NFL Week 16 Picks: Exciting Week Ahead as Teams Lock Up Playoff Spots

Welcome to my Week 16 Picks. Last week I went 12-4, putting my overall record at 131-95. I was not able to release my Week 15 Picks due to technical difficulties, so here they are:

Broncos, 21, Colts, 19

Lions, 31, Bears, 13

Chargers, 33, Chiefs, 27

Bills, 30, Dolphins, 27

Saints, 23, Jets, 19

Ravens, 24, Browns, 23

Vikings, 27, Bengals, 17

Jaguars, 27, Texans, 19

Eagles, 26, Giants, 14

Redskins, 23, Cardinals, 10

Panthers, 30, Packers, 27 (OT)

Rams, 30, Seahawks, 20

Patriots, 30, Steelers, 27

Titans, 35, 49ers, 20

Raiders, 31, Cowboys, 27

Buccaneers, 31, Falcons, 23

Now for my Week 16 Picks. I was only able to do a full description for my lock and upset due to family commitments, but I have provided the rest of my scores and notes on the other games. Merry Christmas.

Lock of the Week

Jaguars, 28, 49ers, 9

The Jags offense will look good against the weak Niners defense. The Jags defense will dominate, shutting down the Niners receiving weapons. Even the Garoppolo effect won’t be enough to stop them as QB Jimmy Garoppolo fails to find his receivers.

Upset of the Week

Titans, 27, Rams, 24

RB Todd Gurley will try and lead the Rams offense early on, and their defense will shut down the Titans run game. However, the Titans will win in a comeback against the depleted LA secondary. They will be led by their versatile receivers as well as their star TE Delanie Walker, as QB Marcus Mariota grabs a victory.

The Other Games

Saturday

Ravens, 28, Colts, 23

– Ravens TD: Rush TD Alex Collins, Pass TD Jeremy Maclin, Mike Wallace, Breshad Perriman

– Colts TD: T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief

– Ravens receiving crew dominates against Indy’s depleted secondary

– Colts struggle to fight back against strong offensive day by Ravens

– Ravens win with ease against weak Colts defense

Vikings, 34, Packers, 27

– Vikings TD: Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Laquon Treadwell, Kyle Rudolph

– Packers TD: Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Davante Adams

– Rodgers looks strong against divisional rivals

– But it’s not enough as Vikings offense dominates, especially with return of Rudolph the Red-Nosed TE

– Vikes win as they slow down Packers, set their dominant offense up for success

Sunday

Patriots, 30, Bills, 23

– Patriots TD: Rush TD Dion Lewis, Pass TD Danny Amendola, Brandin Cooks

– Bills TD: Rush TD LeSean McCoy, Pass TD Zay Jones

– Pats look strong again after offense gathered momentum for comeback victory last week

– They use balanced attack to outsmart Bills defense

– Bills challenge, McCoy dominates against weak Pats front seven, receivers give Pats secondary a tough time

– Pats win in the end as Hogan returns, Brady finds receivers

Chiefs, 16, Dolphins, 13

– Chiefs TD: Tyreek Hill

– Dolphins TD: Julius Thomas

– Chiefs offense continues to struggle, especially against tough Miami defensive front

– But Chiefs defense dominant, shutting down Cutler and his receivers

– Dolphins fail to run the ball without Ajayi, Chiefs seal the deal

Chargers, 30, Jets, 27

– Chargers TD: Travis Benjamin, Mike Williams, Antonio Gates

– Jets TD: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse

– Jets have strong offensive day against weak Chargers secondary

– But Chargers continue to thrive offensively even after struggles in KC last week

– Jets come close to stopping them, but Chargers win after another good offensive performance

Lions, 27, Bengals, 19

– Lions TD: Eric Ebron, Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones

– Bengals TD: A.J. Green

– Stafford leads Detroit to triumphant victory after finding Ebron, Golladay for big plays

– Bengals offense cannot find its groove without Eifert among others

– Lions win after slowing down Cincy, thriving offensively

Browns, 24, Bears, 21

– Browns TD: Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, David Njoku

– Bears TD: Rush TD Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Pass TD Kendall Wright

– Led by RBs, Bears try to win at home

– But Gordon, Browns offense challenges them, Kizer looks good against Bears weak front seven

– Browns manage to win, and it won’t be the snoozefest you were expecting as offenses do well due to sloppy defense

Redskins, 26, Broncos, 24

– Redskins TD: Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis

– Broncos TD: Pass TD Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, Defensive TD Aqib Talib

