Week 11 NFL Previews and Predictions

Last week: 9-2

Overall: 70-32

Minnesota Vikings (4-5) at Chicago Bears (3-6):

The Vikings have quietly assembled a two game winning streak and will look to make it three in a row against the Bears this week. Although Bridgewater has not been great this season, more picks than touchdowns, he has taken better care of the ball over the past two weeks and has thrown for over 240 yards in each game. Along with their solid running game and aggressive defense, the Vikes are a surprisingly dangerous squad. Meanwhile, the Bears seem to be caught in a whirlwind of trouble as their offense is out of sync and their defense is down right awful. The last two weeks they have been absolutely humiliated because they cannot stop anyone from scoring.

Vikings win 27-21

Houston Texans (4-5) at Cleveland Browns (6-3):

After a loss against Philly and multiple weeks of uninspiring play, Bill O’Brien has decided to bench Ryan Fitzpatrick in favor for Ryan Mallet. However, this will be a difficult situation for Mallet since Arian Foster is likely to sit out this week and the Browns have a solid defense. Without a steady running game, Mallet will be forced to fit balls into tough windows in order to find top wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson. Even though the Browns have played the easiest schedule in the NFL, they have been taking care of their business while accumulating a few surprising wins on the way. Last week, the Browns put together their best effort, especially on defense, of the season as they beat the Bengals on the road.

Browns win 24-13

Seattle Seahawks (6-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-3):

Since their disappointing loss at home against the Titans, the Chiefs have been one of the best teams in football, only losing on the road to the 49ers and Broncos. The Chiefs continue to rely on their great ground game with Jamaal Charles and their fabulous defense which is led by Justin Houston, sack leader. Although the Seahawks are said to boast the best homefield advantage in football, nobody can deny the sound that is made at Arrowhead when opposing offenses are on the field. Like the Chiefs, the Seahawks have turned around their season after a humiliating loss to the Rams.  The Seahawks are very similar to the Chiefs because they use their running game to set up the pass and loss to cause pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Chiefs win 24-21

Atlanta Falcons (3-6) at Carolina Panthers (3-6-1):

The Falcons are coming off of a road win against the Bucs. Although Matt Ryan has had a successful season, twice as many touchdowns as interceptions, he has little to no help around him. Although last week, Steven Jackson was able to have a good game, the offensive line nor the running backs have been consistent, which has led to a one dimensional offense. Similar to the Falcons and pretty much every team in the NFC South, the Panthers have underperformed this season. The Panthers have not been able to run the ball effectively, which has limited Newton’s passing opportunities. In addition, the Panthers do not possess the same defense that was top three last season due to their horrendous secondary.

Falcons win 24-17

Cincinnati Bengals (5-3-1) at New Orleans Saints (4-5):

The Bengals had been undefeated over the past year and a half at home until the Browns went into Paul Brown Stadium and recorded the win. Andy Dalton played one of the worst games in NFL history last week and has been underwhelming since the Patriots matchup. Although AJ Green is back, Andy and the entire defense does not seem very comfortable. Similar to the Bengals, the Saints were upset last week at home. However, the Saints are still one of the best home teams in the league because they can play at a high and fast level. In addition, the Saints play better defense because the crowd becomes incredibly loud and boisterous, which disrupts numerous offenses.

Saints win 31-21

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) at Washington Redskins (3-6):

The Buccaneers continue to struggle as they rise on the draft order. Although they spent money on Vincent Jackson and Josh McCown and a high draft pick on Mike Evans, the Bucs offense has still been dreadful. The running game is not impressive and the offensive line has not given the quarterback enough time in the pocket. Also, the defense that was touted as one of the best in the league a few seasons ago has been whittled down to a porous and inefficient unit. Like the Bucs, the Redskins have trouble at quarterback. Although RG3 has great weapons with DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, and Alfred Morris, the Redskins’ offense has not been impressive. However, the Redskins’ defense has overachieved and has been the reason why the team won three games.

Redskins win 17-13

Denver Broncos (7-2) at St. Louis Rams (3-6):

The Denver Broncos need to prove that they are still the best team in the AFC. Although no one would down play the Rams’ recent play, the Broncos will not be given credit for the win because they are playing in doors where Peyton plays his best game. Since Hillman will be out with an injury and possibly Montee Ball, CJ Anderson needs to prove that he can have a significant role in a top offense. While the Rams’ defense has underperformed throughout the season, they have recently improved because of the pass rush that they have been able to apply on quarterbacks. In addition, the Rams will be starting Shaun Hill at quarterback over Austin Davis because Davis has been inconsistent at the position. However, Hill will have difficulty succeeding because the Rams do not have any weapons and the offensive line has been decimated by injuries.

