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WEEK 13 NFL PREDICTIONS

Ok so up to this point in the season, I still have a pretty decent record. I had a tough week last week but I’m still well over .500 on the season. Last week had some nice upsets, drama, and blowouts. Hopefully this week will be better for me as the late season playoff drama heats up. I hope you enjoy reading this!

DALLAS COWBOYS (6-5) VS NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (10-1)

A lot of people have this game pegged as a blowout. The Cowboys have been consistent lately but struggled to find that balance in the early part of the season. Dak isn’t looking like the same QB the analysts gushed over a year or two ago. This team’s saving grace is this hard-nosed defense and Zeke. The defense is ranked 9th in overall defense and are tied for 3rd in passing TDs allowed. They have been extremely stout and have shutdown most QBs they’ve faced lately. However, this week will be the toughest test as they face the league’s top offense in recent weeks and the favorite for MVP, Drew Brees. Zeke is currently 1st in rushing yards and is likely going to have to do a lot to help Dak in this game. He’s going to need to break off some bigger runs and catch some passes to help make the offense unpredictable. While the defense might slow Brees down a bit they certainly don’t quite have the defense to stop him. Zeke and Cooper will need a big week to help the offense keep up with this Saints offense. I don’t think they’ll fully be able to keep up, but the game will be closer than most think. SAINTS 34 COWBOYS 27

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-8) VS INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-5)

This game will be a blowout for sure. Ramsey and company haven’t been bad on defense, but they missed some key coverages on more than enough plays throughout games. In the NFL 1 or 2 missed coverages can cost your team the game and I saw more than 1 or 2 missed assignments against the Bills and the Steelers. They can’t afford to do that against Luck and the red hot Colts right now. They have the speedy T.Y. Hilton and the TD machine that is Eric Ebron. Andrew Luck is currently ranked 9th in passing yards and second in TDs, so the Jags can’t really afford to miss coverage assignments in this game. The Jaguars offense has been putrid of late also. Bortles was even playing so poorly, they’ve officially benched him for Cody Kessler. This game is going to be solely on the shoulders of Leonard Fournette and the defense. If Ramsey and the defense can’t disrupt Luck at all, then there’s no way they’ll even stand a chance. COLTS 31  JAGS 16

GREEN BAY PACKERS (4-6-1) VS ARIZONA CARDINALS (2-9)

This one won’t be too close either. The Packers might be struggling against the formidable opponents but Rodgers can certainly handle the last place Cardinals. The Packers are having a rough season and last week might’ve been the loss that causes the playoffs to slip through their fingertips and potentially gives McCarthy his walking papers in the offseason. This team just isn’t coming together like they used to. They don’t have many weapons on either side of the ball and are sort of wasting the talents of Rodgers. It’s not like they’re missing a lot either, they have just been losing a lot of close games. They are literally middle of the league in almost every single statistical category. They’re missing a few game changing pieces, but this just isn’t their season. this game is one of their easiest games yet, as the Cardinals are ranked last in passing offense by a lot, and they have a bottom 10 defense. They have one of the worst rushing defenses in the league as well, so look for Jones to have a big game. PACKERS 30  CARDS 10

CHICAGO BEARS (8-3) VS NEW YORK GIANTS (3-8)

This game is going to make pickem players nervous. The Giants are going to make this closer than most would think. Most people would think the Bears front 7 will pressure Manning all day and cause the most pocket panicking QB to throw the game away. However, I think the Giants will be expecting the pressure and will change things up. They are going to look to set Manning, Barkely, Shepard, and Bekcham up on a lot of screens, check downs, and quick slants. They’re going to get the ball out quick and try to be creative to slow down this dangerous defense. It won’t work all game long, but it will help them stay in it. There’s not much one can do against the freak that is Khalil Mack. Mack is an athletic bull and literally gets to the QB at will. If he gets double teamed on the line, then you just free up other guys to break free like Roquan Smith, Trevathan, and Hicks. There’s only so much trickery one offense can do to slow down this defensive juggernaut. Plus the Bears offense is also very talented and dangerous, especially if Trubisky is back this week. BEARS 24 GIANTS 20

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-7) VS CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-5)

The Panthers have really been struggling lately. They have lost 3 in a row, the most recent to the Seahawks. This team just doesn’t look like they’re hungry for the playoffs or like they’re even fighting for their playoff lives. They have officially fallen out of the wildcard spot and are fighting with 5 or 6 other teams still for one of those spots. In the loss to the Lions they struggled to get McCaffrey going and the defense couldn’t prevent the Lions from making the big plays that mattered. They had 5 fumbles (0 lost) and they let Wilson control the game. They have been struggling to manage the games lately, especially on defense and they can’t afford to do that against Winston/Fitz. These mediocre QBs for TB can heat up here and there and if you let them they will hurt you badly when they get hot. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Winston string together 3 good games in a row though, so i look for this to be a struggle game for Winston and company that Fitzmagic won’t be able to save them from. PANTHERS 27 BUCS 21

HOUSTON TEXANS (8-3) VS CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-6-1)

I know this is the Browns coming into Houston against the 3 seed in the AFC, but I still see this as a very good, competitive game. Mayfield is going to continue his hot streak and make some good plays early on. Njoku and Callaway have been security blankets for him lately and he and Chubb seem to have found their rhythm. This defense isn’t bad either as they seem to finally be putting the pieces together. This game might not be a win for them as Mayfield is going to be seeing a lot of JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, but they will play close. This Browns team is honestly one or two pieces away from playoff contention. They are going to surprise a lot of people next year. This game though will belong the Watson and the Texans. The Browns do give up a decent bit of yards on defense and that mostly comes from the running game. Lamar Miller just had a huge game and is going to provide the necessary balance for Watson to find his groove. TEXANS 23 BROWNS 20

ATLANTA FALCONS (4-7) VS BALTIMORE RAVENS (6-5)

The Lamar Jackson show continues this week and this one should be fun to watch. The Ravens have used Jackson in two various ways over the past two weeks. In his debut, he ran the ball more than he threw it and rushed for over 110 yards. This past week against the Raiders, he only ran 11 times and passed much more often this time. This week should be a balance and I would certainly urge him to run and use the balance and unpredictability to his advantage as this Falcons team is bad in both phases of defense and is one of the worst scoring defenses in the league. Jackson will need to find some success in both areas and keep Gus Edwards hot as they face one of the better defenses in the league. The Ravens have a strong defense, bu this Falcons offense is very dangerous and has a lot of weapons. I see them doing enough to keep Matt Ryan from going off and scoring enough to swipe another win. RAVENS 20 FALCONS 17

CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-6) VS DENVER BRONCOS (5-6)