– Redskins offense slowed down drastically by No Fly Zone, Talib even intercepts Cousins for pick six

– But Broncos offense just doesn’t produce enough to fight back, even after being boosted by Talib’s TD

Saints, 27, Falcons, 23

– Saints TD: Rush TD Alvin Kamara, Pass TD Brandon Coleman, Michael Thomas

– Falcons TD: Julio Jones, Austin Hooper

– Saints continue to look strong on offense, led by Brees, Kamara & Thomas

– Jones & Hooper try to lead Falcons comeback, but fail against tough Saints defense

Buccaneers, 30, Panthers, 22

– Buccaneers TD: O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate, Mike Evans

– Panthers TD: Greg Olsen

– Panthers struggle to stump Bucs D

– Bucs offense looks good even without Jackson as Winston leads them to victory

Cardinals, 12, Giants, 6

– Cardinals TD: NONE

– Giants TD: NONE

– Both offenses struggle regressively

– Giants secondary shuts down Cards receivers, vice versatile

– Cardinals edge out victory with some of their offensive weapons back from injuries

Cowboys, 30, Seahawks, 24

– Cowboys TD: Rush TD Ezekiel Elliott, Pass TD Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams

– Seahawks TD: Paul Richardson, Jimmy Graham, Tyler Lockett

– Cowboys thrive in Elliott’s return, even against powerful Seattle defense

– Seahawks try to fight back, but can’t produce enough offensively as Cowboys win

Monday

Steelers, 26, Texans, 20 (OT)

– Steelers TD: Rush TD Le’Veon Bell Pass TD Eli Rogers, JuJu Smith-Schuster,

– Texans TD: DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller V

– Steelers manage to win even without Brown against weak Houston D

– Texans try to fight back, taking advantage of Brown’s absence, but they cannot finish them off without Watson

– Steelers get caught in another tight thriller, but this time they win

Eagles, 38, Raiders, 27

– Eagles TD: Rush TD Jay Ajayi, Pass TD Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz

– Raiders TD: Jared Cook, Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper

– Eagles dominate offensively, even with Wentz out as Raiders secondary struggles

– Run game also does well, led by many different elite RBs

– Carr, Raiders offense also thrives, but cannot come close to matching Philly’s numbers

That’s all for my picks this week. Who will get the Christmas gift of a playoff berth this week? Find out soon.

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Melican Takes Early Lead, Holds On Against Gibbons

Like last year, I am covering some of my middle school (Melican Middle School) basketball team’s home games.  Here is my recap from the boys team’s second home game of the season against Gibbons Middle School.

The Melican boys basketball team topped Gibbons at home, 71-44. Melican took a huge lead early, but led by #15 Nick B. and #23 James H., Gibbons made it closer later on. Melican was still able to hold off Westboro, winning by a large deficit (27 points)! They were led by a double-double from James J., who scored 15 points and got 14 rebounds. Aidan and Cam S. added 14 and 12 points, respectively.

The game started off low-scoring, as the Melican team made some great defensive plays. The Melican offense began to gain some momentum towards the end of the 1st quarter, making it 15-9 to end the quarter. By about halfway through the 2nd quarter, Melican was on a 17-3 run. Beau O. set the tone to begin the quarter by sinking a huge 3-pointer. They outscored Gibbons 23-7 through the entire 2nd quarter, taking a secure 38-16 lead by halftime.

#15 Nick B. helped Gibbons start the 3rd quarter strong. He led Gibbons to nearly match Melican’s stats in the 3rd. But after gaining such a huge lead before half, Melican was able to hold onto a 56-32 lead. Early on in the 4th, Melican was able to hold off Gibbons. But James H. And Nick B. continued to lead Gibbons. However, Melican was able to keep up, and they held onto their lead. Although James H. made a lot of shots late in the game, Melican won, 71-44. The team heads to Charlton on Thursday? Will they have the same success that they did today?

 

Stats

Melican

#.   Name.     PTS
31 Aidan CF.   4
32 Tucker G.   0
14 James J.      15
10 Joe K.          0
22. Connor L. 6
23.  Adam M. 0
04  Beau O.     5
05 Patrick P.   3
12 Aidan S.   14
11. Cam S.     12
13 Jacob S.    10
03. Harrison S.  2

Total: 71

Other Interesting Stats

– James J. had a double double with 15 points and 14 rebounds
– Jacob S. did not just have 10 points, he also had 7 steals

Gibbons

#. Name. PTS. .

