The weather is getting colder, I see snow falling from the sky now, and my car is now getting covered in that salt residue crap. But right now, my pick'ems are red hot. After scoring an impressive 13-3 record last week, including an upset special of the Browns over the Steelers, I look forward to keeping my streak of 2 consecutive weeks of 10+ correct pick'ems going. This week, we see our usual crap in the bag games (Carolina @ KC anybody?) but at the same time there are three divisional games between teams that have a loooooonnnngggg history with one another. That being said, let's get down to business.
Last Week Record: 13-3
Season Record: 99-71-1
Thursday 8:20 p.m.
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
This should be a doozy. Though the Falcons boast a 10-1 record, it was the Saints gave their NFC South divisional rivals that one loss back in Week 10. Though the Saints have the worst rushing defense for the season (allowing 156.5 ypg), they were able to limit the Falcons to a mere 46 rushing yards with Michael Turner going 12 carries for 15 yards. However the Falcons still boast the deadly receiving corp of Jones-White-Gonzalez. Matt Ryan is second in the NFL in passing yards with 3,425 and boasts the 2nd highest completion percentage in the NFC at 68.5% and is facing the third worst passing defense (298.3 yards allowed per game). But on the defensive side, the Falcons will be without CB Asante Samuel and will be vulnerable to Drew Brees and that high-octance passing offense of his. Expect crazy offensive numbers but in the end, expect the Falcons to fall to 0-2 to their rivals.
Monday 8:30 p.m.
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
Last time these two teams met back in Week 7, the Giants pulled a 27-23 come-from-behind victory over the Redskins. But during that same game, Robert Griffin III was 20 for 28 for 258 yards with 2TDs and 1INT with a QB rating 108.9 to go along with 9 carries for 89 yards on the ground. Both teams are coming off huge victories (38-31 W for the Redskins over the Cowboys and a 38-10 W for the Giants over the Packers) and are looking to try to claim the NFC East divisional crown. Historically, however, the Giants have performed poorly on Monday Night Football in general with a 22-32-1 record but are 4-2 against the Redskins. Though Eli has struggled against the 'Skins in the past (1TD against 8INT in the last 5 games against them), he still faces the second worst passing defense in the NFL (301.4 yards allowed per game). And though 'Skins were able to run on the Giants, that was without DT Chris Canty. This time he's playing at full health. Bob was able to surprise the Giants the first time, he won't be so lucky this time around.
Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears
Seahawks are an abysmal 1-5 on the road. Also they are going to be without DBs Brandon Bowler and Richard Sherman, who are currently suspended due violating the league's PED policy for taking adderall. At the same time, the Bears are going to go into this one with RB Matt Forte banged up with an ankle problem and might be without Defensive POY candidate CB Charles Tillman due to a chipped bone in his foot. But the Bears still got Urlacher, Briggs, and Peppers on the defensive side of the ball to clog up Marshawn Lynch and at least Jay Cutler is still playing.
Indianapolis Colts @ Detroit Lions
This could well in doubt turn into a shoot out. On the Lions, you got Matt Stafford, who currently leads the league in passing yards (3,249) and attempts (488), and he's got the NFC's top leading receiver Calvin Johnson (1,257 yards) to throw to. On the opposite side, we have Colts Andrew Luck, who currently leads all rookie QBs in passing yards (3,205), attempts (449), and completions (255), who has the AFC's top receiver Reggie Wayne (84 catches for 1,105 yards). However both teams are lacking in the running game and their defenses are less than what one might consider as a 'powerhouse/top-tier'. But the Colts have spirit and pride, not too mention coaches that can keep their composures when in an unfavorable situation.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
Historically, the Patriots have struggled down in Miami. This time around could be different. Though they will be without Gronkowski and possibly might be without Julian Edelman (concussion), the Pats still have Stephen Ridley running the ball successfully and got the Brady-Welker combo going on. On the defensive side things could get tricky as they will be without DE/LB Jermaine Cunningham (suspended for 4 games for violating league-policy on PEDs) and even with CB Aqib Talib, their passing game is still suspectible. But the Dolphins still have a rookie QB in Ryan Tannehill and RB Reggie Bush has been inconsistent all season long. The only way for the Dolphins to win is for them to try to get at Brady early and often, which is highly unlikely to happen.
Best of the Rest
Sunday 1:00 p.m.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Buffalo Bills
On one hand, the Jaguars look pretty decent with Chad Henne under center and they recently picked up former Eagles DE Jason Babin off of waivers earlier this week. Then again, these are the Jaguars we are talking about.
Arizona Cardinals @ New York Jets
You can spend the rest of the year pointing out the negative things about the Jets organization but the fact of the matter is they haven't lost 7 straight like the Cardinals have. Ryan Lindley is starting yet again for the Cardinals and yet again he's going to have the crap kicked out of him due to his piss poor offensive line.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
Good news for the Packers is that they are going to get back WR Greg Jennings. Bad news, they are going to be without DBs James Shields and Charles Woodson, not too mention LB Clay Matthews due to injuries. And without a running game, you can expect the Vikings to just tee off on Aaron Rodgers like the Giants did last week.
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
It'll be interesting to see how the Titans will match up. Jaguars and Lions each put up 30+ points against the Texans defense (35 for Jaguars, 31 for Lions). Still, the Texans outlasted each team. Even if the Titans put up 24+, the Texans will still find a way to win.
Carolina Panthers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Not a single fuck was given when I made this pick.
San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams
After this game, Jim Harbaugh will make another QB change and will name John Brodie as his starter. Whether it's John Brodie, Kapernick, Smith, Bill Kilmer, Steve Bono, or even Steve Spurrier, we all know how this is going to turn out.
Sunday 4:05 & 4:25 p.m.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos
Denver is clicking on all cylinders, winning their last 6 games. If Schiano thought Eli Manning was a tough QB back in week 2, he's going to have nightmares of #18 for the rest of the year.
Cleveland Browns @ Oakland Raiders
Orange and Brown vs. Silver and Black. Ironically enough the Browns have only given up just 248 points so far, which is pretty impressive given the fact they are 3-8. Unlike the other 3-8 teams, the Browns have been playing their opponents very closely.
Cincinnati Bengals @ San Diego Chargers
Eh. Because I'm starting the lawfirm and we all know how inedpt the Chargers have been lately, including allowing the Ravens to convert on a 4th and 29, we all know how this is going to turn out.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
Holy crap, I almost forgot this pick. I guess it's because A. Steelers' offense has been playing like garbage without Ben Roethlisberger (can you say 8 turnovers against the Browns) and B. Getting excited for this game is like going to the dentist. You're going to be relieved when this torture session is over.
Sunday 8:20 p.m.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
As much as I loathe and despise both teams, I loathe and despise the Eagles even more. Also all signs point that the Cowboys will be getting players like DeMarco Murray and Miles Austin back from injuries.
-Ryan L. Fox
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