Well it’s Saturday again and after watching my Terrapins finally put NC State away I think some NFL picks are in order. Last week I did pretty well with an 11-4 record through 15 games picked. This week provides some intriguing matchups; lets get to it.
1 PM EST Games
Green Bay Packers (7-3) vs. Atlanta Falcons (8-2) – No warming up to the schedule this week; we dive right into the marquee matchup for the NFC. This game could very well be an NFC Championship preview in Atlanta. The Packers have strung together four wins in a row, a few gutsy and a few by way of the blowout. The Falcons really established themselves as the premier NFC squad with their victory over Baltimore a few weeks ago. The two teams are in a dead heat in most recognized statistical categories. I’m going to go strictly off my gut on this pick. I have the Falcons pulling out a close one at home.
Packers 24 Falcons 31.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) vs. Buffalo Bills (2-8) – Buffalo is definitely not to be taken lightly, especially at home. I would probably give them a better chance if they weren’t playing one of the best cold-weather teams of all time. The Steelers will run the ball around and directly through the Bills defense. Buffalo did put up 49 on a Cincinnati team that almost beat Pittsburgh; unfortunately that means nothing in the NFL. Steelers win.
Steelers 35 Bills 20.
Carolina Panthers (1-9) vs. Cleveland Browns (3-7) – Maybe the Panthers can hope to lose? I’m sure that no team really throws a game on purpose, but with prospects like Cam Newton on the horizon…maybe? No? Alright well the Browns have shown a lot of heart against top talent in the NFL and I think they will give the Panthers all they can handle with their former QB. Cleveland wins a game that they’re supposed to.
Panthers 13 Browns 27.
Tennessee Titans (5-5) vs. Houston Texans (4-6) – Two words for this one- Rusty Smith. The Titans seemed to have trouble stopping McNabb and the Redskins offense last week. That doesn’t bode well for a matchup with Matt Schaub and Arian Foster. I think Chris Johnson keeps this game close and it gets even closer if Kerry Collins comes in. The Texans should win this game and move Jeff Fisher one game closer to his demise.
Titans 24 Texans 37.
Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4) vs. New York Giants (6-4) – So who had the Jags atop their division 12 weeks into the season? If the Jaguars were at home I would have taken them but since this game is in East Rutherford I’ll take the Giants. Jacksonville and New York have had their ups and downs this season; this game is a toss up.
Jaguars 24 Giants 28.
Minnesota Vikings (3-7) vs. Washington Redskins (5-5) – After speaking with Dan Zinski, the lead writer for The Viking Age, I felt a little better about Sunday’s contest. The Redskins let subpar teams hang around and have let them win this season. Minnesota is not to be taken lightly but even Dan thinks that a head coaching change won’t make enough of a difference for Favre and the Vikings. Redskins will finally score 20+ points in a victory this year.
Vikings 14 Redskins 24.
4:05-4:15 PM EST Games
Miami Dolphins (5-5) vs. Oakland Raiders (5-5) – The Dolphins are in a division with New England and New York; this makes their road to the playoffs far more difficult. The Raiders know that they have a legitimate shot at winning their division and coming off the blowout in Pittsburgh I think they’ll play some inspired ball at home.
Dolphins 18 Raiders 29.
Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) vs. Seattle Seahawks (5-5) – Seattle hasn’t played particularly well against any team hovering around .500 this season. KC averages 164.7 yards per game, the Seahawks average just under 84. The Chiefs have struggled on the road this season but the 12th man won’t be enough to stop Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones. Chiefs will prevail on the road.
Chiefs 32 Seahawks 17.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) vs. Baltimore Ravens (7-3) – Josh Freeman and the Bucs are probably the biggest surprise this year outside of the Cowboys demise. I think Tampa has heart but all the heart in the world won’t get you past Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the Ravens defense more than three or four times in a game. I simply don’t think the Tampa Bay can put enough points on this Baltimore D to win. Ravens take a game that is closer than most would expect.
Buccaneers 17 Ravens 24.
Philadelphia Eagles (7-3) vs. Chicago Bears (7-3) – I don’t think that the Bears are for real; nor do I believe that Cutler is. Chicago has won three in a row against the likes of the Bills, Vikings and Dolphins. The Eagles are just too talented on offense and while Julius Peppers may provide a unique challenge for Michael Vick, it won’t be enough to make a difference. The Eagles will soar in Chicago.
Eagles 38 Bears 21.
St. Louis Rams (4-6) vs. Denver Broncos (3-7) – Sam Bradford is the real deal and I think he’ll prove it on Sunday. The Broncos allow 28 points per game. St. Louis hasn’t looked sharp on the road this season but I think they muster up enough defense to hold Denver down and win their first road game of the year.
Rams 24 Broncos 20.
Now we move on to the primetime games for Sunday and Monday.
8:20 PM EST Game
San Diego Chargers (5-5) vs. Indianapolis Colts (6-4) – Peyton Manning hasn’t been his usual self for some of this season. Phillip Rivers is playing out of his mind right now. It’s tough to pick against the Colts at home but I’m going to do just that. The Chargers will rush the ball enough to slow down the rush from Freeny and company. That should in turn open up the field for Rivers to dominate. In a duel of elite QB’s I’m taking Rivers and the Chargers in Indy.
Chargers 38 Colts 31.
Monday Night 8:30 PM EST Game
San Francisco 49ers (3-7) vs. Arizona Cardinals (3-7) – This game really, really doesn’t matter. I like the Cardinals uniforms more than San Francisco’s. Arizona wins at home.
49ers 20 Cardinals 23.
There you have it people. I was 11-4 last week but this week looks like a much more tightly contested week of games. Let’s see if I can keep it up through week 12. Thanks for reading and go Redskins!
DISCLAIMER: THESE PICKS REFLECT THE VIEW OF KEVIN MAWYER II AND ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE VIEW OF ALL WRITERS FOR RIGGO’S RAG.
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