Jacked Up Picks: Week 12

Posted by Jack Tumen

bills-hiring-shovels-snowstorm1

I only went 8-6 last week; but one of my wins was St. Louis over Denver. I’m 86-59 after Thursday.

Bye weeks: Panthers (3-7-1), Steelers (7-4)

Browns (6-4) @ Falcons (4-6): One week, Cleveland’s first place in the AFC North; the next week, they’re on the outside looking in. Josh Gordon’s return is as timely as ever as he gets to warm up with Atlanta’s garbage secondary. The Falcons are inexplicably leading the NFC South at 4-6 as Matt Ryan has been able to get the job done on a two game winning streak. The Browns come off an embarrassing loss at home to Houston; but their division is much tougher and they’re a more seasoned team at this point in the season. Cleveland gets the road win – but not by much. CLE 24, ATL 21

Buccaneers (2-8) @ Bears (4-6): Tampa is somehow still in their divisional race which speaks to the quality of the NFC South this year. Chicago found its feet after grinding out a win last week against the Vikings. They get the friendly confines of home once again; and despite the Bucs’ whipping of the Redskins last week, I’m going with the Bears to take care of business. CHI 26, TB 19

Bengals (6-3-1) @ Texans (5-5): Both teams come off strong road wins. Houston’s still fighting for a wild card spot while Cinci’s trying to tighten it’s grip on the AFC North lead. Ryan Mallet’s first touchdown pass was to none other than J.J. Watt. That’s most likely not Houston’s recipe for success; and if Arian Foster can’t go again, it could be tough for Houston to make big plays against an improving Bengals’ defense. However, I don’t like the matchup in general for Cinci. HOU 26, CIN 24

Lions (7-3) @ Patriots (8-2): What a tough stretch for Detroit. The Lions fell to the well-coached Cardinals on the road and now have to face the well-coached Patriots in Foxborough. This is that time of year when I think the wheels start falling off for the team from the Motor City. Wrong-place-wrong-time for Jim Caldwell and co. NE 35, DET 21

Packers (7-3) @ Vikings (4-6): Divisional games are fairly competitive this time of year. However, it’s hard to fathom that the Vikings could slow down a team as hot as the Packers right now. Home-field could sway a ball or two for Minnesota but don’t expect the big upset to happen here. GB 33, MIN 20

Jaguars (1-9) @ Colts (6-4): After a tough primetime loss to Tom Brady, Andrew Luck gets a nice cushy matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Coming off the bye, they might have a decent game plan to slowing down the Colts’ offense; but stopping them is a different story. IND 28, JAX 13

Titans (2-8) @ Eagles (7-3): Tennessee gave the Steelers their best fight on Monday night; it still wasn’t enough. Philly comes home after Aaron Rodgers did his thing against them and should be ready to rebound as they prepare for death row with Dallas-Seattle-Dallas coming up on the schedule. PHI 29, TEN 20

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Rams (4-6) @ Chargers (6-4): San Diego is not a very convincing team at this point of the season. They have a real gut check coming up at home against a Rams team that took care of Peyton Manning and the Broncos last Sunday. I think the Rams put a lot of effort into last week’s win and because of that I’ll give San Diego an unconfident edge at home. SD 27, STL 23

Cardinals (9-1) @ Seahawks (6-4): This game is more-or-less the season for Seattle. A fifth loss puts them at a severe disadvantage in the NFC playoff race and they need this win more than anything. Unfortunately, they have to go through the best team in the NFL to do so. The bright side? They get them at home. After a close loss to KC, Seattle wills themselves to a victory at home to keep their playoff hopes alive. SEA 23, AZ 20

Dolphins (6-4) @ Broncos (7-3): With a tough Miami team coming off a win and with Denver in a bit of a lull, the Dolphins are a popular pick this week. Not so fast. This game is being played in Denver and to be honest, these two teams are on different levels. The Broncos get back on track at home as Miami’s hot streak comes to an end. DEN 28, MIA 20

Redskins (3-7) @ 49ers (6-4): This is a nice soft game for San Fran. Washington just isn’t nearly as physical as the 49ers are and should get stomped. Jay Gruden’s shots at RGIII through the media have been fairly comical. Not that I disagree with anything he’s said. In fact, I completely agree with all of it. He’s in a bad position as a head coach with an injured and babied quarterback and an owner that traded his franchise to get him. SF 27, WAS 6

