NFL: Week 4 Picks

Thursday Night Football

  • Bears @ Packers: The Bears first win of the season was one of the bigger shocks in a shocking week 3 for me. Sure they were at home, but they picked up a win over the Steelers, who looked great to start the season. It took overtime, but Jordan Howard was huge after being questionable all week. The Packers picked up their second win, but a trend is forming for Green Bay. They’ve needed second-half comebacks in each game this season to give themselves a chance. The fact that Chicago can control clock will make this closer than it should, but I’m taking the Pack on Thursday. GREEN BAY WINS

London Game

  • Saints @ Dolphins: New Orleans picked up their first win of the season, and in dominant fashion. The Saints were not scared of the Panthers defense, to the tune of 34 points. Miami fell to the Jets, and it wasn’t close. Jay Ajayi was rendered useless, and it took 3 quarters for the Dolphins to put up any points on the board.  The defense wasn’t terrible, so they can hang their hat on that.  So who gets the win across the pond this week? Drew Brees was able to complete passes to 9 different targets Sunday, which is hard to stop.  He’ll throw all over the Miami secondary again, and will get them to 2-2. NEW ORLEANS WINS

Sunday 1PM Games

  • Panthers @ Patriots: Carolina looks like a shell of the team that went to the Superbowl two seasons ago.  Cam Newton isn’t as mobile, and the defense isn’t making the stops they used to.  New England had a scare in week 3 and nearly fell at home to the Texans.  But as tends to happen, Tom Brady put the team on his back and got them the win. So while the Patriots defense hasn’t been Championship level through 3 games, I can’t see this game ending in any other fashion than as the Pats third straight victory. NEW ENGLAND WINS
  • Jaguars @ Jets: The Jaguars put up a dominating performance over Baltimore in London last week. Their defense held a Superbowl Champion in Joe Flacco to 28 yards passing, and the Ravens as a team to under 200 total yards of offense.  New York had a good week 3 as well, picking up their first win over Miami. They did a fantastic job stopping one of the best running backs in the league. They face a tough ground game again this week.  The Jets finally showed some fight, but I think Jacksonville has a better defense and more offensive weapons, and get the win this week. JACKSONVILLE WINS
  • Titans @ Texans: Tennessee held off a Seattle 4th quarter comeback to get their second win. The Titans gained over 400 yards of total yards, and nearly half came on the ground. They allowed the Seahawks to score 27, but they didn’t turn the ball over, and that’s something they’ll need to continue this week against Houston.  Unlike the Titans, the Texans were unable to hold off a furious second half comeback. Which team that scored 33 points a week ago will get the win this week? TENNESSEE WINS
  • Steelers @ Ravens: Baltimore was shutdown so badly in London, you’d think they hadn’t even shown up. Neither starting QB Joe Flacco nor backup Ryan Mallet could move the ball in the passing game, and the rushing attack was just as bad. Coupled with an inability to stop anyone on defense, and the Ravens looked like one of the worst teams in the league.  Pittsburgh had also looked strong in their first two weeks, only to lose to Chicago. The Steelers got owned on the ground, and that’s where the Ravens have to try to exploit them this weekend. I think Baltimore can make a better showing than they did in London, but I am still going with the road team in this game. PITTSBURGH WINS
  • Bengals @ Browns: Cincinnati came oh so close to their first win of the season last week, losing to Green Bay in overtime. After looking loss on both sides of the ball, the Bengals offense got going, with a big day from A.J. Green. For the second straight week, the Browns play another winless team.  They too almost got their first win in a shootout against the Colts, but their 14-3 run in the 4th quarter wasn’t enough. Can they avoid another giving another team their first win of the season, and get their own? I don’t think so. While Cleveland succeeded in the redzone, their defense was picked apart by Jacoby Brissett and T.Y. Hilton, and I expect more of the same with Green and Dalton this week. CINCINNATI WINS
  • Lions @ Vikings: After coming back down to earth in week 2, the Vikings got back to dominating both sides of the ball in week 3.  Stefon Diggs reappeared in a big way on offense, and Minnesota’s defense held down a very good Bucs offense. The Lions lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Falcons, with a questionable call on a possible game winning touchdown by Golden Tate with :08 seconds left. They’ve proven that they can go toe-to-toe with whatever team they play so far, and this week will be no different. But I think the results will be the same for Detroit; a close loss. MINNESOTA WINS
  • Rams @ Cowboys: Los Angeles’ offense was explosive on Thursday Night, thanks to a big first half by Todd Gurley, who picked up 3 touchdowns.  The defense wasn’t great, allowing a poor offensive squad to score 39 points.  Dallas did a very good job holding down the Cardinals (other than Larry Fitzgerald) and finally got something out of Ezekiel Elliot on the ground.  I like the Rams team this season, but the Cowboys can, and will take another positive step after their week 3 win. DALLAS WINS
  • Bills @ Falcons: Superbowl hangover? The Falcons are asking what that is as they enter week 4 as one of the two undefeated teams in the league. After a slow offensive start, Atlanta has scored 30 points in their last two games and look strong.  Buffalo got a nice win over Denver in week 3, thanks in large part to their defense bending, but not breaking to the tune of 3 field goals and a touchdown.  Their run game wasn’t what you’d want, but they played a clean game, which is always huge.  While I think the Bills defense can hold the Falcons down, I don’t think they’ll do it as well as they did last week. I’m taking the home team in this one. ATLANTA WINS
 
Sunday 4/4:25PM Games
  • Eagles @ Chargers: Philadelphia won in walk-off fashion against their division foes in week 3, on a 61-yard field goal from rookie kicker Jake Elliot. They were lucky to escape with the win, having made a number of questionable calls and blowing a two touchdown lead. As for the Chargers, they fell to 0-3 in their worst showing of the season. Down two touchdowns 10 minutes into the game was too much to overcome. Philip Rivers couldn’t help his cause, as he threw 3 interceptions and no touchdowns. So can the Chargers get their first win of the season or will the Eagles improve to 3-1? Give me the San Diego at home to right the ship and take advantage of Philly mistakes. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • 49ers @ Cardinals: San Fran put up a fight on Thursday night, scoring more than 3 times the points than they had combined in weeks 1 and 2. They got a pretty good day from Brian Hoyer and Pierre Garcon in the passing game, but couldn’t stop the Rams rushing attack. In the end, all it meant was an 0-3 start for the Niners. The Cardinals also had a very good day in the air, with a big day from Larry Fitzgerald.  Despite dominating the time of possession, Arizona could not stop the Cowboys in the fourth quarter, and fell at home. Who gets back on track? The Niners have done a better job stopping the pass than the run so far this season, and without their best back, that could be a problem for the Cards. That being said, the Cards can stop the pass too. I see a bounce back at home and an 0-4 start for the Niners. ARIZONA WINS
  • Giants @ Buccaneers: It took til the 4th quarter of week for New York to take their first lead of the season, but it was short-lived. They would drop to 0-3 thanks to a 61-yard field-goal.  They’re averaging just over 12 points a game, next to last in the league, and have given up nearly twice as many as they score. Tampa fell to the Vikings on the road, thanks in big part to turnovers and an inability to stay on the field. Both teams have potent passing attacks, and while I had high hopes for the Giants this season, give me the Bucs to get their second win of the year. TAMPA BAY WINS
  • Raiders @ Broncos: This AFC West match-up is a battle to stay on pace with the division leading Chiefs. Tied for second with 2-1 records, these two are both coming off their first losses of the season in week 3.  Denver and Oakland were both held in check offensively on the road. Neither team got much going on the ground.  The Broncos were at least able to sustain drives, they just couldn’t finish them. This game could be a defensive struggle, and I give the edge to the home team. DENVER WINS
Sunday Night Football
  • Colts @ Seahawks: Indianapolis was another team to get their first win in week 3.  They’ll try to get their second without starting QB Andrew Luck, who will now miss at least the first month of the season due to injury.  T.Y. Hilton had a huge game to help their cause.  Seattle on the other hand, looked its best this season on offense, but struggled to stop the Titans, losing their second game in the process. They scored more points in week 3 than the first two combined. Despite their issues on defense in week 3, they’ve got the ability to stop the Colts offense, and that’s why the Seahawks will win on Sunday Night. SEATTLE WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Redskins @ Chiefs: This is one of the better match-ups this weekend. Washington looked as good as it has in years last week against the Raiders, holding a very good offense to 136 yards. Kirk Cousins had a field day passing, and helped his team easily pick up their second win of the year. Kansas City is the other undefeated team heading into week 4, and for good reason.  They’re getting great play on both sides of the ball, and have been able to control time of possession. Rookie back Kareem Hunt is off to a historic start on the ground. The Chiefs have proven the ability to win both high scoring and close games. This should be a close game based on how good the Redskins were last week, but I like the Chiefs at home to improve to 4-0. KANSAS CITY WINS
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NFL: Week 3 Picks