Broncos win 31-13

San Francisco 49ers (5-4) at New York Giants (3-6):

The 49ers were able to garner a great win on the road against the Saints, which has not occurred in the past 4 years when Brees is at quarterback and Payton has been the coach. When the 49ers are able to win, they are able to run the ball effectively and play physical defense. This week, the 49ers should be given a boost since Aldon Smith will be returning from suspension. Smith is one of the best defenders in football, but frequently runs into trouble off the field. While the 49ers are fighting for their playoff lives, the GMen have been horrible lately. Although the Giants should be able to run the ball effectively with the return of Jennings, the offense has not been clicking and the defense is coming off a performance in which they allowed over 300 yards on the ground. The Giants should continue to play hard for Tom and their fans, but a win will be difficult.

49ers win 28-14

Oakland Raiders (0-9) at San Diego Chargers (5-4):

The Raiders have a legitimate chance to finish the season winless since they have no talent. Although they spent a lot of money in free agency, only Carr and Mack are players that should be on NFL rosters. The Chargers were able to start the season extremely fast, but have been horrible since their loss to the Broncos. Philip Rivers has not been the same MVP caliber quarterback and have now thrown plenty of turnovers, which has cost his team multiple games. However, they should be able to win at home against the worst team in the league, although they almost pulled off the upset earlier in the season.

Chargers win 27-7

Philadelphia Eagles (7-2) at Green Bay Packers (6-3):

The Eagles will continue to rely on Mark Sanchez to play well at quarterback. Although Sanchez did not play well the last two seasons with the Jets, we cannot forget that he led the Jets to two championship games and now has great weapons such as McCoy, Maclin, and Sproles. In addition, the Eagles’ defense has been able to turnover opponents and give the offense more positions and chances to score. The Eagles’ defense will need to play well because Aaron Rodgers has been on a role lately. Although last week was a fluke, the Packers’ offense is incredibly efficient and dynamic. The Packers’ offense has been able to take the next step forward because Eddie Lacy has improved his game and the offensive line gives Rodgers plenty of time to pass to Nelson and Cobb.

Packers win 34-31

Detroit Lions (7-2) at Arizona Cardinals (8-1):

The Detroit Lions have able to win games that they would have lost in the past under former coach Jim Schwartz. Matthew Stafford continues to thrive under the most pressure filled situations. Since Stafford plays with reckless abandon, it needs to be seen if he can continue his success. Luckily, Stafford has some of the best receivers and running backs in the league, which helps him succeed. Although the offense has been good, the defense has been one of the best in the league. They continue to play with aggression, which allows them to apply pressure on the quarterback. Similar to the Lions, the Cardinals have been able to win games in almost every way possible. However, they will have to win without Palmer at quarterback. Although Stanton has been able to defeat the 49ers, the Lions’ defense is a unit.

Lions win 21-20

New England Patriots (7-2) at Indianapolis Colts (6-3):

Even though the Patriots do not have the best record in the league, many prognosticators would consider them the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Since the reemergence of Gronk and Brady, the Patriots’ offense has been efficient yet explosive. In addition, the defense is finally playing as expected with their solid secondary. The secondary will need to play well against Luck because he is sure to throw the ball at least 40 times in the game. The Colts’ offense revolves totally on the performance of Andrew Luck. Last year during the playoff, Luck’s interceptions cost them the game and he will seek revenge. Although Indy has a better running attack this season, Luck will continue throwing the ball. Since they are playing on the fast turf, Hilton should be able to exploit matchups and have a big game. The big question will be if the Colts’ D can stop the Pats’ offense.

Patriots win 31-27

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-7):

The Steelers have already had two embarrassing losses this season and they cannot afford to make it three if they want to make the playoffs. Although Big Ben has not played well on the road, he will need to put the team on his back and find his playmakers, Brown, Bryant, and Bell. The Steelers cannot have another performance like last week, even though the Titans are horrible. The Titans have little talent, which accounts for their two wins. They will be in the market for a quarterback this draft and may start tanking to have a higher selection.

Steelers win 31-13

Week 10 NFL Previews and Predictions

Last Week: 9-3

Overall: 61-30

Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) at Buffalo Bills (5-3):

The Chiefs have won three straight games and have vaulted themselves back into the playoff race, behind their great defense, running game, and ability to control the ball and time of possession. Jamaal Charles’ return was huge for the Chiefs because he is a do it all running back that can change a game every time he touches the ball. Similar to the Chiefs, the Bills are on a winning streak and hope to use their solid defense to win. The Bills rely on an older quarterback, Kyle Orton, but he may have difficulties if Sammy Watkins cannot play at a high level this week.

