Week 16: Merry Christmas to All … And to All Some Good Football!

Two more weeks till the postseason. Let’s finish this season strong shall we?

SATURDAY

FALCONS @ Lions – The Falcons just shellacked the New York Football Giants 52-0. No reason to think they won’t take it to the Lions on Saturday night. The story of the night will be Calvin Johnson going for Jerry Rice’s record. He only needs 182 yards, so there’s no reason Megatron shouldn’t break the record. Unfortunately for the Lions they will be staring at a 4-11 record after an impressive 10-6 record last year.

SUNDAY

SAINTS @ Cowboys – This is a dome after all everyone. The Saints are looking to play spoiler now and are coming off a nice shutout of their own against a good Bucs offense. This is usually the time where Romo and the Cowboys typically slip-up. I would say to expect a lot of points in the “Shootout” in Big D. three way tie in the east means the pressure is on the Cowboys and Romo and it’s time for them to prove their worth, but don’t expect them to.

Titans @ PACKERS – The Titans needed another ridiculous Mark Sanchez fumble and game in general to top the Jets on Monday Night Football. Chris Johnson showed the league he can still be as explosive as anyone on his touchdown run against the Jets. The Packers can seal up their division with a win here and don’t expect any less with the erratic Jake Locker leading his Titans into Lambeau. The Packers are going to lean on Ryan Grant in their running game after Alex Green went down with a concussion.

COLTS @ Chiefs – Typically  I don’t like to pick Andrew Luck away from home, but look at his competition. The Chiefs needed to lean heavily on Jamaal Charles each and every game but abandoned the run very quickly because their inept quarterbacks would lead them to three and outs. In addition the defense couldn’t keep them in games while being on the field the majority of the game. Look at the time of possession last week against the lowly Raiders, lopsided. Andrew Luck is taking his team into the playoffs after a magical season in which they have overcome him forcing turnovers.

Bills @ DOLPHINS – A football film expert has come out and said he can’t turn off Dolphins games. Interesting, huh? Joe Philbin has taken a team of small name guys besides Reggie Bush along with a rookie quarterback to a quiet 6-8 record and could go .500 for the season. The Bills keep flip-flopping between Ryan Fitzpatrick’s position with the team, i.e. is he the quarterback for the next few years. If the Bills defense can get healthy next year and they can fix their problems from this year, they could definitely compete in the AFC.

CHARGERS @ Jets – Greg McElroy is looked at as the Jets new savior. That’s a lot of pressure for a guy who had it pretty easy at Alabama with Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Julio Jones lined up with him and one of the best defenses college football had ever seen. Now he lines up with Shonn Greene, Bilal Powell and Jeremy Kerley, yikes. The Chargers are coming off a dud against the Panthers after upsetting the Steelers, I am picking the Chargers here against my gut on how bad the Chargers have been this season.

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REDSKINS @ Eagles – RGIII is back after his backup, Captain Kirk Cousins did his job and won a must-win game for the Redskins. Now they go to Philly to face the lifeless Eagles. Nick Foles played nicely against the Bucs bad secondary, but wasn’t as fortunate against the Bengals. The Redskins need this win as well, but the Eagles could play spoiler here.

Bengals @ STEELERS – Big game here in Pittsburgh. Bengals have not proven they can win the must wins yet, but the Steelers thrive off of these. Todd Haley needs to open up the playbook a little against a good Bengals front seven. If the Bengals win this game in Pittsburgh it’s a dagger to the Steelers playoff hopes and the AFC Playoff picture is sealed.

Rams @ BUCCANEERS – The Rams have been quietly good this year as they sit at 6-7-1. Their defense has been solid and Jeff Fisher has proven he is still a very good head coach. The Bucs have simply fallen apart in losing four straight games. Their offensive juggernaut was shut out by the leaky Saints defense last week and I wouldn’t expect the same this week, but Josh Freeman hasn’t been the same over the past few weeks.

Raiders @ PANTHERS – The Raiders ate the clock last week and Darren McFadden ate up every carry he could as well. They shutout the lowly Chiefs, while surprisingly holding Jamaal Charles to a mere ten yards. They won’t be able to keep up with the red-hot Panthers who are on a roll coming in having won three of their last four games and the offense is really clicking. Good Luck stopping “Scam” Newton Oakland.

