My picks to win are in bold.
Note: The Thursday night game between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers has been excluded.
New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers
Tough game but Giants offense will be the difference.
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
Saints struggle on the road and Falcons have finally gone back to the run.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton has played well, but he hasn’t faced a defense like the Steelers yet.
St. Louis Rams @ Cleveland Browns
Browns are horrendous on offense. Steven Jackson and Brandon Lloyd should have huge games.
Buffalo Bills @ Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys are without Miles Austin, and Bills want revenge after suffering a beatdown at home.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
MJD should run for miles.
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
Tebow will find a way to get the dubb.
Washington Redskins @ Miami Dolphins
Dolphins aren’t as bad as their record says they are.
Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles
No DeSean Jackson but this is a must win.
Houston Texans @ Tampa Bay Bucs
Gerald McCoy is out for the season. Not good against the league’s best rushing attack.
Tennessee Titans @ Carolina Panthers
Chris Johnson has been nonexistent.
Baltimore Ravens @ Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks commit too many turnovers.
Detroit Lions @ Chicago Bears
Bears are playing tremendously on both sides of the ball.
New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Tom Brady is 0-2 on the road against Rex Ryan’s Jets.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
Should be a shootout, but Vikings can’t hang with Rodgers and co.
*Last Week: 8-6
As a Giants fan, I was obviously elated when my G-Men went into Foxboro and took down the mighty Patriots. Eli Manning outplayed Tom Brady and justified his pre-season elite quarterback status claims as he led the offense on an 8 play 80 yard game winning drive with only 1:30 left on the clock. The drive culminated in a Jake Ballard touchdown, and the Giants won 24-20. Read more…
I’ll be honest, I thought Tebow would play much better than he did and frankly he played poorly for the first 57 minutes of the game. He missed receivers left and right and took way too many sacks. To put it straight, he needs to get a lot better. But, and this a massive but, Tim Tebow won the game! He led the Broncos back from 15 points down with 3 minutes to go and eventually won on a field goal in overtime. It wasn’t pretty, in fact it was hard to watch at times but Tebow is a winner and that’s exactly what he did. Read more…
Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets were absolutely abysmal Sunday night in Baltimore. The Jets scored 3 of their 17 points on offense while the 2 touchdowns came from a Joe McKnight kickoff return and a David Harris pick six. The Ravens stifled Sanchez, holding him to 112 yards passing while completing only 11 passes. Shonn Greene didn’t fare any better as he rushed for a measly 23 yards on 10 carries. The Ravens weren’t much better on offense either, but 4 forced turnovers and 3 defensive touchdowns helped the Birds cruise to a 34-17 shellacking. Read more…
We all got to see what the Colts will look like without Peyton Manning under center, and it was well, in a word, pathetic. The Colts offense was anemic and the defense was overwhelmed. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to most as Peyton Manning IS the entire Colts offense in literally every dynamic. Their defense is also desperately reliant on Manning as they are built to play with a lead. Freeney and Mathis are straight-up monsters against the pass and pretty average when it comes to stopping the run. They both need a lead in order to pin their ears back and rush the passer. Look for more of the same in terms of play on the field and results from the Colts for the remaining 15 weeks of the season. It’s going to be a looooong season for Colts fans. Hey, who knows. Maybe Indy will LUCK out (pun intended) in the end. Read more…
Can Chad Henne prove he’s the quarterback of the future?
Dolphins fans seem unhappy with the Wolverine alum’s inconsistency and it doesn’t look like his teammates are clamoring in his defense. I think he can be a very good NFL quarterback going forward. Henne had a 61.4% completion percentage last season, better than many notable QBs like Mark Sanchez, Matt Cassel, Kyle Orton, Brett Favre, Jay Cutler, Sam Bradford, and Matt Hasselbeck. Further, Henne also threw for the fifteenth most total passing yards in the NFL in 2010. That ranked higher than some bigger name quarterbacks such as Mark Sanchez, Matt Hasselbeck, Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger, Jay Cutler, Matt Cassel, and David Garrard. Basically, Henne has potential and plenty of room to grow.
Will the media hysteria surrounding Tim Tebow continue to be a major distraction?
At the start of the preseason the Broncos were set to make Tim Tebow their starting quarterback as they were dangling Kyle Orton on the trading-block. Now, about a month later, many experts and media members think Tebow shouldn’t even be in the league. Tebow mania has taken over the Denver Broncos organization and has completely removed all attention on new head coach John Fox and starting QB Kyle Orton. Will the Tebow situation continue to be a distraction? You bet.
