Without further ado, here are the picks for this week.
Carolina at Kansas City
Terrible tragedy in Kansas City. Keep the families of Jovan Belcher, Kasandra Perkins and their infant daughter in your prayers. Just not sure how the Chiefs can stay focused. Carolina wins.
Indianapolis at Detroit
The Colts are in the thick of the playoff chase, thank to the stellar play of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. My Lions are one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL and are all but out of the wildcard chase. The only bright spot for Detroit is that Calvin Johnson has a chance to break Jerry Rice’s record of receiving yards in a season. After that, it looks gloomy in the Motor City. Indianapolis wins.
Minnesota at Green Bay
Big game in the NFC North. The Vikings need this game, if they want to remain in the hunt for the division title. The Packers are looking to rebound, after a bad loss to the New York Giants last week. Remember, the game is at Lambeau Field and it is December. Advantage Packers. Green Bay wins.
Jacksonville at Buffalo
Ugh. This one will be ugly. Flip a coin on this one. Buffalo wins.
Seattle at Chicago
Playoff implications abound at Soldier Field. The Seahawks currently hold the final wildcard spot in the NFC, and need a win to ensure that position. The Bears hold first place in the NFC North, and they need a win to help fight off the Packers. This one is simple. Seattle is 5-0 at home, but only 1-5 on the road. Take the home team. Chicago wins.
New England at Miami
Another game with playoff implications. A Patriots win wraps up the AFC East, and they can pursue bigger aspirations, such as home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Dolphins are still in the chase for a wildcard spot, but need a win to keep pace. The Patriots have won 6 out of their last 7 against Miami, and coach Bill Belichick will have some tricks ready for this young Miami team. New England wins.
San Francisco at St. Louis
In their first meeting, the 49ers and Rams played to a rare tie game, back on November 11. Since then, the 49ers have scored impressive victories over Chicago and New Orleans. The Rams did win last week over lowly Arizona, but they will be in tough to duplicate that feat, against a stingy 49ers team. Might be a good one, but the 49ers are the better team. San Francisco wins.
Arizona at New York Jets
Ugh! Another ugly game. The Cardinals have lost 7 straight. The Jets have lost 4 out of their last 5, including an embarrassing loss to New England last week. Another game that requires a coin flip. New York Jets win.
Houston at Tennessee
The Texans own the best record in the AFC, sporting a 10-1 mark. While they were fortunate to defeat Detroit last week, there is no doubt the Texans are a force to be reckoned with. The Titans have a slim chance to make the playoffs, but will need to win out, and get lots of help. This game won’t help. Houston wins.
Tampa Bay at Denver
Interesting game. Despite losing last week, the Bucs are still in the thick of the NFC Wildcard chase. If the young Bucs can withstand the pressure of the playoff chase, they could be dangerous. The Broncos are running away with the AFC West, and a win clinches the division for the Broncos. The Bucs are young and their future is bright, but Peyton Manning is the present. Denver wins.
Cleveland at Oakland
This game has zero playoff implications, but I like how the Browns are playing. I don’t like how the Raiders are playing. Cleveland wins.
Cincinnati at San Diego
The Bengals are in the playoff hunt, and are playing good football as of late. The Chargers lost to Baltimore last week, after they couldn’t hold the Ravens on a 4th and 29. I hope Norv Turner has worked on his resume, as he will be pounding the pavement, once this season is over. Cincinnati wins.
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
A great rivalry resumes in Baltimore. The Steelers are coming off a tough loss to Cleveland last week, and still won’t have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the lineup, due to his shoulder injury. The Ravens have won 4 in a row, including a win over Pittsburgh 2 weeks ago. While a win won’t wrap up the division, it would give the Ravens a stranglehold in the AFC North. The Steelers are fading, and I don’t trust Charlie Batch. Baltimore wins.
Philadelphia at Dallas
This game shouldn’t be on Sunday Night, but that’s another story. The Cowboys lost to Washington last week, but still entertain hopes of a playoff spot. The Eagles are dreadful, losing 7 straight and playing to get coach Andy Reid fired. If the Eagles do lose, their draft position improves as well. Philly has nothing to play for. The Cowboys still have a shot. Dallas wins.
New York Giants at Washington
Big game in the NFC East. The Giants can take total control of the division with a win. The Redskins can make this an interesting race, with a win. The Giants looked great in their blowout win over Green Bay, but have struggled with consistency lately. The Redskins scored a huge win over Dallas last week, but struggled defensively, and nearly blew a huge lead. I love Robert Griffin III, but I don’t think he and the Redskins are ready quite yet. New York Giants win.
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