Cowboys (7-3) @ Giants (3-7): After a week off in which the Eagles failed to get a leg up in the division, Dallas finds themselves a tasty matchup with the Giants. DeMarco Murray and the league’s best rushing attack get to face the league’s worst rushing defense. After tossing five picks last week, there aren’t too many places for Eli Manning to turn at this point in the season. DAL 34, NYG 23

Jets (2-8) @ Bills (5-5) [From Detroit]: This game has been a national story all week. The Bills lost a lot of practice time and after a bad loss to Miami they have to play the Jets who are coming off a bye. With nothing to lose at this point, New York has every advantage they could want in this game – whether it’s practice time or the fact that the game isn’t even in Buffalo. NYJ 20, BUF 16

Ravens (6-4) @ Saints (4-6): The Saints have never lost three straight games at home under Sean Payton. They’ll try to avoid that fate Monday night against a tough Ravens team coming off the bye. A loss for either team puts them behind in their respective divisional races. The Ravens are a better team this year and New Orleans probably doesn’t have the defense to get the job done – but I’m taking Drew Brees to rally the troops in a Monday night thriller. NO 30, BAL 27

Thursday Night Pick: Chiefs @ Raiders

Posted by Jack Tumen

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Chiefs (7-3) @ Raiders (0-10)

At this point in the season, the question of going defeated becomes very real for the Oakland Raiders. Seemingly incapable in every facet of the game, it’s a wonder to me that Reggie McKenzie wasn’t send packing with Dennis Allen earlier this year. It was McKenzie’s fault that Allen was dealt the hand he was dealt in the first place. Regardless, shame on everyone.

The only bright spots in the Black Hole right now come in the forms of rookies Derek Carr and Khalil Mack. In terms of finding a leader on both sides of the ball, those two are certainly great starts as the Raiders look to future drafts to fill in the holes around them.

As far as this game goes, it’s easy to think “trap game” for Kansas City with this matchup sandwiched between last years’ Super Bowl teams. I’ve tried to give Oakland as much love as possible this season but I think the Chiefs come into this game focused and ready to take care of business on the road. It’s hard to believe they’re tied with Denver for 1st place in the AFC West but credit is due where it’s deserved. The Chiefs have been able to win with last year’s ground-and-pound blueprint. KC takes care of business.

KC 27, OAK 16

Jacked Up Picks: Week 11

Posted by Jack Tumen

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

It’s time for some good old fashioned November football. Great slate of games this week.

Bye weeks: Ravens (6-4), Cowboys (7-3), Jaguars (1-9), Jets (2-8)

Overall Record: 78-52

Bills (5-4) @ Dolphins (5-4): This is the best matchup at this point in the season between these two divisional foes in recent memory. Kyle Orton has brought some stability to an offense that’s clearly trying to win now. Miami’s playing a tough brand of football at the right time and fell to a better Lions’ team last week in a close one. The fact that Buffalo couldn’t win an important and close game at home last week vs the Chiefs says a lot about the quality of team they are right now. With Fred Jackson still hurting, this offense simply isn’t the same and will struggle against the Dolphins’ stout defense in a low-scoring Thursday Night matchup. MIA 20, BUF 13

Texans (4-5) @ Browns (6-3): Houston comes off the bye to face the NFC North-leading Browns. Yes; the NFC North-leading Browns. Cudos to Mike Pettine, man. I said at the beginning of the season that he was their best hire since Belichick and that’s more than apparent now. I also said how this team didn’t need Johnny Manziel and that’s proven to be correct as well. Brian Hoyer has made every throw and has managed this team to 6-3 behind a heavy rushing attack. This is a true test at home against a feisty Texans team that’s putting faith in Ryan Mallet as their new starter coming off the bye week. Home field plus a great defense is everything that Cleveland could want going against a first time starter in Mallet. J.J. Watt will need to score for Houston to win. CLE 24, HOU 21

Falcons (3-6) @ Panthers (3-6-1): In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the NFC South is total garbage this year. Both of these teams have predictably regressed behind shoddy offensive lines and are struggling to find continuity. If I’m a Panthers’ fan, I’m calling for Ron Rivera’s head for leaving Cam Newton in that Philly game. That’s atrocious decision making. Unless they plan on drafting another franchise QB in the top 10 next year, that’s no way to treat your former no. 1 overall pick who even admitted he hasn’t felt healthy in a long time. Atlanta comes off a road divisional win so I’ll give them another one here. Bad vibes in Carolina right now. ATL 26, CAR 14

