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.

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NFL Playoff Picks: Wild Card Weekend

4 non division winners will challenge the teams the edged a division win.  First, which teams are more of super bowl threats?  Second, who will win?  Let’s start with a look at my straight up playoff bracket.

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I have the Seahawks knocking out the top 3 NFC seeds and losing in the Super Bowl, and the Steelers upsetting Cincy in the wild card round but losing to Denver.

Here are my picks:

Texans, 23, Chiefs, 20: Saturday, 4:35 PM EST

Both of these teams are on fire.  Kansas City has clearly shown themselves by winning 10 straight.  Houston struggled for a longer period of time, but have bounced back with 3 wins in a row.  This will come down to every last second.  The Texans have DeAndre Hopkins at his prime, who has broken out this year, and the Chiefs have Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin who will make an impact.  But one thing that will surely impact this game is defense.  In my opinion, both teams have a top 10 defense in the league.  They both have extremely powerful pass rush and good to decent secondaries.

I don’t think this will be very high scoring, and I think it will come down to a field goal.  Neither of these kickers, Nick Novak and Cairo Santos, are that good, but Santos has been streaky in good and bad ways.  Novak once was very solid.  I think Novak still has some of that consistency in him and that he can save the Texans’ butts in this game.

Steelers, 34, Bengals, 26: Saturday, 8:15 PM EST

I think that Pittsburgh’s run game will really miss DeAngelo Williams, not to mention Le’ Veon Bell.  But the powerful pass and a solid QB in Big Ben should make up for it as he throws four TDs in this 8 point upset win.  Ben Roethlisberger will go to his favorite trusty receivers, Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton and Heath Miller, maybe Darrius Heyward-Bey, Matt Spaeth and Jacoby Jones for a bit.  But the point is, Ben Roethlisberger and the pass will make a huge impact.

The Bengals on the other hand, have just mediocre receiver depth with a QB that’s a novice to the playoffs.  Their run game trumps Pittsburgh as it’s at full health, but passing and QBs, along with experience are very important in the playoffs.  Despite a much better defense than Pittsburgh, the Steelers’ offense will pay off.

 

Seahawks, 30, Vikings, 24: Sunday, 1:05 PM EST

Despite missing Marshawn Lynch this week, Seattle still has a shot to take down the Vikes on Sunday.  The Seahawks are starting to discover a decent pass game, and the defense has been awesome.  The pass rush should be good enough to limit AP, especially if he’s still a little banged up.  The secondary should help limit Teddy B’s new receivers as well.

The Vikings defense is still young and developing, and should be able to limit the Seahawks, but not as much as they limit Minnesota.  Seattle has edge in that way, and they should win, despite a weaker, more injured offense.  They have great sleepers that haven’t come out of their shell yet this season.

Packers, 34, Redskins, 27: Sunday, 4:40 PM EST

I think this is a game that will be surprisingly high scoring due to bad defense.  Aaron Rodgers is finally starting to throw the ball around a bit, and Eddie Lacy has begun to return to full form. James Starks has done well too.  This team has gone a little bit young, but is growing power once again, power that may be strong enough to take out a top seed team after this.  But Kirk Cousins will provide a challenge.

He has found his guys that he needs to win games and the Skins’ offense works very well together as a team.  They’re good too.  They’re o-line is much better, they have some reliable young receivers and the whole team is beginning to re-develop.  But in the end, the Washington secondary is just too empty to stop the Packers in their reign and they will win by a touchdown or so.

So those are my picks for the week.  Comment what you think will happen in the games.

 

NFL Week 13 Match-Up Breakdown

Favorite Match-Ups

new-york-jets-logo.pngAT   new-york-giants-logo.jpg

This intense New York match-up technically has no home team, but season tickets and such give the Giants some edge.  Both of these teams have dominant offense, so watch for a shootout.  The issue is, making sure these offenses work together, despite plenty of options for Ryan Fitzpatrick and Eli Manning.  So, that makes this a very intriguing match-up.  But when teams are so close like this, I usually just pick the home team.  Anyhow, there are still things to watch for from both offenses.

What To Watch For

Jets – All eyes on Jets running backs.  Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley and Bilal Powell take on a somewhat weak Giants rush D.  The secondary isn’t much better.  Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has got Brandon Marshall taken care of, but also open your peepers for Eric Decker.

Giants – Can Hakeem Nicks make an impact?  Darrelle Revis is out, so either him or Rueben Randle will be left with Buster Skrine, while Antonio Cromartie takes on OBJ.  Nicks was signed by the Giants in the middle of November.

Pick A Winner!

Me            My Dad    Jill Mengel ( participates in my picks pool as well)

new-york-giants-logo.jpg    new-york-giants-logo.jpg    new-york-jets-logo.png

 

seattle-seahawks.jpg AT Minnesota_Vikings_Logo.png

This may be match-up of the week. This will surely shake up the playoff picture, and it’s between two underrated teams.  The Seahawks lost Jimmy Graham last week to a torn patellar tendon.  The Seahawks must rely on other lower tier receivers like Doug Baldwin, Luke Willson and Tyler Lockett.  Meanwhile, the Vikings star running back, Adrian Peterson, will be too heavily guarded to do much against a strong Seattle defense.  Their good receiver trio will also be guarded, Charles Johnson, Stefon Diggs and Mike Wallace.  They must rely on their own tight end, Kyle Rudolph.  We last saw him at this level in 2013, when AP was hurt.

What To Watch For

Seahawks – All eyes on Thomas Rawls.  Rawls had a 60 yard game vs the Steelers last week and hopes to continue to damage the Vikings.  The rookie is the Stefon Diggs of Seattle.