This game should also be entertaining to watch. The Broncos are coming off a solid win against the Steelers and the Bengals have now lost 3 in a row, including a double digit loss to the Browns. The Bengals have been missing AJ Green though so that’ll certainly boost their offense a little bit. however, they’re missing They have been very bad on defense, being ranked last in overall defense and the next opponent has 300 total yards less than them. They’ve been putrid on defense this year and they just can’t seem to stop this downward spiral. The Broncos are coming off a huge win against Pittsburgh and are looking to keep the momentum in their favor going forward. They’ve pushed back into the playoff hunt for now, but they need to string some wins together going forward to have a shot. A loss in this game could definitely be the end of someone’s season and I say it’s the Bengals that’ll have to face that reality. BRONCOS 23  BENGALS 13

MIAMI DOLPHINS (5-6) VS BUFFALO BILLS (4-7)

This game would normally be considered a close divisional game. However, the return of Ryan Tannehill widens the gap between these two teams a bit. Tannehill adds a nice sense of security for this offense and they looked really good in his return from injury against a Colts team that is rolling right now. The Dolphins are going to improve a bit upon his return and the Bills are a good team to polish off the rust and start rolling. They’re on the outside of the playoff picture looking in so they need this one badly. Last week the Bills beat Jacksonville, and I’m sure they had plenty of motivation with Ramsey talking trash on the team. Josh Allen is doing just enough to keep them competitive, but mostly just against the mediocre teams. The Dolphins aren’t a dangerous playoff contender by any means, but they are good enough  with Tannehil at the helm. I look for the Dolphins to bring the Bills back down to earth in a double digit victory. DOLPHINS 24 BILLS 13

DETROIT LIONS (4-7) VS LOS ANGELES RAMS (10-1)

The Rams are coming in off a bye and the last game they played was that possibly greatest game ever against KC where they put up 54 points and just barely won. This offense proved it has what it takes to beat anyone and put up points at will, but they defense also proved they can be equally as deadly and game-changing. Goff, Gurley, and company look to ride that big win and the bye into a somewhat easy opponent in the Lions. I look for the Rams to keep the rhythm going and know that this could be a trap game. The Lions aren’t in a good place as their season is realistically almost over. They are a team that’s mediocre on both sides of the ball, give the ball away quite a bit, and does not get turnovers or stops on defense. This team also has a less than average offensive line. This is all a recipe for disaster against a team full of offensive weapons, a defensive that forces turnovers and gets to the QB. I look for this to be our biggest deficit win of the week. RAMS 38 LIONS 10

TENNESSEE TITANS (5-6) VS NEW YORK JETS (3-8)

This game is going to be an upset. Mariota is iffy in terms of being able to play and I can’t see them beating much of anyone without him. He controls the offensive tempo and manages the game very well. I also question how he’ll perform with that elbow injury getting worse and worse for him. Darnold coming back could be good or bad because so far he just hasn’t been very good this season. He throws lots of interceptions and is very careless with the ball. I’d like to see McCown or Webb in this one. McCown has necessarily lost the starter job so why bench him? Either way I see the Jets doing enough to slow them down and securing a win. JETS 16 TITANS 13

OAKLAND RAIDERS (2-9) VS KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-2)

This will also be a blowout game. Usually division games are close, heated, and competitive. This game will not follow that path because one team is a top 3 NFL team and the other is bottom 2. This game is going to get extremely out of hand fast and Mahommes is going to go off as he makes his case even stronger for MVP. Oakland lacks the defensive pass rush to slow Mahommes down and the Raiders have the worst ranked rush defense in the league so I see Hunt and Hill running wild on this defense. This is going to be a very lopsided win. CHIEFS 44 RAIDERS 17

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8-3) VS MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-4-1)

This is another upset pick for me this week. Normally I’d think you were crazy for picking the opposing team coming into Foxborough, but this Vikings team has momentum and the talent to do it. Cousins is playing well this season, ranking 5th in pass yards and 9th in TDs. He’s got plenty of offensive weapons and that’ll certainly be enough for him to get into a rhythm 25th ranked pass defense of the Patriots. New England has to do what they can to pressure Cousins and keep them one dimensional. The Vikings have the 3rd worst rushing attack and the Pats need to keep the run game locked down so they can put their focus on Cousins and make them more predictable. Too bad Diggs, Thielen, and Rudolph, plus their vaunted defense will just be too much this week for New England. VIKINGS 30 PATS 24

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-5) VS SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (2-9)

This game should be a comfortable double digit win also. Wilson is a very good, smart QB and he’s in a rhythm right now as he’s fighting to make the playoffs. They tend to hang around with the good teams but play rough with the bad teams in the league. This week though they’re going to prove the bad teams aren’t their kryptonite and they’re also driven by the playoff hunt so I look for the 8th best scoring defense to suppress Nick Mullens and make them lean heavily on Breida. The 49ers have a mediocre pass defense and aren’t very good at keeping the opponent from scoring so I look for Wilson to have a pretty good game. SEAHAWKS 27 49ERS 13

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-3-1) VS LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (8-3)

This game was a rather tough choice. Normally I’d pick the Chargers as I honestly believe they’re better than Pittsburgh. I like the Chargers defense over Pittsburgh’s and I give Rivers/Gordon the nod over Ben/Conner. However with Gordon our this week, the nod should most definitely go to the Steelers. I don’t think so, I still have the Chargers in this one. I think their offense is clicking better right now, their defense is playing better with Bosa back, and I think Ekeler and the other backs can still get it done. Big Ben and that offense are dangerous but the Chargers have the defensive weapons to even it out and Ekeler isn’t Gordon by any means but he’s still very capable and dangerous. Here’s my other upset pick. CHARGERS 31 STEELERS 23

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-6) VS WASHINGTON REDSKINS (6-5)

This game will be very close and competitive. The Eagles have been battered beyond belief this season. They’ve struggled to find consistency as a whole with those injuries but especially on defense. The Redskins were doing what was necessary to make defensive stops and manage the tempo and game. They are battling the injury of Alex Smith and some key offensive linemen. They are expecting the return of Chris Thompson and the combo of Thompson and Peterson could really play out and create a lot of openings and success for Colt McCoy and his new favorite receiver Trey Quinn. I think the Redskins edge out the win here. REDSKINS 20 EAGLES 16

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

NFL WEEK 12 PREDICTIONS (THANKSGIVING DAY GAMES)

As the NFL season progresses, the award front-runners and playoff picture becomes a bit clearer. Can anyone stop the Rams, Saints, or Chiefs? Are the Bears and Steelers sleeper threats for the playoffs? Will Jon Gruden get run out of the Raiders organization before next season? I guess we’ll just have to watch and see. At least for now, I can predict this weeks games and possibly break down each potential playoff team sometime this week or next. By the way, IM SORRY BUT THIS WEEKS GAMES ARE SPILT INTO TWO ARTICLES BECAUSE I WAS A BIT BUSY THIS WEEK AND COULDN’T COMPLETE THEM ALL BY TONIGHT.

