Ah Thanksgiving: a time for family, a time for gratitude and a time for the hallowed American tradition of indulging in wanton gluttony while watching millionaires bash into one another. Which teams are turkeys and which teams are gravy? Our experts give their take in this special early edition of NFL Predictions. In the race for supremacy, Pia continues to maintain a slim lead, but Nitin is gunning hard after a 13-3 week. Our hometown Redskins are slipping - will our Editor-in-Chief follow suit?
|Last week||Season total|
Thursday November 22, 2007
Green Bay Packers (9-1) at Detroit Lions (6-4)
|Detroit||Green Bay||Green Bay||Green Bay|
Nitin says: The Packers will stomp all over the struggling Lions, who are trying to cling to a wild card berth. Green Bay better get its gears moving; looming ahead next week is a fight with the Dallas Cowboys.
Pia says: Detroit may have tradition on their side, but they'll need a lot more than that to topple the division-leading Green Bay.
Anshul says: Very similar teams in terms of their pass-first offense. But the Packers have a better defense and a developing running game to take care of the Lions and their terrible O-line.
New York Jets (2-8) at Dallas Cowboys (9-1)
Nitin says: It's gobble gobble for the Cowboys.
Pia says: I think the thought of Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws is more scary to the Cowboys' players than this match-up against the Jets.
Anshul says: Fine, the Jets beat the Steelers. But miracles don't happen twice.
Indianapolis Colts (8-2) at Atlanta Falcons (3-7)
Nitin says: Indianapolis is really starting to struggle with various injuries, but what can Atlanta do? The Colts caught a break last week when the Steelers lost a stunner to the Jets; for now the champs hold a shaky one game lead over the Steelers in the seedings.
Pia says: It doesn't even matter that this game is on the NFL network; no one was going to watch it in the first place.
Anshul says: The Colts got a close win against the Chiefs, but should get back in the rhythm here.
Sunday November 25, 2007
Tennessee Titans (6-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-7)
Nitin says: Vince Young's top performance might have been this past week. The result? A 73.7 QB rating to go with a loss. Cincinnati's defense is definitely subpar, but its offense has potential to put up huge numbers each week.
Pia says: Despite last week's performance, the Titans are still much more together than the Bengals, who have only been able to beat up on the Ravens.
Anshul says: Vince Young has shown that he can pass again whereas Cincinnati has shown no consistent offense or defense.
Seattle Seahawks (6-4) at St. Louis Rams (2-8)
|St. Louis||Seattle||St. Louis||Seattle|
Nitin says: Matt Hasselbeck got it done for the Seahawks who haven't been able to get anything going with injuries to Deion Branch and Shaun Alexander. It's nice to see St. Louis win two straight and leaving Miami in the dust, though.
Pia says: I'm all for St. Louis defying all odds, winning eight straight (only six more to go) and winning the weak NFC West.
Anshul says: Seattle has started to roll again. The Rams may have won two straight, but the streak ends here.
Minnesota Vikings (4-6) at New York Giants (7-3)
|New York||New York||New York||New York|
Nitin says: Minnesota's seemingly all-powerful offensive line will fail the test against New York DEs Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora.
Pia says: The Vikings managed to win last week with Adrian Peterson only because they were playing the Oakland Raiders. Going against the New York Giants without their star running back is a whole different story.
Anshul says: Chester Taylor played like he was fighting for his job last week, which he is because of Adrian Peterson. But that was the Raiders. These are the Giants, with one of the best front seven in the league.
New Orleans Saints (4-6) at Carolina Panthers (4-6)
|Carolina||New Orleans||New Orleans||New Orleans|
Nitin says: The Saints need every win to sneak into the playoffs. Steve Smith or not, Carolina is absolutely stymied offensively.
Pia says: Judging from last week, the only time the Panthers score points is after the game is so far out of reach that the other team has started to relax a little. The Saints should take advantage of that and use this week to regain some momentum.
Anshul says: The Saints need to get back to winning. There season has been all streaks and they cannot let another 0-4 streak happen if they want to make the playoffs. A win against an offensively questionable Carolina team should be what they need to start another winning streak.
Washington Redskins (5-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-4)
|Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay||Washington||Washington|
Nitin says: Aside from the five seconds during which Jason Campbell forfeited a run opportunity to throw an interception to Terence Newman, the Skins looked its best all season. Heck, even Santana Moss had a big day. Unfortunately, without safety Sean Taylor in the secondary, Joey Galloway will have plenty of opportunities to "T.O." the Skins.
Pia says: The Redskins were involved in yet another close game last week. Except this time they came away with some hope, despite a loss. Going up against division leader and arch rival Dallas, Washington's offense still managed to look strong. Maybe Jason Campbell deserves his initials after all.
Anshul says: Jason Campbell threw well and wide receivers were involved in the offense. Last week was a generally good game for the 'Skins. Some poor play-calling may have cost them the came, but Washington is starting to balance out and be a good offensive and defensive team. Cover-2 defenses clash here and the 'Skins need the win to stay alive in the NFC East.
