The League

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: 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

Jacked Up Picks: Thursday Night Football

Posted by Jack Tumen

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Once again, in the interest of time, I’m picking this game ahead of the rest of the weekend.

Chargers (5-2) @ Broncos (5-1): This is the first big time Thursday Night Football matchup of the season between the two squads atop the AFC West. Denver’s arrow is pointing way up coming off Peyton’s record setting night and their handling of the 49ers. San Diego lost a close divisional battle to the Chiefs at home last week and that spells trouble on a short week. This is that time of the year when the Chargers could begin to come back down to Earth a little bit. I think Denver gets a big leg up in the divisional race tonight as the Chargers start making reservations for the wildcard.

DEN 31, SD 27

The New York Jets Acquire Percy Harvin

Posted by Jack Tumen

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Well, better late than never.

The Jets made the first big trade splash of the season, trading for Seahawks’ receiver, Percy Harvin. The move comes less than 24 hours after the Jets lost to New England on Thursday Night Football and dropped their record to 1-6 on the season.

As a Jets fan, I have a few thoughts on this. First, I’m pretty psyched the Jets have finally added an offensive play-maker like Harvin. They haven’t had a guy like this maybe since Santana Moss – and when you line him up next to Eric Decker, that receiving corps suddenly becomes more than respectable.

Second, I can’t believe what they gave up to get him. One conditional draft pick?! Considering that Seattle gave up first, third and seventh round picks to get him from Minnesota, this is a steal for New York. The pick is said to be between a second and fourth-rounder, most likely based on performance and playing time. Some may argue a second round pick is a little much for a guy who’s battled injuries for a long time; but he’s a proven play-maker that will have an instant impact in this offense and help Geno Smith immensely. He also adds value in the return game; an area the Jets have been anemic in since special teams aficionado, Mike Westhoff, retired from coaching.

Third, I’m slightly irked that they waited until the season was all but over to make this deal and keep the fans interested. 1-6 is impossible to climb out of and this is more like a job-saving move for GM John Idzik than anything. Making good use of his Seattle ties, it’s about time he did something right personnel-wise this season.

Should be fun to see how this unfolds.

Jacked Up Picks: Week 7

Posted by Jack Tumen

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Bad week last week, going 6-7 with one push with the tie. I’m at 42-32 on the year.

Bye weeks: Eagles (5-1), Buccaneers (1-5)

Jets (1-5) @ Patriots (4-2): The Jets managed to keep pace with Peyton Manning last week, leading after the first quarter and only trailing by seven in the fourth. The potential is there but this team just can’t seem to put four quarters of football together. Going into a short week at New England, it’s a low-upside situation. NE 27, NYJ 14

Vikings (2-4) @ Bills (3-3): Buffalo played the Patriots tough at home last week; now they get a lesser opponent in Minnesota. The Vikings were stifled by Detroit’s defense. Buffalo’s no slouch on that side of the ball and there’s nothing that leads me to believe that Teddy Bridgewater can put together multiple touchdown drives on the road. Home sweet home for Buffalo. BUF 24, MIN 13

Falcons (2-4) @ Ravens (4-2): Two teams going in opposite directions. Atlanta couldn’t get its offense going at home against a weak Chicago secondary. Baltimore ended their game in Tampa in the first 10 minutes of play. Joe Flacco’s been hot and Steve Smith should continue his tear against the NFL’s worst defense. BAL 30, ATL 20

Browns (3-2) @ Jaguars (0-6): Jacksonville had its best shot at win number one last week but Josh Scobee had his game-winning field goal attempt blocked in the waning seconds. The Browns have developed a physical, tempo-setting style of play that opponents are struggling to adjust to. It could be a closer game than anticipated but Cleveland is simply the better team. CLE 20, JAX 13

Panthers (3-2-1) @ Packers (4-2): Carolina’s offense exploded last week as Cam Newton finally had a big game. Aaron Rodgers orchestrated a masterful game-winning drive, pulling a fake spike to keep the drive alive late. Going back home, I just don’t see how Rodgers can lose right now. GB 34, CAR 24

Dolphins (2-3) @ Bears (3-3): The Bears at this point are exactly where they should be; .500 with some good days and some bad days. Miami gave it all they had but not even Superman could stop Aaron Rodgers from winning that game. I think the Dolphins bounce back with a surprise win in Soldier Field sunday, further exploiting Chicago’s defensive lapses. It won’t be easy, though. MIA 31, CHI 28