01.                  0
02.                  0
03.                   6
04. Aidan L.  0
05.                  0
11 Luke G.    2
12.                  4
14.                  0
15. Nick B.    18
21.                  4
22. Colin S.    0
23. James H. 14

Total: 44

Team.      1.    2.   3.  4. TOT
Gibbons. 9.   7.   16. 12. 44
Melican. 15. 23. 18. 15. 71

Pats Stun Pittsburgh and Steal Win

With 8 minutes left in the game, the Pats were down by eight points, and I was losing hope.  I don’t know how they won.  They had a nice drive going, but Pats QB Tom Brady was sacked, and they were held to a field goal.  Then they took a 27-24 lead in a 2-minute drill by scoring a TD and a 2-point conversion.  But they left 1-minute for the Steelers.  They almost blew it.  On the first play with 52 seconds left, the Pats couldn’t get their hands on Steelers WR Juju Smith-Schuster on a short pass over the middle as he escaped tacklers and scurried down the field for 69 yards.  On the next play, TE Jesse James scored a TD on a pass up the middle diving into the end zone.  But video replay reversed the call.  2 plays later with no timeouts left and about 15 seconds left, Big Ben faked the spike and then tried to force a pass up the middle.  Eric Rowe deflected it right into the hands of Harmon, stunning the Steelers, and stealing the win

The Patriots won in comeback fashion in what was arguably the game of the year, as the Pats beat Pittsburgh 27-24.  You could argue that there was no tangible evidence to overturn the Steelers last-minute touchdown but the resilience the Pats showed leading up to the play, they deserved a call in their favor.  It all started on New England’s first drive.

QB Tom Brady and WR Brandin Cooks tried to set the tone early as Brady threw Cooks a 43-yard pass that brought the Patriots into the red zone within the first five minutes of the game.  RB Rex Burkhead ran in for the TD and the Pats took the early 7-0 lead.

Image result for brandin cooks 43 yard catch vs steelers

But the Steelers weren’t about to let New England win easy.  Using the Patriots’ defensive weaknesses to their advantage, they marched down the field and responded with an 18 yard TD of their own, tying the game at 7.

The Steelers didn’t stop there.  In the next drive, their defense thrived, sacking Tom Brady and forcing them to punt.  Led by a 39-yard Martavis Bryant reception, they had another big drive following that.  But after Bryant’s nice catch, the Pats were at least able to hold Pittsburgh to a field goal.  It was now 10-7 Steelers as Chris Boswell made a 51-yard field goal.  But Steelers superstar WR Antonio Brown had hurt his calf, and he was taken to the hospital.

Image result for antonio brown injury

The Pats countered with another big play drive, this time a 31-yard catch by Pats TE Rob Gronkowski and the Pats were able to tie it up again at 10.   This was just one of two catches Gronk made in the 1st half, but he made a huge impact in the 2nd half.  But before the half, the Steelers were able to score 1 more TD, while also preventing a Patriots double score opportunity as their drive burned most of the 2nd quarter clock.  The Steelers clock-eating drives were led by star RB Le’Veon Bell, who dominated against the depleted Pats front seven.  They did not slow down even with Brown out of the game.  The Pats would get the ball in the 2nd half but would have to do so without RB Rex Burkhead who was knocked out of the game with a knee injury.

Image result for leveon bell vs pats

The Pats began the 2nd half with a strong drive as Brandin Cooks scored a touchdown after Gronk began to make a bigger impact.  But they missed the extra point which put them down by one 17-16.  After they shut the Steelers down, the Pats were ready to score again.  But Tom Brady was intercepted early in the drive.  Le’Veon Bell led the Steelers into the end zone quickly, and the Pats were now down by eight, 24-16.

As the 4th quarter began, the Steelers had the ball, and they began to eat up a lot of time as they tried to hold off the Patriots.  They held onto the ball for the first 7 minutes of the 4th quarter, leaving the Pats down by eight with just 8 minutes to come back.  In their first drive of the 4th quarter, they started off strong.  Gronk almost caught a 23-yard pass and the Steelers were penalized for clear pass interference.  However, Brady got sacked on third down after a pair of incompletions, and they were held to a field goal.

It wasn’t over though.  The Pats shut down the Steelers on the next drive with the only 3 and out for either team and got the ball back with a little over two minutes to go.  If they could successfully complete this 2-minute drill for a TD, they could secure a victory.  They marched down the field, as Gronk caught three straight passes for a total of 69 yards.  You could argue that his final catch was almost as good as WR Julian Edelman’s catch in Super Bowl LI.  Gronk just barely saved the ball before it hit the ground.