San Diego Chargers
Can they finally play up to their enormous potential?
Norv Turner is on the hot seat, again! The Chargers had the NFL’s number one rated defense and offense last season and didn’t make the playoffs. Are you kidding me!? On paper, the Chargers would have probably won two or three Super Bowls by now. Unfortunately, the games are played on the field and to put it bluntly, they better play up to their potential or else Norv Turner will be outta here.
Is Joe Flacco ready to take charge?
The Ravens lost Todd Heap and Derrick Mason, two of Flacco’s main targets. To make up for those losses they acquired Lee Evans and drafted Torrey Smith out of Maryland. Their also relying upon second year tight end Ed Dickson to fill the huge void left by Heap. With an ageing defense and young receivers, it’s now time for Flacco to step up and take the reins. Flacco has won the third most games in his first four years in NFL history, but to be honest, that was mainly due to the fact that they had an overwhelmingly suffocating defense. Flacco has only been asked to “manage the game” so far in his young career and I’m just not sold on his ability to become among the league’s best.
Is Andy Dalton the quarterback of the future?
The four-year starter at TCU has been given the tall task of trying to lead one of the worst run franchises in professional sports. To make matters worse, Dalton is without the Bengals’ best offensive weapons like Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, and potentially Cedric Benson. However, I do think Dalton has the potential to be a very solid starting quarterback in this league. Unfortunately, he has the added burden and curse of being drafted by the lowly Bengals.
In a word, yes. Phillips is most recently remembered for his less than stellar tenure as head coach/defensive coordinator with the Cowboys. However, when solely focusing on defense coach Phillips is among the better coordinators. Phillips has had great success as the defensive coordinator for the Broncos, Bills, Falcons, and Chargers. Couple the hiring of Phillips with the additions of Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning and I believe the Texans defense will be much improved.
Can Kerry Collins hold down the fort in Peyton Manning’s absence?
Peyton Manning’s neck injury has Colts fans holding their collective breath. Kerry Collins was brought in to steer the ship in case Manning isn’t ready to play, but I really don’t see Collins making much of a difference in the win/loss column. The Colts offense is built around repetition, timing, and audibles and Collins hasn’t been with the team nearly long enough to grasp any one of those aspects of the offense. Honestly, I think Curtis Painter is a much better option at quarterback should Manning miss any games.
The pride of the AFC North returns basically every starter from last season. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will not miss any games, unlike last year, and the Steelers’ defense is once again projected to be among the league’s best. The Steelers aren’t without issues though, as losing Flozell Adams and Max Starks from an already shaky offensive line will definitely take its toll throughout the course of the season. Overall, I think the Steelers will coast to another first place finish within the division.
Key Arrivals – John Malecki, John Gilmore
Key Departures – Flozell Adams, Max Starks, Matt Spaeth
Prediction – 12-4/First in AFC North Read more…
#5 Ravens @ #2 Steelers
One word can sum up this game: WAR. This is an old-fashioned brawl between two hated rivals. I think both teams will try to establish the run and both Reshard Mendenhall and Ray Rice will find that it’s going to be easier said then done as the Steelers and Ravens are very strong up front. This game is going to be decided by the quarterbacks, Roethlisberger and Flacco. So, with that in mind, I have to go with Roethlisberger as he’s undefeated in the AFC Divisional Round when the Steelers have a bye, plus he’s at home. I think this will be a low scoring, dirty, hard-fought, bitter battle between not only two of the best defensive units in football but two of the best teams in the NFL. Can’t wait for this game, like I said previously: it’s going to be an all out WAR.
Steelers win 16 – 13
#6 Jets @ #1 Patriots
If you thought Rex Ryan’s comments on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots straddled the line separating confidence and utter stupidity then Antonio Cromartie’s latest choice words on the “Golden Boy” definitely pushed over into the stupidity category. All this talk is just more unnecessary fuel for the fire for Belichick and the Pats. Ryan, Cromartie, and the rest of the Jets have dug their own grave and come this Sunday their coffin will be nailed and the dirt thrown on top. I think Brady and Belichick will put yet another beat down on the cocky Jets and win by double-digits in their business-as-usual demeanor. I look for the game to be close at first, but Brady will torch the Jets secondary for 3 tds en route to another AFC Championship Game.
Patriots win 31 – 16