As we enter week 3, there are 8 2-0 teams and 9 0-2 teams. The AFC South and the NFC West are the only two conferences that don’t feature an undefeated team.


Thursday Night Football

  • Rams @ 49ers: San Fran’s defense looked pretty good in week 2, but they couldn’t overcome the Seahawks legion of boom.  LA fell in week 2, as their offense or defense didn’t show up quite as much as it did in week 1.  But that being said, they haven’t had much time scoring this so far this season, while the Niners haven’t scored a touchdown yet.  It should be a fairly easy win for the Rams. LOS ANGELES WINS
London Game
  • Ravens @ Jaguars: Both teams have gotten a good start out of their run game so far this season. Through two weeks, the Jaguars haven’t been consistent on either side of the ball.  Baltimore has controlled both of their games, and allowed 10 points… total.  The Ravens at their best, have been known to have a great, top flight defense. And early on, they’ve looked great.  Terrence West might miss this week, which hurts their running attack, but Joe Flacco has enough weapons to get past the Jags this week. BALTIMORE WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
  • Broncos @ Bills: It was pretty easy for Denver in week 2 against a Cowboys  that is coming off a division title.  The now 2-0 Broncos are getting shutdown defense a la their championship run with Peyton Manning.  Not to mention contributions in the passing attack from a number of different people.  As for the Bills, they are lucky they started against the Jets.  Buffalo enters action at 1-1, and other than one okay game from LeSean McCoy, they haven’t done much on offense. Their defense is again their shining light, but I don’t think it will be enough this week, even if they are the home team. DENVER WINS
  • Saints @ Panthers: New Orleans’ offense hasn’t been the problem this season, though it hasn’t been as prolific through 2 weeks as it can be.  It’s their defense that hasn’t given them a chance, leaving them 0-2.  It’s the opposite problem for the Panthers. They’re 2-0, but really only thanks to the resurgence of their defense. While this might be the most points Carolina has given up this season, the Saints defense is the cure this Panthers defense is looking for. CAROLINA WINS
  • Steelers @ Bears: Can the Steelers improve to 3-0 or will the Bears avoid an 0-3 start? Pittsburgh is playing well on both sides of the ball and has made it look easy so far.  Chicago put up a good fight in week one against the Falcons, but laid down in week 2 against the Bucs. They put up that fight with the help of Jordan Howard on the ground, but an injury limited him and the offense in week 2. The Bears couldn’t stop Tampa’s passing game. and I expect the same exploitation in the air from the Steelers this week. PITTSBURGH WINS
  • Buccaneers @ Vikings: Tampa Bay looked good in their season debut against the Bears. Mike Evans and Jameis Winston continue to form a very good relationship, and the defense made the necessary plays. After a very impressive week 1, the Vikings struggled last weekend without Sam Bradford. Give me another big day in the air for the Bucs on the road. TAMPA BAY WINS
  • Browns @ Colts: One of these teams will get their first win of the season (barring a tie) this weekend. No Andrew Luck again for the Colts, who will look to Jacoby Brissett again. There hasn’t been much good from this team on either side of the ball.  The same can be said for the Browns, who lost Deshone Kizer mid game in week 2 to migraines. He should be fine this week, but it’s of little comfort to these two teams that have already gone through multiple quarterbacks. I saw some better things on offense from Indy last week, and so give me the home team to get in the win column. INDIANAPOLIS WINS
  • Dolphins @ Jets: The Dolphins looked pretty good in their season opener.  Jay Cutler was solid, and Jay Ajayi ran at will. The defense bent, but didn’t break and they escaped LA with a win.  As for New York, they haven’t gotten off to a good start this year. On the one hand, the Jets scored 20 on the Raiders defense in week 2. On the other, they have allowed their opponents to score nearly 70 points in two weeks. MIAMI WINS
  • Texans @ Patriots: New England bounced back in a big way from their week 1 loss to the Chiefs. Tom Brady threw to anyone and everyone, and Mike Gillslee got back in the end zone on the ground.  Houston also bounced back to get to 1-1 on the season, holding the Bengals to 3 field goals on the road. It wasn’t an impressive offensive show for the Texans, but Deshaun Watson did do a lot of good things to get them the victory.  The Patriots will see a far better defense than they did in week 2, but they can score in more ways than the Texans can, and that’ll be the difference. NEW ENGLAND WINS
  • Falcons @ Lions: It’s a match-up of 2 undefeated squads in Detroit this weekend.  While the Falcons week 1 win over Chicago wasn’t easy, there were a lot of good things about it. Their week 2 win over Green Bay however, was huge. They held down an offensive juggernaut like Aaron Rodgers down long enough to build up too big a lead to come back from.  Detroit also had their problems in week 1, needing to come from behind to get the win. Last week, they dominated on in all 3 phases on the road. So while I think this game will be a shootout, I am rolling with the reigning NFC Champions on the road. ATLANTA WINS
  • Giants @ Eagles: New York’s offensive problems extend back to last season. Their run game is non-existent, and their offensive line is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Even the return of Odell Beckham Jr. last week couldn’t help.  The defense has been okay, but still not as electrifying as it was a year ago.  Philadelphia on the other had, has gotten great defensive performances in their first two games.  The offense hasn’t been high level, but it sure has been better than the Giants.  And it’s not even close.  While I think New York can get some things worked out this weekend, I don’t think it amounts to their first win of the season either. PHILADELPHIA WINS
Sunday 4/4:25PM Games
  • Seahawks @ Titans: Through 2 weeks, the former Superbowl champs have scored the 4th fewest points, but have also allowed the 4th fewest. Seattle hasn’t gotten what they’re used to on the ground, and weapons like Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin have been under utilized. That being said, the Legion of Boom is back.  On the other side of the field, Tennessee’s offense and defense have taken turns excelling.  While Seattle has the advantage on defense, the Titans have the real ability to control the clock right now, and I think that will be the difference in week 3. TENNESSEE WINS
  • Chiefs @ Chargers: The Chargers are 0-2. They’ve had a chance in both, with kicker Younghoe Koo missing game-tying field goals in both week 1 and 2. Kansas City meanwhile is 2-0, and have looked very good so far. They took down the reigning champs on the road and while it wasn’t so easy in week 2, they got another win over the Eagles.  This will probably be another close one, as Los Angeles has the talent on offense to stick with the Chiefs, but I trust Kansas City late a lot more than the Chargers, who couldn’t close games going back to last season. KANSAS CITY WINS
  • Bengals @ Packers: The 50th season of the Bengals hasn’t gotten off to a good start, as Cincinnati is the worst scoring team in the league through two games. Their saving grace moving forward? They have the fifth best total defense in the league. So figuring things out even a little bit offensively should lead to some wins.  The Packers are 1-1 after a road loss to the Falcons on Sunday Night.  Aaron Rodgers and company started off very slowly in week 2, and they just couldn’t recover. So can the Bengals defense hold off Rodgers long enough for their offense to do damage against the Green Bay defense? I’m not sure they will. The Packers defense has had one very good game, and one not so good game, so this could be a close game for sure, but it’s hard to bet against the Pack at home. GREEN BAY WINS
Sunday Night Football
  • Raiders @ Redskins: We already knew Oakland could score with anyone, and that holds true with a healthy Derek Carr so far. The defense has been solid and they enter week 3 undefeated. The Redskins needed a comeback against a good defense in week 2 to get to 1-1. I can’t really tell who Washington is yet, are they going to get more from Cousins in the passing game, or will they be a run first team? Neither aspect has been strong yet.  Oakland is balanced, and that will be the biggest difference in this one. OAKLAND WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Cowboys @ Cardinals: Both NFC teams enter the final game of the week at 1-1. Neither team has gotten what they expected from their running backs.  Ezekiel Elliot looks like a shell of the standout rookie from a year ago, and David Johnson is done for at least half the season.  But what should be most concerning for Dallas is the lack of explosion in the passing game, one that excelled a year ago.  Arizona had a similar problem in week 1. I think the Cowboys can rebound, but I feel like the Cardinals will play off their crowd and get to above .500 this week. Look for their defense to get back on track this Monday. ARIZONA WINS

