Welcome to my Thanksgiving Day NFL Picks. Last week was not great for me. I went 4-9, putting my overall record at 85-74-2. I am no longer ahead of any experts, but I am tied with CBS Sports expert Jason La Canfora. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the food, I love seeing my family, I enjoy watching the parade, and I especially love the football. Who will win in today’s football games? Expect a big week for home teams, but I think one home team will have their Thanksgiving spoiled. Keep reading to find out which team that is, and feel free to comment with your thoughts.
12:30 PM EST
Look for a dominant day by Khalil Mack and the Bears defense against Detroit. Without WRs Golden Tate and Marvin Jones, the Lions offense will struggle to get into a rhythm. Chicago’s offense won’t be at its best either, but the defensive excellence makes up for it. This will allow the Bears to spoil Detroit’s Thanksgiving.
4:30 PM EST
The injury-riddled Washington offense will miss QB Alex Smith and WR Jamison Crowder. But they will manage to keep this close against the young Dallas D. Meanwhile, QB Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense will continue to improve with the addition of WR Amari Cooper, leading the Cowboys to win their Turkey Day game in a close one.
8:20 PM EST
Expect the Saints defense to perform better than usual, holding Atlanta to 1 TD in New Orleans. New Orleans won’t be at their best offensively either, but expect them to get by against the weak Falcons D. The Falcons will begin to panic as they struggle in all aspects in this game.
That’s all for my Thanksgiving Day Picks. Stay tuned for the rest of my picks later this week.
If you’re a Boston sports fan, you may have noticed an unusual amount of Boston teams playing lately. Right now, Boston is the only city with an MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL team that are all in season. From October 16 to October 31, there could be 16 consecutive days of Boston sports (depending on how the Red Sox do in the World Series). From October 3 to October 31, there could be as many as 39 Boston sports events. If the Red Sox hadn’t defeated the Astros in 5, all four teams would have played in one weekend. So far, it’s gone very well, as Boston sports teams have a 16-6-2 win-loss record this October. I’m calling it October Sports Mania, and today, I will give an update on all 4 teams with my thoughts during this time of madness.
MLB: Boston Red Sox
Regular Season Record: 108-54
Record in October: 7-2
Current Status: Won American League, Made World Series
Context: For the first time in 5 years, the Red Sox have made the World Series! They have made it three other times in the 21st century, and they haven’t lost in a 21st century World Series appearance. This time, they take on the Dodgers in what could be one of the best World Series’ of the 21st century. Game 1 went down October 23, as Chris Sale faced Clayton Kershaw and the Red Sox won in a surprising slugfest. Who will win this exciting series? I’m calling Red Sox in 6 or 7 games. But considering that I have to get to school at 7:20 AM every day and the games start at 8:00 or 8:15 PM (some on school nights), I may not see every minute live like I would want to.
Note to commissioner: Please make World Series games start earlier. A 6PM start, like the Super Bowl, would be nice.
- 10/5/2018 vs. NYY: W, 5-4 (ALDS Game 1, BOS leads 1-0)
- 10/6/2018 vs. NYY: L, 6-2 (ALDS Game 2, series tied 1-1)
- 10/8/2018 @ NYY: W, 16-1 (ALDS Game 3, BOS leads 2-1)
- 10/9/2018 @ NYY: W, 4-3 (ALDS Game 4, BOS wins 3-1)
- 10/13/2018 vs. HOU, L, 7-2 (ALCS Game 1, HOU leads 1-0)
- 10/14/2018 vs. HOU, W, 7-5 (ALCS Game 2, series tied 1-1)
- 10/16/2018 @ HOU, W, 8-2 (ALCS Game 3, BOS leads 2-1)
- 10/17/2018 @ HOU, W, 8-6 (ALCS Game 4, BOS leads 3-1)
- 10/18/2018 @ HOU, W, 4-1 (ALCS Game 5, BOS wins 4-1)
- 10/23/2018 vs. LAD, W, 8-4 (World Series Game 1, BOS leads 1-0)
- 10/24/2018 vs. LAD (World Series Game 2)
- 10/26/2018 @ LAD (World Series Game 3)
- 10/30/2018 vs. LAD (World Series Game 6, if necessary)
- 10/31/2018 vs. LAD (World Series Game 7, if necessary)
My Thoughts on Them So Far This Month
The Red Sox dominated all season after the addition of star hitter J.D. Martinez and manager Alex Cora. But in both 2016 and 2017, they choked in the playoffs. I had confidence in them against the Yankees in the ALDS, but that confidence was weaker due to these chokes and the fact that the Yankees were also a Top 3 MLB team this year. The Sox also had regressed throughout the month of September. But when they faced the Yankees in the ALDS, they returned to form. The bullpen was clutch and the lineup had awoken. They rode the momentum into the ALCS. It wasn’t looking good after Game 1, but they easily defeated the stacked, defending champion Houston Astros in the final four games. They have now advanced into an exciting World Series against the Dodgers. This series could go either way. Do you think the Sox take it all?
