Did you all have a nice Thanksgiving yesterday? Did you manage to catch some of the NFL action that was on TV? The Tennessee Titans absolutely demolished the winless Detroit Lions, as expected, and the Dallas Cowboys continued with their recent resurgence by trouncing the Seattle Seahawks. In perhaps the only surprise of the day, the Arizona Cardinals fell to the falling Philadelphia Eagles in a battle for football bird supremacy. Oh right. The Ravens are still the best bird in the league.
Looking forward to Sunday’s action (as well as Monday Night Football), we take a look at a few more predictions. As you may recall, my Week 12 predictions didn’t exactly turn out as planned, but I guess that’s the law of averages biting me in the rear-end again. There are some interesting matchups this weekend, so let’s get down to it.
San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills (-6.5)
The Bills had such a promising start at the beginning of the season, but somewhere along the line, they lost that edge and started losing games left and right. Look for the Bills to continue regaining some composure against the Niners, who simply have not been the same since the departure of Steve Young so many years ago. Sorry, Jeff Garcia didn’t cut it either.
Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson was benched last week for being a pain and I’m not entirely sure if he’ll be back this week. It really doesn’t matter, because any hopes of the Bengals making the playoffs were dashed a long time ago. Look for Ray Lewis and the rest of the dirty birds in Baltimore to have a field day in Cincinnati.
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5)
Easily the most exciting division in the league right now is the NFC South. It’s highly competitive and all the teams in that division are better than what their records may lead you to believe. From what I hear, Reggie Bush might not play this game and, well, Tampa’s the division leader for a reason. It’ll be tight, but look for the Bucs to pillage the Saints.
Pick: Tampa Bay
New York Giants (-3.5) at Washington Redskins
The better Manning has proven that he can be a strong leader, whether it be holding onto a lead or overcoming a deficit. The Giants are arguably the best team in the league and they’re probably even better than the squad that won the Super Bowl last year. I like Jason Campbell and the Redskins, but I’m looking for the G-Men to rise above the rest as the season winds down.
Pick: New York Giants
Miami Dolphins (-7.5) at St. Louis Rams
Miami has proven that it can score and the Rams have proven they can lose. Badly. I’m a little hesitant to go with Miami though, seeing how the spread is more than a touchdown, but I also recognize that the Rams have both a hopeless offence and a hopeless defence, so the Dolphins just may be able to cover.
Indianapolis Colts (-4.5) at Cleveland Browns
Peyton’s going on a rip, especially with the Colts’ playoffs hopes riding on the line. The Browns have not lived up to their sleeper expectations and while Indy isn’t as good as it’s been in previous years, the Colts should be able to put away the Browns pretty handily.
Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (-2.5)
Jake Delhomme is underrated and Aaron Rodgers has largely exceeded expectations. I’ve been very impressed with what Rodgers and the rest of the Packers have been able to achieve in Green Bay. It’s tough trying to fill Brett Favre’s shoes for sure. That said, Carolina is the more experienced and, ultimately, the superior team. It’ll be cold in Lambeau, but the Panthers are hot.
Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers (-4.5)
Give Matt Ryan and 1000+ yard rushing Michael Turner some credit in Atlanta. With the involuntary departure of Michael Vick, no one knew what was going to happen with the Falcons, but they’ve managed to find a reasonable level of success in that town. I’m expecting Michael Turner to run all over his previous team, making them regret that they ever let him go. This will be a great upset, I’m sure.
Denver Broncos at New York Jets (-7.5)
The Jets put an end to the undefeated aspirations of the Tennessee Titans last week, proving to us that Brett Favre still has plenty in the tank. The Jets aren’t just contenders. They very well could be favorites heading into the AFC championship and even the Super Bowl. Against possibly the worst defence in the league, New York will prevail. I just hope they cover the spread.
Pick: New York Jets
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-0.5)
This has got to be the game of the week for me. Matt Cassel has matured significantly as the year has progressed and Ben Roethlisberger will have no trouble keeping up. Both teams are coming off of impressive wins last week, so they’ll be pumped. This is a tight one for me, but my money is on the Pats.
Pick: New England
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (-2.5)
In a battle between two of the crappiest teams in the league, it’s hard to determine which one is the better one. The Chiefs have one win on the season, but Oakland surprised everyone by upsetting the Broncos last week. For that reason alone, I’m giving the advantage to the Raider Nation.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
This is another tough pick. The Bears are solid, but they have their weaknesses. Adrian Peterson is having a banner year, but what about the rest of the team? I expect the Vikings to keep this battle to the ground and eek out a slim victory.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-2.5)
At the conclusion of last year, this Monday Night Football showdown sounded like it could have a lot of promise. The Jaguars looked good going into the playoffs and the Texans looked like they were finally turning things around with the franchise’s first non-losing season. My, how the mighty have fallen. I’ve been thoroughly disappointed with the Jags this year, so I’ll give the slight edge to Houston.