NFL: Week 2 Picks

One week down. Many to go. I went 9-6 in week 1 pick wise, thanks to a lot of road wins that went my way.

Thursday Night Football

  • Texans @ Bengals: Both teams enter Thursday night 0-1, thanks in large part to poor performances from their starting quarterbacks. It took Houston just a half to make a switch from Tom Savage to rookie Deshaun Watson, but it the deficit was too much to overcome for the Texans. 4 turnovers by the Texans and a smothering Jaguars defense didn’t help the cause.  As for the Bengals, they also faltered at home to start the season, not scoring a single point against Baltimore. Andy Dalton had his first 4 interception game since December 2013, also against the Ravens. The defense wasn’t bad for Cincy, who managed to hold their opponent to a touchdown and 3 field-goals. So which team can avoid an 0-2 start? As much as I like the Texans, the uncertainty at quarterback and another home game for the Bengals has me going with the veteran. CINCINNATI WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
  • Bills @ Panthers: Buffalo and Carolina both enter action at 1-0.  Neither team had much trouble in week 1, though the Bills game was close in the end.  The Panthers didn’t play the best game ever, but it was more than enough against the Niners. Both defense did a very good job stopping the run in week 1, while the Bills did a better job on the ground themselves than the Panthers. LeSean McCoy is going to be key for Buffalo, and while I think he can get his yards against anyone, I don’t think it will be enough against Cam Newton at home. CAROLINA WINS
  • Bears @ Buccaneers: Tampa finally gets to play their first game of the season after their week 1 match-up with Miami was rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma. Chicago is back at it after a representative showing against the reigning NFC Champion Falcons. The Bears did an especially good job stopping the ever dangerous running back duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to a combined 53 yards. The issue will be stopping the Bucs passing game with Jameis Winston and Mike Evans. Tampa will be rested and hungry. Give me the home team. TAMPA BAY WINS
  • Browns @ Ravens: Cleveland didn’t look terrible in their first game of the season with rookie QB DeShone Kizer at the helm, but they still fell to the Steelers. They allowed one of the best receivers in the league to beat them. It happens. Baltimore completed the only shutout of the week, and it was largely because of the defense. Joe Flacco didn’t do much in the passing game other than a long TD pass to off-season acquisition Jeremy Maclin. The running game was sufficient against the Bengals as well.  Their ability to control clock, unlike what the Browns showed in week 1 is a big reason why I believe the Ravens will move to 2-0 this season. BALTIMORE WINS
  • Titans @ Jaguars: Jacksonville’s week 1 win was maybe the most surprising to me because of how dominant they were against the Texans on the road. I knew their defense would be good this season, but to rack up 10 sacks, cause four turnovers and score in week 1 is impressive for anyone. And their running game was great, with a big first game from rookie Leonard Fournette. As for Tennessee, they held their own against the Raiders, but would ultimately fall short. They were able to hold Oakland’s offense down enough to give them a chance, and were able to get some things going offensively themselves against a good defense. So while the Jags were so impressive in week 1, I’m going to take the chance and say Mariota finds a way to stay on his feet and get the road victory. TENNESSEE WINS
  • Cardinals @ Colts: Arizona took two bad losses in week 1. They allowed the Lions to walk all over them in the second half, and lost their best offensive weapon in running back David Johnson for at least half the season.  The Cardinals offense struggled even before Johnson went down and they committed four turnovers. The good news from them is they travel to play a Colts team without Andrew Luck for at least another week. Credit to the Rams defense, but Scott Tolzien and the Colts as a team had about as bad a performance to start a season as I can remember. They managed to score until the Bengals, but that’s little solace. Tolzien threw two pick sixes and the Rams scored a week 1 high 46 points. So if there is a team to play to get your first win, it’s Indianapolis, even without your best offensive weapon. ARIZONA WINS
  • Eagles @ Chiefs: Kansas City put the Jaamal Charles era behind them real quick, thanks to a record-breaking debut by Toledo’s Kareem Hunt. Alex Smith also did whatever he wanted in the pass game against the Patriots to open up the season. The defense had a problem holding the run game in check in the redzone, but other than that, they looked pretty good as well. The bad news for the Chiefs is they lost their best defensive player Eric Berry for the season.  Philadelphia allowed the Redskins to stay close for 3 quarters, than went 11-0 in the fourth to pick up the road win. Carson Wentz spread the wealth in the passing game, and the defense was able to get a good amount of pressure on Kurt Cousins.  So which team gets to 2-0? I’m rolling with the Chiefs in this one. KANSAS CITY WINS
  • Vikings @ Steelers: Sam Bradford was probably the most surprsing perofmrance of week 1, for a good rrason. The former first round pick came to Minnesota last sason and had his momemnts, but was mostly carreid by a very good Vikings defense. But against New Orleans, he shined. Temper expectations as it looked like anyone could throw against the Saints defense, he didn’t make any mistakes and Stefon Diggs looks like a legitmate weapon in the passing game. Pittsburgh alsmost lost to the Browns in week 1, despite having Le’Veon Bell to start the season, unlike last year. But Antonio Brown had a huge game and it all worked out.  They’ll need more from their skill positions in week 2 if they hope to move to 2-0. And while the Steelers defense is no slouch, I give the edge to the Vikings in this one. MINNESTOA WINS