Predictions for the Rest of the Month
This World Series will not be smooth sailing. I didn’t even expect the ALCS to end in 5 games. But I have confidence that the Red Sox will win. As long as Chris Sale is good to go and the lineup keeps making fireworks, we should take this series in 6 or 7 games.
NFL: New England Patriots
Regular Season Record: 5-2
Record in October: 3-0
Current Status: Riding Four Game Win Streak into MNF Division Duel
Context: The Pats are riding a 4 game win streak, and they’ve scored at least 30 points in every game since WR Josh Gordon was activated. They beat the Kansas City Chiefs, who arguably have the best offense in the league, 43-40. Will they ride the momentum to a Super Bowl victory? This dominant offensive performance will serve them well, but they nearly lost to the Chicago Bears because of bad defense. Their defense is going to need to step up their game for a win on the big stage.
- 10/4/2018 vs. IND: W, 38-24
- 10/14/2018 vs. KC: W, 43-40
- 10/21/2018 @ CHI: W, 38-31
- 10/29/2018 @ BUF
My Thoughts on Them so far This Month
I was very impressed by the win against Kansas City. The Chiefs may have one of the worst defenses in the league. But the fact that the Pats also scored 30+ against the Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphins shows that this offense is here to play. They took down the 5-0 Chiefs, who had averaged 35 points per game and were riding the momentum to dominance.
Predictions for the Rest of the Month
The Patriots should be able to take down the 1-6 Bills easily with QB Josh Allen and RB LeSean McCoy banged-up. But their next major test will come in Week 9 when they host QB Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. They will need their best defense in that game.
NBA: Boston Celtics
Regular Season Record: 2-2
October Record: 2-2
Current Status: Off to Slow Start, Hoping to Rebound for Big Year
Context: The Celtics are off to a slow start. They did take down the 76ers and Knicks, but they fell to the Kawhi Leonard-led Raptors in Toronto and suffered an embarrassing loss when hosting the Orlando Magic on Monday. Will they pick up the pace and contend for a championship?
- 10/16/2018 vs. PHI, W, 105-87
- 10/19/2018 @ TOR, L, 113-101
- 10/20/2018 @ NYK, W, 103-101
- 10/22/2018 vs. ORL, L, 93-90
- 10/25/2018 @ OKC
- 10/27/2018 @ DET
- 10/30/2018 vs. DET
My Thoughts on Them so far This Month
I’m not so worried about the Celtics despite a rough start. They topped the 76ers (told you they would regress) by almost 20 and got past the Knicks in New York. Their loss to Toronto is understandable. The Raptors have only improved after the Kawhi Leonard trade and I did not expect the Celts to come to Toronto and win easily. As for the loss to Orlando, it was a little disappointing. But the Magic have a strong young core that could surprise a lot of people this year. I would not be concerned if they struggle in Oklahoma City and Detroit, both of whom I see contending. (Note: I’m pretty sure I was right about the Pistons in my NBA Predictions, Blake Griffin put up 50 against the Sixers).
Predictions for the Rest of the Month
Expect them to split in two games against an improved Detroit Pistons squad. I think their next game against Oklahoma City could go either way. But even if they start 3-4, I think they’ll pull it together and contend for a title in the long run.
NHL: Boston Bruins
Regular Season Record: 5-2-2 (12 PTS)
October Record: 5-2-2 (12 PTS)
Current Status: So-So in Canada, Come Home Thursday
Context: After a shaky four game road trip across Canada, the Bruins come home to face the Flyers and Canadiens. Montreal has been off to a strong start, and Philly has been alright as well, so wins won’t come easy over these next couple games either.
