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.

A8AmLXUCAAA5aYW

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.)

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Week 13: No Mo No Shave!

Men’s favorite month and women’s least favorite month has come to an end and it’s time to get rid of those furry things on your face gentleman. The playoffs are coming in the NFL quickly and this season has definitely flown by. We come into this week after a 10-6 showing last week. Definitely not the best we’ve had, but the double digit wins won’t stop rolling in.

Here we go ....

Here we go ….

THURSDAY

SAINTS @ Falcons – The Saints need this game to stay alive, but the Falcons might need this game for the respect and to show that they have gotten over that divisional hump that has haunted them since Drew Brees arrived in the NFC South. The last game was a nail-biter and a eye catcher for the NFL and I don’t expect any less from this one. The Saints will win because they need it to stay alive, but I am honestly not sure about this because the Falcons play so much better at home.

SUNDAY

Jaguars @ BILLS – It’s one thing to beat a bad Titans team at home, but it’s another thing to go to freezing cold Buffalo and beat a bad Bills team. The Bills looked flat against the Colts defense and the Jaguars looked like a decent team against the lowly Titans. Chad Henne has sparked some life into Mike Mularkey’s team, but now with both of the Bills running backs healthy, there’s no reason to believe they won’t be able to handle the Jags at home.

Seahawks @ BEARS – The Seahawks are a different team at home than they are away. I think they can pull the upset here because of their defense and how banged up the Bears offensive line is, but Russell Wilson cannot turn the ball over, which is nearly impossible to do against this Bears defense. However, Colin Kaepernick did it and he is mobile and elusive, just like Wilson is so who knows. Brandon Marshall has been targeted 121 times by Jay Cutler, you think they have a nice connection?

Colts @ LIONS – Another team that plays completely different at home compared to away from home. Andrew Luck and the Colts are bipolar and cannot seem to find grounding away from home with a 2-3 record and a 5-1 record at home. However, Andrew Luck has been an outstanding rookie this year. On the other side of the ball the Lions have not performed up to the expectations placed upon them this year. I see the Colts away woes to continue as the Lions offensive fire power will be too much to handle and the Lions vicious defensive line will be at Andrew Luck.

Vikings @ PACKERS – The Packers got rolled by the Giants at MetLife Stadium Sunday night. They might have been better off not showing up. They have key injuries on defense and some on offense, but it’s no excuse to play so poorly and they know that. They will definitely be a different team this Sunday against their division rivals from Minnesota. Adrian Peterson still had a great game even after fumbling the ball twice to the Bears. This game is always a hard-fought win for whomever comes out on top, but I fully expect the “Cheeseheads” to take a few Lambeau leaps this Sunday.

TEXANS @ Titans – Some of the experts have been saying that the Texans have been walking a fine line, and they have been and that’s the reason I picked them to lose last week. However, when you are gifted a game like they were like last week I don’t see this team taking anything for granted this weekend. The Titans are also not as talented as the Detroit Lions. The Titans are coming off a bad BAD loss to the Jaguars and things can’t get worse, so why can’t they win?

Panthers @ CHIEFS – Two days ago I would’ve picked the Panthers hands down with the way this Chiefs team is playing. After the sad passing of Javon Belcher I cannot pick against the emotional team here. This Chiefs team is not better than their opponent, but emotion wins in any fight. The Panthers allowed Bryce Brown and the Nick Foles led Eagles to stay in a game they should have handled with ease on Monday Night last week. I think the Chiefs will be ready to play Sunday for their “brother”.

49ERS @ Rams – Man I hope this game doesn’t end in a tie. Colin Kaepernick has been exciting to watch, but now Alex Smith has been benched for playing the way Jim Harbaugh has asked him to and because he got a concussion. Seriously? They are winning their games, not that they weren’t before. The Rams #1 option will not be playing as he is hurt again, that is Danny Amendola. This just makes the sledding that much tougher for the Rams, but I can see this being a close game again as long as Bradford keeps the ball out of the 49ers’ defense hands.

