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Nov. 18, 2012

NFL Week Eleven Predictions

by Jacob Buchholz, Online Sports Editor, Jack Estrin, Online Editor-in-Chief, Michael Gerbasi, Online Sports Editor and Josh Schmidt, Print Sports Editor
It will be an exciting weekend of football. The Redskins are back as they face off with the Vick-less Eagles at home and the Ravens play the Steelers on Sunday Night Football to kick off another edition of the much anticipated rivalry. However this time both teams are missing their top defensive player and the Steelers will also be without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Jacob continues to solidify his lead in the SCO standings while Michael has pulled off a miraculous comeback and is now tied for third place.

Courtesy of AP
Standings:
Jacob: 98-48
Jack: 94-52
Michael: 87-59
Josh: 87-59


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
Jacob: Dolphins
Jack: Bills
Michael: Bills
Josh: Dolphins

Jacob says:
The Bills have failed to play up to their potential all year long and that will continue against the Dolphins.
Jack says:
With Fred Jackson out with injury, the Bills will have no choice but to hand it off to the much more explosive C.J. Spiller. I expect Spiller to have a big game, and carry the Bills' offense to victory. As both defenses are weak, this will turn into a high scoring affair, but it will be Buffalo who pulls out the victory at home.
Michael says:
I'm feeling The Dolphins falling to the Bills. It's time for Buffalo to win again.
Josh says:
Reggie Bush has been struggling in his last few games, but I see him bouncing back here against a weak Bills’ defense. The Dolphins’ defense is impressing this year as well and is going to mess with the Bills.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
Jacob: Packers
Jack: Packers
Michael: Packers
Josh: Packers

Jacob says:
The Pack is back. The Lions meanwhile have been working their way back from their dismal start but this is not a winnable game for them. When the season comes to a close it will be the Packers, not the Bears, on top of the NFC North.
Jack says:
Coming off a bye week, the Packers have had ample time to prepare for Calvin Johnson and the Lions. Aaron Rodgers will have a big game, and connect with Jordy Nelson for a couple touchdowns in Nelson's return from injury.
Michael says:
I think Aaron Rodgers will throw all over the weak Detroit defense and will be able to outscore the Lions' offense. I'm calling the Pack in a shootout.
Josh says:
The Packers are quietly right back in the thick of things after their slow start and don’t count on it stopping here. Aaron Rodgers has only thrown one interception since October 7th as Green Bay has reeled off a four game winning streak.

Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons
Jacob: Falcons
Jack: Falcons
Michael: Falcons
Josh: Falcons

Jacob says:
The Falcons were finally beaten but there is still no doubt that they are one of the top teams in the league. Arizona amidst a five game losing streak should be a relatively easy win.
Jack says:
After their undefeated season was put to rest last week, Atlanta will be out for blood. Don't expect the Cardinals to stop the Falcons from winning their 9th game of the season.
Michael says:
The Falcons will be too much on both sides of the ball. I got Atlanta.
Josh says:
The loss last week to New Orleans will take some pressure off of Atlanta and there won’t be any stopping them against the Cardinals. They should come out angry that they dropped the game and take it out on Arizona.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
Jacob: Buccaneers
Jack: Buccaneers
Michael: Buccaneers
Josh: Buccaneers

Jacob says:
The Buccaneers may be a legitimate threat in the NFC once again. Only the Patriots, Broncos and Giants have scored more points on the season than the Buccaneers. Their defense is nothing to brag about but as long as their offense keeps on churning the Bucs could be dangerous.
Jack says:
Both teams are trending in opposite directions. The Bucs, who are coming off a big win over the Chargers last week, have been playing good football as of late. More specifically, young quarterback Josh Freeman has. Freeman will have yet another big game against the Panthers, and add on to his impressive 2012 season.
Michael says:
The Bucs have the potential to put up a lot of points. Expect Tampa Bay to win in a battle of offenses.
Josh says:
Ever since the whole mess with attacking opposing teams doing kneel downs the Bucs’ have improved their play greatly. They know that they’re playing for a playoff spot in the NFC.

Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys
Jacob: Browns
Jack: Cowboys
Michael: Cowboys
Josh: Cowboys

Jacob says:
The Browns are one of the best 2-7 teams I have ever seen and while that may sound like a joke, they really are much better than their record suggests. Behind Trent Richardson, the Browns can beat a weak Cowboys team.
Jack says:
This is a must win game for the Cowboys and they will not let this opportunity slip away. Expect Dallas to come out fired up, and get the big win at home.
Michael says:
I would not be surprised if the Browns upset the Boys. Right now, however, I don't have the guts to pick them. I have to roll with Dallas.
Josh says:
I really don’t get how the Browns will ever be good. On the other side of the ball the Cowboys will go on a two game winning streak!

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
Jacob: Redskins
Jack: Redskins
Michael: Redskins
Josh: Redskins

Jacob says:
The Eagles' offense, especially without Michael Vick, may be one of the only ones in the league that the Redskins can handle. The Philly defense is not as bad, but the Redskins will get back to their winning ways after a three game losing streak.
Jack says:
RG3, the newest Redskins' captain, will outplay fellow rookie quarterback and Eagles starter Nick Foles. This one won't be very close.
Michael says:
Nick Foles? No way he tops RGIII and the Skins.
Josh says:
Even after firing their defensive coordinator the Philadelphia defense still won’t be able to stop the dynamic RG3 led offense. Especially if the Redskins' D-line can pressure Nick Foles, the ‘Skins win this one.

New York Jets at St. Louis Rams
Jacob: Jets
Jack: Rams
Michael: Rams
Josh: Rams

Jacob says:
It is beginning to seem as if Mark Sanchez really will play the entire season for the Jets while Tim Tebow withers away on the bench. For Sanchez, however, even if he is given the rest of the season as starting quarterback, it may be the last time he starts in the NFL. Tim Tebow may not be the direction this franchise wants to go, but Mark Sanchez surely can't be either if he doesn’t start playing better. The Jets' offensive woes are more than just the ongoing quarterback quandary, but the Jets do have one thing going for them. Their defense, even without Revis, is still one of the best in the league and they will cause just as many problems for the Rams as the Rams cause for Sanchez and crew. In the end it will be the Jets in a close one.
Jack says:
When will Tim Tebow start? Until then, I can't possibly pick the Jets to beat anyone. Mark Sanchez will continue to struggle, much like he has for most of his career, and the Jets will fall to 3-7. This one won't be close, and hopefully for Jets fans it will be the last game in the Mark Sanchez era.
Michael says:
The Rams played well last week in their tie with the 49ers. I like them to take care of the Jets.
Josh says:
Could it be Tebow time this game? Next game?

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs
Jacob: Bengals
Jack: Bengals
Michael: Bengals
Josh: Bengals

Jacob says:
The Chiefs have lost six in a row. Why change here?
Jack says:
Coming off a big win against the defending Super Bowl champs, the Bengals will not let the woeful Chiefs stop them from improving to .500 on the year.
Michael says:
Not much of a game here I suspect.
Josh says:
The Bengals are charging. The Chiefs have more holes than swiss cheese and they just simply can’t compete against even mediocre teams. A.J. Green and Andy Dalton should have fun.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
Jacob: Texans
Jack: Texans
Michael: Texans
Josh: Texans

Jacob says:
It will be a sad day for Blaine Gabbert. After taking down the Bears, the Texans are flying high. Their defense is impenetrable and their offense will have a field day against the Jags.
Jack says:
This one should be a cakewalk for the 8-1 Texans.
Michael says:
This shouldn't be much of a game.
Josh says:
If Houston can beat Chicago, they should be able to beat Jacksonville.

