Last Week: 9-3
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