Image result for rob gronkowski vs steelers 2017

RB Dion Lewis ran it in for the touchdown, but New England scored too fast going 77 yards in 1:10.  They needed to go for the 2-point conversion to take a 3-point lead and at the very least hold Pittsburgh to a field goal and head into overtime.  Brady tossed it to Gronk for the conversion.  Gronk finished the 2nd half with 7 receptions for 135 yards, making a huge impact.  The Steelers had a little under a minute to respond.

The Steelers were confident that they could still win it, and Big Ben completed one 69-yard pass to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster.  As the Pats couldn’t get their hands on Smith-Schuster, the Steelers were able to do what the Pats did in three passes in just one big play.  The Steelers then scored with what was ruled a touchdown by TE Jesse James.  But the call was reversed, giving hope to all the Patriots fans out there, including me.  Two plays later, Big Ben tried to throw a TD again, but this time, he was picked off by Duron Harmon!  The Pats had done it again!

Image result for juju smith schuster vs pats

A couple minutes earlier, I had thought the Pats were done, and I was hoping they could hold on to the 3rd seed.  But now they lead the AFC after a stunning comeback victory.

There were two huge plays that secured the Pats their current #1 seed edge showing #1 seed confidence under tough road pressure in Pittsburgh.  Without the 2-point conversion, Pittsburgh would’ve likely won on a field goal after Smith-Schuster’s catch and run play.  The Pats held on with a great goal-line interception by Harmon.  The Pats lead the league in goal-line stops and today’s play was arguably the most clutch of the year.

This game reminded me of Super Bowl XLIX.  The Pats won in a comeback, a lot of points were scored late in the game, and the Pats secured victory with an interception after the opposing team almost scored.  The one major difference was the time left on the clock.  Super Bowl XLIX ended with a bad coaching decision, but in this game, Big Ben made the mistake forcing a pass instead of throwing it away to give his team a shot in overtime with a short field goal.

With this win, the Pats clinch the division and take the AFC lead.  They control their own destiny and will secure the #1 seed with 2 division wins at home.  Can they do it?

 

 

NFL Week 14 Picks: Goff vs. Wentz

Welcome to my NFL Week 14 Picks.  I went 12-4 last week, placing my overall record at 112-80.  How will I do in this week’s slate of games?  Read below and comment with your thoughts.  This week will be full of many intriguing match-ups, including the battle between sophomore stars Jared Goff and Carson Wentz.  Who will come out on top?

Lock of the Week

The Cardinals go into this game with Blaine Gabbert as their QB, no established starting RB after Adrian Peterson’s neck injury and the release of Chris Johnson, and one of their top two receivers out.  The young Titans defense will shut Arizona’s depleted offense down.  Offensively for the Titans, it won’t take much to top the banged-up Cardinals offense as they win with ease in a clinic.

Upset of the Week (SNF)

The Steelers nearly lost this past Monday Night after underestimating their division rival, the Cincinnati Bengals.  I expect it to happen again against a hard to predict Ravens squad, and this time it will cost them.  Baltimore’s versatile receivers will dominate against a banged-up Steelers defense, who will be without CB Joe Haden.  They will also be without both starting inside linebackers, making it easier for RB Alex Collins to strive in Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, the Steelers will struggle to establish a passing rhythm with WR JuJu Smith-Schuster suspended, as Big Ben runs low on options while the Ravens keep eagle eyes on star receiver Antonio Brown.  The Ravens will take advantage of Pittsburgh’s problems, winning them an important primetime game.

TNF

The Saints offense will have a strong game here, led by their RB duo and their receivers, who will dominate against a struggling Atlanta secondary.  But although their own RB duo will struggle, the Falcons will make an effort to fight back, led by QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones, who have big games against the stingy Saints secondary led by young corner Marshon Lattimore.  That will lead the Falcons to victory on Thursday Night.

Sunday’s Games

I know the Bills are without QB Tyrod Taylor, but I think Nathan Peterman’s first game was a fluke.  This time, he’ll lift the Buffalo offense out of a rough patch against a struggling Colts D.  But meanwhile, the Colts will try to fight back as they use a balanced attack to outwit the Bills D, even without WR Donte Moncrief.  However, the Bills will win after their offense is rejuvenated.

