Quick picks cuz I’m out of time on a crazy early Thanksgiving weekend and well, yeah, so let’s just get to em.
Dolphins at Bills
I figured the Bills had an awful, underachieving defense and that the Phins would turn around their slide. I was wrong. Tannehill has been awful the last few weeks and Reggie Bush is fading fast.
Browns at Cowboys
The Cowboys are in prime position to take the NFC East as the leader, New York, has done nothing in recent weeks to build on a fast start. The Browns are currently in the way but are in so much flux, I cannot expect them to contend with a Cowboys team that just might be building a little bit of momentum.
Jags at Texans
The Texans will keep rolling. Look for their passing game to get it going again as they will really need to get the kinks out of that aspect of their game if they really do want to play in the Super Bowl. Everything else is pretty much dialed in.
Jets at Rams
Can the Jets’ season get any worse? Ownership “not sign[ing] up for 3-6” is not a ringing endorsement. Sanchez and co. have been awful offensively and that is no bueno going into St. Louis to content with the Rams who should have beat the Niners and are otherwise the other guys in a very tough and talented NFC West.
Bucs at Panthers
Tampa Bay has looked good and Doug Martin is a monster. Carolina has looked bad and Cam Newton is having a rough sophomore tour. That said, Cam has mostly struggled to throw this year and that is one area the Bucs are definitely soft. That and the Panthers always play their divisional rival tough at home.
Cardinals at Falcons
The Cards’ offense will continue to struggle putting up enough points to beat the elite teams in the NFL such as the Falcons. Their defense is good but they are unfortunately going to be visiting a Falcons team that has just had their first loss of the season which will have taken a lot of pressure off them to “stay unbeaten.” Meaning, the Cards are going to be playing a loose team that is considerably better than them in their house. ASSWHOPPN
Packers at Lions
Not a surprising road pick here. The Lions have come on a little bit as of late with their offense awakening but their defense has been so inconsistent and horrifying when bad that they don’t have the record to show it. Sure, Stafford can bring them back almost every time out but against Rodgers who will likely stake the Packers to a hefty double digit lead early, there is no coming back.
Eagles at Redskins
I’ve lost all faith in the Eagles and so should you. They looked horrible against the Cowboys and now that Nick Foles is under center, no, I don’t expect a better output for them. The fact is, Vick had less to do with their issues on offense than their offensive line that played better than they have all year this past weekend. That won’t matter in D.C. when RG3 rips the Eagles defense apart.
Bengals at Chiefs
The Chiefs came scarily close to a rare win and doing it on the road in one of the toughest places to play against a pretty good Steeler team. But alas, it was not to be. They return home to host a Bengals team that punked the Giants the week before with strong defense and timely big plays from QB Andy Dalton. Expect more of the same.
Saints at Raiders
Colts at Patriots
These used to be the Super Bowl before the end of December. This was the big game you fired up the grill, invited all your friends, bought a few 30 packs and got it going. After last year, it didn’t look like this rivalry would mean anything moving forward… except Andrew Luck changed all of that. On the road though, I have to give the advantage to the old guard of Belichick and Brady while Luck and Co. get accustomed to what it means to play in this game. You say it’s just another football game; I say Brady comes out and throws 4 TDs and the Pats win at home.
Chargers at Broncos
The Chargers cannot afford another loss on the season and to the Broncos no less. At this point, anybody with any sort of sense at all realizes that the Broncos are driving in the AFC West and if the epic comeback last month by them over these same Chargers in San Diego didn’t convince anyone that the torch in the division was being passed on, it will this week when the Broncos don’t need to come back in a huge way in the 2nd half because they’ll be up comfortably by the time that comes around. Peyton will looks crisp, defense will be tougher than usual, Rivers will be mistake prone, Mathews will be missing, Norv will be confused and the West is going to get a little closer to being won.
Ravens at Steelers
I find the hopefuls that think that the Steelers are somehow going to survive the B-Left phase while Ben is out to be just that… hopeful. And adorably unrealistic. The Steelers barely have a running game (Mendenhall is supposed to be back but we don’t know how effective he will be) and their defense is not what it used to be. And anyway, Leftwich’s sluggish delivery spells bad things for ball hawking defenses like the Ravens. I don’t expect the Steelers to survive this one.
Bears at Niners
Would have been the game of the week… might still be the game of the week even if Cutler isn’t playing and Alex Smith a gametime decision. That’s just how well these two teams are coached and how tough as nails both of these defenses can be. In the event that this is reduced to backup-a-backup, I give the edge to Kaepernick as I don’t like what I see from Campbell. I think Campbell is not a good fit for what the Bears need him to do (feed Marshall the ball) while Kaepernick is perfect for what the Niners try to do (he’s a faster, more agile Alex Smith even if he isn’t as good a QB yet). Plus it’s in San Francisco.