Only two weeks left in the regular season and both local teams are battling it out for playoff spots. The Ravens have been sliding after beginning the season 9-2 they have now lost three in a row and must face the Giants and the Bengals with their playoff hopes on the line. The Redskins on the other hand have turned their season around and are now riding a five game win streak. They finish the year against division opponents Philadelphia and Dallas with control of their own fate.
While Jacob has maintained his lead since week five the rest of the standings have been flipped. Jack has blown an early season lead while Michael and Josh have come back from weak starts as they make a final push.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions
The Lions' loss to the Cardinals was inexcusable. They must really be as bad as their record suggests.
With the Falcons looking to lock up the number one seed in the NFC, the Lions really won't have a chance. Atlanta proved that they are no joke when they pounded the Giants last week, and Detroit will surely be a much easier task.
Atlanta should be able to contain the Lions' offense and dominate their weak secondary. The Falcons will win this game, no question.
Atlanta showed last week that they're capable of being an elite team in the league. On the other sideline is the most disappointing team in the NFL this year. Sorry, Detroit, maybe next year.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
Oakland Raiders at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers, unlike the Lions, are much better than their record shows. Riding a two game win streak the Panthers are suddenly looking like a dangerous team. It is too little, too late but at least a couple more wins to finish the season would give them a respectable record to finish the year.
Cam Newton appears to have found his groove, only about 16 weeks too late. But the bottom line is, the Newt is on top of his game. Oakland lacks the offensive firepower to keep up with the second year man out of Auburn.
This is a match up of two less than stellar teams. I like Carolina though; Oakland's quarterback play has been horrible, particularly of late. The half-decent Carolina offense should be able to put up points on the Raiders' D.
Cam Newton should have a field day against this weak Raiders' defense. It'll be easy.
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins should win this divisional battle easily over the awful Bills.
Playing for their playoff lives, I expect Miami to come out victorious in this one. Ryan Tannehill will deliver a signature performance, and carry the Dolphins to a much needed victory.
Miami has been playing better than the Bills as of late. The Buffalo defense has been one of the worst in the NFL while the Miami defense has been not bad at all. I expect the Dolphins to take this one.
Surprisingly enough, the Dolphins are still in playoff contention if everything falls perfectly for them. While I don't see that one happening, they will be able to beat the reeling Bills.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Both teams desperately need to win here but the Bengals have the momentum on their side. While the Steelers have lost four of their last five the Bengals have won five of their last six.
At home, Big Ben will deliver a clutch performance to carry Pittsburgh back into the playoff discussion. Although Cincy has looked like the better team the last few weeks, I just can't see the Steelers missing the playoffs. To get into the playoffs, this is a must win for Pittsburgh.
This is a great game with playoff implications. I like Cincinnati, but I like Pittsburgh a little more right now. Big Ben should be fully healthy now and the Steelers' D, with the return of a few key players, should contain the Bengals' offense.
The Steelers are in dismay. I don't know how. This team confuses me so much.
New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Patriots' early struggles against San Francisco were surprising but the Jaguars will be a joke.
This one won't be close. All Jaguars' fans can hope for is that the Jags front office finally makes a good decision this off season and picks up Tim Tebow to be the team's starting quarterback next year.
Not even a question here…
If the Jaguars win it'll be the biggest upset since the Patriots lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl. The first time. In 2008.
Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs
They can't beat the Texans but the Chiefs? Come on.
The Chiefs will not get lucky in this one. The Colts will roll.
Andrew Luck and the Colts should be able to take care of Kansas City. The Colts are simply a better team and are looking to make that final push to the playoffs.
There's no shame in losing to Houston, Andrew Luck. The knowledge that Chuck Pagano will be back with them on Christmas will motivate them to win once more for interim coach Bruce Arians.
New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys
Every time I discount the Saints they come out big. Their 41-0 win against the Buccaneers showed that this is not a team that is just going to roll over. Time for the Saints to play spoilers.
I expect New Orleans to play the spoiler in this one. After thrashing the Bucs last week, the Saints are eager to finish the season at .500. Although the Cowboys need this one to remain a legit playoff contender, they will not get it. The Cowboys will fall, and this might be their head coach's last year in the big D.
After seeing the Saints manhandle their opponents last week, I can't pick them to lose this game. The Cowboys have won 5 of their last 6 games but the Saints have won 6 of their last 7 against Dallas. It will be tough for the Cowboys' D to hold the explosive Saints' offense in check. I like the Saints on the road in Dallas.
Just the Cowboys being the Cowboys. Get the fans excited, get your team in position to get to the playoffs, and then screw everything up. Typical.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
The Redskins have their playoff destiny in their own hands. The only question will be whether those hands are RG3's or Kirk Cousins'. Either way, the Redskins will come out on top.
Kirk Cousins or RG3, the Redskins will get the win.
No way the Philadelphia defense can contain RGIII and Alfred Morris. I like the Redskins to roll as long as their defense holds up.
Whether it's Kirk Cousins or Robert Griffin III, the Redskins will win. Looks like it's going to be RG3, so the Eagles better be prepared. Prepared, that is, for their fans to boo them off the field while shouting obscenities.
St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers were whipped last week—really badly. They will bounce back big here.