  • Patriots @ Saints: The Patriots aren’t used to losing week one, while the Saints lost their season opener for the fourth straight season. Both teams struggled on defense, with the Pats allowing the aforementioned rookie back Kareem Hunt to run for 148 yards and the Saints allowing Sam Bradford to throw down field all night. Tom Brady looked shaky, while Drew Brees got better as the game went on. New England had the better run game in week 1, while the Saints tried to work Adrian Peterson into the mix, and failed. I liked the Saints to make a turnaround this season, but they left their defense in the preseason, and even though Brady wasn’t at his best, now you get a mad and hungry championship squad with the ability to score with anyone. I’ll go road team to take the victory in the Super Dome. NEW ENGLAND WINS
Sunday 4/4:25PM Games
  • Jets @ Raiders: New York almost found a way to get a week 1 victory against Buffalo, but fell short. Their opponents were able to get a win, quite easily on the road against Houston.  The Raiders looked solid in week 1, picking up the road win at Tennesee. They got a pretty good first game out of newly acquired Marshawn Lynch, and David Carr looked good under center. New York needs more from their own running game this week if they want to steal one in Oakland, but against this defense, that will be a big task. OAKLAND WINS
  • Dolphins @ Chargers: LA had a problem closing out games last season, and it continued in week 1. They had a chance on the road against Denver, but lost when they couldn’t kick a game tying field-goal as time expired. Miami, like Tampa, gets their first crack at things after Irma, with Jay Cutler now under center for the injured Ryan Tannehill. I don’t know what to expect from Cutler, who at the very least got another week of work in after taking a job in the booth in the off-season. But I don’t expect much with how he played in Chicago last season. I liked what the Chargers were able to do in the second half to make it a game with the Broncos, and I expect that to carry over this week. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • Cowboys @ Broncos: Dallas made easy work of their division rivals in week 1, but it wasn’t the sharpest game offensively for them. Part of that was the Giants defense doing a good job on Ezekiel Elliot.  But their own defense got good pressure, a good sign moving forward. Denver had to hold off a 2nd \-half comeback by the Chargers, thanks in big part to them leaving points on the board with a couple of big drops, and a missed field-goal by the usually on target Brian McManus. But overall it was a good showing by both teams, and this should be a fun game. It’ll be about who can control the clock, and while Dallas can do that with the best of them, palying in Denver presents it’s own challenges. That’s why I give the edge to teh Broncos in this match-up of 1-0 teams. DENVER WINS
  • Redskins @ Rams: Washington turned the ball over way too much against the Eagles in week 1, and couldn’t get anything going on the ground. Not a recipe for success, especially since they now face a tougher defense in week 2 on the road.  The Rams did what they were supposed to do and more in week 1, scoring at will on both sides of the football against a subpar Colts team. And with the big plays allowed by the Redskins in week 1, LA shouldnt have a problem doing so again this weekend. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • 49ers @ Seahawks: Neither team had a good showing offensively in week 1.  But Seattle has one of the better defenses in the league and you saw that in the way they held Aaron Rodgers at home at bay for so long Sunday. San Francisco did a good job of holding down a very good mobile qurterback in Cam Newton in week 1, so that’s where they’ll have to hang their hopes this week, in holding Russell Wilson down, who doint do much in week 1 himself. That being said, it’s hard to go into Seattle and win, and I don’t see the Seahawks going 0-2. SEATTLE WINS
Sunday Night Football: 
  • Packers @ Falcons: Neither Green Bay nor Atlanta had an easy time of it in week one, though the Packers faced a far tougher opponent than the Falcons.  It took Aaron Rodgers some time to get going against a very good Seattle defense, but he made the plays late to get his team another home win. Matt Ryan’s passing game didn’t look scared, finding another weapon in tightend Austin Hooper, but the run game seemed to have a Superbowl hangover. The Falcons have one of the best backfields in football, and they’ll need them to figure things out in week 2, so they can keep the ball out of Rodgers’ hands as much as possible. I expect this to be more of a shootout than either played in week 1, and give me the Falcons at home in this one. ATLANTA WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Detroit @ Giants: Color me impressed with how the Lions played in week 1. I thought for sure the Cardinals defense would have their way with them, but it wasn’t so. They took advantage of a big injury, and scored off turnovers. The Fiants on the other hand, were a mess on offense. They either gave Eli Manning no time to throw, or when they did, there were either drops or overthrows. The defense was ok, but not as good as you would have haoped. The siliver linging is when Manning did connect with his young playmakers, they were for big gains. With Odell Beckham Jr. expected back, it gives Manning another option.  But they’ll need more , much more form their running game if they expect to win many games this season. I think the New York crowd will get them going. NEW YORK WINS