Houston Texans (5-5) at Cleveland Browns (6-4)
Nitin says: Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson put away the offensive-no defense-oriented New Orleans Saints; the Browns will be no different.
Pia says: Unless the Browns have another miracle like the one they pulled last week with their crossbar-hitting, game-tying field goal, it looks like Houston's ballgame.
Anshul says: Touch match-up. Although Cleveland managed to sneak away with a win in Baltimore, their offense should get back on track against the Texans. With Josh Cribbs setting the offense up with good field position, they should manage another close win.
Buffalo Bills (5-5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3)
Nitin says:The Jags lost defensive leader Mike Peterson last week, but it doesn't seem likely that Bills rookie RB Marshawn Lynch will be able to suit up either. Mojo and the crew will keep Jacksonville moving to an impressive 8-3 record.
Pia says: Sure the Bills played the undefeated Patriots last week, but their 56-10 loss is still indicative of their many problems.
Anshul says: Bills RB Marshawn Lynch may not play again so it's the Jags' game to win.
Oakland Raiders (2-8) at Kansas City Chiefs (4-6)
|Oakland||Kansas City||Kansas City||Kansas City|
Nitin says: Either Peyton is in a slump or the Chiefs have some substance to work with defensively. It doesn't really matter considering that Daunte Culpepper is throwing.
Pia says: The Chiefs have lost three straight, the Raiders six. A real battle of the stars here, that's for sure. Since someone has to win, and considering that the Chiefs held Peyton Manning to a passer rating of 23.4 last week, I'd go with the Red and White here.
Anshul says: The Raiders have one of the worst passing games in the league, even worse than the Chiefs. JaMarcus Russell, when will you come to save the Raiders?
San Francisco 49ers (2-8) at Arizona Cardinals (5-5)
Nitin says: Every "L" the 49ers add to the standings makes it more and more likely that New England will draft some amazing athlete like Darren McFadden or James Laurinaitis in the 2008 draft. Here's one more.
Pia says: After last week's impressive performance from the Cardinals, I'd be tempted to pick them against a good many teams. With the Cardinals going up against a team that's lost eight straight, the decision is even easier.
Anshul says: The Cardinals have shown improvement throughout the season, the 49ers have not. They have gone the complete opposite direction.
Denver Broncos (5-5) at Chicago Bears (4-6)
Nitin says: Denver found help from the dark corners of its depth chart last week, a positive sign for the club that probably won't have Travis Henry or Selvin Young next week. On the flip side, Cedric Benson continues to run like a high school running back for the Bears.
Pia says: The Bears are last in the NFC North; the Broncos are second in the AFC West. Despite the difference in the strength of their divisions, both teams deserve their records this season due to inconsistent play. Who wins in the battle of inconsistencies? What better way to decide than a coin toss?
Anshul says: Jay Cutler is looking better every week and Bears, well, aren't. Should be a pretty easy one for the Broncos to win on the road.
Baltimore Ravens (4-6) at San Diego Chargers (5-5)
|Baltimore||San Diego||San Diego||Baltimore|
Nitin says: The Chargers need a win, taken on their own terms, desperately. Beat up Baltimore is the perfect target.
Pia says: Finally a team so pathetic that I can confidently pick the inconsistent Chargers to win.
Anshul says: Heartbreak in Baltimore happened this last week by the foot of Phil Dawson. But Baltimore showed some signs of life on both sides of the ball, so I'll go with the upset here.
Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) at New England Patriots (10-0)
|New England||New England||New England||New England|
Nitin says: Philadelphia hasn't ruffled the feathers of Bill Belichick or the Patriots yet, unlike Miami and New York. That won't prevent the inevitable smackdown this week. Randy Moss will almost certainly tie or break his career best TD reception total of 17.
Pia says: I just have one word: how?
Anshul says: This is getting redundant. Patriots will win, end of story. Unless Brady and Moss go down, the Patriots will keep rolling.
Monday November 26, 2007
Miami Dolphins (0-10) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)
Nitin says:Pittsburgh's falter last week was a fluke. Miami LB Joey Porter won't know where to turn first against his former team.
Pia says: Sorry, no luck here Miami.
Anshul says: I've given up on Miami. At this point, they might as well try to secure a good draft position.
Anshul Sood. Anshul is a very laid-back person, a real take-it-easy kind of guy. He often burns time listening to music, playing music, watching some sports game, or playing some sport. Recently, he has entered into the world of running, though he is not very good. However, … More »
Andrew Kung. Andrew Kung is a rising Magnet junior who is psyched for a year of Chips Online. He has lived in New York, Michigan, and New Mexico prior to his current residence in Maryland. As a cynical sports fan, he is not often disappointed, but not … More »
Nitin Sukumar. Nitin's middle name is Antonio Gates. More »