Last week was shaky, but come on, it’s time for me to get real. I’m basing my picks from here on out on a combination of one, what I’ve seen, and two, as always, the predictions out of my mind and my gut. So, again, lets GET REAL. Now on with my picks.
Lock Of The Week
Patriots, 41, Redskins, 17
This game is kind of a joke. But we are the Patriots. We can’t treat it like that. We have to prepare for it like any other game. Still, this will be a big blowout. Both of the best defenders on the team are questionable. Without Ryan Kerrigan and DeAngelo Hall, the Patriots will put on a show.
Blount Force Trauma will still get guarded if Kerrigan plays. But Dion Lewis will have a big game, even if Terrance Knighton, the third biggest component, guards him. This will still be a bigger game for Brady to pass to all his weapons. I could see Danny Amendola having a huge game, with Gronk or Edelman guarded by Hall. In the last three games, Amendola is 16 for 19 with 202 yards and a touchdown. In weeks 1-5, Amendola was 10 for 13 with only 98 yards and a touchdown.
On the Redskins side, their rushing game will not be functional against a heavily rush based Patriots defense. But if DeSean Jackson returns, he has potential to be a star. But with Devin McCourty on him some of the time, Jackson may be limited. If he’s out, I’d expect Jamison Crowder’s surprises to continue. Sure, he’s hasn’t yet been effective in the end zone, but he’ll be tempted to score his first NFL touchdown. Jordan Reed will get the rest of Devin McCourty or Patrick Chung, so tight ends won’t be functional either.
Notable Locks: Saints over Titans, Bengals over Browns, Jets over Jaguars, Steelers over Raiders
Upset Of The Week
Colts, 51, Broncos, 33
The Colts have more potential in their offense than you might think, even against the almighty Broncos defense. The Colts’ running backs will have full guard. Frank Gore and Ahmad Bradshaw have DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller on them. But the receivers and tight ends are in better hands. Really good players like T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Dwayne Allen will have full guard (Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby, Brandon Marshall or T.J. Ward), Guys that haven’t gotten their chance yet this year, like Andre Johnson, Philip Dorsett and Coby Fleener, could have dominant games and lead the Colts offense to a breakout.
The Colts defense fits the Broncos offense pretty darn well. C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman have D’ Qwell Jackson and Robert Mathis. DeMaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have Vontae Davis and Greg Toler. Vernon Davis should also have Darius Butler. That leaves just Cody Latimer and Owen Daniels, oh, and also now third string tight end Virgil Green. Thy still can rack up lots of points, but they will have a little more trouble than Indy getting to the end zone, giving Indy the upset win.
Notable Upsets: Panthers over Packers, Cowboys over Eagles
Jets, 37, Jaguars, 27
Bills, 28, Dolphins, 21
Bengals, 28, Browns, 21
Steelers, 20, Raiders, 16
Saints, 24, Titans, 9
Chargers, 24, Bears, 20
Cowboys, 34, Eagles, 27
Giants, 20, Buccaneers, 17
Panthers, 17, Packers, 6 (NOTE: Panthers defense dominates, Packers fail to score on them)
Vikings, 37, Rams, 34
Falcons, 34, 49ers, 20
Team Of The Week
- This team has typically been good, but is a feast or famine team
- This team lost a star this off season, but this player has been disappointing on his new team.
- This team’s defensive coordinator is the brother of a head coach in the AFC.
- This team’s division was very weak last year.
- This team has a quarterback I would consider top 10 all time material.
What team is this? Guess in comments.
Last Week: Texans