Vikings (4-5) @ Bears (3-6): Well, not too many people saw the Vikings sitting above Chicago in the NFC North standings at this point of the season. All the problems the Bears had last year are simply magnified this season: awful defense and poor offensive line play. Minnesota’s been a tough outing this year for anyone that’s had to face them and they come into this game looking to dig the Bears an even deeper grave. I think it’s time that the Bears get one for morale, though. It’s not gonna be pretty; but I think Brandon Marshall breaks out of his slump and finds the end zone multiple times as the Bears will themselves to a win at home. CHI 23, MIN 20

Bengals (5-3-1) @ Saints (4-5): New Orleans nearly got over the hump last week but showed why they’re not ready for primetime by allowing Colin Kaepernick to complete a ridiculous bomb on 4th & 10 to stay alive and ultimately win the game in OT. Cincinnati’s found rock-bottom at the wrong time, mustering all of three points at home against the Browns last Thursday. Andy Dalton continues to show why he didn’t deserve that contract; he plays fine when no one’s looking but in prime time he implodes. This week, however, no one’s looking. CIN 26, NO 24

Broncos (7-2) @ Rams (3-6): This is the perfect, most unsuspecting trap game of the season. Denver’s coming of a whopping win over Oakland as they saunter into St. Louis thinking “piece of cake.” Meanwhile, Shaun Hill gets the nod at starter after the Austin Davis project fails for the Rams. Chris Long returned to practice this week and although he’s not playing in this one, his energy and leadership give St. Louis a jolt. I’ve loved the Rams all year as my upset special and I’m picking them here to pull off a stunner at home. STL 28, DEN 27

Seahawks (6-3) @ Chiefs (6-3): If you are what your record says you are, then these two teams are equals. That’s hard to believe; but Kansas City has quietly crept it’s way into the playoff race and if the season ended today, they would be the 5th seed in the AFC over the likes of Cinci, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and San Diego. They’re really only one game out of first in the division behind Denver and they’ve tip-toed their way through the first 10 weeks without anyone noticing. Now, the defending champs come to town in a battle of the loudest fan bases. I really think the Chiefs have the best home crowd in football and Seattle will have to deal with noise like they’ve never heard before while on offense. I don’t like this matchup for Seattle and I think they lose important ground here in the NFC Wild Card race. Losing Brandon Mebane for the season is a hugely underrated injury as well. KC 29, SEA 23

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

49ers (5-4) @ Giants (3-6): San Fran did what needed to be done to stay alive last week and win an important game on the road vs N’awlins. The Giants simply didn’t have enough fire-power to keep up with Seattle on the road and predictably lost. Coming back east, though, they get Rashad Jennings back from an injury that should bring much-need stability to this offense. I’m super tempted to say the 9ers are primed for a let-down here…so I will. We get the good Eli in this one. NYG 24, SF 20

Buccaneers (1-8) @ Redskins (3-6): Dare I say Tampa was better off with Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman? Let’s be real, this team is fucking pathetic. I don’t know how Lovie Smith didn’t make this team better but besides the fact that Josh McCown and Mike Glennon both stink, they’ve all but swept former first round pick, Doug Martin, under the carpet in favor of Bobby Rainey and Charles Sims. I’m sad and disappointed by this team and I have no faith in picking them this week against a Redskins team that isn’t very good themselves but other-worldly as far as the NFL goes this season. WAS 19, TB 16

Raiders (0-9) @ Chargers (5-4): Yoo hoo, San Diego, it’s time to wake up now. The Chargers have been asleep for a nice long while and after the bye week they might be ready to play. However, this is an underrated rivalry and Oakland plays the Chargers tough every season. They were barely able to beat the Raiders earlier this year and I think Oakland is hungry for some revenge. If there’s any time to get the first win of the season, it’s now. OAK 22, SD 19

Lions (7-2) @ Cardinals (8-1): A marquee matchup takes place in the desert as the Lions try to continue their tear against Bruce Arians and co. Drew Stanton takes the reins as Carson Palmer’s season is over. However, this team didn’t miss a beat when Stanton had to play earlier this season; he loves this system and has proven to have control of the offense. The Lion’s defense will be their biggest test yet – Detroit hasn’t won pretty this year and I’m still not a fan of Jim Caldwell. You can thank Detroit’s success to D.C., Teryl Austin. But the Lions can win a dog fight, man, and I think they get ‘er done in this big-time showdown. DET 26, AZ 23

