WEEK 12 PREDICTIONS CONTINUED

So we will now get the rest of my predictions! Thanksgiving has come and gone, and so was the hopes of me not gaining 5-10 pounds by aggressively overeating. Along with the bigger gut that I got from Thanksgiving, I also went 1-2 with my Thanksgiving Day picks. I went with my gut on these picks and I ended up with a gut punch by the end of the night. Now as I pick the Sunday night games, i believe I’ll mostly stick with the analytics and actual analysis this time. I won’t keep rambling about my Thursday football misfortunes and will give you my predictions, and an updated pickem score as well as the old.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-6) VS NEW YORK GIANTS (3-7)

So this game actually carries a lot of importance. This game very well could be win or you’re out. The Cowboys helped open up the NFC East again by beating the Redskins last night. The Eagles are now just 1.5 games out of first place in the division and the Giants are 2.5 games out. The Eagles have a lot riding on this game and hopefully that will fuel them. They should normally come in and crush the Giants in Philly. However, the Eagles have seen the worst side of the injury bug than any other team. They’re down a lot of significant DBs, they’re still missing their star RB, a burner WR, and much more. This team has really been hurting on their depth chart and that has overshadowed a solid season from Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz. This team needs a big game and for their replacement DBs to step up against the talented receivers the Giants have. The tough part is that the Giants have Odell Beckham, and Eli is seemingly remembering how to throw the ball for more than 5 yards. Last time these two teams faced off, Barkley ran wild, but inevitably Manning couldn’t make the necessary plays to score and couldn’t get Backham going. This week will be different because now Beckham will be facing a battered secondary and Evan Engram will be there this weekend to help relieve some pressure. I think the Eagles’ injuries will be too much and Beckham and company will take advantage of them. GIANTS 23  EAGLES 17

CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-4) VS SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (5-5)

This is another game that carries much importance for both teams. The Panthers are fighting to hold their place in the Wildcard and the Seahawks are attempting to usurp them from that spot. The Panthers have been on a 2 game skid and are looking to right the ship this week and keep a hold of that 5 spot in the playoffs. They’ve been struggling lately score as well as stop the opposing offense from scoring. They’ve just played poorly lately and defense was an issue in both games. The Steelers put up 52 points on them and they couldn’t stop them if their lives depended on it. Then playing the Lions, they stop them from moving putting up big points, but they couldn’t stop them from managing the tempo and moving the chains. They need to figure out how to make those key stops on defense and put the ball in Cam’s hands. The Seahawks are actually putting up a pretty decent fight against the stronger teams in the league and are playing well. The Seahawks also have trouble stopping the rush and the Panthers have Newton and McCaffrey and that’s a very dangerous duo. Plus they like to run some option plays and some reverses with the speedy Curtis Samuel. Samuel is coming off of a good game and deserves more time. Look for the defense to wake up for Carolina and get McCaffrey and Samuel going. PANTHERS 27  SEAHAWKS 21

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (3-7) VS SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-8)

This matchup isn’t very important unless the two teams plan on playing for the first overall draft pick. Nick Mullens has been the talk for the 49ers as he’s has a mixed bag of games for his first 2 career starts. He tore up the Raiders at will, but then, struggled with turnovers against the Giants. I hope to see the Nick Mullens we saw in week 9 and see the growing story develop even further. This team isn’t good, but they have some key injuries and no dominant receivers. This team is still working on rebuilding and can use these last few weeks to figure out what they can work with and what needs to change. This game could be good for them as they’re playing the worst scoring defense in the league. The Buccaneers are also left trying to figure out what to keep for next season and what needs to change, They have been terrible on defense and they have had the most inconsistent QB play that I may have ever seen. This team needs to piece things together and stop relying on Fitzmagic to show up late in games to make the difference. I think this game is going to be the straw that breaks the camels back and puts Koetter and possibly Winston on the hot seat. 49ERS 31  BUCS 16

BALTIMORE RAVENS (5-5) VS OAKLAND RAIDERS (2-8)

Well, I think this game is an easier pick. I just hope the Ravens don’t come into this thinking it’s a lock and letting their guards down. They need to stick to what works and play tough. The Raiders have had a lot of locker room and on field issues this season. They have been bad this season and have also faced a lot of injury troubles. They have the 2nd worst rush defense in the NFL and are ranked 30th in scoring offense and scoring defense. This matchup couldn’t be any worse for them because the Ravens are coming off a game where they rushed for 267 yards and they’re still ranked 1st in total defense and scoring defense. Lamar Jackson is expected to be starting again this week and just rushed for 119 yards and threw for 150 more. He’s going to pose a huge problem for the Raiders’ weak rush defense and will open a lot of holes all over the field. This has the potential to be a blowout game if the Ravens come in ready to play and don’t get to cocky. RAVENS 34  RAIDERS 10