The Bengals offense won’t be able to produce much itself, but their defense will shut down the Bears, even without LB Vontaze Burfict and CB Adam Jones.  The Bears offense won’t be able to fight back here, as even their RB duo can’t save them.  Therefore, the Bengals will win this low scoring affair despite the loss of RB Joe Mixon and several defensive stars.

I expect the Packers offense to look a little better against the Browns D, one of the worst defenses in the league.  Browns WR Josh Gordon will try to make it close, but the Cleveland defense will just allow too many points.  Besides, the Browns are still searching for a good QB to consistently find Gordon.  The Packers will win in Cleveland, but not as easily as you would expect since QB Aaron Rodgers is out until next week.  However, the Packers offense will help set up Green Bay for success today, even without Rodgers.

Considering the fact that Houston will be without two of their three best receivers, QB Tom Savage will struggle.  But the Texans will work their ground game to beat San Francisco, taking advantage of their weak front seven.  QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners offense will struggle to fight back, even against a banged-up Houston D, as RB Lamar Miller leads Houston to victory.

image1.PNG

Oakland beat the Chiefs at home, and I think it can happen again on the road.  They will shock the Chiefs in Kansas City in a fight for the AFC West.  Their offense will look dominant, even against a tough Chiefs D.  They have WR Amari Cooper healthy this week, and Chiefs CB Marcus Peters is out.  Cooper and his fellow Raiders WR Michael Crabtree will dominate against the banged-up Kansas City secondary.  The Chiefs offense will do well, but it won’t be enough as the Raiders figure out their depleted secondary.

The Cowboys offense will start to struggle again, even after a big game last week.  They will begin to miss RB Ezekiel Elliott against a tough Giants defense.  The Dallas offensive line will help them, but it won’t do much.  The Giants will try to take advantage as their defense has a big game, but QB Eli Manning will fail to fight back against the Cowboys.  The Cowboys will win as the Giants offense continues to struggle without their top two receivers.

The Vikings will dominate offensively yet again, especially against a weak Panthers secondary.   The Panthers will try to fight back, but they will fail against the tough Vikings defensive front, even with star tight end Greg Olsen back.  Vikes win as QB Case Keenum leads them to another dominant offensive game like they have done all season.

QB Jameis Winston will lead the Bucs offense to victory at home, where Tampa has won most of their games this season.  Their versatile receivers will be dominant against the Lions secondary.  Led by QB Matthew Stafford and WR Kenny Golladay, the Lions will try to fight back in this tight match-up, but they will fall short as the defense gives up 30+ points to the Buccaneers.

The Denver offense will look better against the young Jets defense despite a major QB controversy.  The Jets will still make it close as the Broncos fail to match their early-season feats.  But the Broncos defense will have a big game, shutting down QB Josh McCown as well as the Jets RBs as Denver wins.

The Chargers offense will continue to dominate in this game, especially against a banged-up, weak Redskins D.  The strong Redskins offense will try to fight back, led by star QB Kirk Cousins and his elite receivers.  They will try to take advantage of LA’s secondary weaknesses, even without star TE Jordan Reed.  But LA’s offense is just too strong, and they will lead the Chargers to victory in this offensive shootout.

The Seahawks defense will still look strong in this game, even without key secondary members Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor.  But the Jaguars defense will also shine, shutting down QB Russell Wilson and the strengthening Seahawks offense.  This game will bring back memories of Seattle’s early season offensive struggles.  The Jags will win as their offense perseveres, even without WRs Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson.

This will be an exciting match-up as Eagles QB Carson Wentz and Rams QB Jared Goff, who were the top two picks in the 2016 NFL Draft, face off.  Both of them started in their rookie season although they didn’t do much.  But this year, both of them have shined, leading their teams to the top of their divisions.

The Rams will take this one as the Eagles can’t figure out their offense.  LA will fail to shut down Wentz, but they will slow down the many strong running backs who have led Philly this season.  The Eagles will fail to shut down Goff or RB Todd Gurley as the Rams offense dominates, and their young secondary won’t be able to touch a finger on the Rams wide receivers.  LA wins after stumping Philly on both sides of the ball.

MNF

The Patriots will struggle to produce as much offense as they usually do without  TE Rob Gronkowski (suspension).  But QB Tom Brady will come into the game with confidence and find his receivers to beat Miami.  The Pats defense will help as their secondary shuts down a strong group of Dolphins receivers.  The Dolphins will fail to establish a run game and take advantage of the Pats’ depleted front seven, as the Pats win the game due to complimentary football.