- 10/3/2018 @ WSH, L, 7-0
- 10/4/2018 @ BUF, W, 4-0
- 10/8/2018 vs. OTT, W, 6-3
- 10/11/2018 vs. EDM, W, 4-1
- 10/13/2018 vs. DET, W, 8-2
- 10/17/2018 @ CGY, L, 5-2
- 10/18/2018 @ EDM, OTL, 3-2
- 10/20/2018 @ VAN, OTL, 2-1
- 10/23/2018 @ OTT, W, 4-1
- 10/25/2018 vs. PHI
- 10/27/2018 vs. MTL
- 10/30/2018 @ CAR
My Thoughts on them so far This Month
The Bruins might not be top Stanley Cup contenders, but it seems that this young, talented team has picked up where they left off last year. They are still a playoff team for sure and have appeared to be one of the better teams in the league. I’m a little concerned about their losses to the Oilers and Canucks, but it’s early in the season, and they’ve been doing fine otherwise.
Predictions for the Rest of the Month
Look for more of the same heading into the end of the month. I could see them taking down Philly and Montreal in close home games, and I would expect them to give the Hurricanes a wake-up call after their surprisingly strong start. I had anticipated that the Hurricanes would start like this given their schedule, but trust me, it will not last that much longer.
That’s all for today. I hope you enjoy the rest of this crazy month in sports, and stay tuned for more articles on all four teams soon.
Welcome to my NFL Week 7 picks and previews. Last week, I went 8-7, placing my overall record at 53-38-2 (53-39-2 including TNF Week 7). This puts me ahead of 3 of 10 ESPN experts and 1 of 8 CBS Sports experts. There have been a lot of early season surprises this year. The Bears are tied for the NFC North lead. The Eagles sit at .500, and the Falcons sit at just 2-4. Both of them were playoff teams in 2017. Could this mark the turning point for some of those surprise bad teams? Will some of the pleasant surprise teams begin to regress? Read below to find out what I think.
Lock of the Week
The Buccaneers struggled last week in Atlanta. But now that they are back on their home turf, expect QB Jameis Winston and the Bucs to bounce back. The Browns have little to no momentum going into this one either. They’re coming off an embarrassing blowout loss in Cleveland. Don’t expect a much better offensive performance from the Browns against an underrated Bucs defense in Tampa. I also don’t think the Browns secondary will be able to contain Tampa’s deep group of receivers. Expect an easy Buccaneers victory.
Upset of the Week
I tend to lean towards teams with the home field advantage when making my picks. But the Bills have actually performed relatively well on the road. If they can shock the Vikings in Minnesota, they should be able to take down the 1-5 Colts in Indy. It doesn’t matter if Josh Allen is the QB or if Derek Anderson is. This Colts defense has struggled all season, costing Indy several games. With the Bills dominating a rebuilding Colts D, QB Andrew Luck and the Colts offense should be able to put up a fight. But it will be very difficult to keep up with Buffalo, leading to a Bills road victory.
The Other Games
|TNF (Posted to Twitter Thursday Night; Actual Score: 45-10 Broncos)
||Look for QB Josh Rosen to lead Arizona to a home victory against the sinking Denver Broncos. The Broncos defense may be good, but they are not even close to 2015 form, and that will cost them. QB Case Keenum and his receivers will make it close, but it won’t be enough thanks to the dominance of the Cardinals offense.|
|Sunday, 9:30 AM EST (Posted to Twitter Before Kickoff)
|Look for QB Philip Rivers and the Chargers offense to put up another strong offensive performance in London. The Chargers have only lost twice this year, and the losses were to the Rams and Chiefs, two of the best teams in the league. They have dominated offensively against every other opponent. I also see Tennessee struggling against a young Chargers defense. This will lead to a secure Chargers victory.