PATRIOTS @ Jaguars – Haha won’t write too much here, besides the Pats are angry and Tom Brady is staring at the consecutive games with a touchdown record. Good Luck Mike Mularkey and Chad Henne in keeping up with Brady & Co.

Vikings @ TEXANS – The Texans provided themselves with a big win last week, taking the South division and nearly shoring up a bye for themselves come playoff time. Adrian Peterson needs 292 yards to break Eric Dickerson’s single season records. What a year for the guy who tore his MCL and ACL in the last week of the season last year. An absolute freak, this guy would have my vote for MVP of the league and I will surely be rooting for him to break the record. They can’t abandon the run today.

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GIANTS @ Ravens – The Giants need to turn that switch on that we have all been accustomed to seeing them do in the last few games. The Ravens have slipped and fallen quickly losing their last three games. Their defense is simply not the same as what it used to be and won’t get any better this week with more injuries racking up and Ray Lewis being kept inactive. The Giants are coming off a huge loss to the Falcons in Atlanta, but the Giants are one of those teams that can always overlook last week’s loss and next week’s game. There could be some scoring here.

Browns @ BRONCOS – The Browns are chippy and are never really out of their losses, but the Broncos will take this one easy as Peyton keeps making his case for the MVP. He will definitely win comeback player of the year. The Broncos defense is very dangerous and one of their big free agent signings in Tracy Porter is now coming off the bench because of the emergence of Tony Carter playing alongside of Champ Bailey.

BEARS @ Cardinals – This game will have too many sacks to keep track of and will be won by whichever defense plays better. The Cardinals are coming off a decimation of the Lions in Arizona. The Bears have now lost four straight games and look like a completely different team without Brian Urlacher and the one we saw at the beginning of the year. They need this win to stay on track in the playoffs.

49ers @ SEAHAWKS – The game of the week, and rightfully so NBC snatched it up in their flex schedule. I can’t pick against the ‘Hawks when they are at home. The Niners may be too happy after a very big win in Foxborough against the Patriots. Russell Wilson could be a sleeper for rookie of the year, and isn’t getting the press like Luck or Griffin, but should be considering his height limitations. Go ‘Hawks!

sirenUPSET ALERT – Today the BearsCowboys49ers and the Bengals on Upset Alert.

tom-hanks-in-cast-away

SURVIVOR PICKPatriots here and no questions asked. (If Picked already: PackersPanthers, and Colts).

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Week 15: Who makes a Playoff Run?

We have placed ourselves back into double digit victory discussion, with a 10-6 week.

CHEEESEEEE!!!

CHEEESEEEE!!!

A lot has happened over the past week in the NFL, the former NFL Commissioner has dropped the suspensions of players related to the Saints bounty case and now Roger Goodell is talking about expanding the playoffs (of course to talk the heat off of himself for suspending players that were now exonerated for such actions.) Let’s jump into this week’s picks where now the going gets tough and the playoff contenders get going.

THURSDAY

BENGALS @ Eagles – The Eagles stunned the Buccaneers and their playoff hopes with 2 seconds left on the clock last week. The Bengals defense is better than the Buccaneers as a whole and won’t have a problem getting to rookie Nick Foles in the backfield. They must contain Bryce Brown, which seemed natural for those Bucs last week (they sport the #1 run defense, however.) Andy Dalton became the third quarterback, with Marino and Peyton Manning being the other two, to eclipse twenty touchdowns in his first two seasons. Dalton and A.J. Green have remarkable chemistry and now A.J. Green has to get over a sure touchdown drop last week in an upset by the Cowboys. Go Bengals here because they want and need it more.

SUNDAY

GIANTS @ Falcons – A lot to prove for both teams here. The Giants can prove they can still be the team to beat from the NFC, and the Falcons are trying to prove they have become that team. It is a rematch of the Wild Card playoff round last year in which the Giants romped the Falcons 24-2 in the Meadowlands. There will be no Ahmad Bradshaw so the rookie David Wilson will carry the load against a bad run defense. The Falcons come back to Georgia after a bad loss to Cam Newton and Cam Newton only, so they will be angry.