DALLAS COWBOYS (5-5) VS WASHINGTON REDSKINS (6-4)

The loss of Alex Smith for the season is extremely deflating for the Redskins. That blow to their team really opened the doors for the rest of the division to fight for the crown. They have Colt McCoy at the helm ,and if that’s not scary enough, they are also missing 3 starting offensive lineman. This defense for the Redskins is solid and efficient but without most of the starting o-line and a less than reliable backup QB at the helm, they have very little to no help. Maybe, just maybe, a Thanksgiving miracle can help them pull this one out. The Cowboys are on a bit of a roll right now. They’re coming off wins against the Eagles and the Falcons and are fighting to stay in the divisional race. Dak Prescott needs to get Zeke into a rhythm and use his rushing attack to open up his offense and control the tempo. They have the fortune of having a pretty solid offensive line and a good defense, so they should have plenty of chances to make moves with the ball. They should control the possession aspect of the game, and must play smart and keep the defense guessing. The Cowboys defense is good enough to keep Colt McCoy from doing much of anything, they simply have to stay balanced on offense and let Zeke do his thing. COWBOYS 23  REDSKINS 10

DETROIT LIONS (4-6) VS CHICAGO BEARS (7-3)

Now generally I’d say the Bears in this one easily. This trick offense under a solid quarterback with lots of surrounding talent, and probably the best defense in the league is a big favorite in this matchup. However, Trubisky isn’t playing so that’ll definitely hurt them. Chase Daniel isn’t bad but I’m not sure he can do the same things with this offense Trubisky can. The defense will have to do a little extra along with the running game to help them get by in this one. The Lions are a decent team more than capable of pulling the upset on the short handed Bears. Stafford is capable of putting up numbers and Marvin Jones is dangerous. I think they can pull this one off! LIONS 24 BEARS 20

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (9-1) VS ATLANTA FALCONS (4-6)

Write this down, this is a trap game! The Saints have been absolutely unbeatable all season, even against the best of them. Drew Brees is the MVP front-runner at the moment and he’s had an amazingly efficient year as he’s only thrown 1 INT and completed over 75% of his passes. This offense is just scary good and looks virtually unbeatable this season. However, that’s what makes a trap game a trap game. Brees and company are rolling and feeling invincible right about now. The Falcons, in case you hadn’t noticed, have a powerful offense of their own. With Matt Ryan and his multitude of weapons, he can surely keep up with Brees and company if they play smart. I look for the defense of the Falcons to dial up some varietal pass rushes and surprise this offense just enough to get the edge. FALCONS 31 SAINTS 27

Again I’m sorry I didn’t get to post the rest of the games but I was crunched for time. Look for the rest of the slate of games tomorrow or Saturday and we’ll see how my pickem record develops. Please share this around with fellow football fans and keep reading. Thank you all so much for reading and liking my Facebook page!

2018 NFL SEASON AWARD PREDICTIONS

So before I post my next weekly prediction article post my season award predictions. This season we’ve seen some surprises pop up and we’ve seen some non-shocker front-runners. In a season of breakouts, slumps, hilarity, and gut-wrenching injuries, we’ve seen that there’s just no predicting the NFL completely. The NFL will never be fully predictable because there’s just so many random variables that change the scope of the season. That certainly won’t stop me from trying to predict things though, and that certainly includes now.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Patrick Mahommes, QB, CHIEFS

This choice was actually pretty tough and it was the most up in the air choice. The guy is in his second season and he’s currently on pace for over 5,200 yards and 54 TDs…AND HE’S 23 YEARS OLD PEOPLE!! Many people have Brees as a front runner, but this kid is doing things that Drew Brees didn’t accomplish until he was in his mid-30s. It took Peyton Manning 15 years to set the single season passing yards record and passing TDs record, and Mahommes could break both in just his second year. His receivers aren’t necessarily bad. He has Kelce, Hill, and his RB Hunt, but after that he has Chris Conley, and Demarcus Robinson (Sammy Watkins has been hurt). That’s certainly not the most dangerous receiving core in the league, but he most definitely makes them that way. Alex Smith did enough to get this team to the playoffs when he was in KC but Mahommes this season already has more passing yards than all but one season in Smith’s career. The most TDs Smith has thrown for is 26…Mahommes already has 37 and we’re only headed into week 12. The guy has exactly what it takes to be the leader of the next generation of quarterback. This guy is special and is very likely to be the answer for Andy Reid’s playoff woes.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER: TODD GURLEY, RB, RAMS

This was a relatively easy choice. Gurley is doing things we haven’t seen a running back do in a little while. Gurley is out here running and catching the ball with ease and is making a huge difference for his team. He’s showing just how much of a dominant running back and is separating himself from the rest of the pack as the best in the league. He is on pace for 2,100 total yards from scrimmage and 25 total TDs. He’s a major influence in one of the league’s best offenses and is helping Goff have a huge year as well.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER: AARON DONALD, DL, RAMS

This was a pretty easy pick as well. The rest of the league has its fair share of solid defenders but Donald has simply separated himself as the best. He’s absolutely wreaking havoc on offensive lines and backfields. He changes games and makes plays throughout games and also when they’re needed most. I haven’t seen an offense be able to stop him yet as he leads the league in sacks with 14.5 and is on pace for 22. He’s also on pace to have 4 forced fumbles and 3 or 4 recoveries. The guy has just been unstoppable, and the only person who might be a threat to his winning this award is Khalil Mack

OFFENSIVE ROOKIE: SAQUON BARKLEY, RB, GIANTS

This wasn’t super hard to pick either. Barkley has come out and done the same things he was doing at Penn State. He’s running and catching the ball with extreme talent, confidence, and athleticism. He is incredibly shifty, has excellent vision, and is just too damn athletic to bring down. He makes plays that I’ve never seen be made by a running back before. He also has a chance to make history as the first rookie running back to have 1,000 yards rushing and receiving. He’d be just the 3rd running back overall to accomplish the feat also. He’s doing very special things and I can’t wait to see what he does as his career unfolds. The only player I could think would’ve had a shot to compete would be Ridley, but he hasn’t been as explosive lately as he started out.

DEFENSIVE ROOKIE: DARIUS LEONARD, LB, COLTS

This one is simply because it’s who I think the committee will select, not who I would personally select. Darius Leonard has played great and has become the best player on the Colts defense. He’s a ball hawk and has been an absolute terror for opposing defenses. He currently has a stat line of 104 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 INT, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 recoveries. That being said, I would personally pick someone that nobody else has even considered, but deserves to be. Donte Jackson plays for the Panthers and was drafted late in the 2nd round. The guy has 42 tackles, 1 sack, 4 INTs, 7 deflections, and a forced fumble. The guy is performing way above expectations and has become a very solid corner. He would be my pick but Darius Leonard is the more popular choice and is still a good choice at that.

