Can Tebow keep it up?
Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving. There were three NFL games on Turkey Day, and only one was very exciting. The Cowboys narrowly escaped an upset, edging the Dolphins 20-19 on a late game-winning field goal. Meanwhile, the Packers cruised to victory against the Lions, but the real story of the game was Ndamukong Suh's helmet stomp, which resulted in his 2-game suspension. In the Thursday night game, the Ravens beat the 49ers in a defensive battle, 16-6.
Tim Tebow remains biggest topic of conversation in the NFL, as he continues to will his team to victory. Can he keep it up? As teams begin to battle for playoff positioning, our SCO experts turn it into high gear, fighting for supremacy in the standings. Jacob remains in first place for now.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks
Michael Vick is out for a third week in a row with a rib injury, which means Vince Young gets another start. The Eagles have struggled lately, but they should be able to beat the lowly Seahawks, who fell to Washington last week.
Even at 4-7, Philadelphia has a winning record on the road. They'll take this game in Seattle.
The Eagles really are better than they are playing and Seattle is coming off a loss to the Redskins at home. You can't really go much lower than that.
The Seahawks beat the Ravens, yet lost to the Redskins on their home turf. This game is completely unpredictable, but after last week, I'm going with the Eagles.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins
Record-wise, the Raiders are far and away the better team. But the Dolphins have been playing surprisingly well as of late. Brandon Marshall is reasserting himself as one of the best receivers in the game, and Reggie Bush is finally having a breakout season. After two straight wins and a one-point loss to the streaking Cowboys, Miami is primed to upset the Silver & Black.
Carson Palmer has gelled with the Raiders' offense surprisingly quickly – he'll help them through their injuries.
Both teams are hot. Both teams are underrated. The Dolphins however have a plus 6 point differential while the Raiders are down 14 on the year.
The Raiders will beat the Dolphins because they are playing solid football with Carson Palmer and Michael Bush at the helm of the offense.
Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans
Houston just signed Jake Delhomme to replace the injured Matt Schaub at QB… Yikes.
At +144, the Texans' point differential is second only to the perfect Packers. The Falcons will play their hearts out as they fight for a wild-card spot, but Houston will be the better team on Sunday.
The Falcons have won 5 of their last 6 with the loss being an overtime 3 point loss to the Saints. The Texans are now down to their third string quarterback, news that will nullify any positives of the return of Andre Johnson.
It's hard to pick against Houston because they have one of the top five defenses in the NFL right now; plus, Arian Foster isn't too shabby in the running game. This should be a close matchup, though, because the Falcons have also been delivering week after week.
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills
After a great start to the season, the Bills have lost four straight games and are plummeting down the AFC East standings. Buffalo's offense was much improved in week 12 as Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 264 yards and three scores. The Bills will get back on track with a win over the 6-5 Titans.
Buffalo had a great start of the season, but will be forgotten before long. The Titans pick up the win on the road.
These two teams have been very hard to get a grasp on. They both have impressive wins and pathetic losses. It will be a great game to watch, but if Fitzpatrick can play as well against the Titans as he did against the Jets, then there should be no problems in Buffalo.
The Bills are too inconsistent, and haven't really been playing well recently. The Titans take this one, especially because Chris Johnson seems to be back to his old self.
Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears
The Chiefs' offense is gosh darn awful without Matt Cassel. The Bears are also missing their starting QB, but they at least managed to put up 20 points and hang in with the 7-4 Raiders in week 12. Chicago wins.
Kansas City picks up its fifth straight loss in Chicago.
The Chiefs picked up Kyle Orton and he will get to play his former team without starting quarterback Jay Cutler. Even without Cutler, the Bears should not struggle too much as they have Matt Forte, a do-it-all, stud running back who accounted for 56 percent of the offense even with Cutler present.
Although both teams are without their starting quarterback, the Bears have the upper hand because of their defense and running game.
New York Jets at Washington Redskins
Don't get too excited about a win over the Seahawks, ‘Skins fans. Washington is still a putrid team. New York wins.
Washington has been playing (at least a little) better as of late, and New York is 1-4 on the road this year.
Firstly, Mark Sanchez is the worst quarterback in the NFL not named John Skelton. Secondly, the Jets' defense is not nearly as good as it has been in recent years. Finally, their running game is almost nonexistent. Nevertheless, I think they will find a way into the playoffs and even if they don't make it that far, the Redskins are not going to be the ones that stop them.
Although I'm proud of the Redskins beating Seattle last week (knew I should have gone with my instinct), I don't really see them having a chance at beating the Jets, no matter how badly I wish they would.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger struggled last week, throwing for just 193 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers narrowly escaped against the 4-7 Chiefs. Defensively, however, Pittsburgh is looking true to form. I don't think Pittsburgh will have a problem shutting down Cincinnati.
Cincinnati's had a good run, but the Steelers will win at home to maintain their share of first place in the AFC North.
The Bengals are 2-2 in the division. They have two close wins against the Browns and two close losses against the Steelers and Ravens. They are a slightly above average team that has benefitted from an easy schedule. Once the going gets tough, a drop from playoff contention is to be expected.
