Silver Chips Online

NFL Week Ten predictions

The playoff push begins

By Pratik Bhandari, Page Editor, Abe Schwadron, Online Managing Editor and Josh Zipin, Online Managing Sports Editor
November 12, 2005
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Supposedly. Well, now that we've passed the halfway point of the season, it's definitely time for the teams that are serious about the playoffs to take their game to the next level. Which of these teams will be able to go on a run and set themselves up for the playoffs? Dear God, let's hope it's the 'Skins...
From left to right: Josh, Abe, Phil and Pratik. Zoe Norvell
From left to right: Josh, Abe, Phil and Pratik.

Overall
Pratik 75-55-0
Abe 78-52-0
Phil 74-56-0
Josh 82-48-0


Last Week
Pratik 12-2-0
Abe 11-3-0
Phil 12-2-0
Josh 12-2-0


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Arizona (2-6) at Detroit (3-5) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Arizona Arizona Detroit Arizona


Pratik says: Uh...hmm...can I pick neither? After a horrible performance against the hapless Vikings, Detroit has lost all credibility as an NFL team with me. I'm gonna go with the Cardinals and pray.

Abe says: Detroit is hurting. Bad. Arizona is a tricky team that seems to come close every single week to giving me the upset. I'll roll with the cards again on the strength of their receivers: 'Quan and Lawrence.

Phil says: Here the loser is the winner. At this point in the season it's time for these teams to start looking towards the draft. As both teams need a quarterback for the future, it's not a question of who wins but rather who gets Matt Leinart?

Josh says: Finally, a game that Arizona should be able to win. Detroit has surprised everyone this season and has been a big disappointment.

Baltimore (2-6) at Jacksonville (5-3) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville


Pratik says: Haha...Baltimore's best offensive drive was probably when Anthony Wright got hurt and had to come out of the game. Kordell Stewart came in and promptly picked up 30 yards on three carries. Then, just this week, the Ravens cut Stewart to make space for Kyle Boller who just recently came back from a foot injury. Just plain hilarious. Anyway, give me the Jaguars in this one since they'll be the only team on the field that can actually move the ball on offense.

Abe says: Baltimore...oh, Baltimore...The Ravens welcome back Kyle Boller this week, and no one could be happier than the Jags' defense. This one is over in a hurry. And by the way, Chad Johnson absolutely fried the Ravens' "strong" secondary last week. Oh, Baltimore...

Phil says: The Ravens defense is slower, older and for the most part, on the field too long to be an effective unit this year. The season had a promising start for the Ravens but when Kyle Boller went down with an injury and Jamal Lewis's running stalled, the defense just had too much pressure on them to succeed. The Jags are the same basic team, based on ball control and defense, but they've stayed healthy and the offensive line has kept opening holes for Fred Taylor so they have ended up being successful. Jacksonville is a better version of Baltimore and will show it on Sunday.

Josh says: At home, the Jags' defense doesn't let the weak Baltimore offense get going and the Jags' offense gets the job done for a win.

Houston (1-7) at Indianapolis (8-0) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis


Pratik says: Hmmm...Houston vs. Indy. To make this a real challenge, I want to see if Indy can win this game with their entire second string on the field. I think they could.

Abe says: I am not going to waste my time analyzing this one. C'mon.

Phil says: Houston has a chance if...nope. No contest.

Josh says: This pick is the easiest this year. The best team in the league vs. the worst team in the league.

Kansas City (5-3) at Buffalo (3-5) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City


Pratik says: Larry Johnson and Dick Vermiel basically won the game for the Chiefs last weekend against the Raiders. Without Johnson's critical runs and receptions and Vermiel's gutsy call to go for the touchdown, the Chiefs would definitely have lost. Buffalo, which began the season as a promising team, is just wondering when the nightmare will end. With Priest Holmes out of the lineup because of the very mysterious injury he suffered, this could be Larry Johnson's real coming out party. He's got breakaway speed, amazing power, great hands and a penchant for picking his spots to do something absolutely incredible.

Abe says: So what if Dick Vermeil cries like a baby after every single game? He wins, and he made a bold decision last week in the waning seconds against the Raiders that paid off big time. I know Priest Homes is done for the season, but that's why the Chiefs kept Larry Johnson on their team.

Phil says: This week the Chiefs finally put Priest Holmes onto the injured reserve, a loss that would cripple any other team. Fortunately for them, back-up Larry Johnson has already been splitting the carries and seems ready to take over. Buffalo still ranks near the bottom in rushing defense and won't be able to stop LJ and Kansas City.

Josh says: Even without Priest Holmes, the Chiefs cruise against the second-worst run defense in the league.