COMEBACK PLAYER: ANDREW LUCK, QB, IND

I believe this pick is the right one for one big reason…the guy hasnt played since 2016. He missed a whole season and a half and he comes back in and starts putting up pro bowl numbers. Luck has come in and put up 29 TDs and almost 2,800 yards. He’s on pace to tally 4,400 yards and 44 TDs after well over 1 year of surgery after surgery. The story itself bids you to ask how that’s even possible. He has overcome so much and is performing at the same high level he was when he went down late in the 2016 season. It almost seems like he just picked up where he left off as if he never got hurt.

COACH OF THE YEAR: ANDY REID

This one isn’t too tough of a selection either. Reid has built this team from the bottom up and they are a top 3 team in the league and has helped turn second year QB Patrick Mahommes and this stellar offense into the deadly juggernaut we see today. He’s done special things for this program and is setting them up for an extremely bright future. Not only has he found tons of talent on this team, but that talent is also very young. Look for them to be very solid for years to come.

 

NFL Week 11 Predictions

Well week 11 is upon us and it’s two weeks in a row now that I’ve failed to finish my weekly prediction post before the Thursday night game. I do have a pickem league for fantasy football that states i made the correct pick and has my record for the season just in case anyone doubts me. I promise I would never lie about something as serious as fantasy football. So, without further rambling and case pleading, here are the remainder of my predictions for the week and I’ll post my record up to this point at the bottom of this article.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (4-5) VS CINCINNATI BENGALS (5-4)

This match-up carries a lot more importance than some realize. This could be a battle for the final wildcard spot in the AFC. The Ravens have lost 4 of their last 5 and are likely to be starting a different QB this Sunday. The Ravens have surprisingly relied heavily on their passing offense to carry them this season. The first few weeks, it did rather well for them as they started their first 6 games 4-2 and were averaging 26 point per game. The running game has been abysmal and that’s been the factor in them losing their last 3 games in a row. They’ve become predictable and that’s made them easy to stop. When the offense can’t stay on the field, naturally that tires the defense and they struggle to hold the opposing offense. That’s been the story for the Ravens lately as they’ve been outplayed the last 3 weeks. The idea of Lamar Jackson being at the helm this week could shake things up and keep the offense rather unpredictable and difficult to stop, but only time will tell. The Bengals also had a hot start to the season, but have cooled down as they’ve lost 3 of their last 4. The defense is ranked last in the league and that’s mostly due to the fact that 2 of their recent losses have been by 35 and 37 points. This team is also missing a star WR in AJ Green. If either one of these teams is going to prove that they can make the playoffs and be a competitor, they need to turn their seasons around. The first step to turning things around for either team is to pull out a win this Sunday. I like Baltimore in this game because I believe the use of Lamar Jackson as the starter will bring too much unpredictability and speed to this offense. It’ll be close as most of the Cincy-Ravens games are. RAVENS 23 BENGALS 21

NEW YORK GIANTS (2-7) VS TAMP BAY BUCCANEERS (3-6)

This is simply a game that will help decide draft position. Both teams have an incredibly slim chance of making the playoffs so there’s not much on the line in this game. The Bucs are coming off an ugly loss to the Redskins. The Giants are coming off an ugly victory against the 49ers. The Giants aren’t exactly playing good-looking football this season, but the offense is beginning to put the pieces together a bit. Odell and Barkley have been the bright spots for this team this season with a sprinkle of Shepard mixed in. Odell is the 7th best WR this season in terms of stats. Eli is having an extremely rough season, and Odell is still finding ways to put up numbers and do more than his fair share to help this team. Barkley has also put on show in his rookie season. He’s on pace to just break 1,000 rushing yards and could potentially break 1,000 yards receiving. If Barkley can accomplish this feat, he would be the 3rd player in NFL history to have 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season, and would be the first rookie to ever accomplish the feat. This team has the talent necessary to do damage, but they seem to be missing something. The Bucs are just as rough. They just can’t seem to get consistent QB play from neither Fitzmagic or Jameis. The running game is sloppy at best, and the defense is very rough. Evans, Jackson, and Howard are attempting to carry this team and it’s just not working. They have allowed the most points of any team in the NFL and have the 4th worst point differential in the league. Their season will be over very soon if they can’t fix the chaos that’s happening under center and win some games. With the Bucs coming off a tough loss and the Giants feeling good after a recent win, look for the Giants to squeak one out here.  GIANTS 26 BUCS 20

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (3-6) VS PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-2-1)

This game isn’t very tough to choose at all. The Jaguars have one of the worst scoring offenses in the NFL. They rank 27th in percentage of drives that end in a score. They also rank 28th in red zone opportunities. The running game is responsible for only 3 touchdowns, tied for the worst in the league. This defense is a top 5 defense in the league, but they can’t move the ball down the field and produce any points to show for their defensive prowess. They have the second most offensive drives that end in a turnover. Just to help you understand just how bad this offense has been, the defense ranks 2nd in yards allowed, 9th in points against them, and they’re 1st in first downs allowed. They have been very nice on the defensive side of the ball. Despite them being the 9th best in scoring defense, they’re 22nd in point differential. They’re playing one of the leagues hottest offenses in recent weeks this week. The Steelers are rolling and Big Ben, James Conner and this dangerous offense is the biggest factor in their recent success. Conner has been an absolute gem this season and is quickly making Pittsburgh forget who Leveon Bell even is. This offensive line has performed very well, and they’re providing Ben with lots of time and Conner with plenty of holes. Big Ben with time is always a very scary thing. He’s a future hall of famer and is showing again why he’s still one of the best in the league. I look for the Steelers to take full advantage of how much their offense will be on the field. The Jags defense is tough, but after being on the field for so much time, they can’t stay stout for long. STEELERS 31 JAGS 13

DETROIT LIONS (3-6) VS CAROLINA PANTHERS (6-3)

Carolina Panthers are coming off their worst loss of the season so far against the Steelers, having lost by 31 points. The Steelers offense controlled the tempo of the game and scored at will. The Panthers got down early to the Steelers and never really recovered. Big Ben was absolutely masterful, as he had more touchdown passes than he had incompletions. They had a balanced run game and AB, JuJu, and Mcdonald absolutely shined in the passing game. The Panthers may have needed that game to humble them a bit. This offense relies heavily on the rush as they are the 5th best rush attack in the league and they are a very disciplined team as they rank 7th in giveaways and 6th in penalty yards. This team has a decent and very opportunistic offense, but they allow way to many scores. This defense doesn’t do bad in terms of limiting teams in their yardage, bu they rank 31st in passing TDs scored against them. They have the second worst defensive red zone scoring percentage. Teams don’t get into the red zone a lot against them, but when they do, Carolina struggles immensely to prevent touchdowns. The Lions defense is the 10th worst scoring defense in the league and the 7th worst team at forcing turnovers. This defenses struggles are mostly in the running game. They are 23rd overall against the run and allow alot of passing touchdowns in the red zone. They struggle to stop the rush from moving the offense downfield, but they also struggle to keep the ball out of the endzone on the pass. To me, that sounds exactly what the Panthers want. The Panthers thrive on rushing with McCaffrey and Cam down the field, then they let Cam throw for the touchdown on the run. This Lions team is in deep trouble this weekend if they can’t find a way to disprove the writing on the wall. PANTHERS 23 LIONS 16