PATRIOTS @ Dolphins – The Pats have blown up scoreboards the past two weeks and I have no doubt it won’t stop this week in warm Miami. The Patriots defense is forcing turnovers, which they’ve been known to do over the year and will definitely continue Sunday against rookie Ryan Tannehill. This Dolphins team has been scrappy all year long, but it’s time for the Pats to put a stake through their season. The addition of Aqib Talib has already helped the Patriots secondary.

Eerie isn't it?

Eerie isn’t it?

Cardinals @ JETS – I want to pick the Cardinals, but I don’t know which one of their quarterbacks is actually going to get playing time in this game. As one of my friends told me, when the Jets win, they win handily. If Ryan Lindley starts the Jets win in a blowout, but if anyone else starts it’ll be a harder win for the Jets, who have had more media attention for the past few years than any other underachieving team. Tim Tebow will not be dressed, but Greg McElroy finally will be. Why not give the Alabama champion a shot?

Buccaneers @ BRONCOS – Tough loss for the Bucs against the Falcons last week. They should have won that game plain and simple, as many teams should have against the Falcons. Josh Freeman didn’t throw a touchdown pass last week, but his offense still put up a ton of yards. The Broncos are coming off a disappointing lackluster performance in Kansas City. Even though they won the game, it looked like the worst complete game for Peyton Manning this year. Knowshon Moreno has emerged as the new starter since Willis McGahee’s injury, surprising a lot of people by leaping up the depth chart.

Cleveland @ RAIDERS – Two bad teams at 3-8 and I’m going with the home team. The Browns have been in every game they’ve played and just beat the Roethlisberger-less Steelers. So, this is now a let down game in a place that many teams find it tough to win, the Black Hole. The Raiders are struggling all around on defense and Carson Palmer has to force everything to try and get his team back in the game, but he has now thrown for over 3,000 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Raiders here because they are at home.

BENGALS @ Chargers – Andy Dalton has led this team in surprising fashion with a new high-powered offense. The Defense is coming along for these Bengals, after playing poorly in the first half of the season. Philip Rivers and Norv Turner can’t turn this season around, or finish it any sooner. If they lose this game or the Broncos win the Chargers are basically eliminated from playoff contention because one of the teams they are chasing would be the one who beats them today. Norv Turner is finished in San Diego, finally.

Steelers @ RAVENS – No Ben, no win for the Steelers. The Defense has been doing anything and everything to stay in games, but when you are on the field for as long and as much as this defense is, you are bound to lose. The offense turned the ball over eight times last week and that never bodes well. Ray Rice converted a 4th and 29 last week on a check down pass, and that speaks more for the Chargers season than anything. Ravens win this one because Charlie Batch is no Ben.

True Story

True Story

Eagles @ COWBOYS – On Nick Foles first drive against the Cowboys a few weeks ago, he hit Jeremy Maclin on a bomb. Since then it’s been forgettable for Foles. He let Bryce Brown do the work last week against the Carolina Panthers, but he will have to make some throws against a much better Cowboys defense this week. Tony Romo tried his hardest to bring the Cowboys back from dead on Thanksgiving against the Redskins. With DeMarco Murray expected back, Jason Garrett gets a capable back in his backfield. Tony Romo’s job becomes a little easier now as long as DeMarco can stay healthy.

GIANTS @ Redskins – The Giants are road warriors. RG3 is a beast. This will be a good Monday Night matchup with two divisional foes who each need this win. The Redskins need it to stay alive in the playoff race because the Wild Card is closing quickly in this tough NFC, but the Giants need this win to pad their lead as their schedule becomes harder over the next three weeks with the Saints, the Falcons and the Ravens looming. The Giants looked like the Champs last week against a 38-10 thrashing of the Packers and RG3 didn’t look like a rookie against the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving. Giants in a squeaker here.

siren

 

UPSET ALERT – I am putting the Giants, the Panthers ,the Bears, and the Colts on Upset Alert. The Giants lost both games last year to the lowly Redskins, but their better offensively this year. The Panthers are playing a defeated team that was just struck by tragedy and it’s always to play a team with that kind of emotion. The Colts are just not the same playing away from home. The Bears offensive line is still horrendous and the Seahawks defense is still very physical.

tom-hanks-in-cast-away

 

SURVIVOR PICK – Patriots (If Picked already: Texans, Cowboys and Ravens).