Eagles (7-2) @ Packers (6-3): This is the biggest test for Philly all season as they march into Green Bay on the shoulders of Mark Sanchez. Aaron Rodgers has been the league MVP in my opinion and I’m personally disappointed Mike McCarthy didn’t let him break the single-game TD record after tossing 6 in the first half against Chicago. Philly’s ace in the hole has been defense and special teams this season. A big punt return here or a big interception return there have been the difference in so many of these games. One thing Mark Sanchez is that Nick Foles isn’t is a cold weather quarterback. Despite both of their west coast ties, Sanchez won some huge games in his time with the Jets in the icy AFC. I told myself I wouldn’t do it, but I’m going with the Eagles to continue making big plays in all phases of the game to upset Rodgers and gain massive ground in the NFC East. Chip’s a genius. PHI 31, GB 27

Patriots (7-2) @ Colts (6-3): This, by all accounts, is the game of the week. Last generation vs new generation. Brady vs Luck. Lots to look for in this game. Both teams come off the bye week, well rested and ready to rock. This is the Patriots team we all expected to see at this point in the season. The games that New England loses are those in which Brady never gets it going. On the road, however, this is a tough matchup for them. Andrew Luck has been everything and more that we expected him to be. We’re in store for a classic battle, but I’m picking Brady to do what needs to be done to win. I think Adam Vinatieri misses a crucial kick against his old team. NE 30, IND 28

Steelers (6-4) @ Titans (2-7): Well, if there’s any way to stop your own train, it’s by losing to the Jets. A fantastic few weeks come to a screeching halt for Pittsburgh, who suddenly find themselves on the outside looking in. I don’t think this game will be a piece of cake, either. Tennessee will rise to the occasion to give it a fight; but I just can’t pick them against Big Ben. Steelers win ugly…very ugly. PIT 20, TEN 17

Jacked Up Picks: Week 10

Posted by Jack Tumen

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Bob Levey/Getty Images

Bye Weeks: Texans (4-5), Colts (6-3), Vikings (4-5), Patriots (7-2), Chargers (5-4), Redskins (3-6)

Overall: 70-48

Chiefs (5-3) @ Bills (5-3): Both of these teams are on even playing fields and have a lot at stake in this game if they hope to keep up with the AFC Wild Card race. KC is a healthier squad right now and I think they have more of an identity than Buffalo; but these Bills never say die. They win a close one at home. BUF 22, KC 19

Titans (2-6) @ Ravens (5-4): Baltimore fell victim to Big Ben on national television but don’t forget there’s still no losing teams in the AFC North. Tennessee is the perfect fallback opponent after a loss like the one Baltimore suffered a week ago. It’s a long season; easy does it. BAL 24, TEN 17

Cowboys (6-3) vs Jaguars (1-8) [London]: Dallas is suddenly in a slump and their franchise quarterback is dealing with a cracked spine. Sounds like fun. Although Romo may play in this one, Jacksonville’s defense is stouter than most give them credit for and playing in London slightly evens the playing field. I see this game taking some weird turns and because of that I’m picking Jacksonville to upset the Cowboys across the pond. JAX 24, DAL 17

Dolphins (5-3) @ Lions (6-2): Miami’s had a nice little run the last few weeks; taking out the Bears in Chicago and blanking San Diego last Sunday. Their defense has stepped up and they get to face off with one of the league’s best in Detroit. A week off plus a healthy Calvin Johnson is a recipe for success if you’re the Lions. Mattthew Stafford’s due for a breakout game. DET 27, MIA 24

49ers (4-4) @ Saints (4-4): Two NFC contenders going in opposite directions meet in this matchup. I’m not sure how San Fran can fix itself but they’ll have a hard time doing it in the Superdome. Drew Brees is heating up right now. NO 28, SF 24

Steelers (6-3) @ Jets (1-8): The hottest quarterback in football takes on the coldest secondary in football. The Jets just have nothing going for them and Pittsburgh is currently rolling. Percy Harvin is certainly being featured nicely in the Jets’ offense but just too little too late for New York. It’ll be about 70% Steeler fans in East Rutherford on Sunday. PIT 26, NYJ 21

Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Falcons (2-6) @ Buccaneers (1-7): We’ve got a doozy on our hands, folks. Josh McCown takes over as Tampa’s starting quarterback…again. Remember how last time went against Atlanta? ATL 23, TB 9