BUFFALO BILLS (3-7) VS JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-7)

This game is actually a tough choice. In the Bills most recent game they put up 41 points and the Jaguars are coming off a loss to the Steelers. The Bills are also fresh off a bye so they probably are feeling good coming into this game against the Jags who are hoping to bounce back after a come from behind loss. The Jaguars played decent enough against the Steelers to have beaten them, that was at least before Big Ben decided he wasn’t done yet. That game showed that they can win with their smothering defense, but they just can’t seem to simultaneously get Bortles and Fournette rolling. They need to find a way to move the ball better and score against this Bills defense. The Bills 41-10 win honestly was way more than surprising. They had Matt Barkley under center and I don’t think anyone was expecting that offense to do much of anything. Boy were we all wrong. Barkley threw for 232 yards and 2 TDs and McCoy was able to scamper for 113 yard and 2 scores of his own. This offense showed poise and balance against a bad team, this Jags defense this week isn’t nearly as easy though. I look for the Jags defense to smother the Bills offense and Fournette should help keep this offense from losing their 7th in a row. JAGS 16  BILLS 9

CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-5) VS CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-6-1) 

This game actually is very important for the Bengals. The Browns will try to play spoiler as the Bengals fight to stay get back into the playoff race. The Bengals are coming off a road loss to the Ravens, where they allowed over 250 total rushing yards. They have lost 4 of their last 5 and are quickly fading from the playoff hunt. They are going to need to put up points and pressure Mayfield early for a good shot of winning. Green will be back for Cincinnati so that will surely bolster their offense a bit. The Browns are fresh off a bye and won a big game against Atlanta in their last game. I look for them to build off of that this week as they attempt to stop Andy Dalton and AJ Green from re-kindling their chemistry with Green returning from a toe injury. The key for the Browns is too get pressure on Dalton early and get Nick Chubb going to create some balance for Baker Mayfield. I’m honestly looking for a potential upset this week. I like the Browns in this matchup and i think they’re going to be looking to hinder the Bengals playoff chances a bit this week. BROWNS 24  BENGALS 20

NEW YORK JETS (3-7) VS NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-3)

This game is going to also be a likely blowout. The Patriots are coming off a bye, and the week prior to that was a 10-34 loss to the Titans. They’re also in a fight for the first round playoff bye with the Steelers, Chiefs, and Texans. They’re going to be looking to prove a point this weekend. We could see Etling or Hoyer this week, as Brady missed today’s practice again with a knee injury. Even with a backup QB the Patriots still have good odds as the Jets have looked awful lately and the Patriots still have Belicheck and McDaniels as coaches. Look for the 10th ranked offense to lean on the rushing attack minus Brady and for the defense to try to wake back up after that shellacking at the hands of Titans. The Jets will have Darnold back and that is sort of a good thing…maybe. This offense has been bad no matter who is at the helm. The playcalling has been poor, there has been no such as consistency or balance, and the game managing has been poor. This team just is falling apart and this is the wrong opponent to think this week is the week to bring things together. PATS 30  JETS 6

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (7-3) VS ARIZONA CARDINALS (2-8)

What do you know, another possible run away game. The Chargers are the heavy favorites and it’s not exactly hard to see why. The Cardinals come into this game ranked as probably the worst offense in the league. This team has failed to do practically anything on anybody except the other teams at the bottom of the standings. They also struggle with the rush on defense and they’ve only beaten the 49ers this season. They couldn’t even beat the self-destructing Raiders last week, so how on earth can we expect them to put up a fight against the Chargers. The Chargers have a top 10 offense and a top 15 defense. They’re a balanced team and Melvin Gordon is having a great season. This team is coming off of a tough loss to the Broncos and will be looking to right the ship to prove that they are not a team to underestimate. They’re looking to separate themselves in the wildcard race and lock up that 5 spot. They could potentially have a shot at the AFC west crown if they win this week. It’d be a lot to ask of the Chiefs to lose another one this season, but if the Chargers just keep winning, the pressure will certainly be on Mahommes to hold on. CHARGERS 27  CARDINALS 10