Week 8: Can’t Defend the Pretenders

11-2! Many keep saying pick with the spread, by why I’m not trying to help ya’ll gamble. I’m trying to do what the experts do, but at least I know people are checking the posts!

Don’t forget to check out the Lessons Learned from Week 7 after reading my picks.

THURSDAY

BUCCANEERS @ Vikings – Christian Ponder simply looked awful against the Cardinals, Adrian Peterson did not. But this Bucs’ defense is a top 10 run defense. I never expect anyone to hold Peterson down, but it will put more pressure on Ponder, which as last week showed he’s merely a game manager right now. These Bucs are pissed that they lost a heart-breaker to the Saints last week. This offense is for real and if the defense could stay healthy you’d be looking at possibly the second best team in the NFC South. I expect the Bucs to come out with a purpose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yisxlE4p3BA – If you haven’t seen Joe Morgan’s Touchdown.

SUNDAY

Panthers @ BEARS – The Panthers season has been ugly and will continue to get ugly. Cam Newton has pouted his way through press conferences and most of the season. The GM has been fired and the coach is definitely next. They keep losing focal points of their roster to the IR: Beason, Gamble and Kalil. The Bears offense looked average at best on Monday Night, but the defense has looked masterful the whole season the turnovers and the shutdowns of teams’ number one receivers, now including Megatron.

CHARGERS @ Browns – The Chargers find themselves coming off a bye and off that 24 point blown lead debacle. Unfortunately, that means they’ve had two weeks to let it sink in and watch lots of tape. These things leave a bad taste on in your mouth, but Norv shouldn’t let off the gas now in games and I expect to see that weekend against the lowly Browns, who couldn’t get much against a bad Colts defense. Brandon Weeden is progressing especially with the help of Trent Richardson and Josh Gordon, but it won’t help coach Pat Shurmur.

Seahawks @ LIONS – Seahawks played their letdown game last week and came out flat, especially their wide receivers. Their defense is still living up to its hype, but the offense is just lacking solid play all game long. Russell Wilson dials up one big play usually each game, but you can’t win games like that forever. The Lions again looked flat against a solid Bears defense. Stafford will probably be running for his life a lot, but with two young wide-outs now playing we should expect a lot of throws across the middle, with the focus turned to Calvin Johson.

Jaguars @ PACKERS – No Maurice Jones-Drew and Blaine Gabbert is hurting pretty bad means enough said for this game. The Packers are on a roll and Rodgers won’t lose his funk here. (Side note: Greg Jennings is having surgery on his abdominal and will be sidelined even longer and Jordy Nelson might not play, but Rodgers will make others step up.)

COLTS @ Titans- Luck was a selfish fantasy football player last week as he ran the Colts’ only two touchdowns in himself. This team has not looked much like a playoff contender, except for the team that appeared in the Packers’ game. Luck will have plenty of chances to make the playoffs in what is shaping up to be an illustrious career. Chris Johnson has been going H.A.M the past few weeks and all in Tennesseee are hoping the roll continues.There is no reason to believe it shouldn’t continue in this game against a bad Colts defense, but the Titans are now 2-1 under Matt Hasselbeck. Does this spell Quarterback controversy?

PATRIOTS @ Rams – I dislike the London game, almost as much as I despise Thursday night games. It’s unnecessary travel for players who shouldn’t have to and it’s a marketing ploy by the league. If they wanted to play a game in London, don’t you think they would have played soccer? Anyway, the Pats looked beatable again last week against the Jets. Bill’s got to dial something up this week against a feisty Rams team, who lack play-makers on offense right now as teams stack the box against S-Jax and Daryl Richardson. Danny Amendola is making surprise returns to practice, and they (mostly Sam Bradford) need his slot capabilities.

Dolphins @ JETS – The Dolphins are coming off their bye week, in which they broke a tie and now find themselves in second place in the AFC East. Last game against the Jets, came down to one of the ugliest overtime games ever, in which the Jets won by a field goal. The Jets come off a very gritty overtime loss to the Patriots and they seem to be playing above their talent level. No Santonio Holmes and no Darrell Revis, but this team has been more than in the games that those two guys haven’t played. Expect no less from the Jets on Sunday, but Sanchez will look less than average again against a very underrated Dolphins defense.