NFL: Season Predictions and Week 1 Picks

It’s that time of the year again, where I make my picks for another NFL season!
We’re coming off another Patriots Superbowl win after the Falcons blew a historic 25-point lead! So what is going to happen in the 2017-18 season? Glad you asked!

 

NFC Playoff Teams

  • Cardinals… Packers… Seahawks… Giants… Saints… Falcons

AFC Playoff Teams

  • Patriots… Raiders… Chiefs… Bengals… Steelers… Texans

Championship games

  • Cardinals over Seahawks
  • Raiders over Patriots

Superbowl 52

  • Cardinals over Raiders

Now that that’s out of the way, here are my week 1 picks.

Thursday Night Football
  • Chiefs @ Patriots: Two AFC powerhouses open things up on Thursday  Night.  The reigning Superbowl Champions look to start their march for 3 straight with a home win over Kansas City. Tom Brady showed no signs of slowing down last year, and despite losing Julian Edelman for the season, they return enough of their championship team to stand a chance. Kansas City’s ability to win the close games in recent years has kept them in the playoff race and it should keep them there again this year. Their offense needs to reestablish the run game as a weapon, and rookie Kareem Hunt should help there, as the Jaamal Charles era has come to an end. So two teams with pretty good defenses get things going in week 1, but give me the ever diverse and tough Patriots offense to start the season off with a victory at home. NEW ENGLAND WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
  • Jets @ Bills: The bottom two AFC East teams from last season look to start their seasons off on a good note in Buffalo. This all New York battle will pit a Jets team that most think could be one of, if not the worst team inte league this season, versus a Bills squad that has the defense, and offensive weapons to be successful, but has played down to expectations the past couple seasons.  New York got rid of some of their best players in the off-season, and with a less than appealing quarterback battle in the pre-season, Josh McCown leads a lack-luster offense into the season. Not to mention trading away one of their best defensive players just a couple weeks before the season started in Sheldon Richardson. Give me LeSean McCoy and his 1,200-plus rushing yards from last season to control the clock and get off to a 1-0 start. BUFFALO WINS
  • Jaguars @ Texans: Jacksonville finished last season as the worst team in both the AFC South and the league. That had little to do with their defense however, and so if they want to move up this year, they’ll need Blake Bortles to take a big leap under center. An improved running game with rookie Leonard Fournette and the addition of Chris Ivory along with T.J. Yeldon should help ease the burden on Bortles. Houston enters as the division champs as well as carrying the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Tom Savage is the Texans starting QB… for now. Deshaun Watson is coming off a National Championship and can do a lot, so he’s probably not far off from taking the spot.  But with Texans defense that can turn mistakes into points with the best of the them, they could have a field day against the Jags in week 1. HOUSTON WINS
  • Steelers @ Browns: This AFC North match-up tends to be one of experience versus youth, and that’s no different this season.  The Steelers lost in the AFC Championship game last season, and unlike last season, have Le’Veon Bell from week 1.  Cleveland had the number 1 pick in the draft again this season, and they used to sure up their defense. But Myles Garrett is already hurt, and the Browns are going with yet another new starting Quarterback. And no, it’s not Brock Osweiler despite the large contract he got. It’s rookie DeShone Kizer, who had a very impressive preseason showing. Division games are always tough, and while I think Cleveland can get more than 1 win this season, I’m going with the consistency of Pittsburgh to start the season. PITTSBURGH WINS
  • Cardinals @ Lions: Two teams with the ability to score do battle in Detroit in week 1.  Arizona boasts one of the best young backs in the league in David Johnson Jr, while the Lions have the newly paid Matt Stafford slinging for another year. The biggest difference in this match up is the ability of the two teams defenses.  The Lions used to have one of the best defense in the league, but have seen a drop-off recently, while the Cardinals have slowly moved up the ranks in that department. Both teams have been pretty good for a while now, but neither have broken through the way you want. I think Arizona is primed for a Superbowl run, and it starts with a road win here in week 1. ARIZONA WINS
  • Falcons @ Bears: Atlanta enters week 1 with the sting of a Superbowl collapse and a win-less preseason. The Falcons are going to be hungry and return a lot of their NFC Championship squad, particularity one of the most potent offenses in football. Chicago enters with a new quarterback after parting ways with Jay Cutler. Mike Glennon looks to take hold of the team and get them back out of the NFC North cellar. The Bears upgraded their defense, but didn’t do much to fix their offense, losing good receivers in Alshon Jeffrey and Eddie Royal. While Chicago can’t get much worse than they were last season, I think the Falcons are going to be just fine this season, and will start out with a road victory. ATLANTA WINS
  • Raiders @ Titans: Oakland experienced a resurgence last season, but enter the regular season as the other team to go win-less in the preseason. But like Atlanta, I don’t think that will affect them this week or going forward. Derek Carr was huge for them at quarterback last season, and after an injury dashed their playoff hopes, he’s healthy and has a very good defense to help climb through the AFC again this season.  Tennessee’s offense can score with anyone.  Marcus Mariota doesn’t make mistakes in the red zone, something that even veteran QBs struggle with. A very good running game and a number of  offensive weapons can only help the Titans this season. This could be a shootout, but as I’ve done a lot already, I’m taking the road team here. OAKLAND WINS
  • Ravens @ Bengals: This is one of the more intriguing match-ups to me. Both these teams are in the playoff hunt every season, and both rely heavily on their defenses.  Neither team got what they needed from their run game last season. The Bengals haven’t been able to break through in the playoffs however, and it’s never for the same reason.  I don’t see either of these teams struggling too much this season, and I do believe this will be a close game, but I am going with the Bengals at home in their first of two meetings. CINCINNATI WINS
  • Eagles @ Redskins: After winning the NFC East, Washington took a step back, finishing 3rd in the division, while the Eagles finished 7-9 for the second straight season. Both teams have young quarterbacks and pretty good options on offense. In an always competitive East, the defense for both teams are key. This game will be close, but I like Carson Wentz over Kurt Cousins to lead his team to victory in week 1. PHILADELPHIA WINS
Sunday 4PM Games
  • Colts @ Rams: The Colts are without their starting quarterback at least for their first game, as Andrew Luck continues to have injury problems.  St. Louis will look to take advantage and figure out how to win games outside their division, something they’ve had issues with the past few seasons. If Luck gets healthy after week 1, I can see Indianapolis having a better season than the Rams in a more up for grabs division, but look for a bounce back third season from Todd Gurley to help balance out St. Louis’ offense, and get them to 1-0. ST. LOUIS WINS
  • Panthers @ 49ers: San Francisco had an awful 2016, and didn’t do much to help their cause in the off-season. They struggled in every phase of the game last year, and after parting ways with Collin Kaepernick, they haven’t Carolina also struggled big time, finishing 6-10 after going 15-1 in 2015 and losing in the Superbowl. The Panthers had been one of the best defensive teams in the league, but ended up bottom 5 in total yards allowed last year. Their offense was top 5, but it wasn’t enough to save them from the cellar of the NFC South division. It was a slow start that hurt the Panthers most, so if they can avoid that this year, they could make it back to the playoffs. I don’t see the 49ers putting up much of a fight in week 1. CAROLINA WINS
  • Seahawks @ Packers: Two of the league’s best square off in Lambeau. The Seahawks defense got even better in the off-season, so the Pckers will have their work cut out for them. But I don’t like to bet against Aaron Rodgers at home, who has his favorite target in Jordy Nelson healthy along with another good option in Randal Cobb. I don’t know how I feel about Seattle’s offense, so if it’s close late, I trust Green Bay’s offense to get into scoring position more than I do the Seahawks. GREEN BAY WINS
Sunday Night Football
  • Giants @ Cowboys: The top two teams in the NFC East play each other in Dallas to open the season for the 3rd straight season. They’re 1-1, so this is the “rubber match.” Ezekiel Elliot will be on the field despite facing a 6-game suspension. He played well against the Giants in his rookie year, but New York’s defense looks like it’ll be just as/if not better than last year, so they aren’t worried about who is on the field for Dallas. The Cowboys entire offense can explode at any time, so they will have their work cut out for them. If the Giants can get any kind of consistent run game this season, they could take the division crown form Dallas, and I think they start that with a win on Sunday night. NEW YORK WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Saints @ Vikings: Minnesota’s defense made their 2016, while the Saints inability to consistently win close games and lack of defense hurt them. The Vikings still don’t have their number 1 option at quarterback, as Teddy Bridgewater starts on the PUP list, so they’ll look to Sam Bradford to manage the offense. Drew Brees continues to be one of the prolific quarterbacks in the league, and that shouldn’t change this season with a number of good options to work with on offense.  They’ll need their defense to show up, and if what they did in the preseason continues, it’ll help get them back in the postseason. Adrian Peterson gets to make his debut in a new uniform against his former team, looking to show he is still a more than viable option at running back in this league. NEW ORLEANS WINS
  • Chargers @ Broncos: The Los Angeles Chargers era starts in Denver, looking to shake off a 2016 that ended with 5 straight losses, and an inability to win close games. The Broncos missed out on the playoffs in their second season without Peyton Manning, but there is hope for Trevor Siemian moving forward. I don’t know if they have enough to get back into the playoffs this year, but I like Denver in week 1. DENVER WINS