PACKERS @ Bears – After the first matchup the Bears went on a tear and it seemed they had climbed to the top of the NFC North, but in the past five weeks they’ve looked like a completely different team. That’s what injuries and a bad offensive line will do to you. The Packers on the other hand have ascended to the top of the NFC yet again. They are getting healthy at the right time and rookie running back Alex Green is beginning to step up. The Bears need to keep Jay Cutler upright, and that is going to be tough with Clay Matthews getting ready to play. Good Luck, Jay.

Ouch-town population you, Jay

Ouch-town population you, Jay

Redskins @ BROWNS – Kirk Cousins is going to get the start for the ‘Skins in Cleveland. Cousins has proved he can step into games and take over with his arm, not his legs like RGIII. The Redskins need him to be big, but it’s going to be tough against a suddenly good defense. Another rookie quarterback needs to step up for the ‘Skins against a rookie quarterback for the Browns. I think the Browns have been rejuvenated the past few weeks and it’s weird typing that. I take the Browns here in the upset.

Vikings @ RAMS – Adrian Peterson will continue to light up the world, but Christian Ponder will continue to be lit up by the world. The Rams defense is good and underrated, but are better against the pass than the run, lucky for the Vikings robot running back. Peterson needs to average 169 yards over the final three weeks to surpass Eric Dickerson’s rushing record. While I think Adrian Peterson is the greatest back of our generation, I don’t believe he will do it, as much as I want him to. I am picking the Rams because Sam Bradford > Christian Ponder.

Jaguars @ DOLPHINS – The Jaguars just called me up and asked me to play running back. I respectfully declined, of course. The Dolphins sport another underrated defense and a rookie quarterback that has shown flashes of maturity and serious potential. Chad Henne has a grasp on the starting job, but struggled mightily last week without his favorite target in Cecil Shorts. Shorts will be back this week, but I don’t think their defense is good enough to win this game. Montell Owens almost had 100 yards against the Jets last week, but the Dolphins sport a much better run defense. Dolphins based on a talent standpoint.

Buccaneers @ SAINTS – Bad thing for the Saints: Buccaneers rank #1 against the rush. Good thing for the Saints: They don’t typically run the ball very much especially at home. Josh Freeman and his Bucs are coming off a shocking loss Nick Foles’ Eagles that knocked them out of the playoffs. This will be a high-scoring game if you ever see one. Brees and Freeman better be locked into all fantasy lineups this week. Brees in the Superdome trying to ruin playoff lives from here on out!

BRONCOS @ Ravens – Peyton is doing what Peyton does. Just running things in the NFL week by week. Moreno has stepped up mightily since Willis McGahee went to the I.R. and the defense has been steady all year as a top 5 NFL defense. The Ravens’ record does not indicate how the good the team is, because their 9-3 record is an overestimation of this team. Their defense is not the same and they need to realize it, their offense just fired its offensive coordinator after another disappointing year, except this time they won’t give the ball to their best player as much. The Broncos are the better team and it will show in Baltimore today.

Colts @ TEXANS – I have to be honest, I like those Texans letter-man jackets. I have to be honest, I can’t believe they worse those. The Texans defense was embarrassed on national television. The Patriots exploited all of their weaknesses with all the injuries they have suffered. The Colts are coming off another comeback win against a bad Titans team. Andrew Luck is still playing poorly on the road, but against this shaky secondary it’s hard to not believe in him putting up numbers today. The Texans are still the better team and will come out with full force in Reliant Stadium.

SEAHAWKS @ Bills – Seattle is underrated let’s get that out of the way. “Pint-sized” quarterback Russell Wilson has led this team to becoming a contender, the biggest problem is, most of their wins come at home. The Bills excel at one thing and that’s running the ball, and the Seahawks excel both defensive aspects. The Seahawks will make the playoffs, unfortunately for them they will not host any games. The Bills just lost at home to the Rams after having the lead. The Bills front-office won’t stop talking about the status of their franchise quarterback and it’s a flip-flop every week. They should focus on their weekly opponent instead of on who their quarterback NEXT year is going to be.