Note: I think it’s a possibility that the Chargers eventually move to London if LA doesn’t work out for them.
|Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
Stay tuned for a potential video preview closer to game time!
|Expect QB Tom Brady to throw to many different receivers and lead the Pats to victory. New England should use their newfound receiver depth to their advantage. Even the Bears strong defense should struggle to contain an offense that outscored the then undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Look for New England’s secondary to at least partially contain QB Mitch Trubisky’s receivers and for the Pats front seven to shut down Chicago’s RB duo to secure victory.|
|Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
||Look for the Lions to struggle in Miami against a young, versatile Dolphins D. Expect QB Matthew Stafford to connect with his WR trio for TDs to make this close. But I also think the Dolphins will have a strong offensive game on home turf, especially against a mediocre Lions D. Miami will pull ahead to win by 13.|
|Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
||Expect the Vikings to be led by a strong defensive performance that holds the Jets under 15 points. I see Minnesota’s offense making an impact later to secure the Vikings a lead. The Vikes should win easily in the end thanks to defensive dominance and a late-game offensive statement.|
|Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
||This will be a defense first game as two of the best defenses in the league face off. But Jacksonville should at least look better offensively than they did last week, despite facing a tough Texans defense. I also expect the Jags defense to bounce back. They’ve just faced two offense-heavy teams. Now they go up against another defense-first team, the Texans. I expect Houston to struggle regressively against the young Jags defense.|
|Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
||The Eagles may have gotten off to a mediocre 3-3 start, but QB Carson Wentz has met expectations, and that will show this week as he throws 4 touchdowns in a dominant performance against a young Carolina secondary. The Panthers’ defensive backs have looked better this year, but they are facing one of the best passing offenses in the league. Meanwhile, expect Philly’s D to perform surprisingly well, holding Carolina under 25 as the Panthers are unable to bounce back from a tough Week 6 loss.|
|Sunday, 4:05 PM EST
||Until 2017, the Saints were known as the team that sucked because they had no defense. But last year, the young Saints D broke out for a huge year. Expect to see flashes of the 2017 Saints D against a mediocre Ravens pass game. Baltimore has been led by their defense so far this year as well. New Orleans will be impacted by this, but their experienced offense should allow the Saints to get by in Baltimore.|
|Sunday, 4:25 PM EST
||QB Dak Prescott had a huge game last week out of nowhere. Don’t expect to see it again in Washington. The Cowboys have been dominant on home turf, but have not won a game on the road. Look for the Redskins defense to step it up here while QB Alex Smith just barely leads Washington past Dallas.|
|Sunday, 4:25 PM EST
||The Rams offense should struggle without WR Cooper Kupp. But San Francisco won’t do much better without QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Look for them to put up a dud against LA’s shut down defense. The Rams should get by despite their offensive struggles.|
|Sunday, 8:20 PM EST
||Now that they’ve lost their momentum, don’t expect QB Patrick Mahomes II and his receivers to look as sharp as usual, but they still should put up 20+ points. QB Andy Dalton and the Bengals should make this close, but look for the young Chiefs defense to step it up despite battling numerous injuries. Kansas City hasn’t really needed much defense, not until these last couple of weeks. But defense wins games, and with the Chiefs D stepping it up, Kansas City should win a close primetime game.|
|Monday, 8:15 PM EST
||Atlanta will struggle early here as the defense falters against a strong Giants offense. QB Eli Manning may be having a rough year, but he should be alright against Atlanta’s inconsistent defense. Look for the Falcons to put up a fight on offense late, but fall just short in primetime.|
That’s all for this week’s picks and previews. Stay tuned for more Boston sports articles soon, including a preview of the crazy week ahead for all four Boston teams.
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
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.
This game is a no-doubt W for the Texans. I love their new offense, Lamar Miller should fit great in the Houston system, Will Fuller is a major sleeper, and I feel Brock Osweiler is ready for this bigger role. DeAndre Hopkins is still here, and the defense is still strong and should back it up well. I’m feeling like this is a great match-up for Brock Osweiler and the offense to show their dominance off to the NFL. Lamar Miller will have an unbelievable week, especially in fantasy, where he is a must-start this week. Jay Cutler and his rebuilding offense will truly be put to the test against the Houston defense, and man, I think they’ll fail utterly. I see a huge blowout coming.
