Another week of football will kick off with the Broncos traveling to Indy to take on the Colts. Before we get into it, I went 12-4 with my picks this week and brings my total up to 121-83. The Lions will be hoping to keep their playoff chances alive against the Bears while the Chiefs travel to L.A. to take on the white hot Chargers. Nick Foles and the Eagles will take on Eli and the Giants at MetLife to inch closer to home-field advantage while the game of the week will be the New England Patriots traveling to Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. So let’s get into it!
Broncos 23, Colts 16; 8:25pm NFL Network/NBC
This game could be an absolute mess given that Trevor Siemian has been one of the most inconsistent quarterbacks in the league and also because Jacoby Brissett will be playing against the “No Fly Zone” come Thursday Night. These team are essentially fighting for a better draft pick since they’ve both been eliminated from playoff contention. The Broncos should come away with a victory because their defense ranks among the top units in the league whereas the Colts defense ranks among one of the league’s worst. All Siemian has to do is not turn the ball over and they will come away with a win.
Lions 26, Bears 24; 4:30pm NFL Network
The Lions put in a clinic against the Bucs last week in the first half, but cooled off after halftime as Stafford threw 2 interceptions in that second half and still managed to come away with a narrow victory. Stafford didn’t look as bad as some may have anticipated and could be in for a shootout against the Bears come Saturday. The Bears are coming off a huge win against the Bengals which surprised a lot of people and will look to upset the Lions as well. This game will come down to the offense that doesn’t turn the ball over, which in all likelihood will be the Lions, so expect the Lions to come away with a win.
Chargers 24, Chiefs 23; 8:30pm NFL Network
A HUGE showdown between two teams that are both 7-6 coming into this game, but the Chargers are surging and cannot be stopped by opposing teams. Saturday will determine whether or not if the Chargers are playoff contenders. The Chargers put up 30 points against the Redskins last week and will most likely have a field day against a disappointing Chiefs defense. However, the Chiefs will keep this game close because it seems they have the Chargers’ number, but it should not be enough for the Chiefs to come away with a win. The Chargers will walk away with their biggest win of the season en route to a division title for the first time in years… but the Chiefs will make the game come down to the wire.
Eagles 23, Giants 20; 1:00pm FOX
With Carson Wentz out for the season with a torn ACL, Nick Foles will be taking over as the starter for the rest of the season. Given that Foles hasn’t played enough in Doug Pederson’s offense, this game could be closer than people expect. For the Giants, they’ll be hoping they beat the Eagles this time as opposed to last time where they lost on Jake Elliott’s 61-yard field goal with 1 second left. This time, they won’t have Odell Beckham Jr. or Brandon Marshall playing which will be the reason why the Giants will lose. Also, the Eagles run game and defense should be enough to come away with a close win in MetLife.
Redskins 22, Cardinals 21; 1:00pm FOX
Tough game to call here especially since the Redskins only put up 6 points on offense against the Chargers last week. The Cardinals also only put up 12 points on offense, which were all from Phil Dawson’s successful 4 field goals. Since the Redskins at home, the Redskins should find a way to pull out a win against the Cardinals especially since their offensive line is one of the worst units in the league. Realistically though, this game will be a close one and could even be a low-scoring affair since both teams’ quarterbacks will have a tough time throwing the ball against aggressive defenses.
Vikings 27, Bengals 16; 1:00pm CBS
After losing to the Carolina Panthers last week, the Vikings will be looking to get back in track especially since they’ll be looking to clinch a first-round bye for the playoffs. The Bengals simply look atrocious after only scoring 1 TD against the Bears last week. Andy Dalton faces a much more organized defense that will look to get in Dalton’s face early and often. The Bengals defense also looks more banged up than before and allowed the Bears to score 33 points against them. It would take a miracle for the Bengals to pull off an upset win.
Jaguars 31, Texans 19; 1:00pm FOX
Man, Blake Bortles may be better than everyone thought as he played another great game against a playoff caliber team in the Seahawks. The defense look great and the only way the Jaguars would lose is if Bortles plays like he did last year. As for the Texans, it seems as if T.J. Yates will be starting after Tom Savage suffered a concussion and what appeared to be seizure last week against the 49ers. All signs point towards a Jaguars win and it will not be a close game.
