Posted by Jack Tumen
I squeaked out a winning record last week, going 7-6 which leaves me at 24-21 on the year. Let’s get to it.
Byes: Dolphins (2-2), Raiders (0-4)
Vikings (2-2) @ Packers (2-2): Three Thursday nights in a row; three blowouts. The better team just wins these games and the Packers are the better team in this one. Minnesota lived up to my prediction last week by upsetting the Falcons, but it’s just too quick a turnaround for a hobbled Teddy. Playing at Lambeau doesn’t help either.
GB 31, MIN 17
Bills (2-2) @ Lions (3-1): Buffalo benched E.J. Manuel in favor of Kyle Orton this week – I think that was a huge mistake. It’s just a waste of your first round pick and it completely shatters the development of a young quarterback. Detroit has been a pleasant surprise and their defense should stymie the Bills offense this week.
DET 28, BUF 13
Ravens (3-1) @ Colts (2-2): It’s apparent that Steve Smith is the best offensive weapon for the Ravens right now as he’s third in the NFL in receiving. Joe Flacco would do right by himself to continue feeding him the ball. Andrew Luck is starting to get the Colts in a rhythm as he leads the league in passing. This is a great AFC matchup at this point in the season. I’m going with the Ravens to get a leg up in their division and sack Andrew Luck three times.
BAL 27, IND 21
Browns (1-2) @ Titans (1-3): Tennessee is exactly the team I thought they’d be; leaderless and searching for answers. Cleveland is coming off a bye and should be ready to get back to .500 against the underwhelming Titans who might still be without Jake Locker. The Browns can win a sluggish one.
CLE 13, TEN 7
Bears (2-2) @ Panthers (2-2): Both teams are coming off brutal losses. Carolina’s starting running back this week is Darrin Reaves. Yep. Darrin Reaves. Chicago is much more well suited to bounce back quickly under Marc Trestman than Carolina is under Ron Rivera. Kelvin Benjamin may still find success against the Bear’s weak secondary but this is Chicago’s game to lose, even on the road.
CHI 23, CAR 20
Texans (3-1) @ Cowboys (3-1): The battle for the Lone Star State couldn’t come at a better time. J.J. Watt and co. have a real challenge ahead of them against DeMarco Murray and the league’s best rushing attack. The Cowboys’ defense has exceeded expectations and could give Ryan Fitzpatrick fits all afternoon. It would be hugely disappointing if Dallas lost.
DAL 27, HOU 17
Steelers (2-2) @ Jaguars (0-4): I called Pittsburgh’s letdown last week against the winless Bucs. Dare I say they let another winless team get its first “W” as well? Pittsburgh is having some concerning internal issues and injuries on defense will be hard to overcome over the next few weeks. Blake Bortles should have a better outing but anything less than 10/150/2 for Antonio Brown would be a letdown.
PIT 34, JAX 24
Buccaneers (1-3) @ Saints (1-3): Strangely enough, these are the two teams scrapping it out at the bottom of the NFC South. Tampa Bay found life last week with Mike Glennon at the helm. New Orleans’ main concern is on offense as Drew Brees hasn’t been able to find any rhythm with his guys. Tampa couldn’t get the Saints at a better time; but under the dome is a hard place to win.
NO 26, TB, 19
Falcons (2-2) @ Giants (2-2): The Giants have it figured out, for now. Atlanta predictably let one slide against the Vikes and their defense isn’t equipped to deal with Rashad Jennings and Larry Donnell. Barring a Giant-like setback, Eli and co. should take care of business.
NYG 24, ATL 21
Rams (1-2) @ Eagles (3-1): Philly’s ready to bounce back after getting dominated by San Fran. Even off the bye, it would take a miracle for St. Louis to outscore the Eagles. Brian Quick just isn’t enough.
PHI 33, STL 21
Cardinals (3-0) @ Broncos (2-1): Both squads are coming off byes and are top-five in the power rankings. Arizona’s played mistake-free football under Bruce Arians – but Drew Stanton might not cut it this week. If Carson Palmer can’t go, Peyton should be able to take care of business. The Cardinals aren’t going down without a fight, though.
DEN 28, ARI 26
Chiefs (2-2) @ 49ers (2-2): A battle of unknowns. Kansas City humiliated the Patriots on national television and displayed great balance on offense. San Fran was able to manhandle Philly’s high-flying offense as Nick Foles looked lost. Alex Smith returns to the Bay Area to settle the score, but home field advantage might be what tips the scale in this one.
SF 20, KC 16
Jets (1-3) @ Chargers (3-1): San Diego’s the hottest team in football right now. The Jets are better than their record says, losing by only one score in each of their last three games. The Chargers have zero run game and if they were playing any other defense I’d make the argument that a balanced attack is key – but the Jets’ secondary is mighty vulnerable and Philip Rivers might end up throwing the ball 50 times. It could be a trap game for the Chargers, but until I see Gang Green turn it around, I just can’t pick them.
SD 29, NYJ 24
Bengals (3-0) @ Patriots (2-2): A top-five team will be a great litmus test for the Patriots if they think they can bounce back. Another primetime defeat will be the end-all-be-all for New England’s reputation as an AFC powerhouse. Bill Belichick can’t draft wide receivers for his life and that’s apparent more than ever. Cinci’s stout defense takes care of the Brady Bunch.
CIN 31, NE 21
Seahawks (2-1) @ Redskins (1-3): Kirk Cousins took a step back last Thursday. He’s had a nice long week to think about how he’ll approach the Legion of Boom…The Legion of Boom have also had two weeks to think about how they’ll approach him.
SEA 30, WAS 20
Enjoy the weekend.