Upset Of The Week
Jaguars, 33, Packers, 30
Whether the Jags win or the Pack takes it, this game will be a high scoring one. I just think if you have these two playoff contending teams, with the Jags at home, they should win. As you know, I’ve always been a big fan of home teams winning. This year I took it down a little bit as I’m predicting that four road teams will win (the Raiders, Panthers, Bucs and Lions). But the Jaguars are a major dark horse team. I love their offense nearly as much as the Packers’ offense, and to be honest, the Jaguars defense is a little bit better, but still not great and the Packers defense? I think they’re highly overrated. This Jaguars defense is capable of almost as much. The Packers definitely have more superstars, and less holes, but both have the same level of mediocre guys who are filling in most of the defensive lineup. So the Jags should be able to beat the Packers in Jacksonville. I didn’t even see this game as an upset until I saw the spread! As good as I think the Packers will be, even if I think the Packers can win the Super Bowl and should definitely make it, the Jaguars are capable of more than you might think.
The Rest of The Scores
Panthers, 30, Broncos, 26
Cam Newton and the Panthers should’ve won the Super Bowl. Instead, they go to Denver for this rematch. Despite secondary problems, they are still a good team. Even at home, the Broncos new issues on offense, from no QB to a weak spot at tight end and WR3. I think Carolina’s offense should beat out the Denver offense, and the Panthers defense is nearly as good as the Broncos defense, so I could see road win for the Panthers.
Buccaneers, 27, Falcons, 16
I admit it, I have been very low on the Falcons in preseason forecasts. But look, Matt Ryan is very inconsistent, and Devonta Freeman could be a one year wonder. Did I mention they have no tight end at the same time? Or legitimate third receiver? What did Justin Hardy do for this team? Anyways, I think a new and improved Bucs defense that is getting no attention could actually edge out the Falcons. That adds to an underrated offense led by Jameis Winston, Doug Martin and Mike Evans. The Bucs have a good history against the Falcons too. They’ll keep that up in this intriguing battle of two potential dark horses.
Ravens, 27, Bills, 20
Baltimore won’t be a major playoff bully this year, but they will keep up with the Bengals and other contenders that are just missing. A half-decent team starts with more home wins, and in the home opener against the Bills, a big sleeper team, they should win. They know what the playoffs is like. The Bills haven’t seen them in 20 or 25 years. A healthy Ravens team will help, and they have more backfield options if Justin Forsett struggles. Steve Smith Sr. is retiring soon and Mike Wallace is on his fourth team in the last few years, but these are quality receivers. The Ravens just need to find the right scheme for them. This offense has a ton of depth, and the defense is underrated as well. The Bills don’t have much depth on offense, or anywhere for that matter. Especially if players on both these inconsistent teams are flopping, that will be the difference for Baltimore.
Chiefs, 24, Chargers, 10
There are some mixed opinions about the AFC West this year, but I have the Chiefs winning the division, the Raiders taking a wild card at 10-6, the Broncos falling flat at .500, and the Chargers seeing mild improvements, but nothing major. But when the Chiefs play the Chargers? That’s when this close division match turns into a blowout. The Chargers defense has underperformed lately, and that’s affecting the finishes of this team. The Raiders’ recent surge is also a factor. Meanwhile, the Chiefs defense should overwhelm the Chargers offense. Expect a lower scoring game, a couple TDs for the Chiefs, and a dud for the Chargers.
Raiders, 38, Saints, 26
This will be a back and forth mad dash to score a ton of points. Both these teams have strong offenses. The difference in who wins will actually be defense though. The Raiders defense is underrated, a defense nobody talks about as decent. But the Saints have a straight out terrible defense. I love this Saints offense, Drew Brees, Brandin Cooks, Mark Ingram, Coby Fleener, Michael Thomas and all. But they will blow more than half of their games because of bad defense. That’s the kind of stuff the Oakland offense is looking to take advantage of. So I’m seeing a road win for the Raiders.
Jets, 23, Bengals, 17
This Bengals offense was good. Last year it was. This year, it has problems. No legitimate receivers besides A.J. Green, no Tyler Eifert to start the season and no Andre Smith pretty much explains why. Despite the strength of the Bengals D that could overwhelm the Jets offense, the Jets have a defense of their own that I think could excel against Andy Dalton and the washed up Bengals. This will be a humble low scorer, but the Jets offense should edge the struggling Cincy offense out. Even in an easy match-up for the struggling offense, a strong offense will do better, even in a somewhat tough match-up of it’s own.
