New Orleans Saints versus Cincinnati Bengals – in theory this game should be a blowout. The New Orleans Saints should easily be able to handle the Cincinnati Bengals. But, then again, the New Orleans Saints should’ve easily handled the Dallas Cowboys and had to depend on a fumble late in the game to win. If Cincinnati can find the ground game, they may be able to pull this game out. I’m still giving a slight edge to the New Orleans Saints. (Where is Cedric Benson? He is only averaging 3.6 per rush.)
Chicago Bears versus Detroit Lions – Detroit has played surprisingly well down the stretch but seems to find a way, sometime during the fourth quarter, to lose a game. The Lions have been playing extremely hard. I’m still not convinced that Jay Cutler has the discipline to consistently win in the NFL. Somehow, after 13 weeks of football, the Chicago Bears are 8-3. Shaun Hill, the second string quarterback for the Detroit Lions, is out for this game. No matter who is playing quarterback, the Chicago defense should be able to him. Chicago wins this game.
San Francisco 49ers versus Green Bay Packers – I thought Green Bay’s offense let them down last week against the Atlanta Falcons. They had at least two drives stall inside the red zone. They have to be able run the ball. Is Troy Smith the man for the 49ers? I don’t know. I know he’s played pretty well over the last couple of weeks. I look for Green Bay to figure out a way to win this game.
Denver Broncos versus Kansas City Chiefs – are the Kansas City Chiefs for real? They can go a long way in proving that this season has not been a fluke by beating the Denver Broncos. I’m choosing Kansas City in this one.
Cleveland Browns versus Miami Dolphins – if Chad Henne can avoid interceptions, the Dolphins have an opportunity to win this game easily. By the way, who is going to play quarterback for the Browns today? McCoy may give the Browns the best chance to win.
Buffalo Bills versus Minnesota Vikings – the Buffalo Bills had a heartbreaking loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. The Minnesota Vikings have all kinds of turmoil but they also have all kinds of talent. I think if Brett Favre can avoid turning over the ball the Minnesota Vikings should roll.
Washington Redskins versus New York Giants – Donovan McNabb can keep the Redskins in the game but he really needs some more weapons on offense. The New York Giants seemed to have snapped out of their zombielike state during their game against Jacksonville last week. Turnovers have killed the Giants this year. If the Washington defense can rattle Eli Manning early, the Redskins have an opportunity for victory – a slim opportunity. The New York Giants are simply a better team. I look for the Giants to figure out a way to win… And hang onto the football.
Jacksonville Jaguars versus Tennessee Titans – With all the turmoil that’s been going on in Tennessee, you would figure that they were out of the playoff hunt. Not true. If they can figure out a way to beat Jacksonville, they are definitely in the playoff hunt. Kerry Collins will start today a quarterback. He still has some juice left in his arm. Chris Johnson has not had the season that the Titans were hoping for. On the other side of the ball, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been led by an erratic David Garrard. He is had moments of brilliance (near-perfect performance against Dallas). He is also looked totally lost (fourth quarter against the Giants). I think the Titans are simply a better team. If the Titans can fix their quarterback trauma, they can still go deep into the playoffs. I’m picking Tennessee in this one.
Late Afternoon Games
Oakland Raiders versus the San Diego Chargers – the San Diego can take your the ball, they should be able to defeat the Oakland Raiders easily.
St. Louis Rams versus Arizona Cardinals – this is a tossup. Neither team has a proven quarterback. Good luck.
Dallas Cowboys versus the Indianapolis Colts – This game should be an easy victory for the Indianapolis Colts. Then again, maybe not. Peyton Manning has thrown nine interceptions in the last three weeks. The Colts are hurting at receiver. Their receivers are simply not getting open. People are double and triple teaming Reggie Wayne. The Dallas Cowboys secondary a suspect. They have been burned many times this year. On the other hand, Dallas should be able to run the ball. If they’re able to run the ball effectively with Felix Jones, they can keep the ball away from an ailing Indianapolis Colts offense. Run the ball early and often. Run the ball straight at the Indianapolis Colts and the Cowboys have an opportunity to win this game. The Colts linebackers are too fast to try to pitch out and out run them. Dallas does have an opportunity to win this game. I am hoping that they will win this game. The smart money is on the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning.
Carolina Panthers versus Seattle Seahawks – I’m going with Seattle. Carolina is simply awful. Will John Fox keep his job?
Atlanta Falcons versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers – this matchup this should be one of the best matchups of the afternoon. The Falcons play great at home but this game will be played in Tampa. Tampa Bay has lost some very close games over the last couple of weeks. I don’t think they’ll be able to pound the ball very well against the Atlanta Falcons defense. Josh Freeman is going to have to throw the ball and make plays down the field. I’m not sure if he’s going to be able to do this. On the other hand, the Atlanta Falcons must run the ball effectively. I think they should be able to do this. I’m choosing Atlanta in this game. Matt Ryan has been playing very well over the last several weeks.
Pittsburgh Steelers versus Baltimore Ravens – This is the night game. As I predicted, earlier this season, the Ravens do not show the same intensity that they did five or six games ago. They seem to be a step slower on defense. I think that the Pittsburgh Steelers should be able to pound the ball and move the Ravens defensive line. This will set up play action pass and expose the ravens secondary. I think this is going to be an excellent game. I’m going with the Steelers.
Monday Night Football
New York Jets versus New England Patriots – I simply don’t like the New England Patriots. I think that Bill Belichick is cocky but then again, when you win three or four Super Bowls I guess you can be cocky. Over the last several weeks, Sanchez has been outstanding in the clutch but average the rest of the game. I look for the Jets to pound the ball early and often. If they can avoid turnovers, they can stay in this game. The defense of the New York Jets has been good but not great. The safeties can be exploited. I look for Tom Brady to use his young tight ends to expose some of the Jets issues at safety. This is some of the best football that the NFL has to offer. I look forward to this game. In the end, I think the Patriots win this game.