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (6-3) VS HOUSTON TEXANS (6-3)

This is an interesting matchup. The Texans are riding a 5 game win streak and are beginning to look rather dangerous. The Redskins are also looking good, having won 4 of their last 5 games. The teams though come to a head this weekend, looking to create more separation in their respective division races. The Redskins currently boast the 5th best run defense and the 4th best scoring defense. Offensively they’re not quite as dangerous. Their rushing attack is 10th in the league and they don’t force many turnovers. The key for the Redskins in this one will be Adrian Peterson and Josh Norman, yes Josh Norman. If Josh Norman can keep Deandre Hopkins from making chunk plays, they’ll possibly keep Watson off balance and keep the ball in Alex Smith’s hands. The Texans will rely on Lamar Miller and the pass rush. If Miller can balance the game plan enough to keep Watson in rhythm and unpredictable, they’ll be able to find much success. Also, if JJ Watt and company can get to Smith regularly, they’ll prevent him from controlling the tempo and managing the game. The Texans have better odds as the Skins are missing 3 starting linemen and the Texans are still red hot right now. TEXANS 21 REDSKINS 10

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-5) VS TENNESSEE TITANS (5-4)

This is actually a pretty decent game. You have two teams coming off big games. The Titans just beat the Patriots by 24 points, and the Colts just beat the Jags to keep their season alive. Both offenses have played very well recently but what will make the difference in this one? The Titans offense isn’t a very strong one aside from the past few weeks. The offense is 30th overall and their best offensive weapon is their two-headed monster of a backfield. The duo of Dion Lewis and Derrick Henry are quite the force to be reckoned with. They control the offense when they’re rolling and make Mariota his most dangerous. Their defense however, is top 10 in all aspects and even in 1st in points against. They shut down offenses at will and really are capable of stopping any offense. The key for them will be the offensive line and the defensive line. If they can protect Mariota and keep Mack from gaining momentum, they could take this game. The Colts have a good offense and a mediocre defense. Andrew Luck has been very efficient this season. When Mack gets going, Luck is downright scary. They sport a top 10 offense and are 1st in third down conversions. The defense though is abysmal. The key for the Colts will be the run defense and Marlon Mack. Mack gaining any momentum will keep Luck from becoming predictable and if they can stuff Lewis and Henry, Mariota will lose control of the tempo of the game. With the Colts missing Hooker, I can’t see them making enough of a difference on defense to stop the Titans. TITANS 17 COLTS 9

ATLANTA FALCONS (4-5) VS DALLAS COWBOYS (4-5)

This game also features two teams fighting to keep their seasons alive. The Falcons are fighting for a wildcard spot, while the Cowboys are still very much in contention for the division crown. The Cowboys are fresh off a division win against their bitter rival Eagles. The Falcons are coming into this game desperate to forget last weeks double digit loss to the Browns. The Falcons actually boast a top 6 offense and can use their weapons to pretty much score at will. They’re the 8th best scoring offense in the league. On the defensive end, they are a mediocre at best as they’re ranked 30th in total offense. They’ll need to get Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper involved to spread the defense. The Cowboys offense boasts the second best running back in the league but only 27th in overall offense. They’re defense though is top 10 and their scoring defense is 3rd. They are going to need Elliott to have immense success so Dak can create enough to keep pace with the Falcons defense. Their defense is very solid so I don’t see keeping up as being much of a problem for the Cowboys. COWBOYS 20 FALCONS 17

ARIZONA CARDINALS (2-7) VS OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-8)

This certainly won’t be the most exciting game this weekend. These are two of the worst teams in the league right now. The Cardinals are coming off a loss to the Chiefs, while the Raiders got manhandled last week by the Chargers. The Raiders have been really bad this season, as their record proves. There’s honestly very little, if anything at all, that they do well. However, the Cardinals are pretty bad themselves right now. They might be able to just not be bad enough to squeak out a win. Defense will be key for both teams this week. The Raiders are missing both Bryant and Nelson at WR, so that’ll surely be a big blow to their chances. The team that forces the most mistakes and causes the most pressure will get the win. I’d give you more of a breakdown for this one, but I don’t need to give you more reasons to feel sorry for either team. CARDINALS 13 RAIDERS 3

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (7-2) VS DENVER BRONCOS (3-6)

This game is likely to be a blowout for sure. The Chargers have the 8th best offense in the league and the 14th best defense. This team is solid on both sides of the ball. This offense has an immense amount of weapons and the defense is very stout and are even getting Joey Bosa this week. If Melvin Gordon breaks 150 total yards and Bosa looks anything like his old self, they’ll beat the Broncos relatively easily. The Broncos have the 11th best overall offense but they just fail to score. The Broncos just manage to lose close games. They have the 21st ranked defense in the league and the 15th scoring defense. They’re not bad, but now playing without Damryius Thomas, they just don’t have the weapons to move against this Chargers defense. CHARGERS 34 BRONCOS 12

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (8-1) VS PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (4-5)

This game will be another big win, but I will tell you it’s not because the Eagles are bad. So many people have been saying how bad the Eagles are and that they can’t beat anybody right now. What I can tell you is that Carson Wentz and this offense are still pretty good. The defense probably wouldn’t be 16th in total defense either if they didn’t have so many injuries. The Eagles very well could be 6-3 or even 7-2 right now if they didn’t have half their starters missing. They will lose this game by double digits but only because Philly is so battered right now. The Saints are the best team in football right now. This offense is having remarkable success and has so many weapons, it’s almost not even fair. Drew Brees has a chance to win his first MVP and they are the favorite to make the Super Bowl in the NFC. They’re on fire and they’re not slowing down now. SAINTS 41 EAGLES 23

CHICAGO BEARS (6-3) VS MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-3-1)

This was one of the tougher games to pick this week. Both teams are relatively well matched. They both play pretty good, opportunistic offense and solid, pass rushing defense. Two similar game styles for two division rivals. The biggest difference here is a man by the name of Khalil Mack and another man named Matt Nagy. The Vikings are a very solid team for sure but this Mack guy is pretty damn good. He gets to the quarterback with unprecedented ease, stops the run with razor-sharp instincts and brute strength, and forces lots of turnovers. Even when he’s double teamed he still finds a way to make game changing plays. Matt Nagy makes a ton of great play calls on the offensive side of the ball. Nagy creates and calls so many creative plays, it’s nearly impossible to predict or even stop. They run so many reverses, screens, options, and much more. What are you supposed to do other than just pray for a stop. I’m sure it’s obvious by now, but I’m all in on the Bears train this season. BEARS 27 VIKINGS 24

LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-1) VS KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (9-1)

This was most definitely the toughest game to pick this week. This is 2 of the best teams in the league this season. Literally the Chiefs have 3rd ranked offense and the Rams have the 2nd so I was spot on in the last sentence. However, on the defensive side of the ball, one team is clearly better than the other. The Rams rank 13th in total defense, and the Chiefs only rank 29th. This Chiefs team has gotten by easily because their offense is just that damn good! Not very often that you see a matchup that features 3 players that could potentially win MVP this season. These teams are favorites to make their respective conference championships and are both considered extremely dangerous on the offensive side of the ball and the team who’s defense steps up and forces one key mistake. RAMS 38 CHIEFS 34

OVERALL RECORD THROUGH WEEK 10: 80-67

I hope you enjoy this article and I urge you to comment and let me know what you think! Thank you for reading and please share this around to any friends and family that love football. Keep checking in for the next update, as I vow to get it published before Thursday night football.