Chiefs win 23-21

Miami Dolphins (5-3) at Detroit Lions (6-2):

Since Coach Philbin threatened to bench Ryan Tannehill, Tannehill has played incredibly and have led the Dolphins to 3 straight wins. With their great defensive pass rush, the Dolphins are able to record multiple turnovers and the offense has been able to turn those turnovers into points. Unlike last season, the Dolphins have been able to efficiently run the ball. Like the Dolphins, the Lions follow a similar formula in order to win. The Lions have been able to win incredibly close games. This will be a major test for the Lions because they have been known to lose those games in the past. If the Lions can limit the turnovers and use their talented pass rush to force Tannehill into tough situations, they will win the game.

Lions win 21-17

Dallas Cowboys (6-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8):

The Dallas Cowboys have lost their last two games and analysts are questioning their fortitude as a team. However, the Cowboys still possess a lot of talent, if Tony Romo is able to start this week. Dez Bryant, Terrence Williams, and DeMarco Murray may be the best running back and wide receiver combo in the game. Also, the defense has played fairly well, which has surprised many fans. Unlike the Boys, the Jags have very little talent on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. However, the Jags will play very hard and Blake Bortles continues to improve his play. The Jags will apply pressure in hope that they can knock Tony Romo out of the game.

Cowboys win 28-10

San Francisco 49ers (4-4) at New Orleans Saints (4-4):

The 49ers lost a heartbreaking game last week when Kaepernick fumbled the ball into the endzone on the last play of the game. Kaepernick needs to improve his play in order to win games. The Saints do not possess a great defense and I expect Kaepernick to use his legs to move the ball down the field. The San Francisco defense needs to return to their physical form in order to scare opposing offenses. Along with the 49ers, the Saints need a win to return to the playoff race. The Saints continue to play well at home. Recently, they have given the ball to Mark Ingram, which has given Saints an extra dimension on offense.

Saints win 31-24

Tennessee Titans (2-6) at Baltimore Ravens (5-4):

The Titans are in the middle of a lost season, but hope that Zach Mettenberger can be a future quarterback. The Titans have very little to no talent on offense or defense. Along with their poor quarterback play, Bishop Sankey or Kendall Wright have not met expectations, which has not helped Mettenberger nor any other quarterback that has played this season. Similar to the Titans, the Ravens have been struggling, but have been playing very good teams. Flacco has not been playing as well lately and neither has the defense since Jimmy Smith has been lost for the season. The Ravens have a lot more talent than the Titans and it will be shown this week as they hope to reenter the playoff and AFC North race.

Ravens win 24-13

Atlanta Falcons (2-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7):

The Falcons have been in free fall the last few weeks and it seems like the coach and GM will lose their jobs after the season. The Falcons have talent at wide receiver, but very little talent elsewhere. The running backs, defense, and offensive line have underachieved over the past two seasons. Similar to the Falcons, the Bucs have been atrocious over the past few weeks and Coach Lovie Smith has decided to start Josh McCown. In a game that has very little impact, besides on the order of the draft, the Bucs should be able to hold onto the win at home.

Bucs win 17-13

Denver Broncos (6-2) at Oakland Raiders (0-8):

The Denver Broncos are coming off of a poor performance last week and will hope to win this week. Although Manning had a bad game, he will be more determined than ever to rebound from his past performance, especially if he sees the Patriots in the playoffs. The Broncos will continue to throw the ball all over the field. The Broncos’ defense was not very impressive last week, but they have a lot of talent and playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. Along with the Broncos who did not play well, the Raiders played badly last week, like every other game this season. Through 8 games, it does not seem like Derek Carr is the answer at quarterback, although he does not have any weapons. Along with their poor offense, the defense has very little talent, which is the reason why they will not win more than one game this season.

Broncos win 31-13

St. Louis Rams (3-5) at Arizona Cardinals (7-1):

The Rams achieved a great win last week on the road at San Francisco after they lost to them earlier in the season. Since their win against the Seahawks, the Rams’ defense has taken major steps forward due to the pass rush they have been able to apply on opposing quarterbacks. The offense has surprised a lot of people because of the play of Austin Davis. Although Zac Stacy has underachieved this season, Davis has been able to drive the ball down the field. While the Rams have been playing well, the Cardinals are the hottest team in the league. Carson Palmer has played incredibly well along with Andre Ellington, Larry Fitzgerald, and John Brown.

