats here.

New England 34, Oakland 24 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Cincinnati Bengals (3-6) @ Denver Broncos (3-6)

Denver’s defense has been trounced in back-to-back weeks surrendering a total of 92 points.  This is a prideful unit, however, and I fully expect them to bounce back and smother an up and down Bengal offense.  Andy Dalton turns the ball over 3+ times and the Broncos win this game handily.

Denver 24, Cincinnati 3

Sunday, November 19th, 8:30 e.t.

Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) @ Dallas Cowboys (5-4)

This game is a product of bad timing for the Cowboys.  Had the contest taken place two weeks ago, I probably would have picked them but now they will be missing a lot of key players going up against the most balanced team in football coming off of a BYE.  The Eagles will prove to be too much to handle for Dallas, although I do like the ‘Boys to keep it close for most of it.

Philadelphia 30, Dallas 17

Monday, November 20th, 8:30 e.t.

Atlanta Falcons (5-4) @ Seattle Seahawks (6-3)

This may be the best looking Monday night game of the year and it does feature two teams looking to make playoff runs in the NFC.  Year in and out, this is the time where the Seahawks make their surge and I think that begins here in a big way.  I like Seattle to blow the Falcons out at home.

Seattle 37, Atlanta 13

2017 Season: Week 10 Preview

Back at it again for the tenth installment of the 2017 NFL campaign.  There are a lot of intriguing matchups this week that will prove to be paramount in helping develop the playoff picture this year with a lot of teams at the brink.  Who will come out on top?  Here are my picks.

Last Week: 9-4

Season: 83-49

Locks: 3-6

Upsets: 2-7

Thursday, November 9th, 8:26 e.t.

Seattle Seahawks (5-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-4)

The Seahawks were stunned at home by a desperate Redskins team last week and look to bounce back on a short week against an Arizona team that has been trading losses and wins this year.  Seattle should throttle the Cards here, even on the road.  Their defense should smother the Drew Stanton attack as long as they can weather the Adrian Peterson storm.

Seattle 36, Arizona 16 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Sunday, November 12th, 1:00 e.t.

Green Bay Packers (4-4) @ Chicago Bears (3-5)

The Packers were bullied by the Lions last week and I don’t like their odds going on the road against a very solid defense in Chicago.  As long as the Bears can convert on third downs here they should not have any problem disposing of the Brett Hundley led Packers.

Chicago 23, Green Bay 16

New York Jets (4-5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-6)

It is hard to watch Tampa Bay these days since they are a mess on both sides of the ball.  Meanwhile the Jets have a little something going now with their defense and running game.  The Bucs sans Jameis Winston and Mike Evans are in trouble at home against Gang Green.

New York 24, Tampa Bay 12

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2) @ Indianapolis Colts (3-6)

The Colts have been competitive lately which is the best that the team can hope for, but unfortunately they draw the Steelers who are coming off of a BYE and have been on a roll lately.  Mike Tomlin’s team should have no trouble taking care of business on the road here.

Pittsburgh 32, Indianapolis 7

Cleveland Browns (0-8) @ Detroit Lions (4-4)

This game presents a good opportunity for the Lions to get back over .500.  Their offense has been sound in every area outside of short-yardage situations.  That is a problem for them in the future, but not so much at home against one of the two winless teams in the league.

Detroit 30, Cleveland 13

Los Angeles Chargers (3-5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (5-3)

I feel like the Jaguars are due to disappoint their fan-base at some point here but this might not prove to be the week.  I love their defense and I do not like Philip Rivers’ chances at standing in the pocket against the leading sack unit in the NFL.  I’ll take the Jags in a thriller.

Jacksonville 24, Los Angeles 21

New Orleans Saints (6-2) @ Buffalo Bills (5-3)

This is probably my favorite game of the week.  The Bills are one of just two teams left that are unbeaten at home this year and the Saints come into town riding a six game winning streak.  One of these trends will come to an end and I say it is Buffalo’s home record.  The Saints are clicking in all phases of the game and I like that to continue.