NFL Playoff Predictions

It’s time for my first season playoff predictions. We just saw a decent shakeup this weekend and even saw a few teams show that they’re not able to hang with the big boys and some that can. Some teams are already almost a lock and some not so much. I won’t beat around the bush too much though and get right to the picks. I’m going to pick the playoff picks as well as my favorites to make the Super Bowl. Here we go:

AFC NORTH: PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Not much of a surprise here as the Browns are 3-6-1, the Bengals just lost by 37 points, and the Ravens are tripping up before the finish line. Big Ben is playing at a high level and his weapons are very solid. They just beat a strong Panthers team by 31 and a solid win the week before against division rival Baltimore. The rest of the season will be interesting for this division as each contending team has 2 or more teams over .500. The Bengals have an easier slate with only 2 of those teams to play while the Steelers have 4. Pittsburgh is the only team in the North that’s proven they can win against talented teams. They have beaten a handful of solid teams and just beat the previously 6-2 Panthers by 31 points. This team is ranked in the top 10 on both sides of the ball and will continue that stat trend if they can keep Connor going and keep getting to the QB on the defensive side. If they can beat or force a close game even against NO and NE, they’ll prove they can hang with the best and lock up the division.

AFC SOUTH: HOUSTON TEXANS

So this team is low key on fire right now. Granted the only solid team they’ve played was NE in week 1, but they still have the Redskins and Titans left to play. They’ve proven when they can get Watson in a rhythm, they’re pretty dangerous. Watson has been very efficient recently and the running game has finally caught up. They’re a solid defensive unit and the offense is getting better. They’ve won 5 in a row and are slowly becoming a team others don’t wanna play. They’re forcing turnovers, getting consistent pressure, and haven’t turned the ball over in 3 weeks either. Look for this team to keep rolling and tuning their game going into the playoffs.

AFC EAST: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

If you expected anybody else in this division, shame on you. The Patriots have always been a fierce and dangerous competitor and nobody wants to play them in the playoffs. They did show some vulnerability this weekend as they got pounded by the Titans. Don’t count them out because we’ve all learned by now that you don’t bet against Brady and Belicheck. Brady still looks good and the offense can put up 30 points on any night. However, the defense is very inconsistent. They can allow up to 30 points to anyone and can also hold teams under 10. This will hurt them in the playoffs when they could run into teams like Pittsburgh and Kansas City, who can score at will. The Pats will beat out Miami for the division though, so let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

AFC WEST: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

This is much of a surprise but it’s also a closer race than everyone thinks. This offense is one of the most dangerous in the NFL. Mahommes is putting up MVP numbers and breaking records left and right. Hunt, Kelce, and Hill are making sure he has enough weapons to keep rolling. They’re 2nd in points, averaging 35 per game and they’re 5th in 3rd down conversion percentage. The defense has struggling so far but they’re getting better. They allow a lot of yards as they’re 29th in total yards but they have been keeping teams from scoring a lot and have even 6th best in defensive 3rd down percentage. They force enough turnovers and that’s helped them have the 6th best turnover differential. Once they can get some more pressure on the QB, who can stop them? Now you may be saying, “Kyle what does Mahommes offer that Smith doesn’t in terms of playoffs hopes?”. Well let me tell you why that’s crazy. Smith didn’t push the ball downfield and liked the safe check downs. He wasn’t very aggressive and couldn’t make a ton of use of the powerful weapons. Mahommes is a powerhouse that isn’t afraid to push the ball downfield and loves to let it rip to his speedy reveiver, running back, and tight end. Mahommes can make the big throws and also doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. This team is a very strong playoff team and will do enough to keep the divisional crown away from the Chargers.

AFC WILD CARD: LA CHARGERS

This other AFC West team is also very dangerous. Rivers is a very capable QB that is now rolling with some powerful weapons. They’re 10th in total offense, 10th in scoring, and let’s not forget that they have this guy named Melvin Gordon and he’s pretty good. This offense is pretty damn good and any team that says they’re not worried about playing them is either lying or hasn’t done even the slightest bit of research about them. The defense is also good! They rank 14th in total defense and 8th in scoring defense. They’re tied for 1st in giveaways as well. This is a solid team on both sides of the ball and they don’t make mistakes. I look for Rivers and the Chargers to finally get that chance at making a solid run at the playoffs. This is definitely their best chance at a Super Bowl, so they better make good on it while they still can.

AFC WILD CARD: TENNESSEE TITANS

So this one was tough, as the Ravens, Bengals, and Dolphins are all in contention for this spot still. The Titans though have proved more than the other three that they are more capable of competing. They just beat the Patriots by 3 TDs and they beat the Texans also. They have lost to the Ravens and the Bills as well so it’s a tough call. The Ravens have a tougher schedule and they’re struggling to stay consistent. The Bengals just got beat by 37 points and are really struggling without AJ Green. The Dolphins have practically imploded and are really missing Tannehill. Granted Tannehill could return in 2 weeks, but at 5-5 and games coming up against Minnesota and New England they’re in trouble. Let’s not forget the Dolphins have also lost 3 of their last 4. The Titans look very good on defense and the offense is getting fairly comfortable. They have the 6th best overall defense and the best scoring defense. Look for the Titans to roll with Mariota and this stingy defense into wildcard weekend, potentially hungry for a playoff upset.

NFC NORTH: CHICAGO BEARS

This one was extremely tough. The Bears look very strong and are quickly finding their offensive identity and their defense is one of the best in the league right now. They’ll have to beat the Vikings twice and play the Rams on their way to the NFC North crown. Trubisky is blossoming into a very promising QB and is utilizing his weapons perfectly. He has Robinson performing well, Burton steps up when he has to, Miller is becoming a decent threat, and that tandem backfield is scary. We all have seen too that the Bears defense, anchored by Khalil Mack, is one of the best defenses in the league. They lead the league in interceptions and are 5th in sacks. They’re also 1st in turnover differential. This team is highly underestimated as a threat in this league. They will have to hold off the Vikings for the title, but the Vikings schedule is a bit tougher and I honestly believe the Bears are a stronger, more well-rounded team. Look out for the Bears, they’re getting better and better and that’s a very scary thing if they can keep going.

