Week 12 NFL Previews and Predictions

Browns (6-4) at Falcons (4-6):

The long awaited arrival of Josh Gordon has finally come. This game in Atlanta will show if he is simply a shell of his former self or is still a future Hall-of-famer  With Brian Hoyer receiving a new weapon, Cleveland’s running game can finally get jumpstarted. Less men will fill the box on Atlanta’s defense leaving room for Terrence West to rush the ball. On the other side, the Falcons will try to take the outright lead in the NFL’s worst division. Matt Ryan will try to rip apart an injury depleted defense in the hopes of winning a third straight.

Browns win 24-21

Lions (7-3) at Patriots (8-2)

The Patriots are coming off two impressive victories against the Broncos and Colts, beating each team by 22 points. New England’s passing and running games are both clicking with Jonas Gray rushing for a little over 200 yards and four touchdowns in their win over Indianapolis. If the Pats can manage to use an even distribution of running and passing, the offense will look to amass large yardage totals against a defense that ranks first in yards allowed this season. Detroit’s offense is another story. Matthew Stafford and Detroit’s running game have performed poorly in the last six games, scoring a meager six points in their last contest against the Cardinals.

Patriots win 27-17

Bengals (6-3-1) at Texans (5-5):

After replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett recorded 211 yards and two touchdowns and earned a victory in his first career start. One of the two touchdowns was thrown to JJ Watt, possibly the best defensive lineman in the league. Houston also made do with a rookie Alfred Blue, who turned in an outstanding performance as a replacement for All-Pro Arian Foster. With AJ Green returning two weeks ago, Andy Dalton and Cincinnati have a revitalized air game that will prove to be critical in deciding the outcome of the game.

Texans win 20-14

Buccaneers (2-8) at Bears (4-6):

After breaking a three game skid in Minnesota last week, the Bears are looking to make up some lost ground in the NFC North. Jay Cutler has not been his best self this year with 12 interceptions. His top two threats, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery can heat up in a hurry though. The running game has picked up part of the slack but has not been entirely present all the time. Matt Forte ran for 117 yards last week against the Vikings and ranks third in the league in the category. The Bucs start Josh McCown under center, who replaced Cutler for the Bears for a part of last year. His new toy, Mike Evans exploded last week for over 200 receiving yards to along with two scores. It’ll be up to Tampa Bay’s below-par defense to hold Chicago from scoring into the 30s.

Bears win 31-17

 

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