Week 13 NFL Previews and Predictions

Last 2 Weeks: 11-7

Overall: 81-39

Washington Redskins (3-8) at Indianapolis Colts (7-4):

The Redskins are in the middle of another quarterback controversy as they will be starting Colt McCoy this week. Although they invested so much money and draft picks into RG3, RG3 has not been impressive and cannot lead the Redskins to wins. This week, Colt McCoy will not be asked to take many chances, which should be easy since he has a lot of talent, Jackson, Garcin, and Morris. The Redskins will need to step up their game on the road against the best young quarterback in the NFL. After falling to New England two weeks ago, the Colts will have little chance of claiming a bye in the first round. Also, Andrew Luck needs to prove that he can beat the best teams in tough situations. This will be the second week without Ahmad Bradshaw and the Colts will need to either integrate Herron or Richardson into the offense.

Colts win 31-17

Tennessee Titans (2-9) at Houston Texans (5-6):

The Titans will hope that Zach Mettenberger will continue to develop into a starting quarterback. If Metternberger shows promise, they will be able to fill one of their many holes on their team besides quarterback with their first selection. The Titans have very little talent on their team besides for their offensive line. In addition to the emergence of Mettenberger, Bishop Snakey has impressed analysts because he has good speed, size, and vision. On the defensive side of the ball, the Titans will need to stop the run game of the Houston Texans. Whether it is Alfred Blue or Arian Foster, Bill O’Brien will run the ball frequently to give a put Ryan Mallet in a better situation. Although Mallet is a young quarterback and does not have a lot of experience, he has good weapons that should allow him to succeed over the rest of the season.

Texans win 28-17

Cleveland Browns (7-4) at Buffalo Bills (6-5):

The Browns have been the surprise story of the NFL this season as they are in the middle of the playoff push. Although Brian Hoyer has not been great, he has been clutch and they have taken advantage of a week schedule. The Browns were able to take advantage of the return of Josh Gordon. Gordon is one of the most exciting and talented receivers in the league, which will help Hoyer’s game. In addition to the offense, the defense has been very good because they are able to force turnovers and provide the offense with extra possessions. Like the Browns, the Bills are also in the middle of the AFC playoff race. The Bills use their talented defense to force turnovers and stop opposing offenses. The Bills front four, led by Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams, applies constant pressure on quarterbacks. The weather in Buffalo will lead to a low scoring game and the team that can run the most effectively will win.

Bills win 17-13

San Diego Chargers (7-4) at Baltimore Ravens (7-4):

The Chargers still have a chance to rectify their season if they can win against the Ravens in M&T Bank Park. The Chargers have not been playing well lately because their offense has not played at the same level as the start of the season. Phillip Rivers was a serious MVP candidate, but has been unable to play lead his team to many wins. In addition to Rivers, Branden Oliver and Ryan Matthews are not consistent running backs, which has made Rivers’ life tougher. The Ravens are coming off of a great win on the road against the Saints and want to make the playoffs after missing the contest last year. Outside of the disaster in Pittsburgh, the Ravens defense has been very good and some have been calling them dominant. The home crowd should help Ravens leave the Bank with a win.

Ravens win 28-17

New York Giants (3-8) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10):

The Giants started the season 3-2, but have lost 8 straight games, which could lead to the demise of Tom Coughlin and possibly Eli Manning. However, the Giants lost a close game last week, but everyone became aware of the name Odell Beckham Jr. ODB had been very effective throughout his rookie season, but last week he exploded and had some of the best catches in NFL history. Manning will continue to look his way, especially if Rashad Jennings can maintain his strong rush defense. Over the past few weeks, Blake Bortles has not been very consistent. The Jags desperately need to supply Blake Bortles with some weapons on the outside to take advantage of his arm and size. Like last week, the Jags will come after Eli Manning in hope that he will throw a few interceptions. Although they do not have a lot of talent, they play incredibly hard for Gus Bradley.