NFC SOUTH: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Man, now this one was really tough to pick. I’m just kidding, this was one of the easier picks of this blog post. This Saints team is arguably the best offense in the league right now. Drew Brees is a dangerous QB to start with, but he’s currently having an MVP-caliber season. He has a ton of dangerous weapons at his disposal, and this defense is beginning to take shape. Even when they can’t stand tall on defense, they have more than managed to outscore them. This team is potentially the best in the league and I’m cutting their breakdown short because there’s not much to say other than, I’m so sorry if you have to play them in the playoffs.

NFC EAST: WASHINGTON REDSKINS

This one is more of a best of the worst situation. This division doesn’t really have a powerhouse. I previously would’ve thought the Eagles would wind up in this spot, but they’ve had a ton of injuries and haven’t been able to recover. The Cowboys are good once every three games, and the Giants are playing for the first overall draft pick. The Redskins are competent and are able to beat the less than formidable teams, but have only beaten one good team and it’s the same team that just lost by 31. The Redskins are top 4th in scoring defense and are 5th in rushing defense. That could help them tremendously in the playoffs against some stand out backs. This defense could help Alex Smith do what he does best, manage the game to a close win. Smith usually does enough to run clock, move the ball, and get the close wins. They’ll definitely do enough to win their division.

NFC WEST: LOS ANGELES RAMS

This was the easiest pick, as the Rams could literally lock up the division by next week. This team almost resembles the team that had Warner, Faulk, Holt, and Bruce. They score at will and Todd Gurley could potentially be this season’s MVP. The defense also is 13th in total defense and 12th in scoring defense. The Rams are also 5th in turnover differential and are even 2-1 against teams with a winning record. The one team they lost to was the red hot Saints in New Orleans and it was very close. If this team can beat Kansas City and Chicago, then I believe only the Saints stand in their way. Hopefully the loss of Kupp won’t hurt their offense too much.

NFC WILD CARD: CAROLINA PANTHERS

The Panthers looked extremely vulnerable Thursday as they lost big. The Steelers carved them up to the tune of 52 points and 460 total yards. The Steelers defense got to Cam Newton 5 times and forced an INT. This team cruised on a solid Baltimore defense and handled the Bengals when they were still hot. This team has lost to Washington and Pittsburgh. They have their issues to work through but then the defense comes together and Christian McCaffrey gets rolling, they’re almost impossible to stop. Cam has looked like Cam again this season and this is a well rounded team that can score in a multitude of creative ways. They could show up in the playoffs and beat anybody, or they could show up and get rolled on. They’ll make the playoffs but the depth of their playoff appearance will depend on Newton.

NFC WILD CARD: MINNESOTA VIKINGS

This one was extremely tough. The Vikings currently hold the spot and have played well. Cousins has done very well and has been very efficient thus far with his solid receiving weapons. They’ve hung with some of the tougher teams but they’re remaining schedule is very tough. The rush needs to get going as they’re 28th in the league. The Packers and Falcons have easier schedules, but neither team has been able to beat anybody over .500 so the Vikings are definitely the best bet to grab up the last wildcard spot. Honestly the Cowboys are a close second because they have an easier schedule, and when They Boys’ offense is rolling they’re dangerous. However the Cowboys are too inconsistent, so the Vikings it is as they’re are better on a consistent basis.

My Super Bowl favorites are the Chiefs and the Bears. I know that Bears pick is a stretch but I just have a gut feeling. When this offense gets in rhythm, they’re deadly and Nagy has a lot of solid tricks up his sleeve. The defense have what it takes to beat the big boys and I believe they’ll surprise everyone. The Chiefs aren’t a huge surprise as they are just too damn good for the rest to stop them. The offense is a freight train and Mahommes is the real deal. I just don’t see even the best AFC teams stopping them from making the Super Bowl. I’m sorry but I won’t be picking a winner yet because I wanna keep you in suspense. Maybe in a week or two you’ll get my pick. I hope you liked my article. Please comment and let me know what you think. Keep reading for more articles and stories. Thank you for reading!!

Week 10 score predictions

It’s been a very long time since I last posted and I’m sorry. Let’s not dwell on the sadness of the absence of blog posts, and focus on the future. The best topic to pick up on is football of course. Football is the heartbeat of America, it’s food for the soul, it’s what makes life so great, football is everything and then some. Let’s get right down to the predictions.

NEW ENGLAND (7-2) at TENNESSEE (4-4)

This matchup is either going to be a tough, close game or a blow out. The Patriots look really solid at this point in the season and I don’t see them stalling this week. The Patriots are 9th in total offense and 5th in scoring offense. Tom Brady is Tom Brady and this offense is strong as always. They rank 11th in the NFL in red zone touchdown percentage also. The Titans have a very strong defense, ranking 8th overall and 1st in scoring. The strong defense doesn’t do them much justice though, because the offense is 30th in total offense and 29th in scoring. The Titans are the best red zone defense so that could be the big deciding factor this week. Look for the Titans to provide a speed bump or two on the Patriots’ road to victory but not much more than that. PATRIOTS 24 TITANS 13

NEW ORLEANS (7-1) at CINCINNATI (5-3)

If you haven’t watched NFL football at all the past few weeks, first off shame on you that’s just wrong, you wouldn’t know that the Saints are on fire right now. This is the 2nd best scoring offense and they just got a bit better after signing Dez Bryant. This offense is on fire and they’re flying high after handing the red ho Rams their first loss. The Bengals aren’t anything to scoff at either. They’re playing pretty decent football and they’re 3-1 at home this season. The factor for this one could be the absence of AJ Green and the fact that the Saints are 4-0 on the road this season. The Saints will come out slow and complacent into this potential “trap game” but don’t count out Drew Brees to win…ever. SAINTS 31 BENGALS 23

JACKSONVILLE (3-5) at INDIANAPOLIS (3-5)

This game marks the return of Leonard Fournette for the Jaguars. Thank goodness too because they’ve missed him very much. Now they can return to their standard run heavy offense as they look to right the ship. Fournette looks to carve up the Colts defense. They put on 188 yards in Indy last season without Fournette so this could be a bad game for the Colts who is below average on run defense (19th) and is 22nd in stopping the defense on 3rd down. The Colts are also 10th in total offense and the offensive line has been phenomenal lately. The key in this one for the Jags is establishing the run, and the Colts must protect Luck to have a shot at the W this week. COLTS 20 JAGS 13

BUFFALO (2-7) at NEW YORK JETS (3-6)

Sam Darnold is riding the bench with an injury and Nathan Peterman. We could set a record this week for most total turnovers in a single game with this matchup. McCown is a solid backup in his own right, but this Bills defense is actually pretty damn good. The Bills defense ranks 3rd in total offense and do create a lot of fumbles. The team is the worst passing offense in the league though and has almost triple the INTs thrown as they have forced (16 thrown, 6 forced). McCown has actually done well when he plays and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. I look for the Jets to play safe and control the tempo as they do just enough to win. JETS 13 BILLS 9