Vikings – Like I said, watch for Kyle Rudolph.  He had his big year in 2013, and it’s almost seemed like he retired, but he is still really there.  If you throw to him more, maybe he’ll get his groove going again.  And just in time for Christmas :).

Pick A Winner!

Me         My Dad       Jill

Minnesota_Vikings_Logo.png    Minnesota_Vikings_Logo.png        seattle-seahawks.jpg

 

kansas-city-chiefs-logo.jpg AT oakland-raiders.jpg

This tough AFC West match-up could factor into deciding Denver’s faith.  If Denver wins, then it’s down to this game to decide if they clinch the division.  If the Chiefs win, then Denver’s still fighting.  If the Raiders win, they clinch.  Despite Kansas City’s red hot reign, Oakland has potential to win this game.  They’re such a feast or famine team.  Today better be a feast, despite Oakland’s recent struggles.

What To Watch For

Chiefs – Chiefs receivers Jeremy Maclin and Albert Wilson must be on their best against a weak Raiders secondary.  Watch for Jeremy Maclin to have a big game.  He’ll be motivated, with Travis Kelce under Charles Woodson’s watch.

Raiders – Amari Cooper shall feast on the Chiefs.  If Amari Cooper gets something going, he can have a third hundred yard game.  Otherwise, he’ll have a sixth 20 or less yard game.

Pick A Winner!

Me    My Dad     Jill

oakland-raiders.jpg   kansas-city-chiefs-logo.jpg  kansas-city-chiefs-logo.jpg

 

indianapolis-colts-logo.png AT pittsburgh-steelers-logo.jpg

In another match-up crucial to the playoff picture.  In just the blink of an eye, with a Steelers win, they’ll be in the playoff picture, and the Colts culd be out, especially if Houston wins.  Big Ben will play, even a little banged up, but they have good receiving options, and a stud handcuff to Le’ Veon Bell (MCL tear) in DeAngelo Williams.  Can Big Ben lead them to victory over Matt Hasselbeck’s Colts, 4-0 under him?

What To Watch For

Colts – Watch for Andre Johnson and other high tier receivers.  Johnson , the veteran, has been left be practically all season, and now is his time to make a mark in what may be his final season of a sensational career before retiring.

Steelers – DeAngelo Williams!!!  Williams is bound for a big game against a somewhat weak Colts Rush D.  Also look for Markus Wheaton to continue what he did last week at CenturyLink, a sequel.  Except this time, the Steelers can more easily get the W.

Pick A Winner!

Me     My Dad     Jill

pittsburgh-steelers-logo.jpg   pittsburgh-steelers-logo.jpg    pittsburgh-steelers-logo.jpg

Dallas Cowboys Logo.gifAT     Washington-Redskins-Logo.png

The Cowboys are missing Tony Romo again, this time for the rest of the season.  They have yet to win a game without him in the backfield.  Meanwhile, the Redskins are suddenly heating up, and snatched the weak NFC East.  Can they continue their reign over the division or will they fall.  This game is an important one to win, although it will be close.  Will Dallas stay win-less when Romo-less?

What To Watch For

Cowboys – Watch for the tight ends.  The weak Redskins secondary only has enough to cover Dez Bryant with their stars.  Jason Witten and Gavin Escobar will be left to … DOMINATE!!!  Seriously, don’t forget those tight ends.

Redskins – If their offense can keep their groove, and the youngsters continue to play as big of a role as they have, then the Redskins should be fine and win this easily.

Pick A Winner!

Me    My Dad      Jill

Washington-Redskins-Logo.png   Washington-Redskins-Logo.png     Washington-Redskins-Logo.png

 

Bold Predictions

  1. Tom Brady Throws 5 TDs for 400+ yards

I think Tom Brady will have a big game.  It’s easy against the Eagles 😀

2. J.J Watt Holds Bills To Just 100 Total Rush Yards

When you’re J.J. Watt, you dominate.  It’s what you do.

3. Jordan Cameron Goes For 100 Yards, TD

Jarvis Landry will draw Kyle Arrington’s attention.  That takes care of teh Baltimore secondary.

4. Bengals RBs have combined 200 yard game

Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard face a Browns rush D on the weaker side 0f things.

5. Despite Loss, Bortles Throws For 350, 2 TDs

Blake Bortles shall dominate the Titans defense, even if Mariota makes up for it.  It’ll be a shootout.

6. Even With Forte In, Langford Rushes For 75

Matt Forte has NaVorro Bowman.  They’ll leave Jeremy Langford alone.

7. Matt Ryan Bounces Back, Throws 4 TDs In Win

Matt Ryan’s primed for another long waited breakout weak

8. Rams Pull The Upset Switch, But Suck In Fantasy

This game will be a team effort.

9. San Diego Gets Held To 0 TDs

They can kick all the field goals they’d like!

10. CAR @ NO: Neither Team Scores Even 20

These two defenses are underrated!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Third Quarter Report: Playoff Scenarios For All 32

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.

AFC

unknown_10

In The Hunt

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NFC

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In The Hunt

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Done For

San Diego Chargers, 3-8
Chargers Remaining Schedule

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This schedule spells disaster.  Any win over Denver is doubtful.  Denver  likely will dominate up until January.

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

unknown_8

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.

Honorable Mentions

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.

 

Watch Out

New Orleans Saints, 4-7

Saints Remaining Schedule

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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

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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 ☺️).

Honorable Mentions

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

 

Somewhat Shot

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 5-6

Buccaneers Remaining Schedule

unknown_3

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

unknown_1

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.

Honorable Mentions

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

unknown_11

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

unknown_12

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

unknown

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.

 

Honorable Mentions

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

 

Near Clinching

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.

 

Honorable Mentions

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.