Darren Sharper ... Hold ma  ****

Darren Sharper … Hold ma ****

LIONS @ Cardinals – The Cardinals defense has to keep them in this game. Good luck! It’s the Ryan Lindley show again in ‘Zona. Let’s see how good the Lions defense looks this week against the Cardinals because typically they make everyone look like top 10 defenses. Patrick Peterson wants one on one against Megatron who is moving toward Jerry Rice’s single-season record. Imagine if the rushing and receiving record are broken in one year, but two non-playoff teams, intriguing.

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Panthers @ CHARGERS – This may not be as high-scoring as everyone would think. The Chargers sport a pretty good defense that was able to abuse the Steelers last week before they gave up some garbage time touchdowns. Cam Newton is on a tear right now, but I believe that won’t continue today in San Diego. However, Philip Rivers probably won’t play well either. I think this will be pretty ugly from a bunch of underachieving teams.

STEELERS @ Cowboys – Toss-up of the week here. I think the Steelers know how to win these games and the Cowboys typically lose these even at home. I don’t believe Dez will make that big of an impact. The Cowboys need this win or they can count themselves out of the playoffs, on the other hand the Steelers can put themselves out of the playoff spot with a loss. Their bigger game is next week against the Bengals, but they usually don’t look ahead.

Chiefs @ RAIDERS – The “yikes” game for the week. Expect a lot of Jamaal Charles and a lot of punts. Both of these teams have been hopeless causes all year and the Chiefs were destroyed by the Browns last week, while the Raiders lost to the Broncos before the game even started. I pick the home team in this matchup.

49ers @ PATRIOTS – This is the game of the week, but the Patriots showed they are still the team to beat. They took it to the Texans and early. The 49ers better be ready to go as soon as the ball is kicked. Kaepernick has come down to earth recently and hasn’t had to take the games over like he did the first couple of games. The 49ers are 1st in defense and the Pats are 1st in offense, so what will give?

MONDAY

JETS @ Titans – Easily the worst Monday Night game of the year. I pick the Jets because the Titans are bad and the Jets are better. Mark Sanchez didn’t play well again last week when the Jets inched out a win against the Jaguars without their best receiver. Jake Locker is the most erratic quarterback in the NFL. The guy looked great last week after looking like a college quarterback since coming back from his injury. Mark Sanchez cannot turn the ball over for the Jets to win, but for the Titans to win Chris Johnson has to go off and Kenny Britt cannot be dominated by Antonio Cromartie.

siren

UPSET ALERT – I am putting the Texans, the Vikings , the Falcons and the Redskins on upset alery.

tom-hanks-in-cast-away

 

Survivor Pick – First of all if you’re still in survivor pools, just good for you. This week I’ll take the Lions to keep it going. (If picked already: BengalsTexans, and Seahawks.)

Week 10: Start of Movember

12-2 last week … SOMEBODY STOP ME!!! … We are now two weeks into “No Shave November” …  Who’s taking part in it??

Our winning percentage is off the charts right now, so why should we stop??

THURSDAY

COLTS @ Jaguars – I called the emotional win for the Colts last week. The team has shaved their heads in honor of Chuck Pagano. They are on a roll and Andrew Luck is playing less like a rookie each game. The Jaguars are a team that cannot stop going in the wrong direction. They lack weapons on any side of the ball without MoJo-Drew. The Colts will win this easy as long as they keep their eyes on the prize.

SUNDAY

GIANTS @ Bengals – The Bengals are mired in a big slump after their offense started on fire and their defense was just awful compared to last year’s surprising squad. Andy Dalton has thrown an interception in each game this year and the Giants are prone to taking the ball away on defense (not as much as that team in Chicago.) The Giants loss to the Steelers was a tough one, because the Steelers patch-work running game was able to go straight down the Giants throat. Eli Manning is starting to slump and Ron Jaworski from ESPN said his arm looks “tired”. The Giants would do well for themselves by winning this away game before their bye because one of those second place teams actually has to win today by definition.