New Orleans 27, Buffalo 22

Minnesota Vikings (6-2) @ Washington Redskins (4-4)

The Redskins have been one of those teams that is hard to figure each week but their offense has been solid behind Kirk Cousins.  On the road, I think the Vikes are prime to drop one.  I love that defense, but the ‘Skins are a frisky team and can stand toe-to-toe with almost anybody when they are on their game.

Washington 28, Minnesota 23 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) @ Tennessee Titans (5-3)

The Titans took care of business last week against the Ravens and should do so again this week against a Cincy team that has really faltered on the defensive side of the ball lately.  There are certainly air yards to be had against them and at this point in the season, that is the strength of this Titan team.

Tennessee 35, Cincinnati 20

Sunday, November 12th, 4:05 e.t.

Houston Texans (3-5) @ Los Angeles Rams (6-2)

If this game had been played two weeks ago it would have been a potential game of the week with two of the most exciting offenses in the league.  As it stands we get Tom Savage’s Texans instead and that lacks serious firepower.  The Rams should grab their seventh win of the year rather easily with their offense being on fire as it is now.

Los Angeles 34. Houston 17

Sunday, November 12th, 4:25 e.t.

Dallas Cowboys (5-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (4-4)

Here is another game that is tough to pick.  Will Ezekiel Elliot be eligible to play here?  That will make the difference yet again.  The Falcons need a win in the worst way and they are playing at home here, so I think they will find a way to get it done.  They will need an effort from the team like they got in Week 2 against Green Bay, however.

Atlanta 31, Dallas 30

New York Giants (1-7) @ San Francisco 49ers (0-9)

Will this be the week that Jimmy Garoppolo starts for the Niners?  I’m not so sure, they may want to wait until after the BYE to make that call.  That said, the Giants will be motivated to play well after getting caught with their pants down at home versus the Rams.  They’ve already made a trek across country and won once this year, I say they do it again in Week 10.

New York 20, San Francisco 16

Sunday, November 12th, 8:30 e.t.

New England Patriots (6-2) @ Denver Broncos (3-5)

The Broncos had a house dropped on them last week in Philly and will look to rebound this week.  Unfortunately they draw the number one offense in football and plan on sending Brock Oswieler out there to answer.  That spells trouble.  I think Denver’s defense will keep the team in it, but I have no confidence whatsoever in their offense to get the job done.

New England 23, Denver 17

Monday, November 13th, 8:30 e.t.

Miami Dolphins (4-4) @ Carolina Panthers (6-3)

The Panthers rushing game re-emerged last week against the Falcons and now they will face the Dolphins who have not been all that terrible on defense.  Their offense finally looked competent last week, but against one of the finer “D’s” in the league, I do not think they will fare so well.  Especially not on the road.

Carolina 20, Miami 17

2017 Season: Week 9 Preview

We have run through half of the games this year and there is still no clear Super Bowl favorite.  And who does not love a little parody?  For the first time in a while it is not set in stone who will be in the AFC and NFC championship games and that is kind of cool.  Let us predict the slate of games on the Week 9 docket; there are some good ones.

Last Week: 11-2

Season: 74-45

Locks: 3-4

Upsets: 2-5

Thursday, November 2nd, 8:25 e.t.

Buffalo Bills (5-2) @ New York Jets (3-5)

The Bills defense is looking good this year and after adding Kelvin Benjamin they finally have a legitimate threat downfield which should bode well for them.  However, I’m feeling a frisky effort from the Jets on Thursday night and I think they can upset Buffalo playing at home.

New York 19, Buffalo 17

Sunday, November 5th, 1:00 e.t.

Los Angeles Rams (5-2) @ New York Giants (1-6)

Not gonna dwell on this one much.  The Rams offense is good and their defense travels well.  The Giants simply have no answers on the attack to keep pace with Sean McVay’s squad.