Cardinals win 24-13

New York Giants (3-5) at Seattle Seahawks (5-3):

Since winning three straight games, the Giants have dropped three straight games and it seems like they will not make the playoffs for another season. Since Rashad Jennings has injured his knee, the Giants have not been able to run the ball effectively and the offense has been underwhelming. Along with their poor offense, the defense has not been very efficient and they have allowed offenses to roll over themselves. After losing in St. Louis, the Seahawks have won two straight and have returned to their previous form. The defense has been very physical and they have been able to run the ball effectively last week.

Seahawks win 24-14

Chicago Bears (3-5) at Green Bay Packers (5-3):

Many fans and experts believed that this was the year for the Bears to take the next step forward and challenge the Packers for a playoff selection. Although the Bears have an incredible offense with great weapons, they have not been the same unit as last season. Marshall and Jeffrey have been hampered by injuries and Jay Cutler has not been able to give the ball to the two big receivers. If the offense is not playing well, the Bears will not win many games because their defense is below average. Along with the Bears who experienced a tough loss during their last game, the Packers’ winning streak fell on the road in New Orleans. Aaron Rodgers should continue playing at a high level, along with Jordy Nelson and Eddie Lacy. The Packers need to win on Sunday Night if they want to obtain a bye in the playoffs.

Packers win 31-21

Carolina Panthers (3-5-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-2):

The Panthers have lost their past three games due to the futility of their offense. Cam Newton has not thrown for over 205 yards during the past three games and has only thrown for one touchdown during those three games. Along with their poor offense, the defense has not been able to stop opposing offenses due to their lack of ability to stop opposing quarterbacks. Last week, Nick Foles was hurt during the game and Chip Kelly has decided to put Mark Sanchez into the starting lineup. Mark Sanchez showed that he could lead to wins with the Jets. The Eagles have a lot of talent with McCoy, Matthews, and Maclin, which should lead Sanchez to succeed.

Eagles win 31-17

 

Week 9 NFL Previews and Predictions

Last Week: 9-5

Overall: 52-27

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6) at Cleveland Browns (4-3):

The Bucs are an extremely up and down team, which can be attributed to their numerous injuries and lack of talent. This week, they were the most active team at the trade deadline by dealing two defensive players. Although Mark Glennon started well this season, he has cooled off thanks to poor play from Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin. Although many were calling for Johnny Football to become the starter in Cleveland, Hoyer maintained the starting quarterback position and led the team to a convincing win over the hapless Raiders. The Browns will continue to rely on Hoyer to make smart decisions and their good defense to win games.

Browns win 23-13

Arizona Cardinals (6-1) at Dallas Cowboys (6-2):

Every week, I continue stating that the Cardinals are the least talked about team in football, yet they continue to win against quality opponents. Against the Eagles last week, Carson Palmer played pretty well and the defense was able to hold the explosive Eagles offense in check as time expired to secure the win. A lot of eyes will be on the game this week as they play “America’s Team” in a pivotal matchup. The Cowboys suffered an embarrassing defeat at home to the Redskins, which has many questioning their chances of becoming a championship team. Without Romo in the lineup, their losing streak could climb to two games.

Cardinals win 31-28

Philadelphia Ealges (5-2) at  Houston Texans (4-4):

The Eagles few to the Cardinals on the road last week, but many still consider them as a team that can win the NFC East. Although Foles and McCoy are not having the same season in terms of efficiency, every defense fears the duo because of their explosiveness. Also, the defense and special teams have been solid and given the Eagles’ offense very good field position in every game. While the Eagles hope to reestablish their running game, Arian Foster has cemented himself once again has one of the top three backs in football. Houston’s offense seems to entirely revolve around Foster’s ability to run out of the backfield and catch the ball, but most teams still cannot stop him. However, against good teams, we need to see if Ryan Fitzpatrick can lead the Texans to a victory.

Eagles win 27-20

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1):

Everybody agrees that the Jags’ season is over, but it is very important that they find answers about Blake Bortles. Although Bortles has thrown twice as many interceptions as touchdowns, people feel that he has the attributes to become a quality quarterback as long as he has enough weapons around him. While the Jags continue to lose, the Bengals were able to turn around their season with an impressive win against the Ravens on a last second touchdown. Even if the Bengals are able to win big, critics will not take the Bengals seriously until they can beat a good team in a prime time game.

