Last week was a terrible week for me as far as predictions go as I had a losing record for week 10. After last week’s abysmal 6-8 I now sit at 90-56 for the season. There are only two teams with bye weeks and they are the Dallas Cowboys and the St. Louis Rams.
Thursday Nov. 14th
Thursday Night Football
Colts at Titans 7:30pm/CT – In week 10 the Colts had a big letdown as they were blown out in Indianapolis by the Rams. Andrew Luck had his worst game of the year and he will have to forget it as he plays on Thursday night this week. The Titans offense is going through some tough times as Jake Locker is out for the season and now Ryan Fitzpatrick will start at QB. I think the Colts will be out to prove that last week was a fluke and come out passing. The Titans defense is good and Thursday night games have been sloppy this year. The Titans have a chance but ultimately I think the Colts will pull away.
Sunday Nov. 17th
Jets at Bills – The Jets just signed Ed Reed and the Bills are trying to get rookie QB EJ Manuel comfortable again as he just came back from a knee injury last week. The Jets are in the thick of the wildcard race and if the season ended today they would be the 6th seed. This is an AFC East divisional game and it will be closer than most expect. The Jets have been inconsistent but should be able to pull this one out.
Ravens at Bears – The Ravens are tied with the Browns for second in the AFC North and the Bears are trying to move on without Jay Cutler under center. The Ravens have had good and bad games but they are not going to be able to string together a winning streak if they can’t get the run game going. If the Ravens cannot run the ball they become one dimensional and that is something you cannot do against the Bears. I see the Bears winning at home.
Browns at Bengals – The AFC North leading Bengals have been up and down the last couple weeks and will be looking to bounce back at home against the second place Browns. I think the Browns defense is underrated and has kept them in games this year. If the offense can keep up they could pull off an upset like they did last week. Although the Browns have improved this year I think AJ Green and Andy Dalton will be too much to handle.
Raiders at Texans – This is the week the Texans losing streak comes to an end. The Raiders have been slowly falling apart and have lost the last two weeks against the Eagles and Giants. The Texans seem to be playing a lot better with Case Keenum as QB but losing Arian Foster for the rest of the year really hurts. If Keenum can continue to develop his chemistry with Andre Johnson they could be a formidable duo. Terrelle Pryor is a young QB who wowed early in the year but has since fallen back to Earth. Texans win at home.
Cardinals at Jaguars – The Jaguars will not be 0-16 but that is only a small victory as it will still be very hard for them to win another game. The Cardinals are in the hunt in the NFC wildcard race and will need every win they can get as their schedule gets pretty tough down the stretch. I think the Cardinals defense will dominate the Jaguars as they win on the road.
Chargers at Dolphins – The Richie Incognito/Johnathan Martin incident seems to have become enough of a distraction as the Dolphins dropped the ball against the Bucs last week. The Chargers held the Broncos to under 30 points for the first time this season and will look to improve on defense and continue to impress on offense. If Mike Glennon can beat the Dolphins so can Phillip Rivers.
Redskins at Eagles – The Redskins were media darlings last year but have quickly shown last year was a lucky run. RGIII was supposed to turn this team into a contender for years to come but he can’t do that from his back and he can’t play defense. The Redskins seem to be falling apart at the wrong time while the Eagles are gelling at the right time. Nick Foles is a very good pocket passer and is trying to become Philadelphia’s franchise QB. In this NFC East matchup I see the Eagles winning at home and ending a 10 game losing streak at Lincoln Financial Field.
Lions at Steelers – The Steelers are one of those teams you expect to contend every year. This year not so much as they have only mustered together three wins through nine games. On the other hand the Lions are in sole possession of first place in the NFC North and Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson are having quite a year together. The Lions shouldn’t have too much trouble with the Steelers even in Pittsburgh.
Falcons at Buccaneers – The Bucs are not winless anymore as they beat the Dolphins last week. The Falcons are playing for nothing but pride at this point and are trying to avoid going first to worst in the NFC South. If they are to do that they must win this game because with Tampa’s win last week they are only a game ahead of the lowly Bucs. I think the Bucs will be excited after last week but this game will still be a hard one to win. I think Harry Douglas will have a big game unless he is covered by Revis Island. The Falcons win on the road.
Packers at Giants – Thankfully the NFL has flexible scheduling in weeks 10-17 because this game was originally the Sunday Night Football game. The Packers are just trying to survive while Aaron Rodgers is injured. The Giants look to have turned the corner as they now have Andre Brown back and he has provided a spark for the New York running game. In the end I think the Giants have the edge at home.
49ers at Saints – In a potential playoff preview the 49ers travel to New Orleans to face the Saints. The 49ers offense was horrendous last week against the Panthers and the Saints offense put up an NFL record 40 first downs last week. The Niners defense is much better than the Cowboys and while they will be harder to score on I believe the Saints offense will win this game in the 4th quarter.
Vikings at Seahawks – The Seahawks are nearly unbeatable at home and I highly doubt the Vikings will give them a whole lot of trouble. Then again the last time I said that the Buccaneers forced the Seahawks to overtime before Seattle could pull off the win. I doubt that happens again.
Sunday Night Football
Chiefs at Broncos – I could talk or write about this game for a very long time but I will try to make this short. The Chiefs are the number one scoring defense and the Broncos are the number one scoring offense. That is the biggest matchup in this game and will be the difference in this game. However the Chiefs very average offense(16th overall) facing off against the Denver defense will be just as interesting to watch. The Broncos run defense is ranked very high but that is because most teams are forced to play catchup through the air. And that is where we find the Broncos biggest weakness, pass defense. The Broncos are ranked 31st against the pass and if the Chiefs can exploit that they could come out of Denver with a two game lead in the AFC West. Another key to the Chiefs game plan will have to be to stop the run. They had trouble against Buffalo in week 9 as they gave up over 200 yards rushing. In order to stop Peyton Manning they will have to first stop Knowshon Moreno. I believe the Chiefs will be able to stop Denver’s rushing attack and will put pressure on Peyton Manning with Tamba Hali and Justin Houston rushing the edge. If the Chiefs can put up more than 24 points they can win this game and I think they will do just that.
Monday Nov. 18th
Monday Night Football
Patriots at Panthers – Tom Brady vs the Carolina defense will be an intriguing matchup and New England will need Rob Gronkowski to have a big game if they are going to win on the road. The Panthers are hot right now as they have won 5 straight games. I think the Patriots will have the edge in this one as they are coming off the bye week and Bill Belichick having two weeks to prepare for a team is definitely an advantage. I think this is the week the Panthers winning streak ends.