The Bengals have a good squad this year, but the Steelers are determined to battle back in the division, and I doubt they will lose another game (until the playoffs at least!).
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
When's the last time the Browns were favored in this division matchup?
Can Baltimore actually beat a sub-.500 team? There's only one way to find out.
The Ravens are my pick to beat the Packers come February, but the Browns might be the real problem. The Ravens have been unable to beat bad teams nor have they won on the road. It is time though for the Ravens to snap the streak if they want to fully establish themselves as a dominant team.
The Ravens displayed defensive excellence last Thursday, and they're sure to take down all of the Browns' offensive players…literally.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina won its third game of the season last week but it came against the 0-11 Colts. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is going throw a rough patch of its own – the Bucs have lost five in a row. I repeat: LaGarette Blount is a monster. If I'm Raheem Morris, I give him the ball 30 times.
These teams' talent differs by a lot more than the one-win margin between their records. Tampa Bay has had an astoundingly difficult schedule – all of their seven losses have been at the hands of a team that now has a winning record. The Panthers, on the other hand, legitimately stink.
The NFC South is a very top-heavy division. The Saints and Falcons are playoff teams and the Panthers and the Buccaneers are NFC bottom dwellers. Even with Cam Newton's 14 picks to 12 touchdowns I just won't pick the Bucs to win.
This is going to be a high scoring game with both teams having defenses that are lacking this season. The ball is definitely going to be run a lot, but Cam Newton is going to get the job done.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints
The Lions must be shaking in their boots after seeing what the Saints' offense did to the Giants on Monday night. Drew Brees threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns, leading New Orleans to a whopping 49-24 victory over New York. Good luck trying to stop that, Detroit – especially when you're missing your best defensive player in Ndamukong Suh. Bombs away, Drew.
Ndamukong Suh's absence will be noticeable as Detroit attempts to contain the powerful New Orleans offense.
Drew Brees can do almost anything right now. Everytime he has the ball the Saints are in a position to win. The Lions need a win, but the Saints aren't going to give them one.
Ndamukong Suh is a vital part of the team and is out for the next two games after a poor display of sportsmanship. The Saints have an explosive offense, so this is a gimme for New Orleans.
Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings
You can't spell "Tebowing" without WIN.
I will quote Sports Illustrated in saying that "there are 300 million opinions on Tim Tebow, and every one is right." He is the most controversial player in all of sports right now thanks to his embarrassingly bad quarterbacking skills, yet uncanny knack for winning. Tebow can pull out another one, probably in the last minutes of the fourth quarter as usual.
TEBOW! Since the Vikings' secondary is probably the worst in the league, Tebow is going to help pull out a win.
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals
Arizona running back Beanie Wells went on a rampage last week, rushing for 228 yards and a score as the Cardinals beat St. Louis 23-20. But the Cowboys' offense is in full sync right now. As much as I hate having to keep picking Dallas, this should be an easy W.
Arizona's won three of its last four, but two of those wins were over the Rams and the other was over the Eagles.
A win against the Rams is meaningless and the Cardinals are still terrible. The Cowboys on top of the division should have no problem here.
The Cowboys have been winning some clutch games recently due to the emergence of Demarco Murray and Tony Romo, who is playing at a much higher level.
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants
The Saints one week and the Packers the following week? Jeez, I wouldn't want to be a defensive back for the Giants right now.
Number 12 gets win number 12.
The Giants are slipping and the Packers are still undefeated.
This could end up being a shoot-out, but seeing that the Saints dominated the Giants on Monday night, it's more likely the Packers will get the win.
St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers
No upset here, folks. This'll be a good, old-fashioned butt whooping.
A couple of easy wins over the Rams and Cardinals are exactly what San Francisco need to bounce back from their loss in the Harbaugh Bowl.
Another easy NFC West matchup for the 49ers and a good rebound after their second loss of the year.
Frank Gore is itching to break out for a big game after only getting 39 yards in last week's game against the Ravens. He is guaranteed to run all over the Rams' secondary.
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Remember the good old days when this matchup actually meant something? At this point, it's not a question of who'll win; it's a question of how many points Tom Brady will put up on the winless Colts. 30? 40?
Due to the graphic nature of this massacre, this program may not be suitable for young children. Parental discretion is advised.
This game got booted from national television thanks to the absolutely dismal performance by the Manning-less Colts this season. Every additional loss is one more reason that Peyton Manning is Aaron Rodgers' top competition for MVP.
Monday, December 5
San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars
What a terrible Monday night game. Neither of these teams is worth watching on national television. I'll go with San Diego on gut instinct.
The Chargers haven't won a game since their bye week back in mid-October. Jacksonville hasn't really played any better, only beating the Colts and the allergic-to-awful-teams Ravens. I'll give this one to the Jaguars because San Diego hasn't stopped the run all season and probably won't against MJD.
The Jaguars and Chargers are both so bad that it will be a pretty close game. The Jaguars are with a new coach, a rookie quarterback, and only one good player on the whole team. By process of elimination I pick the Chargers.
The Chargers have not been playing solid football lately, and the Jaguars have a solid defense. Plus, the Jags have the best player on the field in Maurice Jones-Drew AKA Pocket Hercules.
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