NFL: Week 12 Picks

Thanksgiving Day Games

  • Vikings @ Lions: After 5 weeks of the season, I never thought this game would be a fight for sole possession of the first place in the NFC North. But thanks to the Lions winning five of their last six while the Vikings lost 4 straight, we have this scenario.  Minnesota has been carried by their defense all season, while Detroit has done a good job of winning close games of late. Neither team’s running game has been impressive.  Detroit is used to playing on a short week during Thanksgiving, and with the edge at quarterback, I’m taking the home team in a close game this week. DETROIT WINS
  • Redskins @ Cowboys: Dallas enters as the league’s best team, but don’t look past Washington. The NFC East is the only divisions in the football with all 4 teams over .500, so this will be a battle.  The Redskins put up 42 on the Packers on Sunday Night, and haven’t lost a game in three weeks. The Cowboys have won 9 straight, but have had close calls the past two weeks.  So this could be the game that ends the Cowboys streak no question, I just don’t think it will be. Look for another big game from Ezekiel Elliot. DALLAS WINS
  • Steelers @ Colts: Both AFC teams enter off wins and at 5-5 on the season.  The Steelers are tied for the AFC North lead, while the Colts are a game back in the AFC South. Le’Veon Bell had a huge game last week in Pittsburgh’s easy win over the Browns. Indianapolis played their best defensive game of the year, holding a red-hot Titans team under 20 points, which was the lowest point total the Colts have allowed this year. So while the Colts are playing better of late, the Steelers defense is better and not to mention their ability to control the clock on the ground will get them above .500 this week. PITTSBURGH WINS

Sunday 1PM Games

  • Titans @ Bears: Tennessee saw their hot streak stopped by Indianapolis last week. That being said, they still played well, coming back from 21-0 to make the Colts sweat late.  Chicago lost their 8th of the season despite scoring more points in the first half against the Giants than they average for a full game.  But they lost another lineman, and Jay Cutler got hurt adding to the loss of their best offensive weapon in Alshon Jeffery. It’s not definite that Cutler is out for the season yet, but even if he was healthy, Marcus Mariota has been so good lately that they have the edge there. TENNESSEE WINS
  • Jaguars @ Bills: The Bills are currently out of a playoff spot, but still very much in the conversation at 5-5.  Jacksonville on the other hand, is facing another top 5 draft pick. Their offense hasn’t been what I thought it could be coming into the season, with disappointing decisions from Blake Bortles in the air, and not enough from T.J. Yeldon on the ground.  Buffalo hasn’t put enough complete games together for a team with a very good defense and an offense featuring an explosive running back, hence the .500 record.  But they’re the better team, and can shut down a mistake prone Bortles. BUFFALO WINS
  • Bengals @ Ravens: As if Cincinnati’s season hasn’t been disappointing enough, they face the rest of the season without their starting running back, and at least this week without their best weapon in AJ Green. If you’re the Bengals, you have to hope the absence of Green means Andy Dalton spreads the ball more, and it means opposing defenses can’t game plan for just one guy.  Baltimore wasn’t going to be scared this week either way, as they come into action as the second ranked total defense in the league.  They are coming off a loss to Dallas, but at 5-5 are very much in the AFC North race, while the Bengals find themselves in third place at 3-6-1.  Give me the home team to get above .500 fairly easily. BALTIMORE WINS
  • Cardinals @ Falcons: Arizona has been disappointing this season after a strong 2015-16 season.  They’ve been up-and-down on defense, and injuries on offense have slowed them down.  Their best chance this weekend is for David Johnson to have a big game, and control the clock.  Even if the Cardinals can do that, Atlanta knows how to score quickly.  The Falcons are coming off their worst offensive game of the season, only scoring 15 points after scoring at least 23 in their previous 9 games. So which bird flies higher this weekend? Give me the home team to rebound offensively in what could be a very high scoring affair. ATLANTA WINS
  • Giants @ Browns: New York comes in winners of five straight, sitting in a Wild Card spot in the NFC. Their opponents are still win-less at 0-11 and after some fight early in the season, have been blown out in their last three games, scoring just a total of 26 points over that span.  This spells trouble for Cleveland, as the Giants defense has been very good during their winning streak.  If the Browns want to get their first win of the year, they’ll have to force New York’s offense into turnovers, and avoid turning over the ball themselves. Even if they play clean, I don’t see them coming away with a victory this week. NEW YORK WINS
  • Rams @ Saints: Both teams enter with identical 4-6 records, and both find themselves in third place in their respective divisions.  But that’s where the similarities end.  New Orleans continues to be carried by their offense, Los Angeles by their defense.  The Rams have made a change at quarterback to help their offense that hasn’t scored more than 10 points in four straight games. The Saints defense isn’t anything to write home about, but they have gotten better as the season has gone by, so while the Rams should score more than 10 this week, they won’t be able to keep Drew Brees down enough to win. NEW ORLEANS WINS
  • 49ers @ Dolphins: Tied with the Giants for the second longest win streak in the NFL heading into week 12, the Dolphins have taken down 4 AFC opponents, and have figured out how to win the close games they were losing early. San Francisco is on a nine-game losing streak, and despite some better offensive performances of late, they’re just lacking talent on both sides of the ball. I still think Miami has been disappointing this season, despite the winning streak, but they are by far the better team and will make it six wins in a row. MIAMI WINS
  • Chargers @ Texans: Despite being one of the more confusing teams in the league this season, Houston is two games above .500 and have a one game lead over the Colts for the AFC South title. The Texans running game has been a strength this season, but the Chargers are one of the best at stopping the run.  So if Houston wants to get their seventh win of the season, they’ll need Brock Osweiler to play smart in the passing game.  Philip Rivers will have a similar challenge in the passing game, as the Texans defense is one of the best there.  So who wins on Sunday? I’m taking the upset, San Diego gets the win on the road. SAN DIEGO WINS

Sunday 4/425 Games

  • Seahawks @ Buccaneers: The Seahawks are rounding into form after a tie with the Cardinals and a road loss to the Saints, they’ve won three games in a row are scoring at will.  Tampa is trending up as well, winners of two straight and just a game back in the NFC South.  The Buccaneers offense has been pretty good all season, but their defense is stepping up of late.  So while Seattle has been playing well on both sides of the ball, this game won’t be an easy game to win, especially on the road. But I still think they get the job done and move to 8-2-1. SEATTLE WINS
  • Patriots @ Jets: Before the season started, I thought this game would be the game that ultimately determined the AFC East winner. But now it’s just a chance for the Patriots to maintain their AFC best record and further bury the Jets.  New York’s offense is in shambles, and their defense isn’t much better. Tom Brady missed a couple of days of practice this week, but we know even if he missed a game New England would be in good hands at quarterback. Note to mention how good their run game has been this season. This should be a pretty easy Patriots win on the road. NEW ENGLAND WINS
  • Panthers @ Raiders: Carolina is still very much alive in the NFC South, but they have a lot of work to do at 4-6 on the season.  Unfortunately for them, they’re playing one of the best and hottest teams in the league this week.  Derek Carr is an MVP candidate, and the Raiders defense is very good. For the Panthers to win this game, their defense needs to play their best game. This game has the potential to be a 10-7 game, and a 35-33 game. Either way, I like Oakland to get to 9-2 this weekend. OAKLAND WINS

Sunday Night Football

  • Chiefs @ Broncos: It’s a HUGE AFC West match-up on Sunday night. Both teams enter with 7-3 records, tied for second behind the Raiders in the AFC West.  Both are also wild card teams right now, so a loss means falling to third in the division and moving closer to missing the playoffs altogether. Kansas City’s offense hasn’t been great of late, while the Broncos have found a way to survive without CJ Anderson. This could be a defensive struggle, but I feel better about the Broncos at home, where they don’t lose often. DENVER WINS

Monday Night Football

  • Packers @ Eagles: Green Bay continues to disappoint, coming off an embarrassing performance on Sunday night against Washington. Now they face another NFC East opponent in the last place, despite their 5-5 record, Philadelphia Eagles.  The Packers have the edge at quarterback but that’s about it. And even Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been himself this season. The Eagles defense has been pretty good all season and that’s why they’ll win this week.  PHILADELPHIA WINS

NFL: Week 11 Picks

Bye Weeks: Jets, Falcons, Broncos and Chargers.