Broncos (6-2) @ Raiders (0-8): The records show this is a lop-sided matchup – but this is an underrated rivalry in the AFC West and Oakland hasn’t gone down without a fight in any game this season. Peyton goes into the black hole – dare I say he doesn’t come out? The Broncos haven’t lost to the Raiders since Manning’s been in Denver and it should stay that way – even if it’s by the skin of their teeth. DEN 28, OAK 27

Giants (3-5) @ Seahawks (5-3): This is the perfect game for the Giants to win. It’s that midseason game where they break out of their second slump with a shocking win out of nowhere and win out in November. But I reallyyy just don’t see that happening in Seattle. It would be so Giants of them to pull it off but I’m gonna look the other way on this one. SEA 33, NYG 20

Rams (3-5) @ Cardinals (7-1): St. Louis has been great in the NFC West this year with a 2-1 record and wins over San Francisco and Seattle. Going into Arizona, the Cardinals need to be ready for an underrated opponent. Carson Palmer’s fresh of a three-year extension and I’d be surprised if Jeff Fisher can out-smart Bruce Arians at home. AZ 28, STL 17

Bears (3-5) @ Packers (5-3): If Chicago has any hope of making the playoffs in the NFC, it’ll have to be via an NFC North divisional title. The road there begins Sunday night in Green Bay. The Packers continue to own Chicago and it’s gonna take a revelation to get the Bears to play on Aaron Rodger’s level. Cheese heads are victorious. GB 29, CHI 21

Panthers (3-5-1) @ Eagles (6-2): Philly, say hello to Mark Sanchez. I know him quite well from his days as a Jet and I can assure you you’re in for a roller coaster ride. He’s more than capable of winning games but consistency has always been an issue. If anyone can harness his abilities, though, it’s Chip Kelly. Carolina showed plenty of weaknesses against New Orleans and it’s a great opportunity for the Eagles to get a leg up in the NFC East. Bold prediction: Nick Foles has taken his last snap as the Eagle’s starting quarterback. PHI 31, CAR 22

Jacked Up Picks: Week 9

Posted by Jack Tumen

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Slacked a little bit last week going 6-8. I’m 62-43 on the year after New Orleans’ win last night.

Bye weeks: Falcons (2-6), Bills (5-3), Bears (3-5) , Lions (6-2), Packers (5-3), Titans (2-6)

Buccaneers (1-6) @ Browns (4-3): Tampa Bay gave the Vikings all they could handle at home but still came up short in overtime. Mark Barron has been traded and they really look like they’re starting from scratch. Cleveland took care of business, beating Oakland at home in a not-so-pretty game and I expect much of the same this week with a conservative game plan that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from the Browns. Josh Gordon’s only a week away, though. CLE 24, TB 12

Jaguars (1-7) @ Bengals (4-2-1): Jacksonville came back to earth last week as Blake Bortles surrendered two pick-sixes. He now leads the league with 12 INTs and the Bengals defense is finding its footing again. Going into Cinci, there’s not much appeal for the Jaguars here – even if the Bengals are missing A.J. Green and Gio Bernard. CIN 32, JAX 17

Cardinals (6-1) @ Cowboys (6-2): Well, this is certainly the game of the year at this point of the season. ‘Zona’s defense managed to keep Chip Kelly’s offense in check and made some huge plays to pull off a massive win at home. Dallas comes off a depleting loss to the lowly Redskins. Washington blitzed the lights out and Dallas didn’t handle it well; Arizona loves to do the same. A win here cements the Cards as the best team in the NFC – and that they are. AZ 26, DAL 24

Eagles (5-2) @ Texans (4-4): Houston’s done what it’s needed to do to win games this season as Bill O’Brien has his team at .500. Philly gave everything it had against the Cards but were just inches away from Jordan Matthews coming down with the game winner. This is a major trap game for the Eagles as they try to keep pace with Dallas in the division race. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt this week but Houston will come to play and will make it close. PHI 31, HOU 27

Jets (1-7) @ Chiefs (4-3): The Jets are a mess and a half. Michael Vick takes over the reigns as the starter this week and will get a chance to show what he’s got left in the tank against a tough Chiefs’ defense that will have the loudest stadium in the NFL behind them. There aren’t many scenarios in which the Jets win this week. KC 30, NYJ 16

