Sunday, November 25
Falcons (9-1) @ Buccaneers (6-4)
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Falcons by 1˝
Last Week Falcons lost to Cardinals 23-19 Buccaneers defeated Panthers 27-21 in OT
Fast Fact Falcons QB Matt Ryan is the first QB since Bart Starr in 1967 to throw 5 interceptions without a TD in a win.
The Falcons are just winning, even if its ugly in a 9-1 start. The Bucs have strung a 4 game win streak to climb into postseason contention and won a thrilling come from behind game in Carolina. The Bucs are getting to be a dangerous team with the solid running of Doug Martin accenting the passing game. Im still not sold on the Bucs as a viable playoff team but the Falcons can play suspect as well. Im concerned about the Falcons heading to Tampa and getting a win but Im going to bank on the Falcons defense being strong enough to keep the young hungry Bucs at bay.
Bills (4-6) @ Colts (6-4)
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite No line
Last Week Bills defeated Dolphins 19-14, Colts lost to Patriots 59-24
Fast Fact Colt QB Andrew Luck threw three interceptions against the Pats his first three INT game since his career debut against the Bears.
The Bills enjoyed a rock-em sock-em win over a depised divisional rival a week ago Thursday while the Colts took a frightful beating from the Pats. The Bills are a study in inconsistent play. The Colts are playing much better than most pundits ever dreamed of. Im liking the Colts to continue their solid play at home, with Luck having a bounce back game.
Broncos (7-3) @ Chiefs (1-9)
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Broncos by 10˝
Last Week Broncos defeated Chargers 30-24, Chiefs lost to Bengals 28-6
The Broncos raced out to a huge lead then let the Chargers back into the game late. The Chiefs have went from sad sack to pathetic to punch line. Im liking the kind of game Peyton Manning has brought to the Broncos and he should find the sledding quite easy against a weak Kansas City defense whos fans have just given up. This game could get really ugly.
Pick-Denver (Lock of the Week)
Vikings (6-4) @ Bears (7-3)
Soldier Field, Chicago 1:00 FOX
Favorite No Line due to injury status of Cutler
Last Week Vikings were on a bye, Bears lost to 49ers 32-7
Fast Fact The Bears have won 10 of the last 11 meetings in Chicago
The Vikings are coming in well rested after a bye and having thumped the Lions. The Bears took a nasty beating on Monday night from the Niners and are still unsure if Jay Cutler will be able to go following missing that game with a concussion. Adrian Peterson is a serious MVP candidate and as long as the Vikings passing game remains a bit serviceable they can keep defenses from loading up to stop Peterson. I like the Bears defense but their offense has gotten punchy and that defense is just getting worn out. This is a pick that Im probably going to regret but Im not sold on the Bears anymore especially with Jason Campbell at the control.
Raiders (3-7) @ Bengals (5-5)
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Bengals by 8
Last Week Raiders lost to Saints 38-17, Bengals defeated Chiefs 28-6
Fast Fact The Raiders have given up 32.2 points a game, an NFL worst.
One time Bengal franchise QB Carson Palmer returns to the city where he played for 7 seasons, he was there 9 actually but sat the first season and refused to play half of his last. The suprising trade to the Raiders was well chronicled in Bengal country and most fans of the team was quick to say good riddance especially after the promising play of Andy Dalton Palmer’s acrimonious split with the Bengals rankled some and when the schedule came out Bengal fans were quick to point that game out as one they would turn out to heckle Palmer. As the season has progressed most Bengals fans have shown less concern about the former QB and more with the status of their team that is very much in playoff contention after a pair solid to break a four game skid. The Raiders porous defense is making Palmers tough job even more difficult. I’ve long held the assertion that west coast teams heading east are dead meat playing early games. Combine that with the Bengals passing game likely to have its way against a weak Raider secondary and the Bengals should make Palmers return a forgettable one.
Steelers (6-4) @ Browns (2-8)
Browns Stadium, Cleveland 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite No Line due to uncertain Pit QB status
Last Week Steelers lost to Ravens 13-10, Browns lost to Cowboys 23-20 in OT
Fast Fact The Steelers have won the last four matchup by a combined score 96-31
When in doubt, bring the Browns out. At least that’s what the Steelers think more often than not. The Steelers lost a slugfest with their hated rivals and at a fearsome cost, losing backup Byron Leftwich with busted ribs. Ageless Charlie Batch (Is he still in this league?) will get the start. The Browns who played courageously against the Cowboys and nearly stole it in OT are not a pushover and I suspect that they will give the Steelers a tough way to go at home, but aren’t close to being good enough to even beat a depleted Steelers team that is used to imposing their will on the Browns.
Seahawks (6-4) @ Dolphins (4-6)
SunLife Stadium, Miami 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Seahawks by 3
Last Week Seahawks were on a bye, Dolphins lost to Bills 19-14
Fast Fact The Seahawks and Dolphins are the two NFL teams furthest from one another according to Google Maps, The distance from Century Link Field to SunLife Stadium is 3247 miles.