NFL Week 13 Picks: Mediocre Teams Make For Great Matchups

Welcome to my NFL Week 13 Picks.  I went 12-4 last week, placing my overall record at 100-76.  How will I do in this week’s slate of games?  Read below and comment with your thoughts.

Lock of the Week

QB Marcus Mariota will lead the Titans offense to a huge game and a victory.  TE Delanie Walker and WR Corey Davis among others will help Mariota as the Titans offense takes advantage of the Texans weakening secondary.  With the help of the offensive line, the Titans RB duo will also help out the offense against the depleted Texans front seven.  For the Texans, QB Tom Savage will struggle to generate offense and score TDs, especially without WR Will Fuller.  Titans win after Houston’s struggles.

Upset of the Week

The Falcons depleted defense will fail to shut down the Vikings strong group of receivers.  Vikings receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs will help lead the Vikings offense to dominance and help lead the Vikings to victory.   For the Falcons offense, QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones will lead the Atlanta offense to a strong game, but it won’t be enough against the relentless Vikings.

TNF

After a rough week last week, QB Dak Prescott will lead the Cowboys offense to a big game, even without RB Ezekiel Elliott.  Both defenses will struggle after losing key players.  The Redskins lost S DeAngelo Hall, and the Cowboys lost LB Sean Lee.  With Lee out, the Redskins will also thrive offensively in this game.  QB Kirk Cousins will lead them to dominance and keep this close.  But the Cowboys will outscore them in an offensive shootout.

Sunday’s Games

The Bills will struggle to establish a passing game here due to their QB problems, and the fact that WR Kelvin Benjamin is out.  The Pats secondary will be able to shut down the receivers that do play, as the Pats secondary has been dominant lately.  For the Patriots offense, a balanced attack will lead them to thrive against a Bills defense that has begun to struggle after a strong start to the season.  Pats win as the Bills can’t find their rhythm.

QB Jay Cutler will look a bit better in his return, but he will still struggle against the dominant Broncos defense.  The Dolphins defense will also do well though, shutting down the Broncos run game.  But despite a hole at QB, the Broncos will still be able to generate an offensive rhythm.  However, the Dolphins will win after a defensive rebound led by defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake, as well as safety Reshad Jones.

The Chiefs offense hasn’t been able to lead Kansas City to victory lately, but in this game, I think the defense will.  The Chiefs D will shut down the pesky Jets offense with the addition of CB Darrelle Revis against his former team.  The Jets defense will fail to shut down deep threat Tyreek Hill and star TE Travis Kelce.  After the Jets D struggles and the Chiefs D dominates, the Chiefs will win on the road.

QB Matthew Stafford will lead the versatile Lions receivers to thrive against a banged-up Ravens secondary.  But the Ravens will fight back as their younger players like RB Alex Collins and WR Breshad Perriman help lead their offense to dominate.  In the end, the Ravens will win in a close game that results in one of the most underrated matchups of the season.

The Jaguars secondary will be dominant against the Colts receivers, and the Jags defensive front will look unstoppable as they shut down the Colts running backs.  Meanwhile, the Colts defense will struggle to shut down the Jags young receivers and standout RB Leonard Fournette.  The Jags will win after the young offense comes through.

QB Jameis Winston will return to rejuvenate the Bucs offense against a struggling Packers team.  The Packers will continue to struggle offensively as well, failing to produce much offense against the underrated Buccaneers defense.  Tampa will win after defensive dominance and an offensive bounce back.

This game won’t be too exciting, but the Bears RB duo will help bring some excitement and lead Chicago to victory.  The 49ers’ QB problems will cause them to struggle, even against the Bears.  The Niners lack depth at receiver, especially without WR Pierre Garcon.  The Bears will win,  but the game will bring some of the sloppiest defense of the season from both teams.

WR Josh Gordon will help lead the Browns offense to a slightly better game in his return, but it won’t nearly be enough against the Chargers’ electric offense.  Besides, this is Gordon’s first game since 2014, so there’s a chance he gets a rude awakening.  LA’s offense will just be too strong for the Browns, and Philip Rivers will toss for 400 yards and 5+ TD against the weak Browns defense.  The Chargers will win despite the Browns’ efforts to push closer to victory.  It will be a more exciting game than you might expect.

The Giants defense will slow down the Raiders’ versatile receivers, especially with WR Amari Cooper out.  But the Giants will fail to produce offensively with Geno Smith at QB, and Smith will be knocked around a lot by the Raiders strong defensive front.  The Raiders will win after Smith fails another New York team.

