Not much to say about this week, a few close games that went the wrong way (for me at least). The playoff picture is pretty well set, only a few teams with a real chance to get in as a wildcard in both the AFC and the NFC. Below are my picks for the previous week’s football games. Straight up picks are in bold and picks made against the spread are italicized.
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons -3.5
I figured that the only team able to defeat the Falcons so far this year would take them down again to strengthen their chances of making the playoffs after their horrific 0-4 start.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Buffalo Bills -6.5
Buffalo has greatly underperformed their expectations for the season and Chad Henne has done a good job of taking over at quarterback for the Jaguars. With that said, the Jaguars are still a very bad team.
Seattle Seahawks @ Chicago Bears -4.5
Seattle is a team on the rise, but they are a very different team away from their home field. Chicago’s defense has not performed nearly as well as of late as they did in the first half of the season, but their experience should help against a young offense led by a rookie quarterback.
Indianapolis Colts @ Detroit Lions -4.5
The Lions desperately need a win to keep a realistic shot at the playoffs alive. Their passing game (meaning Stafford to Megatron) should be too much for Indianapolis to handle, Andrew Luck should be able to keep it close though.
Houston Texans@ Tennessee Titans +5.5
Tennessee is a bad team, across the board. Houston has been the trendy pick to represent the Superbowl in the AFC for most of the season and for good reason. Should be a massacre.
Carolina Panthers @ Kansas City Chiefs +3.5
I had Carolina picked all week until the Belcher tragedy happened. Switched it solely for that reason. I do not know where Jovan is now, or if he can see what happened, but hopefully if his spirit still exists he can take some solace in knowing the effect he has had on the people around him.
San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams +7.5
The Rams are at home, and a solid team that makes few mistakes. San Francisco has a better team, but it is a divisional game. 49ers should win this one and the Rams are right on their heels the entire game.
New England Patriots@ Miami Dolphins +7.5
New England has a very high powered offense, the Dolphins do not. The loss of Rob Grownkowski has definitely taken a toll on the Patriots, but they should blow Miami away.
Arizona Cardinals@ New York Jets -4.5
Arizona hasn’t won since week 4. The Jets are equally bad. This one will come down to whoever makes the least mistakes.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos -6.5
Both teams are playing very well at this point in the season, but one side has Peyton Manning. Doug Martin has been the best rookie running back in the league this season, and his production should help them cover the spread, but not beat the Broncos.
Cleveland Browns@ Oakland Raiders -0.5
Both teams have struggled to find wins all season. Oakland is an aging team in shambles while Cleveland is a young team that is starting to come together. Their defense almost always performs well and their offense is maturing.
Cincinnati Bengals@ San Diego Chargers +1.5
Cincinnati is simply a better team right now. They need this win to stay make the playoffs, without it they probably have no chance of securing a wildcard berth.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens -6.5
The last one was close, but I feel that Charlie Batch cannot lead a team against the strong Ravens defense.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys -9.5
The Eagles are bad, really bad, but the Cowboys aren’t exactly world-beaters. Dallas should win, but not by double digits.
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins+2.5
Robert Griffin III has his eye on the playoffs, to get there they will probably need to win the NFC East. There is no better way to make that happen then to take down the division leaders. It is of my opinion that the mediocre Giants show up this week.
For the week I had 10 straight up picks correct, putting me at the 85.5 percentile and ranked 82,166 on ESPN while against the spread I picked 9 games correctly putting me at the 88.8 percentile and ranked 16,937 on ESPN. I’m a long way from the top in both and doubt I can even break the top 1,000. Here’s me hoping the people at the top somehow crash and burn this last fourth of the season.