Thursday Night Football

  • Saints @ Panthers: An NFC South match-up featuring two teams coming off last second losses takes center-stage to open up week 11. New Orleans was primed to move above .500 when they had a PAT blocked and returned for a safety with just over a minute left.  Carolina was in full control all game, up 17-0 at one point, would eventually lose to Kansas City on a field goal as time expired. So now two teams i had making the playoffs can ill afford to lose many more games if they want to make a second half run.  There’s something off about the Panthers this season, and I think Drew Brees and company exploit that and pick up a road win Thursday. NEW ORLEANS WINS

Sunday 1PM Games

  • Steelers @ Browns: Pittsburgh was 30 seconds from snapping Dallas’ win streak when Ezekiel Elliot ripped a long, game winning touchdown run. As for Cleveland, week 10 brought more of the same, another loss, without much to be hopeful about. The Steelers offense looked as good as it has all season last week, and against a good Cowboys defense.  So while anything can happen on the gridiron, I can’t see the Browns getting their first win of the season this weekend. PITTSBURGH WINS
  • Ravens @ Cowboys: Baltimore is atop the AFC North, but I still don’t know how to feel about them. The Ravens have been the definition of streak this season, as they started out 3-0, then lost four straight, and are now on a two game upswing.  Dallas is comfortably atop the NFC East, and are the best and biggest surprise in the league.  They’re being carried by two rookies at key positions who aren’t making mistakes.  The Cowboys have already won twice as many games as a season ago, and their consistency will help them make it nine straight wins. DALLAS WINS
  • Jaguars @ Lions: Jacksonville showed their age last week, with bad turnovers in a close game that sealed the loss.  Detroit is coming off their bye week and moved into a tie for first place in the NFC North thanks to everyone else losing in week 10.  This game can absolutely go either way, and can also be a shoot out. But it should go the Lions way at home. DETROIT WINS
  • Titans @ Colts: Don’t look now, but the Tennessee Titans are figuring things out. Marcus Mariota is on fire, and with DeMarco Murray doing huge things on the ground, the defense hasn’t needed to be on point of late.  That’s big with a rested Colts team ahead.  Indianapolis can put up points with the best of them, but their defense isn’t good.  So while I had the Colts winning the AFC South, I’m going with the Titans on the road to get above .500 and put more pressure on the Texans to keep a hold of the division. TENNESSEE WINS 
  • Bills @ Bengals: Buffalo was feeling good about themselves early in the season, with a strong defense that shutout the Pats (sans Tom Brady) at home, and LeSean McCoy producing big numbers on the ground. But injuries have sent them crashing back down the AFC East standings in the form of a three-game losing streak.  Cincinnati continues to disappoint, losing a one-point game on Monday night after a tie in week 9. So who gets back on track and tries to stay relevant in the AFC playoff picture? Give me the road team and that defense to stop a possibly hobbled AJ Green and company. BUFFALO WINS
  • Buccaneers @ Chiefs: Tampa Bay exercised some demons after a couple bad losses and picked up an easy win over the Bears in week 10. Kansas City rebounded from a poor first half to take down the Panthers and stay with the Raiders and Broncos in the ultra-competitive AFC West. Both teams have had their moments offensively, but in a league where defense wins championships, give me the home team to win this game. KANSAS CITY WINS
  • Bears @ Giants: Chicago’s season wasn’t bad enough already, now they’ll be without their best offensive weapon as Alshon Jeffery has been suspended for violating the leagues substance policy. Jay Cutler has looked okay in his return from injury, but good enough to outplay their poor defend. As for New York, they continued their trend of winning close games on Monday, something they couldn’t do last season. On a four game winning streak, the Giants are being carried by their defense. The offense had its moments, and if the running game can do it’s part as it did in week 19, that’ll only open up the passing game. There are no easy games for the Giants this season, but this week should be another one they can close out. NEW YORK WINS
  • Cardinals @ Vikings: Arizona picked up a much-needed win this past week against San Francisco, but it wasn’t impressive. Carson Palmer struggled and while the defense held the Niners to 13 points, they left them too many opportunities. Minnesota on the other hand saw their losing streak grow to four after they started the season 5-0. The offense, particularly the running game, has been non-existent, while the defense hasn’t been what it was earlier in the year. The Vikings now have company atop the NFC North after comfortably sitting alone early.      The Cardinals run game this season has been very good, and that, coupled with a bounce back game from Palmer, will keep the birds on pace with the division leading Seahawks. ARIZONA WINS

Sunday 4/425 PM Games

  • Dolphins @ Rams: LA has been very up and down this year; which is to be expected with a young team. But they’ve shown they can shut anyone down, winning two different games without scoring a touchdown themselves! Miami  picked up a big win to move into second place in the AFC East last week, on the strength of their offense. So while the Rams offense hasn’t gotten what it hoped for out of Todd Gurley, and now that the change from Case Keenum to Jared Goff had come, I still like LA to hold down the Dolphins enough to get another win this Sunday. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • Patriots @ 49ers: New England saw their winning streak end this past Sunday night, while San Francisco saw their losing streak continue. The Patriots have lost two games this year, both at home; an oddity in the Brady-Belichick era. But with the way LeGarrette Blount is running, and the way the Niners have played all season, they won’t lose back-to-back games. NEW ENGLAND WINS 
  • Eagles @ Seahawks: The Eagles got back on track Sunday, while the Seahawks handed the Pats their second loss off the season. Philadelphia’s defense showed up again, slowing down the Falcons high-powered offense. They also got a much-needed boost on the ground from Ryan Matthews. Seattle has to worry about that after allowing LeGarrette Blount to find pay dirt three times in their win over New England. That being said, their offense saw Doug Baldwin put up three scores of his own.  The Eagles offense still wasn’t as crisp as you’d like going up against the Hawks. SEATTLE WINS

Sunday Night Football

  • Packers @ Redskins: Green Bay is struggling with no end in sight.  The defense allowed the Titans to score 47 points in every way possible.  The Packers are now below .500 for the first time since Aaron Rodgers first year in 2008.  The Redskins picked up their 5th win of the season against the Vikings. The defense let Minnesota get their yards but were able put good pressure on Sam Bradford, and Kirk Cousins was solid. I want to pick the Packers, but there are so many issues with this team right now that I don’t see them winning on the road this week. WASHINGTON WINS

Monday Night Football

  • Texans @ Raiders: Houston is lucky they play in the AFC South, who they’re now 3-0 against this season. They’ve been very up and down this year, but in fairness to the Texans, their sixth win was their most complete of the season. They played well in all three phases. Oakland is coming off their bye week on a three game win streak, and tied for the best record in the AFC. The Raiders are getting huge performances from Derek Carr and there no reason it shouldn’t continue. The Texans defense can be very good, but Oakland is simply the better team. OAKLAND WINS

 