Falcons @ EAGLES – Both teams are coming off a bye. The Falcons are 6-0, but have looked beatable and have needed some late magic from Matt Ryan to keep that “L” column clean. The Eagles are an ugly 3-3 in which the games they’ve won haven’t been great and the games they’ve lost haven’t been memorable. The Eagles are 13-0 coming off a bye under Andy Reid. This is the reason I am picking them. Keep in mind that Matt Ryan is from Philly and that Asante Samuel played in
Philly for a few years, and usually those two feed into great performances by individual players. This is my toss-up game for the week.

Redskins @ STEELERS – RG3 looked masterful against the Giants, but Eli Manning did what he does best. The Redskins defense is sub-par after injuries have taken its toll, and now it appears that London Fletcher’s consecutive games streak is in jeopardy. He isn’t as good as he used to be, but he is still a foundation in that defense. RG3 could really use Fred Davis and Pierre Garcon, but he will be without them possibly for the rest of the season as Fred Davis was just lost and Garcon hasn’t been there since the first game. The Steelers came out on top of a hard fought game on Sunday night against the Bengals. Big Ben is leading this team that has only had a running game in this past game. Big Ben will keep his swag this weekend against a bad Redskins defense.

RAIDERS @ Chiefs – The Raiders pulled off a nice comeback against a bad Jaguars team, but a win is a win. Carson Palmer has been much safer with the ball this season, but Darren McFadden hasn’t been putting up those same numbers as last year. The Chiefs are just straight awful. They have turned to Brady Quinn and they have said for good, “so that he won’t be looking over his shoulder.” Dwayne Bowe is just shaking his head. The Chiefs have talent, but turn the ball over a lot and their defense can’t stay on the field that long and expect to keep teams out of the end zone.

It’s Come to This … Now He’s Done!!!

Saints @ BRONCOS – The Saints are coming back, mark it down. They run into a tough test this Sunday against a 3-3 Broncos team that is really better than its records indicates. The three losses have been near comebacks in which they put themselves into a hole early. The Saints are scoring points at will. Drew Brees had over three-hundred yards and four touchdowns at halftime last week, not joking. Peyton is leading this talented offense the same way he did in Indy, the difference is his defense is ten times more talented in Mile High than it ever was in Indy. This is a home game for the Broncos, which spells trouble for Drew Brees, who doesn’t play very well in cold outside games.

49ERS @ Cardinals – America, say hello to your #1 Pretenders. The Arizona Cardinals are crumbling before our very eyes, blame the QB injuries and the RB injuries, but it wouldn’t have mattered. They have a solid defense, and Larry Fitzgerald, but that’s all they’ve had going for them. Even when they were winning game their greatest weakness was on display big time, their offensive line. The 49ers will expose this weakness with great magnitude because this teams defense is always hungry. The 49ers are out to prove the NFC West is still theirs and theirs only. This game is for a tie atop the division, but it won’t happen.

UPSET ALERT – I am putting the Falcons on Upset Alert as they have walked pretty thin ice while riding a 6-0 record, they better not come out flat against the Eagles. I have also put the Vikings on Upset Alert against the pretty high-powered Bucs.

 

SURVIVOR PICK – Simple. The Green Bay Packers. (If picked already: Patriots or Chargers).

Those are my two cents … cash ’em in!

Anthony (T-Catz)

 

Week 7: Average now Acceptable

Where’s Patches O’Houlihan when we need him?

Eleven teams currently sit at 3-3 in the NFL, and only two are better than that in the AFC. Take it in for a second, there’s never been a more average year. Last week I went 10-4 again and this week should only produce strong results as I try to continue this roll.

THURSDAY

Seahawks @ 49ERS – I’ll preach it again, it’s just becoming repetitive now, this is a letdown game. Great teams don’t have these, but a scrappy and average team like the Seahawks do. Tom “Terrific” couldn’t seal the deal on them last week and they were able to pull out what seemed to be another miracle win. The Niners were punched in the face by the Giants and will be looking to take some shots themselves.