Eagles, 31, Browns, 27
Carson Wentz should lead the Eagles to a win against the Browns. In my mind, the Eagles have an okay, but inconsistent defense, and the Browns have a plain out bad defense. This will be a high scorer, and we will see these offense at their max as these terrible defenses fail. At least the Eagles defense has something left in them. That should be the difference in this game. Cleveland’s run game could be stopped short by Fletcher Cox and the Eagles pass rush. But based on how bad the Browns D is, especially the front seven, the Eagles offense should pretty much be able to run free.
Titans, 29, Vikings, 27
This probably would’ve been a tougher pick to make with Teddy Bridgewater healthy. But with Shaun Hill, not even Sam Bradford starting at QB for the Vikes, I’ve got to go with my gut on this one and pick the home team Titans. Sure the Titans defense sucks, and the offense has a tough defense to face, but to be honest, I think the Titans could work through the Vikings defense with Minnesota’s offense struggling. They would just get very frustrated in the red zone when they get forced to attempt a field goal one out of every five times. We’ll just have to see what this new and improved Titans offense can do, and I could potentially see big things, even if the defense blows most games for them after this.
Seahawks, 23, Dolphins, 12
No questions asked. The Seahawks are so much better than the Dolphins. There’s no way they will lose to the Dolphins at home. The Seahawks defense will be all over them, not allowing a single TD. As for the Seahawks, they won’t be blowing out the Dolphins as they do have a decent defense of their own to face, and their offense is nowhere as good as their defense. But they should put up enough points to clearly win this game. Can you think of anything that can go against my case? I wouldn’t think so.
Cowboys, 32, Giants, 26 OT
Trust me, I had a legitimately tough time picking the winner here. The Cowboys would surely win at full health, but without Tony Romo, without a legitimate pass rush, this will be a close battle of offenses. The Giants defense is good, but has little balance, and is not a good fit for much more to this Cowboys offense then stuffing Dak Prescott over and over again. That won’t even happen because Dak is good, trust me, and he can lead this Cowboys offense just as good as Tony Romo can, especially based on his preseason dominance. The Giants are good, but they don’t have a dominant force like the Cowboys offense. That will be the difference in this game when it’s tied 26-26 in overtime. The other factor will be that Dak Prescott doesn’t blow games, or at least didn’t in his preseason excellence, even with the defense giving up as much as it did.
Lions, 27, Colts, 23
Trust me, it’s no guarantee the Colts will bounce back at all. The defense is sloppy, the offense has little depth and is struggling to find the youth it desires. The Lions are a highly underrated team, especially on offense, and I see them struggling early, but coming back to take this road win. Reminding fans of the great 2014 season and all the Lions’ playoff years. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones along with Anquan Boldin should make up for Calvin Johnson’s impact on this team that was lost. Ameer Abdullah is a major post-hype sleeper, and I love Eric Ebron and Matthew Stafford too. The defense may be in bad shape, but the entire Colts team is in bad shape. Win #1 of who knows how many for the dark horse Lions.
Cardinals, 24, Patriots, 23
This is not about Garoppolo. Tom Brady and the Pats would have lost this game. It’s about the Cardinals simply being better than the Patriots when in Arizona. The Patriots are a better overall team, but this Cardinals team is just too good for any Pats to beat on the road, especially Brady-less Pats. The defense should still be good, I just don’t see the Patriots offense functioning well against the Cards defense, and the strong Arizona offense should put up some points on our defense. At Gillette, with Brady, it would be a different story, but this is just not the right conditions for the Patriots to win in.
Redskins, 23, Steelers, 20
The Steelers monster offense has issues this week. No Ladarius Green, no Le’Veon Bell. It’s really down to Big Ben, DeAngelo Williams, Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton. Kirk Cousins still has a good Redskins offense on his hands, and with the defense making big improvements by signing Josh Norman and Greg Toler to help the secondary, the Redskins could actually edge the Steelers at full health. Unless the Steelers defense is on its best, this will be a blown game for Pittsburgh as the Redskins take the win.