The Saints offense won’t be in full swing against the tough Panthers front seven, but they will still have a huge game, even without TE Coby Fleener.  The Panthers will struggle to match the Saints’ success without TE Greg Olsen (foot injury) and WR Kelvin Benjamin (mid-season trade).  New Orleans will win after their defense slows down the depleted Carolina offense, and the Saints offense puts up another strong game.

The Rams defense will shut down the Cardinals offense that will be without WR John Brown in this game and without RB David Johnson and QB Carson Palmer for the rest of the season.  The Rams offense won’t look like themselves against the stingy Arizona secondary, but they will still manage to pull away with a victory against a troubled Arizona offense.

QB Carson Wentz will lead the Eagles to victory in a Sunday Night offensive shootout.  Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will also look good during primetime and he will challenge Philly.  But the Eagles will be dominant as they take advantage of the depleted Seahawks secondary and win the game.  Seattle’s secondary will be without CB Richard Sherman and S Kam Chancellor in this primetime clash.

The Bengals offense will struggle in the heat of primetime, especially against Pittsburgh’s difficult front seven.  On the other hand, Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense will look good against their divisional rivals on Monday Night.  Big Ben will lead a great group of Steelers receivers to dominate, and the Steelers will win again.  The return of WR JuJu Smith-Schuster will help them.

That’s all for my Week 13 Picks.  Feel free to comment with your thoughts.

NFL Week 12 Picks: Which Contenders will Lock Up A Playoff Spot?

Welcome to my NFL Week 12 Picks.  I went 10-4 last week, placing my overall record at 88-72.  How will I do in this week’s slate of games?  Read below and comment with your thoughts.  This week could start factoring into the playoff chances of all 32 teams.  Who will lock up a spot?  Who will be eliminated from contention?

 

To see my picks for the Thanksgiving Day games this week, click here.

 

Note: In the images, the team on the top is the road team, and the team on the bottom is the home team.

 

Lock of the Week

 

Emerging as a top QB in the league, Carson Wentz has led the Eagles offense to become one of the best offenses in the league.  The Bears will be their next victim as the Eagles blow them out.  The Eagles offense is as good as it gets.  They have 3-4 strong running backs, who will dominate against a weak Bears defensive front.  They have a trio of great receivers and a top 5 tight end in Zach Ertz, who will just be too much for the young Bears secondary.
The Bears will struggle to strike back as young QB Mitch Trubisky is under too much pressure, and the Bears’ own RB duo is shut down by Philly’s strong run defense.  The Eagles will end up winning by one of the largest deficits seen this season.
Upset of the Week
RB Devonta Freeman is out for the second straight week, and that will cause the Falcons offense to struggle this time around.  They were able to survive without him last week, but this week Atlanta will start to miss him.  The Bucs defense will take advantage of that fact and will shut down the weakened Falcons offense.  For the Bucs, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will continue to do well in the place of QB Jameis Winston, leading the Bucs to victory with the help of his receivers as well as RB Doug Martin.

Sunday’s Games

 

 

QB Tom Brady and the Pats offense will thrive against their divisional rivals, even without key receivers Chris Hogan and Martellus Bennett.  The Dolphins secondary will struggle to cover their powerful receivers like Brandin Cooks and Rob Gronkowski.  The Dolphins will also struggle offensively, as their run game looks hopeless without Jay Ajayi.  QB Matt Moore will also struggle to find his receivers and be picked off frequently by a stingy Pats secondary.  Pats win easily.

 

 

The Chiefs will struggle to bring life to their offense, but they will dominate defensively in this game.  The Chiefs will overpressure whoever is at QB for the Bills.  The QB problems will cost them as the Chiefs defense dominates against Buffalo’s troubled offense.

 

 

The Panthers young guns will help lead Carolina to victory, even without WR Kelvin Benjamin and TE Greg Olsen.  The Jets will keep it close with a strong offensive game, as the Panthers secondary struggles to cover the Jets receivers.  But the Panthers defensive front will shut down the Jets run game.  The Panthers will win after the younger players step it up, including RB Christian McCaffrey and WR Curtis Samuel.

