It is the midway point of the NFL season and the playoff jockeying begins in earnest. Over the next two months, we will find out who are the contenders and who are the pretenders. Here’s the picks for this week.
Arizona at Green Bay
Two teams headed in opposite directions. The Packers have won 3 in a row, while the Cardinals have lost 4 in a row. On top of that, the game is in Lambeau Field. It might not be pretty. Green Bay wins.
Detroit at Jacksonville
I have a bad feeling about this one. This is the type of game the Lions have lost over the years. The Jaguars are struggling but did remain competitive last week in Green Bay. I’m very tempted to go with the upset but I’ll go with my heart which could bite me. Detroit wins.
Chicago at Tennessee
This one could be interesting. The Bears are 6-1 but looked very shaky in their win over Carolina last week. The Titans are coming off a tough overtime loss to Indianapolis. The Bears defence is top ranked in the league and won’t allow many points. The Titans don’t have enough weapons. Chicago wins.
Denver at Cincinnati
Another case of teams going in opposite directions. The Broncos have won 2 in a row to take firm control of the AFC West. The Bengals have lost 3 in a row and are in danger of falling out of contention in the AFC North. I’m thinking that this trend will continue. Denver wins.
Carolina at Washington
A battle of young exciting quarterbacks. Cam Newton vs. Robert Griffin III. The biggest difference is the Redskins have a better team surrounding RG3. Washington wins.
Baltimore at Cleveland
This is another game with upset potential. The Browns have been playing decent football as of late, winning 2 out of their last 3 games. The Ravens are 6-1, but are battling numerous injuries with Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb being key members out of the lineup. However Ed Reed and Haloti Ngata should play for Baltimore which should put over the top. Baltimore wins.
Miami at Indianapolis
Two teams flying under the radar. The Dolphins are 4-3 and have been a quiet surprise in the AFC East. The Colts are also 4-3 led by their sensational rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. This has the potential of being the best game of the week. Tough call. Indianapolis wins.
Buffalo at Houston
The Texans are one of the elite teams in the NFL, topping the AFC South with an impressive 7-1 record. The Bills are in the hunt for a wildcard berth, but will need to be more consistent. This game also marks the return of Mario Williams to Houston as he signed with Buffalo in the offseason. It won’t be a happy return. Houston wins.
Minnesota at Seattle
This could be a crucial game in the NFC Wildcard race. The Vikings are 5-3 and are coming off a disappointing loss to Tampa Bay. The Seahawks are 4-4 and are coming of a heartbreaking loss to Detroit. Both teams will be desperate for a win. Take the home team. Seattle wins.
Tampa Bay at Oakland
Two young teams with something to prove. The Bucs have won 2 out of their last 3 including an impressive road win over Minnesota last week. The Raiders have won 2 in a row, but they came over Jacksonville and Kansas City, the two worst teams in the NFL. Even though the game is in Oakland, I like the road team here. Tampa Bay wins.
Pittsburgh at New York Giants
This will be an emotional game for the Giants. New York City is recovering from Hurricane Sandy and the damage that it caused. The Giants will be playing for a greater cause than first place in the NFC East. They will be playing for a city, still wounded from the horrific storm. The Steelers have been playing better recently, but I don’t see them being successful in this game. New York Giants wins.
Dallas at Atlanta
Another one with upset potential. Despite the fact the Cowboys have lost 3 out of their last 4 games, Tony Romo and company always seem to play their best games when people doubt them. The Falcons are a perfect 7-0, but have doubters as well. Many people think their defence is too soft while Matt Ryan can’t perform in the big games. Historically the Cowboys own the Falcons. Despite all that. I just don’t have it in me to pick the upset. Atlanta wins.
Philadelphia at New Orleans
Two teams in dire straits. The Eagles are 3-4 and are coming off a bad loss to Atlanta. Philly fans desperately want coach Andy Reid fired and they could get their wish, it the Eagles downward spiral continues. The Saints are 2-5 and are coming off a blowout loss to Denver. This may not be a pretty game. I have no idea who is going to win this one. Flip a coin. New Orleans wins. But I have no idea why.
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