The Bucs looked awful last week, when they were demolished by the Saints. The Rams are still hopeful they can make the playoffs, and that hope will be enough to propel them to victory. That would be bad news for the 49ers if the Rams were able to sneak into this year's postseason.
Despite all of the recent controversy surrounding the Bucs, I like them to take down St. Louis this week. I expect Doug Martin to scorch the Rams' defense; he'll be the X factor in this game.
The Rams won't be able to win with Sam Bradford throwing the ball 50 times like he did last week. They need to feed Steven Jackson and Daryl Richardson in order to get the running machine going. Jeff Fisher will have to fix that, but for now, the Bucs will win it at home.
San Diego Chargers at New York Jets
It is the start of a new era for the Jets – one that will not be resting on the flimsy shoulders of Mark Sanchez. Instead they will rely on Greg McElroy to guide the to victory in the first start of his career.
Greg McElroy will get a rude awakening in his first NFL start. Although the youngster will surely do better than the Sanchize, it is not McElroy, but Tebow that the Jets need to be considered relevant.
The Jets' quarterback situation is a disaster. Now that Greg McElroy is getting the start, it should make things that much easier for the San Diego defense. I give the Chargers the edge.
These two teams came into the season with enormous expectations and haven't even been able to accomplish one-fifth of them. Both teams are headed towards regime changes. Lost seasons galore in this game.
Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers
The Packers have worked their way all the way back from their poor start. Now they are not only the favorite in the NFC North but maybe the entire NFC.
Lucky for my fantasy team, Aaron Rodgers should have a field day picking apart the weak Titans' secondary.
The only way the Titans win this game is if Chris Johnson runs for 300 yards and has multiple TD's. This could happen, but it is unlikely. It is far more likely that Aaron Rodgers lights up the Tennessee defense.
It's really hard to see Tennessee going into Green Bay in late December and beating Aaron Rodgers.
Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans
This should be a good game pitting the top two running backs in the league. While Adrian Peterson is likely to win that battle, the Texans will come out on top.
With the Broncos hot on their heels, the Texans need this one to stay ahead of Denver for the number one seed in the AFC. But don't expect the Vikings to give away this one. Adrian Peterson should continue to dominate, and Christian Ponder will play the role of game manager. That being said, Houston is too good to let this one slip away.
I really hope AP reaches the rushing record, but I still like the Texans in this game. Right now, the Vikings' only weapon is Adrian Peterson and I think the Texans' defense is good enough to at least limit him. It has not been the Texans' front seven that has been the problem; it's been the secondary, but that won't be a problem this game with Minnesota's weak passing attack.
There's no doubt in my mind that Adrian Peterson will break Eric Dickerson's record. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Minnesota will be able to crack into the playoffs as a Wild Card. Christian Ponder must work hard in the off season to improve his game and then the Vikings will be a real contender with a running game and a strong defense.
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos
The Broncos manhandled the Ravens last week. They can deal with the Browns.
The Broncos will dominate at home. The Browns made Kirk Cousins look like Peyton Manning last week. And now they must face Manning.
Cleveland could put up a fight, but Peyton Manning and the Broncos are rolling right now. How many have they won straight? A lot.
If Kirk Cousins could put up 38 points and throw for 329 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Browns, what can Peyton Manning do?
Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals
Honestly, there is no game I would less like to watch. This should truly be awful. The Bears are not a good team regardless of what their record says. With luck, the Cardinals can end the Bears' playoff hopes right here.
Both teams are bad right now, but the Cardinals are worse.
I have no idea how Arizona took down the Lions last week, but I can say for sure that won't happen again this week. Jay Cutler and Chicago won't let that happen.
Two teams that started the season strong will now battle it out. Despite the fact that neither has been too hot of late, Chicago is significantly better than Arizona.
New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens
Both of these teams have fallen apart. The Ravens get the advantage as the home team and as the team that did not lose 34-0 last week.
The Giants need this one, so look for them to follow up a dud last week with a dominant performance in Baltimore. The Ravens offense has been borderline awful lately, and I expect the Giants pass rush to rattle Joe Flacco early and often.
The Giants might be the better team, but I still like Baltimore. The Ravens have been one of the best teams at home this season, but have lost their last few home games. I don't think the Ravens let that happen again. They are desperate and will be playing with an edge to clinch their division. The Ravens win this one.
Oh Joe Flacco. Where art thou?
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks haven't lost at home all year. I don't care who it's against, I'm sticking with Seattle.
The Seahawks are dominant at home, plus they have Marshawn Lynch. Not even Darren Sharper, one of the most hard hitting safeties in the league can stop Seattle right now. They are hot. Young Collin Kaepernick has never faced a crowd like the 12th man that Seattle brings to the table. Seattle will get the win.
I was very close to picking the Seahawks in this game. It is in Seattle and they are the best home team in the NFL, but if any team can take down Seattle at home, it's San Francisco. They have the league's best defense and proved that last week. I believe that defense comes into Seattle and quiets the crowd. I like the Niners.
Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to their best game played in the past few years in their win over New England. While the Seattle defense is better than New England's, what Kaepernick showed last week was amazing. He was able to engineer long drives and simply tear up the Patriots.
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