Minnesota (3-5) at New York Giants (6-2) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
New York Minnesota New York New York


Pratik says: There's no way I'm picking the Love Boat over the Giants. Let's just hope that the Vikings players managed to keep themselves in control for this one, otherwise it could get ugly real quick.

Abe says: Upset Special Alert! I disrespected Brad Johnson last week, and all he did was lead the Vikings to a 27-14 win over division rival Detroit. So here's to Brad and the rest of the Vikings. I need this one, boys.

Phil says: The Giants have the number one offense in the nation and no Vikings defense can slow them down. Let me be the first to say Eli might be the best Manning yet. With him at the helm, losing just seems out of the question.

Josh says: Against an inconsistent defense, Plaxico Burress and Tiki Barber kill the Vikes' D. Sorry to Brad Johnson for not believing in you.

New England (4-4) at Miami (3-5) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
New England Miami Miami Miami


Pratik says: New England has followed a pattern of win one, lose one throughout the season. This week they're supposed to win. By the way, they got smacked by the Colts, and even though it doesn't really mean that much until January, they certainly looked a notch below the Colts throughout the game.

Abe says: Another upset brewing, this time in the South, as Miami will run right through the Patriots with the help of Ricky "Reborn" Williams. Off a short week and a blowout loss, I just don't have confidence in the Patriots anymore. Their defense needs to show me something this week.

Phil says: The Patriots officially are no longer part of the league elite. Their return to the pack was marked with their first loss to Indianapolis since they started their Super Bowl run. Miami is a pretty good team and will pull out the win at home.

Josh says: No longer an automatic pick, the Patriots are falling fast. They can't seem to stop the run, and running is all the Dolphins are successful at. Ricky Williams got his first touchdown last week and he'll be looking for more.

San Francisco (2-6) at Chicago (5-3) - 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago


Pratik says: Chicago's offense will actually be the better offensive unit in this game. Enough said.

Abe says: Give the Bears some respect. Chicago is a lock to win the NFC North, and with a solid running game, monster defense and finally a consistent QB in Kyle Orton, the Bears are looking strong midway through the season. As for the Niners, Cody Pickett...Cody Pickett...Cody Pickett...

Phil says: Chicago is the only team with any talent left in the NFC north. Alex Smith and the 49ers won't be able to get past the 50-yard line much less score. Kyle Orton is the better rookie quarterback and will show it leading the Bears to a win this Sunday.

Josh says: Two teams that were expected to be terrible at the beginning of the season. One team has been a cellar-dweller and one team has been the surprise of the season. I'll take the team with a better offense, defense and special teams.

Denver (6-2) at Oakland (3-5) - 4:05 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Denver Oakland Denver Denver


Pratik says: For Denver, there'll be some running. Then some more running. And then maybe a screen pass or two. I swear, that's the entirety of their gameplan, and with the offensive line that they have, they can do this all they want to their heart's content.

Abe says: The Raiders give the Broncos a reality check this week, showing them how to use the deep ball (hello, Mr. Moss). Look for a shootout in this one. I like the progress Oakland made last week against the Chiefs, despite a last-minute collapse. On a side note, rumor has it another big-mouthed wide receiver could be joining the Raiders...yes, that one...

Phil says: Denver can run the ball and has a top five defense as long as Champ Bailey is healthy. Oakland is just terrible. Randy dandy won't be so grand vs. the Champ.

Josh says: The Broncos can run the ball. I mean they can really run it. Tatum Bell and Mike Anderson are a nasty backfield combination.

New York Jets (2-6) at Carolina (6-2) - 4:05 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Carolina Carolina Carolina Carolina


Pratik says: Brooks Bollinger is the starting QB for the Jets. Enough said.

Abe says: Brooks Bollinger is using the rest of the Jets season to audition for the backup position in New York. Key stat: New York has scored 20 or more points just twice this year, whereas Carolina has scored 20 or more points in every single game. End of story.

Phil says: Carolina is emerging as the deep playoff team every expert predicted they would be. The Jets without Chad Pennington really have no chance. Remember when daylight comes they got a Delhomme.

Josh says: This week MVP-candidate Steve Smith's victims are the New York Jets. From this point on, the Panthers' number one receiver shall be known as Steve "Slay 'Em" Smith.

Green Bay (1-7) at Atlanta (6-2) - 4:05 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Atlanta Atlanta Atlanta Atlanta


Pratik says: Back three years ago, this would've been a game. Now, it's just a slaughter.

Abe says: If the Packers win, I will quit Silver Chips Online. Maybe.