Titans @ DOLPHINS – Jake Locker’s healthy after Hasselbeck gets lit up? You’re kidding??? What a shocker! The Titans need Locker to stay healthy to stay relevant in the AFC South because the Colts are getting better weekly and the Titans are light-years ahead of them right now. The Dolphins could have won the game last week against the Colts, but Ryan Tannehill was outdone by his rookie counterpart in Andrew Luck. Reggie Bush is starting to get back to form, which spells trouble for a bad Titans defense.

LIONS @ Vikings – The Vikings took it to the Lions in the first meeting this year. That’s when the Vikings were a surprising team, but they’ve since begun their descent back down to Earth. The Lions are starting to click, even with a running game last weekend. Adrian Peterson continued his absolutely inhuman ways last week on a ridiculous run that he nearly scored on. His absurd play cannot compensate for Christian Ponder’s recent plummet.

Bills @ PATRIOTS – Too easy. The spread is now at 14, and some are probably tempted to take it … WHY NOT! The Bills have been talking all week about drafting a franchise quarterback, when they just signed their current one to a new deal last year mid-way through the season. Never a smart move. The Patriots are coming off their bye and will look to pad their AFC East lead at home against a bad, BAD Bills defense.

Smooth like Keith Stone !

Falcons @ SAINTS – This is a big game AND a big rivalry game. Now the Falcons are definitely the more complete team, but the Saints are facing straight must-wins and they get this one at home. The Falcons have been skating along some thin ice in a lot of their wins this year. Drew Brees didn’t even have a Drew Brees game, but they still smoked the Eagles on Monday Night. I think this is the game the Falcons finally lose.

Chargers @ BUCCANEERS – The Chargers are their usual selves just hanging around .500 and keep underachieving. Philip Rivers is not of the Big Ben, Eli Manning, Tom Brady, Peyton, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers group where you can make any receiver look like fool’s gold. They have some offensive talent in Mathews, Gates and Floyd, but it hasn’t clicked yet. The Bucs are rolling and have become a Fantasy Football juggernaut. Freeman has been playing much better with weapons like Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams (resurgence), and the “Muscle Hamster” (Doug Martin). I like the Bucs at home.

BRONCOS @ Panthers – I was just watching Sunday NFL Countdown and a couple of the guys picked the Panthers and all I could do was shake my head. The Broncos may be the most dangerous team in the AFC right now. The defense is solid and almost just as good as the Texans defense, but I definitely give the edge to Peyton Manning running an offense over Matt Schaub. The Broncos will not lose this game because Peyton is just too hot right now.

Raiders @ RAVENS – That banged-up Ravens defense didn’t look to shabby last week only giving up 15 points to the Browns and keeping them out of the end zone. The Raiders are going to be without their top two receivers and will most certainly have to rely on Carson Palmer, who has been much better this year than last. The ball NEEDS to go to Ray Rice more if the Ravens want to stay a legitimate playoff contender. This shouldn’t be a tough game for them though.

Jets @ SEAHAWKS – The 12th man is doing its job this year. The Seahawks are 4-0 this year and I don’t see that changing this Sunday. The Jets have been more scrappy than ever since their two most talented players went down to season-ending injuries. Mark Sanchez continues his poor play and probably won’t break out of it against a good Seahawks defense that held Christian Ponder to 63 yards. Rex Ryan salivates over rookie quarterbacks usually, but if they can’t contain Marshawn Lynch, it’ll be a different story.

COWBOYS @ Eagles – Andy Reid will not finish out the year, and it’s not necessarily his fault. Michael Vick probably won’t be back next year and it isn’t his fault. Yeah he’s turning the ball over but he has 2 seconds to get rid of the ball, and they’ve basically abandoned the run. There’s too much talent on this Eagles team on both sides of the ball for them to be 3-5, and the same thing can be said for their division rival Cowboys. Tony Romo didn’t turn the ball over last week and they still lost. Their defense played very well last week, but the offense was not opportunistic and missed a lot of chances to win the game. I don’t expect either of these coaches back next year.