SUNDAY

Redskins @ GIANTS – The Redskins offense looks great, but the defense is banged up. RG3 looks like the real deal and he can most certainly fly. Their receiving options are nothing to write home about when Pierre Garcon is hurt. The Giants are coming off a statement win in San Francisco, which snapped Eli Manning’s streak of 24 straight games with over 200 passing yards. Last year the Redskins had the Giants number and the Giants always play down to their opponents, especially at home. I believe the Giants will win because it is a must win in a division match-up if they lose they fall to 0-3 in the division.

Titans @ BILLS – How did this Titans team beat the Steelers? Beats me. The Steelers’ defense has been awful this year and Shaun Suisham missed the game winning field goal near the end of the game. Matt Hasselbeck is going to be under pressure this Sunday from a Bills’ defense that may be starting to turn the corner. Ryan Fitzpatrick simply cannot turn the ball over, he’s got a two-headed monster in the backfield now and should just rely on them.

Browns @ COLTS – Big win, Browns! Bad loss, Colts! Andrew Luck is poised to take down a worse defense than he just faced. The only problem is the weapons on the Browns overshadow those of the Colts, but guess who the home team is? Andrew Luck had a bad, BAD, game and many don’t expect to see consecutive ones of those too often and who better to keep that from happening against?

PACKERS @ Rams – The Packers just stomped out the Texans, in Houston. Rodgers showed why he was the MVP last year by tossing six touchdowns and no interceptions against one of the best defenses in the NFL . How bout a little Championship belt? The Rams played an ugly game in which they were heartbroken by the Miami Dolphins. This team has been feisty all year under Coach Fisher’s control. Don’t expect a hangover from the Pack.

The Doublecheck!

Cardinals @ VIKINGS – The Cardinals are finally coming back down to earth. They have no running game and their defense is solid, but not enough to carry them past their offensive woes. The Vikings still sit in second in the NFC North. This team ran into Hurricane Robert, who ran all over them like they were the football field, but I expect a bounce back game here against a falling Cardinals team.

SAINTS @ Buccaneers – A bye week is a nice gift after your first win during what has already been a long season. This team needs to fix its defense, and what better way than to get the leader of the defense back from injury. We will have to see how big of an impact Jonathan Vilma has in his first game of his dramatic 2012 season. The Bucs looked great last week against the Chiefs, but after all it was the Chiefs. The Bucs have not left Tampa in three weeks now, nice life. This match-up provided two great games last season, I expect no less this weekend.

COWBOYS @ Panthers – The Cowboys have to win this game, otherwise they will start to challenge the Saints for the biggest story this season, and don’t expect Jerry Jones to remain quiet. Cam Newton is defining “Sophomore Slump” right now and runs into a good Cowboys defense. The Panthers, I don’t even know. There’s so much talent on this team, but they simply don’t look like a team is the biggest problem. Cam is trying to force his throws and the defense needs to step up against a week Dallas offensive line.

Ravens @ TEXANS – The Ravens took so many hits last week in the win against the Cowboys: Injuries to Ray Lewis, Ladarius Webb and Haloti Ngata. Now they have to rush Terrell Suggs less than six months removed from an Achilles tear.  Now the weight of the team actually drops onto the shoulders of Joe Flacco. The Texans were shellacked by the Packers at home. They’ve had some time to digest it now and stay home and you better believe they’ll be ready to play the Ravens without their leader (don’t the Texans know how this feels) and their best cornerback.

Jaguars @ RAIDERS – These Raiders seem close to being able to compete in the AFC West. They went to the wire with the undefeated Falcons and played great defense the whole game against a high-powered offense. Carson Palmer is turning the ball over less, and they need more production out of Darren McFadden. The Jaguars don’t look good. Gabbert is definitely progressing, but not much. Maurice Jones-Drew is one of the best running backs in the NFL and proves it weekly, but Gabbert has no protection and gets scared when it falls on him. They also don’t have much of a defense.

Jets @ PATRIOTS – The Jets had a great win. Sanchez threw for less than 90 yards, but their was a Shonn Greene sighting. Don’t expect the same this week. Sanchez will have to throw the ball much more. The Patriots are not a happy bunch right now. A very tough and heartbreaking loss in which Tom Brady was “owned” by Richard Sherman. Expect a lot of scoring from the New Englanders.

