I think we have reached a point in the season where we can start looking back.
Five weeks are now in the books. If there’s anything that we have learned from this season, its that we should just expect anything. We’ve seen dynasties seemingly fall, bottom-dwellers doing what they can to make an impact, coaches losing jobs and others seemingly on their way out.
With all the confusion, I feel that we have done well to keep us towards the top of the ranks this year. We have managed to score nearly 70% of the possible points so far which should be good for a top 5 ranking in most confidence pools – especially if you can throw away your worst score.
But enough of looking at the past, here’s to the future!
WEEK 6! HERE WE GO!!!
(HOME TEAM IN ALL CAPS)
15 – Denver over NEW YORK JETS – I’m with you, a road team on the top line doesn’t normally make sense. But with a week of what looks like great matchups, and the fact that it’s the Broncos playing the Jets, you should feel comfortable with it in this one instance.
14 – ARIZONA over Washington – The Redskins just look like a team trying to find themselves right now. A game in Glendale with the Cardinals defense is not the best place to be looking.
13 – SEATTLE over Dallas – I’d like to thank the Cowboys for making me look not as dumb for picking them to win the East this year. That still doesn’t mean they have a chance playing IN Seattle though.
12 – San Diego over OAKLAND – It’s odd to have a road team on the top line, but honestly you could make a case for having a road team on the top TWO lines this week. The only reason I have the Chargers down a few spots is that you never know how a team will react to a mid-season coaching change.
11 – TENNESSEE over Jacksonville – The Titans have something to prove after giving up the biggest road team comeback in history last week … to the BROWNS nonetheless! This week they get the Jags, so they won’t really be able to prove anything with a win, but at least they can start to get the Brown taste out of their mouth. (It’s EXACTLY what it sounds like!)
10 – CINCINNATI over Carolina – Carolina won a big game last week, but that was really more of the Bears giving it away than the Panthers taking it. Cincinnati is not the place you want to be with as many offensive questions that the Panthers have.
9 – PHILADELPHIA over New York Giants – Don’t look now, but in terms of fantasy points, the Eagles have the number one defense. This makes me think that Eli may be taking a step back after a few straight wins for the G-Men.
8 – ATLANTA over Chicago – If the game only had one half, then the Bears would be dominant this year. The second half hasn’t been too kind to Chicago the last few weeks which is where you need momentum the most. The Falcons should be able to play off of the Georgia Dome atmosphere to get the win. Some may not call this that bold of a prediction, but my BOLD PREDICTION is that Devin Hester WILL return a kick against his former team.
7 – MINNESOTA over Detroit – I think the Vikings are a much different team both at home and with Teddy Bridgewater under center. With Calvin Johnson expected to be on the shelf, the Lions might not be able to keep up.
6 – Green Bay over MIAMI – It’s a scary thought to think the Packers defense is starting to come around. If they are, couple with the resurgence of the offense, Miami just doesn’t have what it takes to keep up.
5 – HOUSTON over Indianapolis – Could it be? Will we actually have an entertaining Thursday Night game? It should happen this week. This home and home series will be won by the home teams.
4 – San Francisco over ST LOUIS – Austin Davis gets his time to shine on Monday Night this week. While I think he may be someone to keep an eye on, he just won’t be enough against San Francisco.
3 – BUFFALO over New England – This could very well be the start of the passing of the torch. The Bills have a lot of young talent where the Pats are, well, old. Kyle Orton seems to be the veteran glue that is keeping this Bills squad together.
2 – CLEVELAND over Pittsburgh – Are the Browns for real? They have been in every game this year and just pulled off the biggest comeback by a road team in league history. A win against the Steelers would go a long way to solidify their presence – but it will be tough.
1 – Baltimore over TAMPA BAY – The Ravens have the offense to win this game. But with the way that the Bucs have been playing as of late, this game really is a toss-up.
Even though we saw a bit of a kink in what many consider to be the best home stadium in the league when the Cowboys won in Seattle (called the Cowboys to win the East…just saying) I still feel that a home game means the most in the NFL than any other league.
It should show this week. I can see 80% of home teams winning this week, and two of the three potential road wins really are toss ups.
But THAT’S why they play the games!
WEEK 7 – HERE WE GO!!!!
(HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
15 – NEW ENGLAND over New York Jets – New England playing the Jets on a Thursday night…I know I’m not the only one that immediately thinks of the infamous “Butt Fumble.” This game won’t be as embarrassing, but it won’t be too far off.
14 – DALLAS over New York Giants – How ‘bout them Cowboys? If ever there is a way to show that you are a legitimate contender, it’s going to Seattle and coming back with a win. After another big offensive loss last week with the Victor Cruz injury, the Giants just can’t keep up with this rejuvenated Dallas team.
13 – GREEN BAY over Carolina – The way to score on the Packers is to run the ball. This could mean another big game for Cam Newton but he won’t be able to keep up with the Packers offense.