Rams @ 49ERS – Danny Amendola’s coming back already. It won’t make a difference against this 49ers team. Both of these teams come off their byes to face physical defenses. The Rams have only really been blown out against the Patriots in London and the 49ers have appeared to be on a mission since getting rolled by the New York Giants. Both quarterbacks need some time and their running games if either one wants to win this game. This feels like a coaching chess-match to me, but it’ll go to the more talented team ,but Jeff Fisher has helped turn this Rams franchise around already.

TEXANS @ Bears – This is the toss-up of the day. The weather report says it’s going to rain … a lot and all day. That favors defense, as if these defenses needed any help. The Bears defense can’t keep their hands off the ball and themselves out of the endzone. Jay Cutler is winning these games and usually by playing better in the fourth quarter, surprisingly. What does not bode well for the Bears is that the Texans can hold onto the ball very securely and are solid on both sides of the ball and are probably the best AFC team. This could even be a Superbowl preview ladies and gents.

MONDAY

STEELERS @ Chiefs – Why bother justifying this when the Chiefs have turned the ball over more than anyone and have never had a lead this season. Steelers seem to only be getting better and without their best defensive players. Watch out AFC! Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe are wasting away in Kansas City’s offense.

UPSET ALERT – I am placing the traveling Broncos on Upset Alert, as well as the Falcons because the worst team to face is a desperate team that needs to win the game to stay relevant, and a good one at that. The Lions have a worse record so that means the Vikings get an Upset Alert from me.

SURVIVOR PICK – Steelers are a mortal lock. (If Picked Already: PatriotsRavens49ers , and Seahawks).

Those are my two cents … cash ’em in!

T-Catz (Anthony)Saints

 

 

Week 9: Power Outage

So, we made it to 11 wins again. 11-3 last week, and like Train 777 we are “Unstoppable” right now!

Watch Out!

Our prayers go out to those who have been hurt and have been severely affected by Hurricane Sandy. Please donate what you can and do not forget those in need in their time of biggest need!

Let’s get to it!

THURSDAY

Chiefs @ CHARGERS – The Chiefs are historically bad, never possessing a lead at any point in regulation this season. They want to start Brady Quinn over the man they’ve paid millions of dollars to. The Chargers did their best Chiefs impression last week losing to the Browns 7-6 in ugly weather. The Chargers won’t find their path to victory so slippery this week in an easy win.

BRONCOS @ Bengals – Peyton Manning is picking up where he left off two seasons ago. The Broncos look like a top five team this year and definitely top two in the AFC. Their offense and their defense are complete and are on a roll, their defense held the high-powered Saints to a mere fourteen points. The Bengals are coming off their bye and they are at home, but are simply outmatched. Champ Bailey figures to shadow AJ Green, which will be interesting to watch, but it won’t matter unless the Bengals defense can stop Peyton.

RAVENS @ Browns – The Ravens are coming off their bye and have hopefully, for their own sake, have fixed their defensive problems. The ball needs to go to Ray Rice more, Flacco can be a good, possibly great quarterback but Ray Rice needs to be the centerpiece, plain and simple. The Browns, pulled out an ugly win last week. They just aren’t good, but Brandon Weeden is coming along, but needs to be quicker since he’s already 28 years old. Keep throwing the ball to Josh Gordon and good things will happen.

Cardinals @ PACKERS – The Cardinals can’t keep their quarterback upright and you know Clay Matthews is salivating at this fact. The Packers didn’t look great last week against the lowly Jags, but what’s to expect when your two best receivers are injured. They will roll this week, no worries Cheeseheads.

BEARS @ Titans – The Bears squeaked out a win against the underachieving Panthers. They need to be better on offense for four quarters if they want to be real contenders even if their defense is lights out. The Titans are coming off a tough loss to the Colts in Indy. The Titans have relied heavily on Chris Johnson the past few weeks as it appears he may be headed back to his 2K form, but it won’t be easy against this Bears defense.

Dolphins @ COLTS– The Colts get to stay at home after beating the Titans in a tight game that went to overtime. The Dolphins are coming off a huge win in New Jersey after shellacking the Jets. The Dolphins’ defense is the biggest story this year, their run defense is solid, but their pass defense is middle of the road. They have found ways to win their games and sit at 4-3. The Colts have looked better with Andrew Luck under center, but their defense just isn’t all that good. This is a tough match-up but I’ll take the grittier team. I am switching my pick and picking the emotional team because Chuck Pagano will be in the stadium to watch the Colts.