Bengals win 31-13

San Diego Chargers (5-3) at Miami Dolphins (4-3):

The Chargers have been on a slide lately as they have lost their last two games to division foes and nearly fell to the winless Raiders. However, the Chargers realize that they must redirect their season if they are going to claim a playoff spot. Philip Rivers continues to play at an incredibly high level, but they need their defense and running game to improve if they are going to beat a tough Dolphins team. Unlike the Chargers, the Dolphins have won two straight games and have climbed back into the playoff picture in the AFC. The Dolphins continue to rely on their new found running game with Lamar Miller and their incredible pass rush to cause havoc on defense.

Chargers win 27-24

Washington Redskins (3-5) at Minnesota Vikings (3-5):

The Redskins came away with one of the best wins of the season on the road against the Cowboys. The Redskins were able to win with Colt McCoy, but have RG3 returning under center this weekend. Although RG3 has done nothing to have this job, Dan Snyder loves him. Along with the Redskins, the Vikings were able to come away with a win against the Bucs on the road. The Vikings’ defense has played very well lately, which helps Teddy Bridgewater grows as a quarterback. Along with Bridgewater, Jerick McKinnon has been an adequate replacement for Adrian Peterson.

Vikings win 17-13

St. Louis Rams (2-5) at San Francisco 49ers (4-3):

After a huge win against the Seahawks, the Rams were embarrassed against the Kansas City Chiefs. The defense and pass rush that slowed the Seahawks’ offense was again non-existent last week. Along with a poor defense, Austin Davis only led the the Rams’ offense to 7 points. Without a running game or weapons on the offseason, the Rams will have a difficult time scoring against an improving 49ers defense. Before their matchup against the Broncos, the 49ers looked like the team that has made it to a Super Bowl and three straight NFC Championship Games. The 49ers will continue to rely on their running game and defense to control the time of possession battle.

49ers win 27-17

Denver Broncos (6-1) at New England Patriots (6-2):

After their impressive wins over the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers, the Broncos are once again the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning has been playing at an incredibly high level while the defense and running game have stepped up their performances from last season. Ronnie Hillman is incredibly quick and elusive while Sanders, Thomas, Thomas, and Welker have been the most productive wide outs in the league. Manning will remember his last outing in Foxborough when the Patriots rallied from a big deficit to win. It was only 5 weeks ago that a few critics were calling for Tom Brady’s head. However, the emergence of Gronk has enabled Tom to find his past form. Along with Brady playing at a high level, the defense has elevated to elite status which makes them realistic contenders to win the Super Bowl.

Broncos win 35-31

Oakland Raiders (0-7) at Seattle Seahawks (4-3):

The Raiders have been atrocious this season, which explains their winless record. The Raiders have very few building blocks on their roster, which will make the draft very interesting. The Raiders must decide if Derek Carr can be the answer at quarterback. Like many rookies, he has been up and down throughout the season. Along with Carr, the Raiders defense has been very impressive nor their passing game nor running game. The Seahawks are hoping that they can use this game to jump start their season. This season, Russell Wilson has been incredible, even though Marshawn Lynch has not been the same running back this season and Percy Harvin has departed to New York. Also, their defense has been surprisingly inconsistent, which has led to their three losses.

Seahawks win 27-13

Baltimore Ravens (5-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3):

When the Ravens and Steelers hit the grid iron, it becomes must see TV. Besides their matchup earlier in the season, nearly every game comes down to the final drive of the game. Last week, the Ravens took a stumble on a last second touchdown against the Bengals. However, the Ravens have a very good team because they score 30 points per game and their defense has been borderline dominant before last week. While the Ravens lost a tough game against the Bengals, Ben Roethlisberger played one of the best games in NFL history as he threw for 522 yards and 6 touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts. The Steelers have incredible weapons with Bell, Brown, and Wheaton. The Steelers will need to score enough points because their defense has been great this season.

Steelers win 35-27

Indianapolis Colts (5-3) at New York Giants (3-4):

The Colts’ defense was absolutely abused last week by Big Ben, but hope that their fortunes will change in East Rutherford. The Colts’ defense does not face much pressure because their offense scores nearly 30 points per game. As many have mentioned before, Andrew Luck has taken the next step forward and is one of the three to five best quarterbacks in the league. The Colts’ defense should have an easier time stopping the Giants’ offense due to the losses of Victor Cruz and Rashad Jennings. Although the Giants have lost players on offense, their defense has been horrible over the past two weeks. If the Giants are going to compete, Eli will need to have a monster game and JPP will need to disrupt Luck on defense.

Colts win 31-17