By: S. Davis
This season is moving so swiftly that it felt like just yesterday that I was waiting for the preseason to begin. What a breezy few months! The Atlanta Falcons seem to have wrapped up the NFC South after the Carolina Panthers fell into the Super Bowl hangover. They seem to be in walk of shame mode over the last eight weeks and they have quite the whole to dig out from if they look to make it to the playoffs.
Tom Brady missed a quarter of a season…and he’s probably the leading MVP candidate as of this typing. The Raiders sit atop the AFC West along with the defending champions and it’s casual. Derek Carr is blossoming but let’s wait before taking measurements for his gold jacket, all right? Seattle is still dominant but their offensive line is constantly influx and that puts Russell Wilson a hit away from missing the rest of the year.
In Pittsburgh Ben Roethlisberger might (or might not) suit up against Baltimore in a game that Landry Jones could probably win. Bill Belichick traded one of his best defenders in Jamie Collins…after moving Chandler Jones to Arizona. Is it odd that the New England Patriots don’t have any pass rush of note? I think Belichick – the general manager – should’ve thought a tad bit harder before agreeing to those deals. They are vulnerable defensively so he counters that by trading young assets away? Hmm…
The Jacksonville Jaguars were picked by some intelligent football minds to make the playoffs; MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. Yeah…maybe I’m missing something.
Atlanta 30 @ Tampa Bay 20: Falcons.
Pittsburgh 30 @ Baltimore 17: This pick is centered on Roethlisberger making the start or coming off the bench to take most of the snaps. I’m confused by the Ravens as they wanted to run a balanced offensive attack but seem to have scrapped that in order to have Joe Flacco throw on almost every down. His attempts are through the roof and they don’t even pretend to run at defenses anymore.
Flacco has proven how streaky his play can be but having him decide the fate of the offense, every week, is too huge a burden for any quarterback. I think the Ravens will target a running back high in the next draft, at least they should.
Dallas 26 @ Cleveland 13: Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot and the offensive line should be enough to keep the Tony Romo hysteria at bay for at least one week.
Jacksonville 9 @ Kansas City 30: Chiefs. It doesn’t matter who starts under center for them this week but it was great to see Nick Foles play well. Jamaal Charles has been placed on injured reserve once more and it seems like a formality that he’ll be wearing a new NFL jersey next season.
NY Jets 23 @ Miami 24: Maybe this game will be another tie this year.
Philadelphia 24 @ NY Giants 29: I was torn on this pick but ultimately I went with the home field as the tipping point.
Detroit 27 @ Minnesota 26: Norv Turner, a decorated offensive coordinator, for his entire career resigned his position after last week’s loss to the Bears. I don’t like that at all.
Carolina 27 @ Los Angeles 13: Panthers. Let’s go guys, I need the Panthers to help clear traffic on the highways.
New Orleans 34 @ San Francisco 31: If there’s a game for the 49ers to find a rhythm on offense, well, hosting the Saints should work wonders for them. The Saints are made to surrender points, yards and victories…but they should score enough points to escape with a victory.
Tennessee 17 @ San Diego 20: My brain says the Titans but the heart wants what it wants.
Indianapolis 23 @ Green Bay 27: Packers?
Denver 24 @ Oakland 20: I believe the Raiders are a good team but I like the Broncos’ defense to do enough to ensure David Carr can’t spark another thrilling comeback.
Buffalo 17 @ Seattle 24: Seahawks.
Last Week: 7-6