NFL: Week 10 Picks

Thursday Night Football

  • Browns @ Ravens: Cleveland remains win-less and barely put up a fight in week 9 against Dallas. Baltimore on the other hand snapped a four-game slide with a win versus Pittsburgh. That win came in Ben Roethlisberger’s return, who wasn’t sharp, however, the defense showed its early season form, which is promising. They won’t need to be on the absolute top of their game this week to keep the Browns win-less. I’m going with the Ravens at home. BALTIMORE WINS

Sunday 1PM Games

  • Texans @ Jaguars: Houston has been one of the league’s strangest teams this season.  At 5-3, they have a one game lead in the AFC South, but they can’t string together two good games in a row, and when they lose, they really lose.  Jacksonville however, would take these problems.  At 2-6, they’re looking up at everyone in the AFC South, and have lost three straight. They’re not playing well on either side of the football right now. I like the Texans a lot more in general, and they are coming off their bye week.  But the Jaguars have the big play ability to make this a winnable game.  So in an upset, give me the Jags at home this week.  JACKSONVILLE WINS
  • Broncos @ Saints: The Broncos are in unfamiliar territory, looking up at two teams in the AFC West despite a very good 6-3 record.  This is after a Monday night loss to Oakland in which they allowed 30 points for the first time this season. New Orleans is capable of making that two weeks in a row, as they enter action as the 2nd ranked scoring team in the league.  So while I might like the Saints offense better, I trust the Broncos defense to make the stop down the stretch more than New Orleans. DENVER WINS
  • Rams @ Jets: Both teams lost by less than a touchdown in week 9, and both are looking for their 4th win of the season.  All but two of LA’s games have been close, and those that weren’t were losses.  They can hold good teams down defensively, but have not been able to put anyone away with their offense. Case Keenum hasn’t been good, but there isn’t a look to make a change to Jared Goff under center.  New York has had more questions at QB and on defense than expected.  So who moves closer to a .500 record? I’m going with the Rams to break their skid this week. LOS ANGELES WINS
  • Falcons @ Eagles: Atlanta is flying high at the top of the NFC South, while Philadelphia is alone at the bottom of the NFC East. The Falcons come in as the 2nd ranked offense, including the 2nd ranked passing offense.  The Eagles best chance in this game is if their 7th ranked pass defense can slow down Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.  While they definitely can slow them down, I’m not sure they’ll be able to enough to win the game. ATLANTA WINS
  • Chiefs @ Panthers: Carolina has a ways to go to make up for their 1-5 start, but winners of two straight, their defense is starting to look like the one that got them to the Superbowl last season. With the exception of one blowout loss, Kansas City’s defense has been great all year, while the offense has been good enough to get them to a 62 record.  Alex Smith has taken care of the football, which is huge for this team.  That being said, Cam Newton has looked a lot better of late, and I like their chances to make it three straight wins. CAROLINA WINS
  • Bears @ Buccaneers: Both teams find themselves under .500 entering action.  Tampa has lost two straight, mostly because their defense can’t stop anyone.  Chicago won their second game of the season in week 8 before their bye week in Jay Cutler’s return.  This game has the real potential to be an absolute shootout with two bad defenses taking the field.  I like Jameis Winston and company at home to win the air game against Cutler. TAMPA BAY WINS
  • Vikings @ Redskins: Minnesota started the season 5-0, and were the league’s last undefeated squad. Now they’re on a three game losing streak, and the offense looks inept. Washington is coming off a tie with the Bengals in London, and in third place in the NFC East.  The Skins play even, while the defense carries the Vikings.  Washington needs Kirk Cousins to have a big day in the air to win, and while it helps that he doesn’t make many mistakes, the Vikings pass defense is one of the best in the league.  MINNESOTA WINS
  • Packers @ Titans: At 4-4, Green Bay has been very disappointing this season.  Some days the defense looks great, some days they look average.  Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been as sharp as he has been in the past, and without much a run game, they’ve become very one-dimensional.  Tennessee has been up and down, but they showed something in week 9, nearly taking down the Chargers in a shoot out.  Despite a bad record in his year-plus career, Marcus Mariota has played very well in the red zone, a key to their near win last week.  DeMarco Murray has been huge for the TItans as well, so this will be a tough test for the Packers.  But with that being said, I still think the Packers are the better team, and will get their record back above .500 this weekend. GREEN BAY WINS

Sunday 4/425PM Games

  • Dolphins @ Chargers: It’s a matchup of two teams coming off wins in week 9.  Both teams had higher expectations for this season than their combined 8 wins so far.  Miami finds themselves in 2nd place in the AFC East despite being very up and down.  The Chargers aren’t so lucky playing in one of the most competitive divisons in football.  Philip Rivers has been pretty good this season despite the record, and is why I think San Diego pulls out the win this week.  Ryan Tannehill makes too many mistakes that Rivers doesn’t under center.  That’ll be the difference. SAN DIEGO WINS
  • 49ers @ Cardinals: I still don’t know how this team dominated tehir opening week game, as they’ve looked so bad ever since.  In the midst of a seven-game losing streak, Colin Kaepernick’s play on the field hasn’t helped silence the off-the-field distractions.  Sure he’s been better than Blaine Gabbert, but not by much.  Carlos Hyde has either been very dominant, or non-exisesnt on the ground.  Arizona has been a disappointment in the NFC West as well.  Up-and-down play on both sides of the ball has them under .500 and in second place in the division.  Injuries to Carson Palmer and Larry FItzgerald haven’t helped either.  So while both teams are under .500, this is still a trap game for the Cardinals, who are still a lot better than the 49ers.  And I think they’ll rise to the challenge and pick up their fourth win of the season. ARIZONA WINS
  • Cowboys @ Steelers: To think that Dallas is the hottest team in the league without Tony Romo is crazy.  And the fact that their two best players are rookies is simply amazing.  The Cowboys are winners of seven straight, and are 7-1, tied with the Pats for the best mark in the league.  The offensive line is playing at an all-world level, and the defense is playing just as well.  Dak Prescott is making the return of Tony Romo a real question.  Pittsburgh on the other hand has some work to do at 4-4.  Losing Ben Roethlisberger right when they were figruring things out slowed them down a bit.  He’s back now, but they still aren’t as sharp as they’d like to be.  I have a feeling this will be one of the tougher tests Dallas has had since their one-point loss to New York in week 1, but I also think they make it eight straight wins. DALLAS WINS

Sunday Night Football

  • Seahawks @ Patriots: It’s a Superbowl 49 rematch on Sunday night. The Pats are coming off their bye week as the owner of the AFC’s best record. The Seahawks are atop the NFC West, the Patriots are atop the AFC East.  New England is coming off their bye week, which will probably only help keep Tom Brady healthier and on top longer.  Seattle’s defense will be the biggest test for Brady this season.  The thing that will help the Patriots is their running game has been very consistent.  I love what the Seahawks defense has done of late, but there’s just something about a rested Brady at home that seems to overcome most weaknesses.  NEW ENGLAND WINS

Monday Night Football

  • Bengals @ Giants: New York is on a three-game win streak and in a playoff position in the NFC.  Cincinnati had a disappointing first half of the season, capped with a tie in London two weeks ago. The Giants have shown an ability to win close games, and with a defense that is getting healtier, theyve allowed the offense to work out some kinks.  New York has to run the ball better to move to the next level, but the same can be said abotu the Bengals.  Cincy’s offense isn’t what it has been the past few years, but neither has the defense.  If New York can contain AJ Green, I’ve got a good feeling about them picking up their sixth win and matching last years win total. NEW YORK WINS