Steelers @ BENGALS – This is the toss-up game for me. The Steelers have looked plain crappy. The defense is the worst part and as usual their offensive line can’t stay healthy and Big Ben doesn’t have a lot of time in the pocket. Rashard Mendenhall is hurt again. The Bengals offense has looked great as I said last week, but last week Brandon Weeden tore up the defense. This will be a physical game as it always is, but I will take the home team.

Lions @ BEARS – The Lions were able to pull off an upset against the Eagles with some last minute and overtime heroics. The Lions were a great team last year, but do not seem to be half that team last year. If they are going to win, Stafford will have to make the throws he made last year be mistake free against a Bears defense that takes advantage of any mistakes. The Bears have looked like a complete team, mostly on defense. Cutler, of course, has been under fire for his turnovers, but that’s Jay being Jay. This will be a great Monday Night game.

UPSET ALERT – I am putting the Giants (because of what they are capable of each year) and the Bears on upset alert. Division games are always played harder than the rest of the games, because they actually do mean more.

SURVIVOR PICK – This week I like the Patriots over the Jets as my lock. (If used already: Packers and Cowboys). 

Week 2 Picks

So after going 9-7 I think I need a better showing this week.

So here.we.go.

Bears @ PACKERS – No way these guys lose two in a row to start the season at Lambeau. Greg Jennings might not play, which only hurts their chances The Bears looked real good against the Colts, not saynig much, but Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler will only get better as the season goes along. I can see the Bears winning this game, but it’s tough to pick against the GB Juggernaut.

Bucs @ GIANTS – Yes the Bucs looked better, especially their defense against the Panthers, but it’s the same Panthers that went 6-10 last year. On the other hand the Bucs went 4-12. This should be a good game as Doug Martin looks to reproduce what DeMarco Murray did to the Giants D and Eli Manning looks to help his receivers get over their drop issues from the season opener.

Chiefs @ BILLS – The Chiefs looked good in the first half of their game against Atlanta, but the second half, not so much. Jamaal Charles looks to be picking up where he left off in the 2010 season (torn ACL last year in Game #1), but the Bills defense will be out for the kill after an embarrassing loss to what was supposed to be an anemic offense of the Jets. Chiefs may pull out a win, but the games in Buffalo, not Arrowhead. Also, CJ Spiller … What was that game? Don’t look for a repeat performance but he just eased the pain of losing Fred Jackson for Buffalo. Don’t forget nobody circles the wagon like the Buffalo Bills!

Browns @ BENGALS – What team looked more awful and almost won their game besides the Browns? Brandon Weeden threw four picks (so did his adversary Vick) and the defense he’s about to face was a good one last year. They did just get torched against the Ravens, but they run a no-huddle which is impossible to adjust to in the first game of the season. Joe Haden will not play, which means AJ Green is about to have himself a nice Sunday afternoon.

VIKINGS @ Colts- What will happen here? Luck didn’t look great against the Bears, but they’ve got a solid D. AP came out of nowhere with 84 yards and 2 TDs, the man’s an animal. He’s not human. He will dominate a shaky Colts D that will be without its best player in Dwight Freeney. Luck will have a better game than last time, but his defense will cost him this game.
RAIDERS @ Dolphins – The Raiders pulled a reverse Chargers and lost their last game because of poor Special Teams. Denarius Moore is coming back and Darren McFadden looked like a beast again. Palmer didn’t throw a pick. On the other side, I feel bad for Reggie Bush who will have to carry this team led by rookie QB Ryan Tannehill and my siblings as wide receivers (seriously Davone Bess is the #1) Raiders go enjoy the Miami weather and win this one.

Cardinals @ PATRIOTS – Skelton’s hurt so enter the most expensive backup in the NFL! The Pats barely used Wes Welker, for their sake I hope they stop trying to punish him for trying to get a bigger contract. Shame on him for trying to get paid! The Patriots offense scored 34 points, 1 point under my guarantee for every game this year, but don’t worry they’ll pile them on this week folks.

SAINTS @ Panthers – Who saw loss coming? RG3 announced his arrival to the world by going into the not-so-Superdome and ripping apart the Saints. Saints are looking to score and score they will! Cam Newton and his offense had a less than stellar game, but Jonathan Stewart should be back this week, not that he’ll help them beat the Saints, but he’ll help.