The Seahawks are the Jekyll/Hyde team. Fearsome in their own crib, they are pretty pedestrian outside the Pacific Northwest. The Dolphins are a team that looked to be on the rise a few weeks ago and then started taking hella beatings. Their offense has gone missing and they have fallen by the wayside. As a result they have lost their last three, but heres the thing. The Seahawks are coming cross country for a 1p start which means more often than not they are dead man walking. Im tempted to pick the Dolphins for this very reason. But I don’t trust their consistency and the Seahawks defense is better than the last West Coast team that came east and got smashed in Miami.
Titans (4-6) @ Jaguars (1-9)
EverBank Field, Jacksonville 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Titans by 4
Last Week Titans were on a bye, Jaguars lost to Texans 43-37 in OT
Fast Fact The Jaguars scored as many points last week (37) as they did in the previous 3 combined (39)
The Titans rebounded from a horrid performance to dominate the Dolphins before their bye, they Jags may have found a spark in their offense with a valiant performance by Chad Henne The Titans are another hard team to pin down, they played like chumps against the Bears only to rebound to smash the Dolphins. With so many offensive questions, the Titans are a wildly inconsistent team to call from week to week but they do have some offense weapons. The Jags might look like they could be at least pro caliber with Henne directing the offense; playing at home the Jags might be able to spring the upset. As much as I would like to call this one I just cant.
Ravens (8-2) @ Chargers (4-6)
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (CBS)
Favorite Ravens by 1
Last Week Ravens defeated Steelers 13-10, Chargers lost to Broncos 30-23
Fast Fact This is about a dead even rivalry as one could get. The teams have split eight meetings and have scored 153 points total in the meetings.
The Ravens won a low-scoring tussle with the Steelers and are in the drivers seat in the AFC North, the Chargers are coming apart fast and Norv Turner’s job gets more and more tenous with each Philip Rivers sack, interception or bad play. These are teams that are fast heading in opposite directions and boosted by the non-suspension of Ed Reed the Ravens defense gets tougher. Im seeing the aged but effective Ravens defense forcing Rivers into mistakes and pulling out a close win.
49ers (7-2-1) @ Saints (5-5)
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans 4:25 (FOX)
Favorite No line due to uncertain SF QB status
Last Week 49ers defeated Bears 32-7, Saints defeated Raiders 38-17
Fast Fact The Niners haven’t allowed a 300 yard passer all season, but the last to do it was Drew Brees in last years playoff game.
The Niners looked absolutely fierce in a total domination of the Bears last Monday while the Saints have looked to have made their 0-4 start a distant memory and have climbed back into the playoff hunt. The questions of who will QB the Niners is now the paramount question with Colin Kaepernick filling in capably for the concussed Alex Smith last week. There is no such question in the Big Easy as Drew Brees continued to put up massive numbers and has had to with the leaky Saints defense. The Niners have played well over the last few weeks, the tie game excepted but Im thinking they are overdue for a flat road game or to lose a shootout. I think it happens here.
Pick-New Orleans (Upset of the Week)
Rams (3-6-1) @ Cardinals (4-6)
University of Phoenix, Glendale AZ 4:25 (FOX)
Favorite Cardinals by 1˝
Last Week Rams lost to Jets 27-13 Cardinals lost to Falcons 23-19
Fast Fact Since the Rams 17-3 win over the Cards on Oct. 4th neither team has won a game.
I thought the Rams were ready to turn a corner and instead they turned in a dud performance, looking lost against a beatable Jets squad. The Cards are a mess having lost their last six games after getting out to a 4-0 start, Im not real sure of which team will turn in the more horrid performance and especially with the Cards going through one QB after another. Ill give this one to the home team, since I just don’t trust the Rams.
Packers (7-3) @ NY Giants (6-4)
MetLife Stadium; E. Rutherford, NJ 8:20 (NBC)
Favorite Giants by 3
Last Week Packers defeated Lions 24-20, Giants were on a bye
Fast Fact The Giants have won their last 5 games after a bye, which may help Eli Manning who is 0-2 in the regular season against the Packers.
The last two Super Bowl champs face off in a primetime doozy that promises to be better than the clunker the other MetLife Stadium resident turned in. But you cant be totally sure about the G-Men who will turn in a couple head-scratchers here and there every year, witness the pre-bye thumping at the hands of the Bengals. Meanwhile the Pack have been grinding out wins to tighten the NFC North title race. The Pack manage their injuries and have the incomparable Aaron Rodgers to throw his usual bushel of accurate passes. This looks to be a tight well played contest. Ill take a chance here and bet on the road team because Im not convinced that the G-Men have their yearly spasm of bad games out of their system.
Monday, November 26
Panthers (2-8) @ Eagles (3-7)
Lincoln Financial Field, 8:30 (ESPN)
Favorite No Line due to uncertain PHI QB status
Last Week Panthers lost to Buccaneers 27-21, Eagles lost to Redskins 31-6
Fast Fact The Eagles have lost their last four by an average of 14 points.
A pair of disappointing teams wrap up the week, the Panthers played a good Bucs team tough but dropped it in OT while the Eagles are just wanting it to be all over. Nick Foles looks like he will continue to start for the Eagles and Cam Newton is playing better but is still looking very much like hes still trying to get through a tough sophomore jinx. Tough came to call since both of these teams are playing more for pride but Im thinking the Eagles are way overdue for a win.
Last Week 13-1 (Lock and Upset Correct)
Overall 104-55-1 (Thanksgiving games not included)