Chargers (5-3) @ Dolphins (4-3): San Diego comes out east for a 1:00 kick off after a long break. Miami’s been playing a tough brand of football on defense and pose a challenge for Philip Rivers and co.. Like I said before, it’s that time of year where the Chargers slump a bit. I think Miami get’s a W at home at San Diego’s hot start becomes a thing of the past. MIA 20, SD 17

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Redskins (3-5) @ Vikings (3-5): This isn’t the most enticing matchup of the weekend; but RGIII is making is first start since being injured (again) so it’s a relevant story line. How will it pan out, though? Both defenses are practically identical, statistically. This might sound ridiculous, but I’m predicting a tie. MIN 21, WAS 21

Rams (2-5) @ 49ers (4-3): St. Louis put up a fight against San Fran just a couple weeks back on Monday Night Football but were outplayed through four quarters. Going to the Bay this time around doesn’t help their cause. The better team wins at home. SF 28, STL 18

Broncos (6-1) @ Patriots (6-2): Manning-Brady XVI – need I say more? Possibly the last time we see these two go head to head in one of the greatest individual rivalries football has ever seen. Denver’s had a nice long week to prep for New England’s upstart offense. The Patriots are missing some key players on defense in Chandler Jones and Jerrod Mayo and that doesn’t help their cause against the league’s most dangerous offense. The Pats will give it a fight but Denver is healthier at this point in the season and that makes the difference on Sunday in Foxborough. DEN 27, NE 24

Raiders (0-7) @ Seahawks (4-3): Seattle hasn’t looked pretty over the last few weeks; but I’ll be damned if they let their guard down against the winless Raiders. Oakland’s a trendy trap pick but the Seahawks have never been more focused than they are right now. Oakland gets annihilated. SEA 43, OAK 10

Ravens (5-3) @ Steelers (5-3): As if these two teams needed any more reason to knock the snot out of each other on Sunday – this ones for first place in the NFC North. Baltimore comes off the close road loss to Cinci while Big Ben can only go down after tossing six TDs in a record setting performance against Indy. Pittsburgh’s offense has been clicking with the emergence of Martavis Bryant as a deep threat. It would make sense to take the Steelers at home in this one with all the momentum in the world; but I picked the Ravens to win this division for a reason. BAL 23, PIT 20

Colts (5-3) @ Giants (3-4): Andrew Luck just can’t score 51 points every week – but he wont need to against the Giants on Monday Night Football. Rashad Jennings is still out for New York and as long as that’s the case they lose their stability on offense that Andre Williams simply cant replicate. Colts roll. IND 31, NYG 18

Jacked Up Picks: Thursday Night Football

Posted by Jack Tumen

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Saints (3-4) @ Panthers (3-4-1): New Orleans got the win it needed last week, blowing out the Packers at home while reminding everyone to remain calm on their season hopes. They now play for first place in the NFC South as they travel to Charlotte to take on the Panthers who gave Seattle a fight last Sunday. It’s a short week and the Saints have to be feeling good right now. Against a Panthers’ team that has trouble scoring sometimes, I’m taking New Orleans to get back to .500 and right the ship for the second half of the season. NO 27, CAR 23

Jacked Up Picks: Week 8

Posted by Jack Tumen

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Can’t believe we’re halfway through the season. After going 12-3 last week plus Thursday night, I’m 55-35 on the season.

Bye weeks: Giants (3-4), 49ers (4-3)

Lions (5-2) @ Falcons (2-5): This game kicks off at 9:30 AM in London. Hot-lanta’s a hot mess and is proving that 2012 NFC Championship campaign was a major fluke. The Lions’ defense is one of the best in football right now and they should create plenty of pressure against a banged up offensive line for Atlanta. A Falcons win would be a relative shock here. DET 31, ATL 17

Bills (4-3) @ Jets (1-6): Buffalo has been able to grind its way to a 4-3 record at about the mid-way point by playing tough defense and winning close games – however, they’re now without their top two running backs in C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson against one of the league’s best run defenses. I’m a firm believer the Jets are better than their record says and I think they get a divisional win at home on the heels of the Percy Harvin trade. NYJ 23, BUF 20

Ravens (5-2) @ Bengals (3-2-1): Cincinnati’s defense has been in shambles since the New England game and the Bengals have suffered this month because of it (A.J. Green’s absence hasn’t helped either.) The Ravens are on a nice hot streak with Joe Flacco playing some of the best ball of his career. But these AFC North games are bloodbaths and I think the Bengals come out and hit the Ravens in the mouth as they return home to the jungle. They need this game more than Baltimore does. CIN 25, BAL 21