49ers, 20, Rams, 17
Hey, the 49ers went 4-12 last year when winning in Week 1. This match-up is sonewhat easy for the Niners. The Rams defense is good, but so is the 49ers’ is. These two teams actually have a lot of similarities, and they look to be around the same lousy level. Okay, okay, the Rams do have a star running back and overall, a slightly better offense, even though the Niners have Carlos Hyde, Torrey Smith and Vance McDonald. Like I always say, when teams are around evenly matched, the home team wins.
Week 1 is going to be great. Finally we have real Football Sundays again! Fantasy teams are back, and every team has an intriguing match-up What do you think of my picks? Comment your own picks below.
For the first quarter, I cleared up a wacky start. For the second quarter, I predicted the remainder of the season from scratch. By the third quarter, playoffs is where it’s at. There are only 5 games left for every team. Some of these games could decide key playoff scenarios. Here are the current playoff pictures.
In The Hunt
In The Hunt
San Diego Chargers, 3-8
Chargers Remaining Schedule
The Chiefs are practically on fire. They should’ve beaten them when they had the chance. They could’ve beat the Chiefs in San Diego, but on the road, it will be extremely difficult. They’re even hotter now.
Unless the Raiders collapse before Week 16, the Chargers will lose that too. They lost to them at home, they should lose to them on the road. The only winnable game is hosting the AFC East’s Miami Dolphins. Miami is placed last in the AFC East, and the Chargers play them in San Diego. But one more win only gets them to
4-12. You need AT LEAST, like 7 to go to the playoffs, and that rarely even happens, although it might to another team this year.
Tennessee Titans, 2-9
Titans Remaining Schedule
This is actually a decent schedule, but it has a tough two weeks in the AFC East. One at the Jets, another against the mighty, but injury plagued New England Patriots. The Jaguars and Texans games are winnable, although the game at the Colts could also be tough.
But besides the Pats, unlike San Diego, there aren’t many dominant teams they face. But what draws me away from this team is their performance so far. When you’re 2-9, even three or four wins isn’t enough for playoff contention, and that’s even highly questionable.
San Francisco 49ers, 3-8 – What do they have?
Cleveland Browns, 2-9 – Potential, but are practically mathematically out from previous performance
Baltimore Ravens, 4-7 – Too injury-filled to survive.
New Orleans Saints, 4-7
Saints Remaining Schedule
This is a pretty easy schedule, but there are a couple of games that I wouldn’t quite say are locks. The Panthers are 11-0, and even beating them in New Orleans will be tough. The Bucs are getting better and are actually in the playoff hunt now, led by Jameis Winston. They beat the Saints in New Orleans, Week 2.
The Lions and Jags aren’t as bad as we originally thought, and the Lions are red hot. And against such a feast or famine team, the Falcons could easily win. So, the Saints could win the rest (9-7) or even lose the rest (4-12).
Philadelphia Eagles, 4-7
Eagles Remaining Schedule
The Eagles have a winnable schedule, but they only have a shot at the playoffs if they play really well and have some good luck. I think the home games vs the Bills and Redskins could easily be wins. They will likely lose this week, but if they win those two, plus crucial grudge matches vs the Cardinals and Giants, which will be tough if they keep playing how they’re playing, they won’t do, they’ll have a shot. But to make the playoffs, you need to be Carroll and make sure to win at leat four of the remaining games, (hopefully the loss is to the Pats ☺️).
Dallas Cowboys, 3-8 – Tony Romo keeps this team hanging, and he’s done
Detroit Lions, 4-8 – Heating up, but really need to take it to the next level
Miami Dolphins, 4-7 – Beginning to blow it, but still have a shot in best case scenario
Jacksonville Jaguars, 4-7 – Improving, but still will likely miss playoffs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 5-6
Buccaneers Remaining Schedule
The Buccaneers do definitely have potential, and that’s why they’re all the way up here. But overall, this is a tough schedule. St. Louis is still decent, Jay Cutler is looking young again, and Carolina is on an undefeated campaign that may never be stopped. The best chance at wins are the next two weeks (vs ATL and NO). Both of those teams are utterly struggling. They could also beat the Bears in Tampa. They won’t necessarily win all three of those. They need to to even have a shot.
