Posted by Jack Tumen
After Thursday night, I’m at 36-25 for the season.
Byes: Chiefs (2-3), Saints (2-3)
Patriots (3-2) @ Bills (3-2): Not many people would have guessed the Buffalo Bills would be fighting for first place in the AFC East more than one-third into the season. New England reminded their fans why they shouldn’t panic by beating the last unbeaten team in primetime. Buffalo’s coming off a hard-fought win in Detroit that ended with the Lions’ former Head Coach, Jim Schwartz, being carried off the field. This is the first game of the Terry Pegula era in Buffalo. It’s a wrong-place-wrong-time situation for New England.
BUF 27, NE 26
Ravens (3-2) @ Buccaneers (1-4): Baltimore’s coming off a hard-fought loss to Andrew Luck. Tampa Bay spent two-weeks worth of energy trying to upset the Saints in New Orleans in a high-scoring overtime affair. Mike Glennon clearly gives the Bucs their best chance to win games and they’ll give the Ravens a run for their money in this one – But their defense is just too leaky.
BAL 19, TB 17
Steelers (3-2) @ Browns (2-2): In their first meeting, Pittsburgh fell asleep and almost let the Brownies pull off a stunner. Cleveland proved they can ball by pulling off the biggest road comeback in NFL history last week. The Steelers have a tendency to play down to lesser opponents as we saw last week in Jacksonville. Brian Hoyer keeps Johnny Football glued to the bench in this one.
CLE 28, PIT 24
Panthers (3-2) @ Bengals (3-1): Carolina one-upped the Bears at home last week and have proven they can win close games. Cincinnati was a victim of New England’s wrath but they return home where they’re virtually unbeatable, having won their last 11 contests. A.J. Green won’t be playing in this one which will force O.C. Hugh Jackson to get creative; but Carolina’s backfield is decimated with injuries and that doesn’t bode well against Cinci’s front seven.
CIN 29, CAR 20
Broncos (3-1) @ Jets (1-4): There’s just too much turmoil in the Jets’ organization right now for them to realistically compete with Peyton Manning. Unless Mo Wilkerson and company can get to him repeatedly, there’s a chance Peyton hits 508 on Sunday against New York’s decimated secondary.
DEN 35, NYJ 20
Lions (3-2) @ Vikings (2-3): Detroit collapsed at home to Buffalo and they look like they’ll be minus Megatron and Reggie Bush this week. The Vikings should be getting Teddy back after their long week and I think they’ll find a way to win this divisional matchup against a Lion’s team that’s struggling to find its identity.
MIN 23, DET 21
Packers (3-2) @ Dolphins (2-2): Miami’s defense has shadily allowed the second-fewest yards in the league – that stat is about to change. Aaron Rodgers has had a nice long week off since obliterating the Vikings last Thursday. Miami may be coming off their bye week but Joe Philbin needs Aaron Rodgers more than Rodgers needs Philbin.
GB 28, MIA 17
Jaguars (0-5) @ Titans (1-4): For two teams at the bottom of the barrel, one squad has much more to be excited about; that would be the winless Jaguars. Blake Bortles is making Jacksonville look pretty smart for taking him third overall and he’s starting to develop a rapport with his young weapons in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. It’s a team that will grow together over time and I like them to get their first win of the season after Tennessee imploded at home last week.
JAX 27, TEN 21
Chargers (4-1) @ Raiders (0-4): The first game of the Tony Sporano era won’t be an easy one as the red-hot Chargers come to town. Luckily for the Raiders, they surprisingly excel in defending the Chargers’ strength; they’re fifth in the league in pass defense. However, the sudden emergence of Branden Oliver doesn’t bode well for Oakland’s 31st-ranked rush defense. That kid’s the real deal. San Diego has also allowed just 63 points on the season, the least in the NFL by a hefty margin. Oakland will put up a fight but fall just short.
SD 23, OAK 19
Bears (2-3) @ Falcons (2-3): Points shouldn’t be hard to come by in this one. Both offenses can easily put up 30+ while both defenses can’t stop a nosebleed. Matt Forte should run wild against Atlanta’s bottom-five rush defense. But home-field advantage will be key in this one as the Falcons play like a different team under the dome. Julio Jones finds pay-dirt more than once in this high-scoring affair.
ATL 33, CHI 31
Cowboys (4-1) @ Seahawks (3-1): This could be the best game of the weekend. Seattle allowed Kirk Cousins to find holes in its secondary on Monday night and never put the game completely out of reach until the clock ran out. Dallas has been playing out the best-case scenario of its season thus far, riding DeMarco Murray on offense and disguising weaknesses on defense. In fact, Dallas’ pass defense currently ranks higher than Seattle’s in YPG allowed. Shocker, right? I had a hard time picking this game but I’m going with Russell Wilson at home. The 12th man reminds Tony Romo of the ghost of playoffs past.
SEA 29, DAL 27
Redskins (1-4) @ Cardinals (3-1): Whether it’s Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton or Logan Thomas at quarterback, the Cardinals have the offensive personnel and coaching staff to win games in this league. Bruce Arians and Tom Moore have done a great job of keeping it simple for their guys. Even without Calais Campbell, ‘Zona’s the better team and they win at home.
AZ 24, WAS 17
Giants (3-2) @ Eagles (4-1): Anything can happen in these NFC East battles. The Giants have finally figured out how to win games, pulling off three straight victories. Philly didn’t look all that convincing as they almost let the Rams come back on their own turf. Getting Lane Johnson back didn’t ignite their run game either and with Jason Kelce still out, I’m picking the Giants to improve to 4-2.
NYG 34, PHI 26
49ers (3-2) @ Rams (1-3): Despite their record, the Rams have impressed with Austin Davis at the helm. Jeff Fisher has done a good job of making something out of nothing with a third string quarterback and a bunch of WR2s. San Fran got back on track over the last few weeks, winning two close games at home. The Rams surprisingly allow the fewest passing YPG in the league but allow just about the most on the ground. The 9ers pound the rock well but I’m taking the Rams to win a hard-fought battle at home on Monday Night Football.
STL 22, SF 19