DENVER BRONCOS (4-6) VS PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-2-1)

If you are a Steelers fan please avert your eyes from this prediction. I believe recent history will play out in this game as the Steelers have lost their last 3 times they have visited Denver, and this week won’t be any different. The Broncos are going to play the sleeper team in this team as they will catch the Steelers sleeping on them and catch a punch in the gut this week. The the 11th ranked offense in the league and particularly excel on the ground with their two headed attack of Lindsay and Freeman. They will need to provide some run stopping against James Conner and try to slow down JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Steelers are coming off a close scare to the Jaguars. They managed to come back and win though and keep a decent lead in their division. They have 5th best offense in the NFL and are the 4th best scoring offense as well. They also sport the 6th overall defense and they appear to be the most balanced team in the league right now. They will be fighting history this week as they look to snap that 3 game road losing streak in Denver. In order to win they need to get Conner going as a receiver and stop the Broncos rushing attack. I’m sticking with history for this game in a close one. BRONCOS 23  STEELERS 20

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (5-5) VS MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-5)

Now, with Osweiler starting, I’d easily give this game to the red hot Colts. However, Tanehill is back and he’s certainly capable of stringing together some wins for this team. The Dolphins were 3-2 before he got hurt and the one loss was to the Patriots so we can’t really pin that one on him. Tannehill is a very competent QB and is certainly a decent upgrade over Brock Osweiler. The team right now is ranked 26th in passing offense and 21st in rushing offense. I don’t expect the offense to get anything but better with Tannehill back under center. They need to let Tannehill manage the game and keep Luck off the field. That’s a pretty tall order as Luck is having a great season. Luck currently has over 2,700 yards and 29 TDs. He’s been very good this season and has helped bring upon the resurgence of Eric Ebron. This offense is 9th overall and 5th in scoring. The Dolphins don’t have a particularly tough defense so if Andrew Luck can get some solid protection and they can pressure Tannehill on the other side of the ball, they have a pretty decent shot at keeping their 4 game winning streak going. COLTS 17  DOLPHINS 14

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-4-1) GREEN BAY PACKERS (4-5-1)

This is going to be a pretty good game. This is an intense division rivalry and both teams are fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive. This matchup will feature the 8th ranked Packers defense led by Aaron Rodgers facing off against the 5th ranked Vikings defense led by Harrison Smith. Aaron Rodgers and Devante Adams are almost single handedly carrying the Packers offense this season. Aaron has 19 TDs and 1 INT and Adams has 953 yards and 9 TDs. They have been putting in some hard work to try and keep the team from being eliminated from playoff contention. The defense will need show up this week and make life hell for Kirk Cousins in the backfield. They need to find targets other than Adams and get a pass rush going to have chance at winning and keep their playoff hopes alive. The Vikings are also in a precarious position. They are in that 6th seed in the wildcard and have the Redskins and Seahawks nipping at their heels. They need to apply some pressure this week and find a way to get Dalvin Cook going. The Packers have allowed the 6th most rushing yards so Cook has a good shot at making something happen on the ground. flushing Rodgers out of the pocket won’t help the Vikings too much as he’s actually more dangerous passing on the run. They need to keep him contained and put hands in his face. VIKINGS 28 PACKERS 23

HOUSTON TEXANS (7-3) VS TENNESSEE TITANS (5-5)

This game is very important for both teams, but more so for the Titans. The Titans are fighting with the Ravens, Colts, Bengals, and Dolphins for the 6th seed in the AFC wild card race. The Titans are coming off a big loss against the Colts and they really need to get the win to put themselves in prime position going down the strecth. This is a strong defensive team that has a rather weak passing game. Mariota is purely a game manager and is better on his feet than standing around in the pocket. They key for the Titans is for Mariota to heat up and for the defense to stop or slow down DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans come in as the 4 seed in the playoff hunt and have a shot at moving up to 2nd if the Pats and Steelers lose this weekend. They have the 7th ranked defense and the duo of Watt and Clowney could give any QB nigthmares. They need to find a way to give Watson time and push the ball upfield. The keys to this game will be the Texans offensive line and the defensive line’s containment of Mariota. They can’t give him time or let him scramble, they must make his hurry his throws. TEXANS 21 TITANS 13

Those are my picks and hopefully they’ll help make up for a rough Thanksgiving day of picks. I hope you all enjoy and please feel free to comment and please share around to help me get some readers and get my name out there. Thank you!

CURRENT RECORD: 87-73

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