 

 The Bengals offense will continue to come up big against the struggling Browns defense.  TE Tyler Kroft will continue to make a big impact for them in the role of the injured TE Tyler Eifert.  The Bengals D will also thrive in this game, shutting down the strong Browns run game.  They will pressure QB DeShone Kizer, causing him to struggle regressively.  The Bengals will win after dominating in all three aspects of the game.
The Titans will win as their balanced attack dominates against a struggling Colts defense.  QB Marcus Mariota will throw for 300+ yards and toss 2 TDs to his group of versatile receivers.  In addition, the Titans RB duo of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry will rush for 150+ combined yards and one TD each.  Colts QB Jacoby Brissett will also lead his offense to a big game, but it won’t be enough as the Titans outscore them in an offensive shootout.
QB C.J. Beathard will lead the 49ers offense to another strong game, but this time, their injuries, as well as the Seahawks relentless defense, will have a big impact on slowing them down.  For the Seahawks, the offense will continue to thrive, even without new RB Mike Davis playing against his former team.  The 49ers troubled defense will fail to slow them down significantly, and the Seahawks will win.
The Jaguars will win after their defense dominates, shutting down Cardinals RB Adrian Peterson as well as Cardinals new starting QB Blaine Gabbert.  Gabbert will struggle to find his receivers under so much pressure, especially with WR John Brown out.  The Cardinals defense will also hold up QB Blake Bortles and the Jags offense, but the Jags will still win after their amazing defensive performance.
The Broncos beat the Raiders in Denver, but that was without QB Derek Carr.  This time, Carr will lead the Raiders offense to thrive against the tough Broncos defense  His versatile receivers will be too much for the No Fly Zone, scoring 3 TD on them.  Broncos QB Brock Osweiler will try to lead the Denver offense to rebound, but it won’t be enough to outplay the strong Raiders offense.
The Rams will beat the flaming New Orleans Saints, led by RB Todd Gurley’s huge game.  QB Jared Goff will also rebound from a rough against another strong team, the Vikings, last week.  Despite the fact that one of their best receivers, Robert Woods, is out, the big games out of Goff and Gurley will help lead the Rams to victory.  The Saints RB duo will struggle against the tough Rams run defense, and that will cost the Saints.
SNF
The banged-up Steelers offense may come in unprepared, but they will still do well against the Packers defense, especially with Clay Matthews hurt.  For the Packers, QB Brett Hundley will struggle to find his receivers, as the Packers offense fails against the Steelers without their top two RBs.  The Steelers will win as the Packers continue to fall apart without QB Aaron Rodgers.
MNF
The Ravens will win as the Texans continued to struggle without QB Deshaun Watson.  With WR Will Fuller out, QB Tom Savage and the Texans will struggle to produce offense against the tough Ravens D, despite the fact that three of their best defensive players are banged-up.  For the Ravens offense, QB Joe Flacco will thrive against a Texans D that’s also depleted by injuries.  Baltimore will win despite several injuries of their own.
That’s all for my Week 12 Picks.  Feel free to comment with your thoughts.

 

NFL Thanksgiving Day Picks

Thanksgiving is finally here.  The parades, the food, and best of all, an NFL Thursday tripleheader.  Here are my predictions for today’s games.  Last week I went 10-4, putting my overall record at 88-72.  Comment with your thoughts, and have a great Thanksgiving.

Note: In the images, the team on the top is the road team, and the team on the bottom is the home team.

 

 

Game 1: Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions, 12:30 PM EST, FOX

The Lions will win as their offense continues to roll.  The Lions have won three straight, scoring at least 27 points in all games during that span.  For the Vikings, QB Case Keenum will have another big game as his receivers, especially Adam Thielen, come up big against the weak Lions secondary.

But despite being slowed down by a tough Vikings D, QB Matthew Stafford and WR Kenny Golladay will lead the offense in this game, connecting for 150 yards and a TD.  Stafford’s other receivers will also step it up, and the Lions will win in a close one.

Game 2: Los Angeles Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 PM EST, CBS

The Cowboys run game will continue to struggle without RB Ezekiel Elliott, especially against the tough LA front seven.  But QB Dak Prescott will thrive in this game with the help of the league’s best offensive line.  He will find his receivers and boost the Dallas offense.  However, it won’t be enough as the Chargers offense continues to dominate.  Expect the Chargers to keep the momentum they developed last week, scoring 30+ points again.  Chargers win the Turkey Day battle.

Game 3: TNF: New York Giants @ Washington Redskins, 8:30 PM EST, NBC

The Redskins may be slowed down by a stingy Giants secondary, but not enough to keep them from having a big game offensively.  The Giants will continue to struggle to produce offensively, even though the Redskins defense hasn’t been great.  Redskins win led by big games out of QB Kirk Cousins and TE Vernon Davis.

 

That’s all for my Thanksgiving Picks.  Feel free to comment with your thoughts, and once again, have a great Thanksgiving.