Seahawks (3-3) @ Panthers (3-3-1): Two losses in a row for Seatte? Who are you and what have you done with the Seahawks?! These last two weeks of media frenzy have stirred unrest in the Seahawks’ locker room and it’s shown in back-to-back losses to the Cowboys and Rams. Carolina suffered a 38-17 drubbing at the hands of the Packers last week and come back home to face another tough opponent. It’s been an every-other-week trend for the Panthers, and believe it or not, I like them to execute a strong game plan against a Seahawks’ team that’s searching for answers. CAR 29, SEA 27

Bears (3-4) @ Patriots (5-2): Chicago’s in the midst of their mid-season crisis and things don’t get any easier as they travel to New England this weekend. The Patriots showed some weak spots in their game against the Jets last Thursday but have had plenty of time to game-plan for the Bears’ porous defense. Even though Chandler Jones is out for a month, the Pats are simply playing better football at this point. Chicago’s had a tough time against the AFC East this season as well. NE 34, CHI 24

Texans (3-4) @ Titans (2-5): Houston fell asleep for three minutes on Monday night and couldn’t recover from Pittsburgh’s mini scoring-frenzy. Going into Nashville, though, is a more appealing task against a Titans team that’s trotting out rookie signal-caller Zach Mettenberger this week. Mr. Mettenbgerger, meet J.J. Watt. HOU 30, TEN 18

Dolphins (3-3) @ Jaguars (1-6): Jacksonville caught Cleveland off guard last week, securing their first win of the season in the hot Florida sun. Against another Florida team, though, is a different task. Miami played a complete game last week, upending the Bears in Chicago – But Jacksonville gets a second straight home game and I think they pick up where they left off and surprise the Dolphins with a last-second Josh Scobee field goal. JAX 19, MIA 17

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Rams (2-4) @ Chiefs (3-3): St. Louis comes into KC feeling good about taking down the defending champs. The Chiefs, however, managed to control the time of possession 40-20 against the Chargers last week with a healthy dose of Jamaal Charles. In the battle of Missouri, Kansas City comes out on top with the best home crowd in the NFL behind them. KC 33, STL 21

Vikings (2-5) @ Buccaneers (1-5): Minnesota hasn’t been able to get any offense together over the last few weeks. Tampa Bay comes off the bye week feeling healthier and ready to turn their ship around. Minnesota’s defense is very middle-of-the-pack and I think they hit a bump this weekend. TB 20, MIN 18

Eagles (5-1) @ Cardinals (5-1): The game of the week takes place in the desert, as the Eagles fly out west to take on the first-place Cardinals. Philly’s defense has started to prove they can handle being on the field for long periods of time when Chip’s offense goes three-and-out. The Cardinals are playing some of the cleanest football in the league right now but I’m not sure their 31st-ranked pass defense can keep up with an Eagles’ offense that’s getting healthier each week. PHI 34, AZ 24

Raiders (0-6) @ Browns (3-3): All of a sudden, the Browns forgot how to play offense, mustering only six points against the then-winless Jaguars. Now Oakland comes to town sniffing for a victory and they get Cleveland at the right time. The Raiders have been in games the last couple weeks and played tough football against two of the league’s better teams. I think the Browns allow another winless team to get a W as the chants for Johnny Football start raining down in Cleveland. OAK 23, CLE 17

Colts (5-2) @ Steelers (4-3): Andrew Luck has been tearing it up this season as he continues to lead the league in passing and he’s gotten help from his defense that shut out the Bengals last week. Pittsburgh’s offense found life on Monday Night Football as they try to keep their momentum going at home. The AFC North is currently the only division in the league without any losing records. I think the Steelers upset Luck and co. at home in a hard-fought win. PIT 31, IND 28

Packers (5-2) @ Saints (2-4): Aaron Rodgers is playing at an other-worldly level right now and there’s little that can stop him. New Orleans comes off the bye week desperately needing a win to stay in the playoff race. Their defense has been awful and without Jairus Byrd, the task of stopping Rodgers is just too tall – The Pack roll. GB 42, NO 27

Redskins (2-5) @ Cowboys (6-1): Dallas comes into this Monday night matchup holding the best record in football; and rightfully so. Washington finally pulled the plug on Kirk Cousins in favor of Colt McCoy. That’s about all that needs to be said about that. DAL 35, WAS 20