Yehaw! That's right folks, it's time for Fox's Weekly Pick'ems. Now last week snapped a two consecutive week of ten-plus correct pick'ems. Still 9-7 is a pretty good record. Unfortunately, even 9-7 won't get you in the playoffs. Speaking of playoffs, we already have the Houston Texans, New England Patriots, and Denver Broncos clinching a playoff spot in the AFC while the Atlanta Falcons are the only team in the NFC to clinch a playoff spot. Now the next few weeks are going to be key to some teams who are in the hunt. Everyone of these games is going to matter and everyone is going to be paying attention to the box scores. That being said, let's get started!
Last Week's Record: 9-7
Season Record: 108-78-1
Monday 8:30 p.m.
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots
For the past couple of weeks, we have seen each team mow down what many are to believe as 'low-tier' competition. Now will be the ultimate test for each side. Are the Texans a legitimate powerhouse in the AFC? How will the Patriots' juggernaut offense coop against a defense that has the ability to snuff it out? However recently, the Texans defense has been struggling against the pass. Injuries to DBs Brice McCain and Johnathan Joseph have caused the Texans to allow an average of 352.0 passing yards in the past 3 games. But at the same time, the Patriots offense lost Julian Endleman for the season due to a foot injury from last week's win over the Dolphins. Also the Patriots have yet to go up against a pass rusher in the likes of DE J.J. Watt, who leads the AFC in sacks with 16.5 and has 15 passes defended. On the defensive side, it has been a while since the Patriots faced against a high-powered, balanced offense. The main focus will be to stop RB Arian Foster but that would leave the likes of Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, and Owen Daniels to run rampant against one of the weaker secondaries in football. With the first round bye and home field advantaged at stake, this could be a classic showdown. But in the end, the Texans just have too much for the Patriots to handle.
Sunday 1:00 p.m.
Dallas Cowboys @ Cincinnati Bengals
Both teams have been red hot as of late. The Bengals have won 4 straight going into this game and the Cowboys have won 3 out of 4 games in that same stretch. Each team is within striking distance of their respective divisional leaders so this game will mean a lot. But regardless, the Bengals are heating up, especially RB BenJarvis Green-Ellis, who has rushed for over 100 yards in his last three games. The key to victory would be to negate Cowboy's team-leading receiver TE Jason Witten (88 on the year), who has been targeted an average of 10 times in the last 4 games.
Baltimore Ravens @ Washington Redskins
This will prove to be interesting as the Redskins are riding a 3-game winning streak, all against NFC East opponents, and are now 1 back for the divisional lead and possibly a playoff spot. Already there have been talks of how amazing Robert Griffin III and rightfully so. Already he's broken the single season rushing record for a rookie QB with 714 yards and the Pistol Formation the Redskins seem to run has confused many defensive coordinators. Unfortunately, as good as Bob has been playing his style leaves him open to taking big hits from defenders. As old and banged up as the Ravens defense is, they still can hit hard and hit fast. On the defensive side of the ball, the 'Skins still got to deal with one of the elite RBs in Ray Rice. Not too mention that the 32nd ranked passing defense has to defend against Joe Flacco and his receiving corp of Boldin, Smith, and Pitta and without one of their top CBs Cedric Griffin, who was suspended on Tuesday for violating the NFL's policy on PEDs (another aderall case). Though the Ravens missed out last week in a 23-20 loss to the Steelers, they'll make it up this week with a W in D.C.
Sunday 4:25 p.m.
New Orleans Saints @ New York Giants
After last week's loss to the Redskins, the Giants now hold a one game lead above the Redskins and Cowboys. This week's match up against the Saints is a must win. The last time these two teams met, the Saints were able to put up 35+ points in their 2011 and 2009 meetings. Unfortunately for them, those games were played in New Orleans. This time around, it's going to be in MetLife Stadium in the cold. Not too mention that in the past 2 games, Drew Brees has throw 7 INTs, including 2 that were returned for touchdowns. Also the Saints still have the worst defense against the run and last week, Giants Ahmad Bradshaw ripped off 104 yards against the 'Skins. As long as the Giants can move the ball on the ground, they will take this one.
Best of the Rest
Thursday 8:20 p.m.
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders
"Another classic AFC West showdown between two teams that hate each other."....would have applied perhaps maybe 20 years ago, hell even at the beginning of the 21st century. Right now, it's going to be one of those games where Peyton throws for 250+ yds and 3 TDs and the Broncos win.
Bonus: Reports of Al Davis rolling in his grave have been confirmed.
Sunday 1:00 p.m.
St. Louis Rams @ Buffalo Bills
Knowing this time of the year, there's like 3 feet of snow in Buffalo and you know how those dome teams hate playing in the cold.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns
Chiefs were able to get an emotional win last Sunday after the events that unfolded from the previous Saturday morning.
Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck became the first rookie quarterback to get over 8 W's in his rookie season and is proving he could be the real deal.
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
Bears lost Urlacher to injury again for the remainder of the season. Even without him,
Pick: Da Bears
San Diego Chargers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Good news for Steelers fans is Big ben is back. Better news for Chargers fans is Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith will be fired by the end of the season. Still doesn't change the fact the Chargers still suck.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Not a single fuck was given when I made this pick.
Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers
Not a 2nd single fuck was given when I made this pick. Won't be too surprised if Falcons went half-assed in this one after locking up 1st round bye and home-field advantage for the playoffs.
New York Jets @ Jacksonville Jaguars
I honestly believe Rex Ryan is trying to get himself fired after he said Sanchez will start this game. The good news for the Jets is that Jaguars are piss poor on both sides of the ball. Other than that...a 3rd single fuck was not given when I made this pick.
Sunday 4:05 & 4:25 p.m.
Miami Dolphins @ San Francisco 49ers
Dolphins' defense looked pretty stout in the loss against the Pats. However that being said, their offense will struggle against one of the top regarded defenses in the league.
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks
The good news for the Seahawks is that this is a home game and they are 5-0 at home.
Sunday 8:20 p.m.
Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
The good news for the Lions is that they can stop Green Bay's running game easily. The bad news is that Green Bay is more of a passing team and the Lions have been very slipshod in that defensive aspect for a few years now. We all know how this is going to end up.
- Ryan "Giddy-up" Fox
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