Bengals (3-1-1) @ Colts (4-2): Cinci’s defense has been gashed for nearly 1,000 yards of offense over the last two weeks. Andrew Luck is ascending to greatness as quickly as anyone in football. Playing at home, I think he continues that tear against a defense that’s still trying to find its bearings from the New England game. IND 37, CIN 31

Saints (2-3) @ Lions (4-2): Detroit is one of the surprise teams in the league this year, playing stout defense and allowing a league-low 13.7 PPG. Calvin Johnson is expected back this week which would be a huge boost for Matthew Stafford. Drew Brees is coming off a bye week as New Orleans tries to right the ship. A win here for Detroit would prove they’re for real – let’s see it happen. DET 33, NO 27

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Seahawks (3-2) @ Rams (1-4): All of a sudden, the Seahawks aren’t so high and mighty anymore. Sherman and co. have allowed far too many big plays over their heads and have some major soul searching to do to earn back elite status. Don’t get me wrong, Seattle is still an upper-echelon team; but this is where we find out if they can overcome the Super Bowl hangover. Even against the 1-4 Rams, getting a divisional win is a start. But will it happen? I think the Rams surprise; Robert Quinn gets his first sack of the season. STL 24, SEA 23

Titans (2-4) @ Redskins (1-5): Washington has put up some fights this season. They didn’t go down easily against the NFC West and return home to play the lowly Titans. Jordan Reed is now healthy and this offense should find success at home. NFC East > AFC South. WAS 31, TEN 16

Chiefs (2-3) @ Chargers (5-1): The Chargers are firing on all cylinders and have another divisional opponent in their sights this weekend. Oakland exposed a weak spot in San Diego’s defense, stretching the field with a vertical passing attack as Derek Carr tossed four touchdowns. The Chiefs, however, simply don’t have the vertical personnel to replicate that performance; they like to keep the game closer to the line of scrimmage and win short-yardage situations. For that reason, I like San Diego to keep it true at home. SD 29, KC 21

Giants (3-3) @ Cowboys (5-1): Just when the Giants have it all figured out, they don’t. Dallas is peaking right now after winning in Seattle. Victor Cruz is done for the year and the Giants have some more regrouping to do before they go on their next three game winning streak. Dallas returns home to a ruckus crowd and gets it done. DAL 28, NYG 24

Cardinals (4-1) @ Raiders (0-5): Here we are nearly half-way through with the season and Arizona sits atop the NFC West. You could make the argument that Bruce Arians is the best head coach in football right now. Tony Sporano is the new Tom Cable in Oakland as the Raiders have a little more fight in them. Carson Palmer returns to Oakland to put the stamp on the Black Hole. The Raiders won’t make it easy, though. AZ 28, OAK 27

49ers (4-2) @ Broncos (4-1): Death, taxes and Peyton Manning breaking records; History will be made Sunday night as Peyton only needs three more touchdown passes to pass Brett Favre for the all-time record. San Fran can fight but there’s no stopping the inevitable here. DEN 27, SF 23

Houston (3-3) @ Pittsburgh (3-3): No one wants to fall below .500. The Texans played quite well last Thursday and have basically a mini-bye to prepare for a Steelers team that’s in a downward spiral after getting clobbered by the Browns. Arian Foster vs Le’Veon Bell will be a fun battle to watch. Based on morale and time off, I like Houston. J.J. Watt’s on fire. HOU 26, PIT 21

Just A Thought: What Gives, Robert Quinn?

Posted by Jack Tumen

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The St. Louis Rams gave it all they had on Monday night; but the 49ers were just too much to handle. They couldn’t get to Kaepernick and he tore them apart.

In fact, the Rams haven’t gotten to anyone this season. They have just one team sack on defense.

One sack.

Now, Austin Davis has done an admirable job of filling in at QB for this team; but let’s be honest, we all knew the Rams were screwed when Sam Bradford went down. However, it’s becoming apparent that the most important injury for the Rams wasn’t that of their franchise quarterback; it was defensive end, Chris Long.

Last season, Robert Quinn recorded an astounding 19 sacks. Long had himself a respectable 8.5 on the other end of that D-Line. But since Long has been sidelined, Quinn has a total of zero sacks this season. Zero. For a guy who had three seasons worth of sacks a year ago, something just isn’t right here. These two complimented each other as book-ends on a fearsome front.

When healthy, St. Louis has one of the top three defensive lines in the league, up there with Detroit and the Jets. But even the best players need teammates to take some of the pressure off them. Chris Long was that guy for Robert Quinn and it’s showing in a big way in 2014.

Jacked Up Picks: Week 6

Posted by Jack Tumen

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

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

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

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