12 – DENVER over San Francisco – The 9ers looked good in the national spotlight last week. But that was in St. Louis – this is in Denver…BIG difference. Peyton Manning will be looking to break the NFL’s record for most TD passes so the Broncos’ offense will be firing on all cylinders.
11 – Seattle over ST. LOUIS – Some doubts on the Seahawks’ dominance have come up this week after a home loss. Pretty easy to see that they will use this as motivation and the Rams just don’t have enough to stop Seattle.
10 – BUFFALO over Minnesota – Other than one good game against the Falcons, the Vikings haven’t really given us a reason to be too confident in them. This is more of a lack of confidence in Minnesota than strong confidence in the Bills.
9 – WASHINGTON over Tennessee – Reports are starting to come out that RGIII could be ready to go in a few weeks. This means that time is running out on Kirk Cousins to show his stuff. Lucky for him he just has the Titans defense to worry about this week.
8 – SAN DIEGO over Kansas City – San Diego has sat comfortably in the top 5 of most power rankings for the last few weeks now. After a near loss to the lowly Raiders, look for the Chargers to step their game up against another divisional opponent.
7 – CHICAGO over Miami – It’s hard to call a team a contender when they haven’t won a game at home yet. Surprisingly, Soldier Field has not been too friendly to the Bears this season. Chicago needs to get that monkey off their back and should be able to against the Dolphins.
6 – DETROIT over New Orleans – Both teams come in hurting at the receiver position. The Lions, though, seem to have a defense that can contain the remaining Saints. Matthew Stafford’s inconsistency is the only reason that the Lions aren’t higher on the list.
5 – INDIANAPOLIS over Cincinnati – This could very well be an AFC title game preview. Expect a high scoring affair in this one. With the Bengals missing a key part of their offense in AJ Green, the Colts should be able come out on top in this shootout.
4 – Houston over PITTSBURGH – Houston made a valiant comeback after digging such a deep hole last week against the Colts. They have been in every game so far this year and I just don’t think the Steelers have what it takes to keep a team like the Texans down.
3 – BALTIMORE over Atlanta – Two teams that have been really hard to figure out this season. The Ravens, though, should be able to ride the momentum of a huge offensive outbreak last week to keep the Falcons struggling.
2 – Cleveland over JACKSONVILLE – Don’t look now, but the Browns might just make a playoff push. With a favorable schedule the next few weeks, they could very well be a 6-2 team! I’m still a little hesitant to put a lot of confidence on them on the road though – even if it is in Jacksonville.
1 – OAKLAND over Arizona – Oakland looked much better than they had all year in the first game of the Tony Sparano regime. So much so that this week’s BOLD PREDICTION will be that the Raiders will win their first game of the season this week.
Welcome back! We had another solid week in Week 7, but still could have been better.
Time to see what Week 8 has in store for us!
Week 8! HERE WE GO!!
(HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
15 – KANSAS CITY over St. Louis – The Rams got a home win against the champs last week, but they needed a lot of trickery to do so. You can’t rely on that every week.
14 – DALLAS over Washington – The Cowboys seem to be the real deal this season. It looks like Colt McCoy will be under center for the ‘Skins Monday Night – that’s a good reason to have a lot of confidence in Dallas this week.
13 – DENVER over San Diego – Peyton and the boys have given us no reason to think that we should have anything but a lot of confidence in them at home. The Chargers may keep this close, but a home loss last week showed that San Diego has some chinks in the armor.
12 – NEW ENGLAND over Chicago – The good news for the Patriots is that they get a home game this week…the good news for the Bears is that they DON’T have a home game this week! Seriously, the Blackhawks have more wins in Soldier Field than the Bears do in 2014! Tom Brady is starting to look like the old Tom Brady which isn’t good news for a depleted Chicago secondary.
11 – Miami over JACKSONVILLE – Miami looked really impressive on the road last week. The Fins may be able to make a strong run at the division this season. The Jags are coming off of their first win of the season last week – hard to see them make it two in a row this week.
10 – CINCINNATI over Baltimore – The Bengals are just confusing this year. A lot of the offensive problems, though, revolve around AJ Green and his toe. If he plays, it will be hard to stop Cincy.
9 – ARIZONA over Philadelphia – Hard to imagine but there is an outside chance that this could very well be your NFC Championship game! With Carson Palmer playing the way he is, the Cardinals offense will be able to outscore the Eagles.
8 – NEW YORK JETS over Buffalo – The Jets were a field goal away from an upset in Foxboro last Thursday and the Bills just barely got by half of the Minnesota Vikings at home. The Jets have been close in most of their losses this season – I think this is the week they cross the line.
7 – Seattle over CAROLINA – If you listen closely, you can hear the Packers score on the Panthers again! That game was brutal! It doesn’t get any better as an upset Seahawks team comes to Charlotte. After losing to the Rams, Seattle will be pumped to show they are still the cream of the crop.
