Last Week: 8-5
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-3-1):
The Steelers suffered a devastating loss to the streaking New Orleans Saints at home, but they still have a chance to win this week due to Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and Ben Roethlisberger and the possible return of five defensive starters that are out. The Bengals barely held onto a win last week, but want to build on their three game winning streak and 1.5 game lead in the division with their solid running game and AJ Green.
Bengals win 28-24
St. Louis Rams (5-7) at Washington Redskins (3-9):
The Rams have won two of their last three games because their offense has rallied behind Shaun Hill, but more importantly the defense has started applying extreme pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Redskins will be starting Colt McCoy, who has played well since taking over for RG3, for the second straight week, but the defense has been the reason why the team has lost recently.
Rams win 31-24
New York Giants (3-9) at Tennessee Titans (2-10):
The Giants experienced one of the worst losses in franchise history, but they desperately need to win with the help of Odell Beckham Jr, Jason Pierre Paul, and Rashad Jennings. The Titans, like the Giants, have been awful this season as they attempt to develop Zach Mettenberger into a franchise quarterback behind a solid offensive line.
Giants win 17-13
Carolina Panthers (3-8-1) at New Orleans Saints (5-7):
The Panthers’ season seems to be over, but the Panthers are still alive in the NFC South. Cam Newton desperately needs to play well to finish the season and the defense needs to find its past success. The Saints were able to accumulate a huge win to keep pace with the Falcons, but Drew Brees needs to continue playing well to salvage the season and make the playoffs.
Saints win 31-17
Baltimore Ravens (7-5) at Miami Dolphins (7-5):
The Ravens lost a heartbreaker last week against the Chargers and lost Haloti Ngata for the rest of the regular season so a win on the road will be difficult. The Dolphins played an absolutely dreadful game against the Jets last week, but recently they have been playing conservatively on offense and the defense is incredibly aggressive and successful.
Dolphins win 24-21
Indianapolis Colts (8-4) at Cleveland Browns (7-5):
The Colts have been able to rebound after their tough loss to the Pats and remain one game out from a top two seed and a bye in the AFC playoffs. The Browns have been able to win seven games due to their solid defense and clutch down field passing, but they are having quarterback controversy, which will likely end the Brian Hoyer era in Cleveland.
Colts win 35-20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-10) at Detroit Lions (8-4):
The Buccaneers have been dreadful this season as their defense is horrible, but the lone bright spot on the team has been rookie wide receiver Mike Evans. The Lions need to continue applying constant pressure on the opposing quarterback and use their offensive weapons, Bell Johnson, and Stafford, if they want to make the playoffs as a wild card this season.
Lions win 27-14
Houston Texans (6-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10):
The Houston Texans desperately need to find a quarterback because their defense is solid with JJ Watt and their offense can be extremely explosive with Hopkins, Foster, and Johnson. The Jaguars were able to grab a solid win last week, although it will hurt their draft selection this May, as they were able to force a few turnovers and convert the extra possessions into points.
Houston wins 24-13
Buffalo Bills (7-5) at Denver Broncos (9-3):
Doug Marrone’s move to start Kyle Orton has been genius because he has been able to guide the offense while the defense has been able to shut down offenses with their great pass rushers and solid secondary. The Broncos’ offense has revitalized over the past two weeks as Peyton Manning is abusing different defenses and the defense, specifically Miller and Demarcus Wear, has been able to apply pressure on offenses and cause turnovers.
Broncos win 20-13
Kansas City Chiefs (7-5) at Arizona Cardinals (9-3):
The Chiefs’ loss last week has prohibited them from winning the division, but they still have a chance to claim a wild card spot because of Jamaal Charles and a very talented defense. The loss of Carson Palmer and the absence of Andre Ellington has sent the Cardinals into a tail spin because they cannot score although they have a very talented defense that has the ability to shut down offenses.
Chiefs win 17-13
Seattle Seahawks (8-4) at Philadelphia Eagles (9-3):
The Seahawks believe that they have once again found their swagger, which should scare opposing teams because at their best the Seahawks can throw the ball, run the ball, and halt any opposing offense. Like the Seahawks, the Eagles are coming off a clutch division win, but Mark Sanchez needs to continue controlling the ball with Maclin and McCoy on offense and apply pressure on quarterbacks in order to stay in front of the Dallas Cowboys in the division.
Seahawks win 24-23
San Francisco 49ers (7-5) at Oakland Raiders (1-11):
The 49ers lost to the Seahawks last week, but they still remain in contention for a playoff spot, if Kaepernick can play at a high level and the defense can continue playing a physical brand of defense. The Raiders experienced one of the worst losses in NFL history, but the Raiders need to continue allowing Derek Carr to throw the ball in order to excel and demonstrate that he can be a franchise quarterback.
49ers win 27-17
New England Patriots (9-3) at San Diego Chargers (8-4):
The Pats’ winning streak came to an end last weekend in Green Bay, but they still control their own destiny in the AFC, if Tom Brady can continue to find Gronk and the defense can use their talented secondary to disrupt quarterbacks. The Chargers may have came away with a much needed win over the Ravens to stay in the playoff hunt, but they still need the defense to play at a higher level and Philip Rivers to continue his hot streak, if they are going to make the playoffs.
Patriots win 34-27
Atlanta Falcons (5-7) at Green Bay Packers (9-3):
Even without a steady defense or running game, the Falcons have won five games and remain atop their division due to the excellence of Matt Ryan, Roddy White, and Julio Jones. The Packers are currently everyones pick to win the Super Bowl because Aaron Rodgers is playing incredible football and the defense has shown the ability to apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks, a must for every championship team.
Packers win 31-17