WASHINGTON (5-3) at TAMPA BAY (3-5)

This game is actually pretty tough to analyze because the Redskins offense will be missing 3 starters. This could ruin AP’s rushing game and cause a lot of pressure to make its way to Alex Smith. In the end, the Bucs’ defense isn’t that good so the Skins could find some type of play style that will work for the o-line. Peterson looks like the same guy we used to see several years ago when he was demolishing front 7s. Alex Smith also has a tendency to get rid of the ball quickly so I don’t see the line adjustments playing too huge of a factor. The Buccaneers’ offense isn’t bad either, the only thing they don’t do really well is run the ball. That could be the key though as Washington doesn’t force many turnovers and has a decent run defense. Tampa Bay must get the run game going to set the tempo for Fitzmagic and they must not turn the ball over to have a shot. BUCCANEERS 20 REDSKINS 16

DETROIT (3-5) at CHICAGO (5-3)

The Lions are coming off of a tough loss in which they gave up 10 sacks and they have another team this week with a pass rush. The main ingredient to the Bears pass rush is Khalil Mack. He’s a freakish athlete and seems to get to the QB at will. If the Lions stand any chance this week they must slow him down and give Stafford enough time to make plays. They must also work up a little pass rush of their own to fluster Mitch Trubisky. Chicago’s defense is one of the best in the league right now and they specialize is takeaways (2nd). I think this matchup will play out the same way it appears on paper. BEARS 23 LIONS 10

ARIZONA (2-6) at KANSAS CITY (8-1)

At the start of this season I wasn’t on the Mahommes train. I didn’t think he was capable of providing the surge and accurate deep ball capability on a consistent basis for this team. Boy, did he prove me wrong. This team looks virtually untouchable right now and I don’t see signs of them slowing down. They’re 1st in points per game, and they’re 1st in yards per play. 3 or 4 games of this type of offense isn’t exactly proven, but they’ve done it 9 times now. Playing the Cardinals this week has them in line for another really strong game. Arizona is 31st in scoring offense and 27th in TO differential. They’re also 22nd in total defense giving up a lot of yards to the rushing game. This Kansas City team is dangerous and Arizona isn’t very good, so the matchup speaks for itself. CHIEFS 34 CARDINALS 13

ATLANTA (4-4) at CLEVELAND (2-6-1)

Atlanta is playing really well as they ride this 3 game winning streak. Matt Ryan looks very solid and the team is just doing everything right lately. The Falcons are 1st in 3rd conversion percentage and have the 5th best offense in the league. They are struggling on defense, and Cleveland’s QB isn’t bad…that’s right I said the Cleveland Browns have a decent quarterback. Laugh at that statement all you want but, Baker Mayfield is a reliable QB and makes some very smart and tough throws. If he gets some time and can get through his reads, he can make plays and really move the ball well. The Browns are decent at home and I think they’ll give the Falcons a scare this week. I’m calling it close in this one, and I’m predicting the big upset. BROWNS 23 FALCONS 21

LA CHARGERS (6-2) vs OAKLAND (1-7)

The Chargers come into this game heavy favorites against the Raiders. This Raiders team is bad and they don’t seem to be getting any better. The Chargers can’t get sloppy and overconfident though. Division games are always a competitive spark for even the worst teams. The Chargers have a top 10 offense, and this offense is riddled with weapons. Phillip Rivers is having an MVP caliber season and he has one of the best RBs in the league behind him. The defense isn’t terrible either, as they rank 19th overall. The Raiders defense is bottom 5 and the offense is bottom 10. I look for this game to actually be kind of lopsided as the Raiders will show, once again, that they’re a solid bet for the 1st overall draft pick this offseason. CHARGERS 30 RAIDERS 9

LA RAMS (8-1) vs SEATTLE (4-4)

In week 5, the Seahawks ran wild on LA to the tune of 190 yards in the upset bid that fell just short. Their passing offense though is a bit rough at 27th in the league and the defense struggles to stop the run. The key for them to force frustration and turnovers would be to stuff Gurley and make Goff spread the field. The Rams however have a top offense that seems virtually unstoppable with Gurley scoring 16 times in the first 10 games. This offense is scary good and the defense is actually ranking 12th in total defense and 10th in scoring defense. For a team that has a phenomenal offense and pretty decent defense, there’s not much you can do to stop them. They’re also fueled by a recent loss and coming into a divisional rivalry at home. Sorry Seahawks, maybe next week. RAMS 38 SEAHAWKS 23

MIAMI (5-4) at GREEN BAY (3-4-1)

This might be the first time I’ve ever seen the team with the better record as ten point underdogs. The Dolphins are decent when they’re playing ok offenses without a lot of firepower and playmakers. However, the Packers have Aaron Rodgers and sometimes that’s literally all that matters for Green Bay. The Dolphins lead the league in INTs forced but this isn’t just your average run of the mill QB. Their passing offense is 6th overall and Aaron Rodgers has only thrown 1 pick this season. I just don’t see the Dolphins creating enough offensive fireworks to keep pace with A-Rod and the Pack. Plus the Packers are desperate for a win and are In Lambeau this week so you do the math. PACKERS 24 DOLPHINS 10

DALLAS (3-5) at PHILADELPHIA (4-4)

The Dallas Cowboys officially have their backs against the wall and are watching the playoffs potentially slip away. Zeke has 5 games this season where he hasn’t reached 80 yards and he’s usually the key to offensive success. This week the o-line must show up and protect for this team to grab a W in Philly. The Eagles have lots of injuries plaguing them right now as well. Carson Wentz is still dangerous though and does play at an MVP level here and there. If the Eagles’ 2nd best run defense can keep Zeke from running wild and Wentz can play well, look for the Boys to be in more jeopardy of having a lost season. EAGLES 21 COWBOYS 17

NEW YORK GIANTS (1-7) SAN FRANCISCO (2-7)

I’m actually curious for this matchup to see if the legend of Nick Mullins can keep going. Mullins played his first career regular season snap last week in relief of CJ Beathard and totally crushed it. He carved the Raiders defense up for a total of 262 yards and 3 TDS. Granted the Raiders defense isn’t good to start with but nobody expected this brand new guy to come in and just own the game. Against this mediocre Giants defense, he could certainly do the same. The Giants will look to get their abysmal offense going, and that starts with Eli. He must take shots downfield and make plays that eat up yards. He settles for the check-downs too much and that’s lead to their 27th ranking scoring offense. He needs to get Barkley and Odell bigger plays to work with. I like the legend of Nick Mullins in this one. 49ERS 26 GIANTS 17

Well there you have it. Predictions are in and breakdowns have been made. Hopefully next week I’ll post the prediction before the Thursday night game has come and gone. Keep your eyes open for some more articles on all things football and basketball, pro and college.