New Orleans Saints at Oakland Raiders
Jacob: Saints
Jack: Saints
Michael: Saints
Josh: Saints

Jacob says:
Never lose faith in Drew Brees. For a while it looked as if the Saints couldn’t cope with the loss of Sean Payton and several key defensive players but now the Saints are looking like they did in past years. Last week they handed the Falcons their first loss of the season, now they will hand the Raiders their seventh.
Jack says:
The Saints have the potential to be one of the best teams in the NFL, as they showed in their win over the previously undefeated Falcons. Every game here on out is essentially a must win for New Orleans, and they will have no problem getting the W this week in Oakland.
Michael says:
The Saints are on a roll right now, they could even eventually make a run at the playoffs. The Raiders shouldn't be much of a test.
Josh says:
Who dat! The Saints are storming back into contention as they have won four of five. The Raiders shouldn’t offer too much resistance even at home.

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
Jacob: Broncos
Jack: Broncos
Michael: Broncos
Josh: Broncos

Jacob says:
Anything short of the Super Bowl will be a disappointment for Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Their only losses of the season have come against Atlanta, Houston and New England and all three were in the first five weeks of the season. Since then they have gone 4-0 scoring over 30 points in each game.
Jack says:
The time to beat the Broncos was early in the season. Not now. Peyton Manning's crew will have no problem dismantling Philip Rivers and the Chargers.
Michael says:
I really like the Broncos. They could be at three in the power rankings behind Houston and Atlanta. I'm taking Denver.
Josh says:
There are two questions that arrive here: Could Peyton Manning win MVP and comeback player of the year? And, will Norv Turner be fired if they lose?

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots
Jacob: Patriots
Jack: Colts
Michael: Patriots
Josh: Patriots

Jacob says:
The Patriots and the Colts have the same record (6-3) and yet their seasons have not been anywhere near identical. While the Patriots have a positive point differential of 98 the Colts have a negative point differential of 15. Their defenses are very similar however the Patriots have scored 34 touchdowns on the season while the Colts have scored 19. This game will not be nearly as close as some would think.
Jack says:
The Patriots have certainly looked like mortals this year, as shown in their close victory over the Bills last week. Andrew Luck has established himself as the front runner for the Rookie of the Year award and is making Indianapolis fans all but forget about Peyton Manning. With extra time to prepare, I like the Colts to continue their surprising run and upset the favored Patriots.
Michael says:
Luck and the Colts could win this game if their defense steps up. I think the Patriots' offense its too good to let that happen.
Josh says:
This is just like those early 2000’s games between the Colts and Peyton and the Patriots and Brady. Except replacing Peyton is Stanford grad Andrew Luck. Luck will be put in his place by the more experienced Brady and will have to wait his time.

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jacob: Ravens
Jack: Ravens
Michael: Ravens
Josh: Ravens

Jacob says:
Normally one of the most exciting rivalries in the league, this week's game won’t even be close. The Steelers are missing Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu and while the Ravens will be without Ray Lewis, they can handle their loss much better. In fact the Ravens' loss is almost entirely mitigated by the emergence of one of the top offenses in the NFL.
Jack says:
No big Ben = no brainer. The Ravens will roll.
Michael says:
I think the Steelers' D is more banged up than the Baltimore D right now. I think the Ravens' offense is also better than Pittsburgh's.
Josh says:
Without Roethlisberger at quarterback the Steelers don’t stand much of a chance. Such a bad time for him to go down with injury.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers
Jacob: Bears
Jack: Bears
Michael: 49ers
Josh: 49ers

Jacob says:
Both offenses are weak and both defenses are strong. It will be a close, hard fought game where every point matters because in all likelihood there will be very few points scored in this game. The Bears advantage comes in their ability to score when their offense is not on the field.
Jack says:
Even with quarterback Alex Smith back in action, the 49ers will find points hard to come by in their Monday night tilt with Chicago. Charles Tillman and the stout Bears' defense will be the difference maker in this one.
Michael says:
This is a great game to have on Monday night. With Cutler out and Alex Smith looking like he could play, I like San Francisco.
Josh says:
If Jay Cutler was healthy here, the Bears would win. Well, sorry Chicago.



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