St. Louis Rams, 4-7
Rams Remaining Schedule
The Rams do have a pretty respectable schedule. The issue is,they have to win almost all of these to get a spot. It’s a good schedule. If they can upset Arizona this week, and win 3 of the 4 games after that. They may have some tough trips, but it’s do-able.
Chicago Bears, 5-6 – Jay Cutler and Forte are dominating, John Fox is a great coach, they have a chance
Oakland Raiders, 5-6 – They just need to revamp the offense
Buffalo Bills, 5-6 – Come on, keep on fighting!!! You have a legitimate shot!
Fighting For A Spot
Atlanta Falcons, 6-5
Falcons Remaining Schedule
This will be a tough schedule to overcome. It includes two meetings with the 11-0 Panthers, an easier home game vs the Saints, and semi-tough games in Tampa Bay and Jacksonville. They may be able to defeat the Panthers at home, but doing it in Carolina will be hard. With the way this team is struggling, I get Tampa and the Jags will beat them, while they beat the Saints, and maybe Carolina if they’re lucky.
Indianapolis Colts, 6-5
The Colts have a somewhat easy schedule, but they have to take it like the schedule says @NE 5 weeks in a row. The Texans, Jaguars and Steelers are improving and could easily knock down Indy. Normally, at this point in the season, the Colts would be top contenders, but they lost their groove somehow this year. The Dolphins game could even be tough. But winning 2 or 3, which they can easily do, can win them this weak AFC South. So, don’t overlook this schedule, and still try hard.
New York Giants, 5-6
Giants Remaining Schedule
The Giants were NFC East leaders a couple weeks ago, but a tough late season schedule has slowed them down, and the Redskins, hopefully temporarily, have stolen their throne.
Home games against the Eagles and Jets could be among THE EASIEST games to win for the Giants. I also think they can bull over Carolina and prevent an undefeated season. But if those are the easiest, what is the toughest? Oh no. Vikings in Minnesota, Dolphins in Miami. Those could be dangerous games. They could win anywhere between 1 and 4 games, and for a 5-6 team, they need to be on the higher side of that, even in such a weakling division.
Seattle Seahawks, 6-5 – Beginning to get it together
Houston Texans, 6-5 – Brian Hoyer is back in good hands
Kansas City Chiefs, 6-5 – Red hot, who can stop them?
Pittsburgh Steelers, 6-5 – Despite some injuries, are still relevant with Baltimore done
New York Jets, 6-5 – If what happened in Week 12 continues, they can regain their groove
Washington Redskins, 6-5 – Suddenly just stole the NFC East
For these teams, rather than looking over the schedule, we’ll break down clinching scenarios
New England Patriots, 10-1
The Pats can clinch the division by simply winning, and making sure the Giants beat the Jets. As Pats fans, we yes, have to root for Tom Coughlin’s New York Giants. To clinch a playoff berth, they need to win, and the Bills need to win. Come on Giants, don’t blow it just because you’re doing us a favor.
Arizona Cardinals, 9-2
If the Cardinals beat the Rams, and Seattle loses to the Vikings, all Arizona needs to clinch a spot is the same thing next week or a win when they host Seattle in Week 17. But beating the Rams today could be a challenge. Remember, the Rams are also still in the playoff hunt, and when the Cardinals hosted them, they knocked down a 3-0 undefeated season to happen. They’ve only lost one game since!!! You think it’ll be easy in St. Louis, and despite the worse record, with Todd Gurley already discovered?!!! That’s a real challenge for Arizona. So they better try hard to do well these next couple weeks if they want to ink the division.
Denver Broncos, 9-2
I think that Denver will clinch the AFC West today. I bet they’ll beat the Chargers up, and the Raiders get an easy win over Kansas City. They have the tiebreaker over Oakland, so that’s not an issue either. The playoffs are near for Denver and four other great teams.
Carolina Panthers, 11-0 – Can clinch NFC South with win or Falcons loss
Cincinnati Bengals, 9-2 – Could easily clinch a playoff berth, in a lock match-up
Minnesota Vikings, 8-3 – Getting there, just need a couple more wins
Green Bay Packers, 8-4 – If they keep it up, they could be back in clinching mode in no time.
So, that’s how the playoff scenarios are looking. What do you think will happen? Tell me in comments.