6 – Houston over TENNESSEE – Titans fans have started the “Suck for the Duck” campaign (meaning tank the year in order to draft Oregon star quarterback Marcus Mariota) and it looks like the team is obliging. Arian Foster will run all over the Titans so much so that my BOLD PREDICTION is that Arian Foster will have a 200 yard game.
5 – CLEVELAND over Oakland – After looking drastically improved two weeks ago, the Raiders reminded us last week that they are indeed still the Raiders. Look for a huge game for Ben Tate which will allow the Browns to control the game and get the win.
4 – Indianapolis over PITTSBURGH – The Steelers have been very hit or miss this season. Last week they hit and this week the Colts will make sure they miss.
3 – Green Bay over NEW ORLEANS – Sunday Night Football has a shootout on their hands this week. The only thing scarier than the thought of a Saints offense in the dome is this Packer offense in the dome. Rodgers has the team and city R-E-L-A-X ing to the tune of four straight wins averaging over 36 points in that span. Look for win number five this week.
2 – ATLANTA over Detroit – London game number two comes up this week with the Falcons and Lions. Here’s the kicker – the game will be played in prime LONDON time, which translates to a 9:30 a.m. EST kickoff in the states. I’ll be sleeping to the coin told me the Falcons will win.
1 - Minnesota over TAMPA BAY – This could have been a decent game. Unfortunately half of the Vikings offense is gone and the Bucs just can’t seem to get it going. The Vikings were close on the road last week so we’ll give them our one-point line this week.
The Cowboys are playing the Cardinals this week in a battle of two of the NFC’s best teams. After taking a shot in the back last week, Tony Romo’s status for the game is up in the air and will more likely be a game-time decision. Obviously this will play into our decision on what line to put either team. BUT, because we have a game every Thursday, the pools are locked at kickoff.
I don’t get it! Why can’t the one line you use on the Thursday game be locked leaving the other lines available for editing up until their kickoff? Makes sense to me! So to those that run the Fantasy Football sites on Yahoo and CBS, since, you know, they are avid readers of mine, it’s time to change your system!
OK, I’m off my soapbox and ready for a new week of football!
WEEK 9! HERE WE GO!!!
(HOME TEAM IN CAPS)
13 – SEATTLE over Oakland – Do…do you need an explanation?
12 – SAN FRANCISCO over St. Louis – The Rams defensive line is starting to live up to their pre-season expectations. Unfortunately the Rams offense has been hit by the injury bug and will have no chance of putting up enough points against a fresh San Francisco team.
11 – CINCINNATI over Jacksonville – The Bengals have been struggling a bit, but the Jags are still the Jags. AJ Green could be making his return this week. Even if he doesn’t, you shouldn’t have any worries over putting Cincy this high.
10 – KANSAS CITY over New York Jets –Alex Smith is hurting a bit, but the Chiefs offense doesn’t really need a quarterback anyway. The Jets won’t be able to stop Jamaal Charles, which means they won’t be able to stop the Chiefs.
9 – CLEVELAND over Tampa Bay – I know that I have been talking about the Browns a bit the last few weeks, but it does still feel a little odd to put them this high. The fact that it’s a home game against Tampa makes it a lot easier.
8 – PITTSBURGH over Baltimore – Welcome back to relevance Big Ben! I’ll go out on a limb and say that Roethlisberger won’t put up another 500 yards/6 touchdown game, but he will be able to do enough to get a huge divisional win.
7 – Indianapolis over NEW YORK GIANTS – The week ends in Jersey with a Colts team coming to town that has something to prove after giving up the previously mentioned 500 yards/6 touchdown game.
6 – San Diego over MIAMI – The Chargers have looked good despite losing two big division games recently. The second half of the season has traditionally been San Diego’s time to shine. The Dolphins should be able to put up a good fight but the Chargers should be able to hold on and win a close game.
5 – DALLAS over Arizona – We already talked about this one before. Dallas at 5 is based on Tony Romo playing. I think he will and the Cowboys should fight behind him.
4 – CAROLINA over New Orleans – The week starts off in Charlotte with two teams who have three wins…and are playing for first place? The NFC South has seen better days. We’ll make this week’s BOLD PREDICTION that the winner of the NFC South will NOT have a record above .500. Cam needs a bounce back game and he gets it against the Saints defense.
3 – HOUSTON over Philadelphia – This could be the sleeper Game of the Week. The Eagles have looked solid all year but Arian Foster may just be too much for them to handle this week.
2 – NEW ENGLAND over Denver – Brady vs Manning in a rematch of last year’s AFC title game. The change in venue will be enough for the surging Patriots to get a bit of retribution.
1 – Washington over MINNESOTA – It was announced today that RGIII will be back and start. I didn’t have too much faith in him when he was healthy let alone coming back from (another ) injury.