Phil says: The sad conclusion of Favre's career continues. Vick emerges in his wake and leads his team to another win. Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Atlanta averages 5.4 yards on the ground and until some one stops them, they are the NFC's best team.

Josh says: Mike Vick had his best passing performance of his career last week and said he didn't want to hear anyone criticizing him for not being a pocket passer anymore. Well if he can pass and Warrick Dunn can run, the Packers have no chance.

St. Louis (4-4) at Seattle (6-2) - 4:15 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Seattle St. Louis Seattle Seattle


Pratik says: St. Louis is suddenly back on the map after they won a close game against Jacksonville two weeks ago. Coming off of a bye week and getting back injured QB Marc Bulger, the Rams should be firing on all pistons. But, the problem is that they happen to be playing one of the best players in the league in Shaun Alexander. The man is a beast. Expect him to get at least two TD's as he lifts the Seahawks over the Rams.

Abe says: St. Louis is happy to see Marc Bulger return this week. Let's be real, Jamie Martin was horrible. Meanwhile, Steven Jackson will prove on Sunday that he can carry the load for his team just like Shaun Alexander, and the Rams will prevail. Mike Martz will be cheering his squad on from the hospital.

Phil says: This division rivalry is one of the more interesting games of the week. It will be a close game but in the end the Rams defense won't be able to stop Stephen Alexander and Seattle will be able to maintain their lead in the division.

Josh says: Shaun Alexander is a workhorse for the Seahawks. Steven Jackson is a workhorse for the Rams. Seattle gets the edge here because of their defense and Matt Hasselbeck.

Washington (5-3) at Tampa Bay (5-3) - 4:15 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Washington Washington Washington Washington


Pratik says: Tampa Bay is simply not the same team without Brian Griese in at quarterback. Chris Simms hasn't made enough plays to make the defense think about the passing attack, let alone fear it. The Bucs started off with a blazing 5-1 start, but they are in real danger of losing all of that momentum over the next couple of weeks with more gut-wrenching losses. Washington's defense should ensure that Simms stays on his back or at least wears a confused expression on his face for most of the game.

Abe says: Once again, Hail to the Redskins! Hail Vic-to-ry! Washington is looking good, and the Bucs are slowing down, having dropped consecutive games to San Fran and Carolina, who scored a combined 49 points on the Bucs' defense. Santana Moss will burn Ronde Barber and his boys on Sunday. I love the Redskins, and I can finally say that without being laughed at. It feels good. Oh, and Joe Gibbs is God.

Phil says: Lets face it: I can't pick against the Skins.

Josh says: Chris Simms? Please...you can't win consistently with him running the offense. Yes, Cadillac is back, but he needs an oil change. Valvoline Max Life for an extra 100 yards. 'Skins D runs it.

Cleveland (3-5) at Pittsburgh (6-2) - 8:30 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh


Pratik says: Is there even an argument here?

Abe says: Grind-it-out football at its purest. Smashmouth football at its finest. How else can I put it? Watching this game, you will see run after run and defensive stop after defensive stop. Unfortunately for Browns fans, the Steelers are just better.

Phil says: Pittsburgh is banged up, but they should still destroy the Browns. I can't respect a team that lost to Houston.

Josh says: Cleveland, home of the rock and roll hall of fame, doesn't rock. Troy Polamalu...Troy Polamalu...Troy Polamalu...

Monday, November 14, 2005
Dallas (5-3) at Philadelphia (4-4) - 9:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Philadelphia Dallas Dallas Dallas


Pratik says: There's two options the Eagles as a team have at the moment. Either they can dwell on the whole T.O. situation or move on and go about trying to get back in the hunt in the uber-competitive NFC East. Playing Dallas at home with the nation watching on Monday Night Football is not a bad place to make a point. The Cowboys secondary has been their weak spot on defense all year and Donovan McNabb should be able to capitalize on that. Also, while Drew Bledsoe is having a great year, it's not necessarily the wide receivers who are fueling the renaissance. As long as the Eagles can keep Terry Glenn and company in check, there should be no reason that the Eagles won't fly out of Lincoln Financial field with a W.

Abe says: I'm taking Dallas in the Monday nighter out of pure confusion at what is happening with the Eagles. Either way, an NFC East team will lose, which is good for Washington. So I guess I'll root for the referees, especially the one in the white hat - I like him.

Phil says: Philadelphia made the worst decision of the season by deactivating Terrell Owens. No matter what a distraction he was off the field, he was still one of the league's best players on it. The Eagles went from a team that had Super Bowl aspirations to a team just trying to get by. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Dallas wins by default.

Josh says: Without T.O. the Eagles' offense is just nowhere near as good as it was. The Cowboys' passing attack wins the game for them this week.

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