Panthers @ REDSKINS– RG3 drew comparisons to Cam Newton when he came into the league earlier this year, but he is playing better than Cam did. He doesn’t turn the ball over as much as Cam did and he seems to be in control more; his offense has been shaped to match his skill-set. The Panthers definitely played their best game against the Bears, but could not finish. The ‘Skins are coming off an ugly loss to the Steelers, expect a whole different game from the Shannies.

LIONS @ Jaguars – The Lions are fighting their way back to being relevant, but it’s a long road ahead. Stafford seems to be improving as he lit up a good Seahawks secondary last week en route to a big win for the Lions. The Jaguars fought wholeheartedly against the Packers, but with the lack of talent they never really had a chance, much like this week unless Rashad Jennings can simply go ballistic.

Bills @ TEXANS – Both teams are coming off their bye, and Mario Williams is going back “home”. It won’t matter. The Texans are going to beat the Bills handily, expect a lot of throws from Mr. Harvard. The biggest question will be, does Mario Williams get a standing ovation or hear the boo birds?

Steelers @ GIANTS – Battle of the 2004 NFL Draft! Big Ben has two rings and so does Eli, but that doesn’t matter now. What matters now is who will be the better team Sunday. The Steelers have not been able to keep their starting running backs healthy as Isaac Redman will be starting this Sunday after coming off a good win against the Redskins. The Giants were rolling into halftime against the Cowboys in Dallas, but started to crumble. Then, Captain Eli led his team to victory as the Giants got lucky as Dez Bryant put his hand out of bounds on a nice throw from Tony Romo with less than 20 seconds left in the game. 

BUCCANEERS @ Raiders – The Bucs rolled their hosts in Minnesota last Thursday. They also just traded away their best defensive player, also an off the field problem, in Aqib  Talib. Their offense is starting to click. The Raiders were able to defeat the lowly Chiefs, but the sledding won’t be easier against the Bucs, who are a great run defense. Darren McFadden continues his subpar season, but will need to break out of it soon for this team to compete.

Vikings @ SEAHAWKS – The 12th man has had its biggest impact ever this year. Teams can’t go to Seattle and win it appears more than ever this year. The Vikings might be finally coming back down to earth as they were rolled by the Bucs at home last week. The Seahawks talented defense will keep the pressure on a suddenly turnover happy Christian Ponder.

Cowboys @ FALCONS – The Falcons return home after rolling the Eagles in Philly, and the Cowboys leave home after a disappointing loss to the Champs. The Cowboys keep playing disappointing football and their schedule doesn’t get easier this week as the Falcons are now sitting a pretty 7-0. Matt Ryan will definitely have his hands full against a good Cowboys defense that frustrated Eli Manning last Sunday, but the Georgia Dome will be too rowdy for the Cowboys.

Eagles @ SAINTS– The Saints are abysmal right now. The Eagles are abysmal right now. But, somebody has to win this game. If the Eagles could go back to running the ball with Shady McCoy they could be a top NFC team, but they can’t keep the ball out of the hands of their opponents’ defense. The Saints schedule doesn’t get easier as time goes along, they still have to play the Falcons twice. I am writing them off for the season, but not this game.

UPSET ALERT  – I am putting the Falcons on Upset Alert, because of how the Cowboys play the best teams tough and have been known for beating undefeated teams. Also, I put the Vikings on Upset Alert going into Seattle is never easy. Dolphins because of Chuck Pagano’s presence.

SURVIVOR PICK – This week I go with the Chargers, simply because of how bad the Chiefs are. (If Picked already: Lions, Packers and Texans.) From here on out, picking against the Chiefs and the Jaguars simply is a good idea.

Those are my two cents … cash ’em in!

Midseason Awards: We’re Halfway There Edition

Here we stand at Week 9, the midpoint of the 2012-2013 NFL season. Let’s change things up this week and give out mid-season awards, while we also look ahead to what the second half of the season may have have in store for us.