Los Angeles 31, New York 14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-5) @ New Orleans Saints (5-2)

How about the Saints ripping off five straight wins.  They’ve play complimentary football and are for real.  That said, the Bucs are desperate and this is a divisional game.  I see Tampa putting in their best effort of the season and shocking N’awleans with a huge win.

Tampa Bay 31, New Orleans 28 ***UPSET OF THE WEEK***

Atlanta Falcons (4-3) @ Carolina Panthers (5-3)

This is a big game for each team, the winner will be in a good spot to make a run to the playoffs whereas the loser will be having to play catch-up in a major way.  I dont like how the Falcon defense has been playing and the Panthers have a “D” that is hot.  I’ll take them at home.

Carolina 23, Atlanta 16

Baltimore Ravens (4-3) @ Tennessee Titans (4-3)

The Baltimore run defense did bounce back last week, but on the whole they have been bad this year and that does not bode well for them on the road against the Titans who will be trying to pound the rock.  I will go with the home team in this situation.

Tennessee 26, Baltimore 16

Indianapolis Colts (2-5) @ Houston Texans (3-4)

The Texans lost last week but they looked fantastic in doing so.  DeShaun Watson continues to impress and is having no trouble carving up defenses.  Indy doesn’t exactly have a good “D” either so that trend should continue this week also.

Houston 35, Indianapolis 15

Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (4-3)

The Jags return home where they hope to take advantage of an inconsistent Cincy team with their solid defense.  In a battle of the big cats, I am going to take the Jags to come out on top because I think they can force a big turnover or two to swing things in their favor.

Jacksonville 26, Cincinnati 22

Denver Broncos (3-4) @ Philadelphia Eagles (7-1)

I was gonna go with the Broncos here in an upset, but I really do not trust their offense.  They have been sloppy and at times unwatchable whereas the Philly offense has been the total opposite.  I believe that will make the difference in this contest.

Philadelphia 23, Denver 13

Sunday, November 5th, 4:05 e.t.

Arizona Cardinals (3-4) @ San Francisco 49ers (0-8)

The Niners did a thing when they traded for Jimmy Garoppolo and that was an excellent move.  Unfortunately he will not have enough time to get Kyle Shanahan’s offense down pat going into this game and the Cardinals are due to win a game with their defense.  Methinks that happens on Sunday.

Arizona 20, San Francisco 11

Washington Redskins (3-4) @ Seattle Seahawks (5-2)

The Hawks are getting their offense rolling and that is a scary thought for the rest of the NFC.  Their defense was embarrassed last week but that was an aberration.  Washington is reeling and do not have a ton of weapons to threaten the Legion of Boom on the road.

Seattle 30, Washington 16 ***LOCK OF THE WEEK***

Sunday, November 5th, 4:25 e.t.

Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) @ Dallas Cowboys (4-3)

Will Ezekiel Elliot play in this game?  Whether or not he does will influence this pick.  As of Wednesday it seems like he will not, and I am going to bet on that.  Of course I do reserve the right to change my mind if I feel like it.  The Chiefs do have the better team, in my opinion.

Kansas City 33, Dallas 27

Sunday, November 5th, 8:30 e.t.

Oakland Raiders (3-5) @ Miami Dolphins (4-3)

The Miami offense was atrocious once again this past Thursday against the Ravens and they will need to take advantage of a poor Oakland “D” if they hope to remain contenders in the AFC Wild Card picture.  I don’t think they will and the Raiders keep their season alive… again.

Oakland 27, Miami 13

Monday, November 6th, 8:30 e.t.

Detroit Lions (3-4) @ Green Bay Packers (4-3)

Week 9 ends in Green Bay and the Lions need this one.  They played Pittsburgh tough last week but just could not finish drives when they got into the red zone.  I think they will do a much better job at that this week and come away from Lambeau with a big win evening their record once again.

Detroit 28, Green Bay 20