Panthers 24, Packers 20; 1:00pm FOX
This game is much tougher to call especially since Aaron Rodgers has been cleared to play this week after suffering a broken collarbone 7 weeks ago. The case for a Panthers win is more compelling than a win for Panthers loss. Firstly, the Panthers are at home, Aaron Rodgers will be rusty, and the chemistry between him and his receivers will not be as good as it was before he broke his collarbone. The only way the Panthers would lose is because Cam Newton would have to play a terrible game which isn’t impossible but it seems like the Panthers will squeeze out a close win and the Packers’ hopes will be over after a loss like this.
Saints 28, Jets 13; 1:00pm CBS
The Saints have a HUGE advantage when it comes to the quarterback because they have Drew Brees at the helm. The Jets meanwhile, will have Bryce Petty starting as quarterback after Josh McCown suffered a broken wrist which will end his season and possibly his career. The Saints defense will capitalize on Petty especially since he doesn’t have enough starts under his belt which will lead to the one-sided game in MetLife come Sunday.
Ravens 26, Browns 17; 1:00pm CBS
The Ravens have already beaten the Browns once and will beat them once again because of their defense even though they allowed to Steelers to score 39 points on them last week. The Browns could come away with a win if DeShone Kizer doesn’t turn the ball over—which has been rare this season—and if the Browns force Flacco into turning the ball over. However, it is unlikely that the Browns will win their first game against their division rivals this Sunday.
Bills 21, Dolphins 20; 1:00pm CBS
The Bills are coming off a close win against the Colts which took place in the snow and could win a close one against the Dolphins come Sunday especially since the Dolphins recently defeated the Patriots on Monday Night Football. This game may simply come down to the quarterback that plays for the Bills on Sunday. It may be Tyrod or Peterman, but this will be a factor in the Bills performance. The Dolphins could win if their defense limits the Bills offense to 3 yards like they did against the Patriots last week. Realistically, this game could go either way come Sunday.
Seahawks 26, Rams 25; 4:05pm FOX
The Seahawks are in desperate need of a win after their loss to the Jaguars and since the Seahawks are at home, it is more likely that they end up winning the game especially with the home crowd around them. However, Jared Goff and the Rams desperately need the win as week especially since they lost last week an since they’ve already lost to the Seahawks before. This game is a much different game especially since Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor are out. It will come down to the quarterback play and the defense that keeps the opposing team’s offense in check. This will almost certainly be decided by the final drive.
49ers 24, Titans 20; 4:25pm CBS
Surprised? Don’t be. The 49ers went into Houston and took care of business with a 10-point Win with Garropolo making the 49ers future even brighter considering he’s still undefeated in his career starts (5-0). The Titans however, can’t seem to find their identity on offense especially last week after only scoring 7 points against the Cardinals. The Titans defense will need to keep the team in the game and perhaps even win the game if the Titans offense remains stagnant again. Give me Garropolo to remain unbeaten.
Patriots 28, Steelers 25; 4:25pm CBS
Perhaps the game of the week and it is a game that will determine which team clinches home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Steelers looked great on offense putting up 39 points against the Ravens last week in a thriller on Sunday Night Football. However, the defense looked like a much different unit without Ryan Shazier which will be the reason that the Patriots will win this game. Brady and the Pats will be looking to take out their frustrations out on the Steelers after losing to the Dolphins in Miami on Monday Night Football. Also, Mike Tomlin is 0-4 against Bill Belichick’s Pats.
Cowboys 24, Raiders 20; 8:30pm NBC
The Cowboys will be looking to win this final game without Ezekiel Elliott and keep their playoff hopes alive on Sunday Night Football. Though this game may be in Oakland, the Cowboys defense should be able to keep pressure on Derek Carr and the offense. On a completely related note the Raiders only managed to score 15 points against the Chiefs and only came in the 2nd half. Also, the defense doesn’t scare anyone as they rank among one of the worst units in the league which most likely means that Dak Prescott will have a solid enough performance that will be enough to win the game.
Falcons 27, Bucs 24; 8:30pm ESPN
The Falcons are coming off a HUGE win against the Saints last week which saw linebacker Deion Jones seal the victory with a game-winning interception inside the red-zone. The Bucs are coming off a disappointing loss in which they turned the ball over 3 times against the Lions, which lost them the game. The Falcons should squeeze out a win since they have a more balanced offense and a quarterback who is not turnover-prone like Jameis Winston. But don’t think that the Bucs will make it easy Matt Ryan… just don’t expect them to win the game for the Bucs.