By: Shawn Davis
This week of games has what I like to call a “pad-the-stats” type of feel to it. What I mean is that while some of the games are pertinent to the final playoff spots, most of them feature teams that cannot play their way into the postseason. Most of my excitement is reserved for the Monday night game between the Houston Texans and New England Patriots.
Here we go:
DEN 20 @ OAK 10: With the Broncos now looking directly into the eyes of the Ravens and Patriots (all three sitting at 9-3) they have a great chance to secure a first-round playoff bye so I doubt they relax and start to read their press clippings. The Raiders will play hard – and this game does have minefield potential for Denver – but they won’t be able to generate enough offense since they’re a one-dimensional attack. Darren McFadden is expected back but I’m not sure his contribution equates to a victory.
STL 20 @ BUF 24: The Rams are 5-6-1 this season; with a 4-0-1 record in their division. This is not a division game.
DAL 20 @ CIN 17: I have no idea why but I think the Cowboys win this game.
KC 13 @ CLE 21: I just like this Browns team.
TEN 10 @ IND 24: Like I’m going to pick the Titans.
CHI 23 @ MIN 17: Adrian Peterson has another huge day but the Bears stifle everything else the Vikings attempt.
PHI 13 @ TB 27: The Buccaneers.
BAL 20 @ WSH 17: I like the euphoria that Robert Griffin has the capital district enveloped in but it gets doused a bit here. The three-game winning streak he’s engineered has been a joy to watch but they hit a speed bump this week. The Ravens need to keep pace at 9-3 with Denver and New England – and after losing last week to the Steelers they’ll find a way to scrape out a win. As I’m picking Baltimore, I feel like I need a shower.
ATL 21 @ CAR 17: I think Cam Newton has another productive day at the office but he falls short before he clocks out for the afternoon.
NYJ 10 @ JAC 21: There’s no reason to pick the Jets.
SD 10 @ PIT 17: Ben Roethlisberger is likely to return for this one…he’s not needed.
MIA 17 @ SF 23: Ryan Tannehill is another core member of this year’s celebrated qb class and I expect him to play well but the 49ers defense is one hell of a challenge…for experienced quarterbacks.
ARI 9 @ SEA 27: If John Skelton starts for the Cardinals then the game will be closer but the Seahawks are not dropping a game at home in either case.
NO 30 @ NYG 31: The Giants can really lower expectations to begin their inevitable playoff run by gifting this one to the Saints but I don’t see it. This game could end with either team being victorious but I feel the champions are tired of being doubted (although they’ve caused most of it).
DET 21 @ GB 38: I loooooove watching the Lions (attempt to) play defense.
HOU 27 @ NE 24: I’m making this pick without giving it too much thought. There are reasons to pick against the Patriots (defense, mostly) but I cannot find one reason to pick against Houston. I don’t care if they’re on the road.
Last Week: 7-9