Giants win 21-7

Cincinnati Bengals (7-3-1) at Buccaneers (2-9):

Although the Bengals are an inconsistent team, they are third in the AFC and have put forth two solid performances in a row. Although Andy Dalton did not play well last week, the running game has been very good. The duo of Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill have been incredible because they can catch the ball out of the backfield and they have the ability to make big plays through the air and on the ground. In addition to the offense, the defense is starting to hit its stride as they were able to shut down the Texans last week to only 6 offensive points. While the Bengals are playing well, the Bucs are one of the worst teams in football, but still have a chance at claiming a playoff spot due to the NFC South. The lone bright spot on the Bucs this season has been the rookie Mike Evans. Evans is a big tall receiver that can make big plays in the passing due to his size. McCown is used to great wide receivers in Chicago and he has taken advantage of Evans and Jackson.

Bengals win 27-13

Oakland Raiders (1-10) at St. Louis Rams (4-7):

The Raiders were able to obtain their first win last Thursday at home against a very good Kansas City Chiefs team. Derek Carr played very well and have people in Oakland thinking that he has a chance to be the franchise quarterback for the next decade. Carr has very good arm talent and surprisingly athleticism, but desperately needs better weapons to reach his potential. The Raiders, like the Jags, should not select a quarterback in the first round of the draft because of their numerous needs all over the field. The Raiders need to continue adding pressure on Shaun Hill in order to stop the Rams’ offense. Over the past two weeks, the Rams’ offense has been better as they nearly defeated the Chargers and beat the Broncos at home. Kenny Britt is finally healthy and has proven in the past that he can be incredibly successful when he is on the field. The Rams play better at home because their solid pass rush can use the turf to play fast and reach the quarterback.

Rams win 21-17

New Orleans Saints (4-7) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4):

The Saints have been awful this season, even at home, but still have a chance to win the division. Since Mark Ingram has returned from injury, the Saints have given him a lot of carries, but the offensive line has been unable to create holes for the big back. Although more defenders are at the line stopping the line, Drew Brees has not taken advantage of one on one matchups. This year, Brees has not performed like an elite quarterback, even when Jimmy Graham has been in the lineup. The Saints’ defense has not matched last years’ success, but they need to play well against one of the best offenses in the league. The combination of Brown, Bell, and Roethlisberger has been very difficult to stop, especially at home. The Steelers are coming off of a bye, which gives time for the trio to take advantage of the poor Saints’ defense. In addition, Wheaton and Bryant have been very good as a deep threat.

Steelers win 31-28

Carolina Panthers (3-7-1) at Minnesota Vikings (4-7):

The Panthers are only a game out of first place and desperately need Newton to play well in order to make the playoffs for the second straight year without the same great defense. The Vikes are allowing for Bridgewater to grow as a quarterback while their defense continues to play at a high level.

Vikings win 24-13

Arizona Cardinals (9-2) at Atlanta Falcons (4-7):

The Cardinals were embarrassed for the first time all season against the Seahawks on the road, but Drew Stanton and the defense should be able to get back on track this week. The Falcons, thanks to Mike Smith’s poor clock management, fell to 4-7, but they remained in first, even though they have no defense, offensive line, or running game to help Matt Ryan.

Cardinals win 24-13

New England Patriots (9-2) at Green Bay Packers (8-3):

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The Patriots have been the most impressive team this season as their defense has been amazing with Revis and their offense has been unstoppable with Gronk and an improved offensive line to protect Brady. While the Pats have been the most impressive, the Packers are the hottest team in football because Rodgers has a connection with Cobb and Nelson that is unmatched.

Patriots win 35-31

Denver Broncos (8-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (7-4):

The Broncos were able to find their offense last week as Manning threw for 4 touchdowns and the defense was very impressive when they needed to make stops at the end of the game against the Dolphins. The Chiefs have two of the worst losses in the league, Titans and Raiders, but they still are a very solid team with a great running game and elite defense.

Broncos win 27-24

Miami Dolphins (6-5) at New York Jets (2-9):

The Dolphins almost came away with a win last week against the Broncos, but Ryan Tannehill is playing very well along with their defense, which should lead them to the playoffs. The Jets have been disastrous this year as they turn back to Geno Smith to finish the season and the Rex Ryan Era in New York.

Dolphins win 27-13

 

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