Mid-season MVP

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Matty Ice agrees with this assessment!

The man is at the helm of the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL, and one of the key reasons this team looks poised to make a deep run in the playoffs. He doesn’t have the most passing yards at the midway point (8th with 2018), but he is tied for 3rd place with 17 passing touchdowns. Matty Ice is what makes the Falcons go. They are 24th in the league in rushing yards per game with 95, making Ryan’s performance week in and week out that much more essential to the Falcons success. The MVP award is his to lose.

Honorable Mentions: Eli Maning, QB, New York Giants; Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos; J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

Comeback Player of the Year

Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos

This may very well be the easiest award to predict of the season. As long as Peyton is playing, and at his usual high level, this award is his unanimously. Through 7 games, Peyton is 1st in passer rating (109.0), 5th in passing yards (2,113), and tied with Matt Ryan for 3rd in passing touchdowns (17).

Honorable Mentions: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings; Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Offensive Rookie of the Year

Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins

This is the second easiest award to predict this season. This is not Andrew Luck’s award to win back; it is Griffin’s to lose. Two weeks ago, RGIII was in the top 5 in passer rating, and currently he sits at number 7 (97.3). He has 14 total touchdowns on the season, 6 of which have come on the ground. That puts him 2nd in the league only to Texans running back Arian Foster, who has 9. What is also noteworthy is that he is ranked 17th in rushing yards with 476. Currently, he is ahead of Maurice Jones-Drew, Steven Jackson, Darren McFadden, and Matt Forte.

Honorable Mentions: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts; Doug Martin, RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Greg Zuerlein, PK, St. Louis Rams

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Chandler Jones, DE, New England Patriots

Entering the team’s bye week, Jones has 33 tackles, 6 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. There is only one defensive end in the entire league who is ahead of Jones in tackles and that is Muhammad Wilkerson of the New York Jets with 36. Jones’ 6 sacks have him in a 4-way tie for 12th.

Honorable Mention: Casey Hayward, Cornerback, Green Bay Packers

Offensive Player of the Year

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

Foster leads both wide receivers and running backs in touchdowns with 9, and he is 11th in scoring. This is of note because the 10 players in front of him are place kickers. He is 5th in rushing yards with 659, and the biggest stat of them all, he has 0 fumbles halfway through the season. When Foster is healthy, like he is now, he is one of the best players in the National Football League. On most teams, the rushing attack is used to set up a team’s aerial game, but not in Houston. Quarterback Matt Schaub goes to the air to set up the team’s run game. There are very few teams in the NFL who have the personnel to do this week in and week out.

Honorable Mentions: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots; Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers

Defensive Player of the Year

J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans

J.J. Swatt, as he is commonly being referred to, is wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks this season. Watt leads the league in both sacks and passes deflected with 9.5 and 10 respectively. With linebacker Brian Cushing out for the season, Watt has turned his game up a few notches, while also being the leader of one of the league’s best defenses this season.

Honorable Mentions: Tim Jennings, CB, Chicago Bears; Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers

If Foster and Watt were to win both the offensive and defensive player awards respectively, it would be the first time the award went to teammates since the 2003 NFL season when running back Jamal Lewis and MLB Ray Lewis did it. It would be the 2nd time in the history of the awards as well. 

Coach of The Year

Joe Philbin, Miami Dolphins

Raise your hand if you thought that at the halfway point of the season, the Miami Dolphins would be in the playoffs if the season ended today? :waits: :crickets: Didn’t think so! Everyone, including myself, laughed when the Dolphins cut Chad Johnson prior to the start of the season, as if they were such a great team they could afford to do such a thing. Well, here they stand at 4-3, 1 win away from tying the Patriots for a piece of the AFC East.

Let’s give credit where it’s due. Philbin has this team playing amazing defensively, run wise at least. Coming into Week 9, the Dolphins are ranked 3rd in opposing rush yards per game at 82. They aren’t blowing out teams (aside from last week’s 30-9 victory over the Jets), but are gritting games out for four quarters, thus hanging in there long enough for kicker Doug Carpenter to kick them to a W.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Smith, Atlanta Falcons; Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears

-Jimmy Lips