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
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…
Tom Brady hooked up with tight-ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski 11 times for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Patriots win over the Chargers Sunday. In two games, Gronkowski and Hernandez have combined to catch 24 passes for 337 yards and 5 touchdowns. Add two more weapons to Tom Brady’s seemingly endless arsenol…scary. Read more…
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…
Jets @ Steelers
The Jets have changed their tone in the week leading up to the AFC Championship Game, swapping their hate for Brady and the Patriots with love for Big Ben and the Steelers. But don’t let their lack of trash talk fool you, the Jets still have a tremendous amount of confidence going into hostile Pittsburgh as they have already defeated the Steelers in Heinz Field during the regular season, albeit without arguably the most valuable player to their specific team in Troy Polamalu. Sanchez and the Jets have become road warriors throughout their last two playoff appearances, but I just have a feeling that it’s all going to catch up with them in Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger is 4-1 against Rex Ryan coached defenses in his career and all signs point to a healthy Troy Polamalu playing in this week’s game. The Jets rushed for 89 yards against the Steelers in their regular season matchup, but the Steelers only allow 63 yards per game to opposing running backs. The Jets HAVE TO run the ball effectively in order to win games and I don’t see them having success against the best run stoppers in the game, especially without Damien Woody. I think Big Ben will out play Sanchez and the Steelers will be making yet another Super Bowl appearance.
Steelers win 23 – 16
#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