RAVENS @ Eagles – This will be the best afternoon game of Sunday. The Eagles narrowly escaped a monumental loss to the Browns. Vick didn’t look good at all, but they squeaked a W out. The Ravens tore up the Bengals with their new no-huddle offense. Ray Rice only ran the ball 10 times … that would’ve meant a loss in prior years. These defenses are ferocious and the offenses can put up a lot of points = great game. I say Ravens because they look real good already.

TEXANS @ Jaguars – Yeah, Gabbert looked good and will continue to develop as he didn’t seem as scared as a five year old in the pocket. However, it was against the Vikings and the Texans are a much better defense (understatement). The Texans looked solid against the Dolphins, Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub looked healthy. It looked like they won’t miss Super Mariot too much this year. MJD pulled an AP and stole the show last game when he wasn’t even supposed to play more than 1 down per series basicaly. If him, Gabbert and Blackmon can restore order to this Jags offense they could win a few games this year.

REDSKINS @ Rams – I am currently Griffin-ing … not really. This one is a little more farfetched then Tebow-ing, guys have celebrated from their backsides before. Regardless of this the Skins looked great (unfortunate for the Saints and the NFC East) on defense and on offense. This trade to get the second pick, may not hurt them after all, but only time will tell for that. The Rams caught the Lions off guard and almost beat them. Jeff Fisher knows how to turn a bad team into a respectable one, at least for one game, let’s see how he does the rest of the year, but I’m going Skins with RG3.

COWBOYS @ Seahawks – All that hoopla surrounding Russell Wilson was put on hold when he got out-dueled by John Skelton (FORDHAM!!!) and Kevin Kolb. The Cowboys showed they were ready for 2012 by beating the champs on national TV at MetLife Stadium (Ouch 😦 ). The Cowboys will keep their offense running on all cylinders (KEVIN OGLETREE???) against the Seahawks, as Russell Wilson will try to find a groove for himself.

Jets @ STEELERS – This should be a good game. The Jets blew up on the Bills (how?). Marky Mark threw for 266 yards and 3 TDs, Greene had 94 yards and Stephen Hill busted onto the scene for 2 Tds and 90 yards. This is a more experienced defense though, one that has been together for a while, and that won’t happen. The Steelers will not stand for starting 0-2 with both losses coming against 2 AFC playoff hopefuls. Jonathan Dwyer is salivating at what Spiller did to this Jets D, if only Mendenhall was back!

Titans @ CHARGERS – Chargers won an ugly won in Oakland and Titans got stomped by the Pats. CJ2k was almost CJ2 … where is the passion in this guy’s game anymore. Their QB of the future is banged up and they’re #1 wideout is coming back from suspension and a monstrously torn ACL. The Chargers still don’t have a run game but at least they’re at home. This won’t be pretty, but expect Rivers to have 300+.

Lions @ 49ERS – Damn did one team look like crap and the other look like gold (get it 49ers?). The Lions came close to embarrassing themselves to the Rams. Megatron didn’t catch a touchdown *GASP* MADDEN CURSE!!! (I hope he doesn’t get hurt now) and Stafford threw three picks. The defense looked “meh”, but they’re going to need to sharpen up to play with the revamped Niners offense. THe Niners D is a thing of beauty that kept disrupting the best QB in the game and made him look like human. Frank Gore found the fountain of Youth last game and Kendall Hunter may be the best #2 in the league. Niners take it to the Lions at home and Harbaugh kindly shakes hands with Schwartz (maybe).

BRONCOS @ Falcons – The Broncos D did a solid job against the Steelers (not much to my surprise), but the Falcons absolutely torched the Chiefs and now return home the comfort of their weather controlled Dome. This should be a great game and I can’t wait to see if on MNF. Peyton had a nice return and is looking to build off of it, but it will be a tough go against Matty Ice, Hurricane Julio, Rowdy Roddy and T-Gone. The Broncos D will continue to surprise, however.

Let’s hope I better my 9-7 record from last week … it’s always tough at the beginning of the year when you’re not sure who’s who yet!

Like he said!!

Those are my two cents … cash them in!

Anthony (T-Catz)