This week’s NFL forecast from Bullet News’ very own Jimmy the Geek.
-3 Houston Texans @ Detroit Lions
I think this game is going to be one of the best all week and it’s the first one happening at 12:30 today. You have the NFL’s top- ranked passing offence and second in offence overall, the (4-6) Detroit Lions, playing host to the sixth-ranked offence that happens to be the top team in the AFC, the (9-1) Houston Texans. Last week in Jacksonville, Texans WR Andre Johnson put up 273 yards and one TD on the board in a thrilling OT win in Jacksonville while Lions WR Calvin Johnson picked apart the Packers secondary for 143 yds & 1 TD in a defeat. Although the Lions are ranked 23rd in rushing, second-year RB out of Illinois, Mikel Leshoure, has really stated to fill the vacant RB void in Detroit since RB Javid Best went down with a severe concussion early last year. Last week he ran for 84 yds and one TD against an injury-riddled Green Bay Packers, and this week he is going to be tested by the second-ranked defence against the run. Even though I think Detroit is much better team than (4-6), I think the Texans will win and cover the spread.
Washington Redskins @ (-3) Dallas Cowboys
How can the people in Vegas give the (5-5) Dallas Cowboys the (-3) against the division rival (4-6) Washington Redskins? Washington destroyed Philadelphia last week. They held Eagles rookie QB, Nick Foles, to 46 yds on 21 attempts and now they are traveling into Dallas to play a Cowboys team who barely squeezed out an OT in at home to the Cleveland Browns. Early in the season the Redskins defence lost a couple key players on defence, one being OLB Brian Orakpo, which would be a huge spot to fill for any team. However now that a few weeks have passed I think the Redskins are going to march into Dallas and come out with the big win. Cowboys RB Demarco Murray looks to be out for another week, but WR Dez Bryant looks like he’s healthy and ready to earn that privilege of being out past midnight with a few more 145 yd 1 TD games. Future Rookie Of The Year winner, Redskins QB Robert Griffen III will get his first taste of action against his division rival in the Cowboys, with the next match to close out the season at home which could be HUGE, which is why this game is going to be HUGE for both teams. Washington for the win, by atleast a TD.
-7 New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Brady and Belichick vs. Sanchez and Ryan with a little Tebow in the primetime!! I like Jets head coach Rex Ryan. I really want him to win, and I would love to go against the (7-3) New England Patriots, but I can’t. They’re the NFL’s No. 1 offence averaging 289 yards per game in the air for the fourth-best best passing offence, and 142.9 yards pe game on the ground, which is good enough for the fifth-ranked run offence. The key to beating the Patriots is to just out score them, duh? Right? Their defence sucks. The Patriots secondary is allowing 289.7 yards per game through the air, and 99 yards per game on the ground which is good enough for the 28th ranked defence in the league. The 2012 (4-6) New York Jets are only averaging 20.2 point per game through 10 matches this season. Jets TE Dustin Keller had missed a few games this season but he looks to be healthy and is someone to watch for a big game on Thursday if the Jets have any hope of winning, or not being embarrassed because we all know Patriots Head Coach loves to crush the J-E-T-S! Patriots win and cover.
-8 Cincinnati Bengals v. Oakland Raiders
This game features the NFL’s 6th & 10th ranked passing offences in the (3-7) Oakland Raiders & the (5-5) Cincinnati Bengals. Realistically, and I’m sure everyone who watches the NFL knows this- the Oakland Raiders are not going to make the playoffs. Sure, Raiders veteran QB Carson Palmer, who was drafted and spent his entire career in Cincinnati before holding out and being traded to Oakland mid-season of 2010, has been averaging 288.4 yards per game … but I think he could possibly be averaging the same yardage off interceptions going the wrong way. The AFC playoff race is going to be pretty tight this year, and I think the Bengals are going to make it. I think this game is going to be a close one, but I’m going to take the Cinncinati Bengals to win however I don’t think they will cover the spread.
(-3) Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Last week the (1-9) Jacksonville Jaguars almost shocked the NFL nation by upsetting the then (8-1) Houston Texans but Texans WR Andre Johnson quickly shattered that dream shortly into the Texans OT win at Jacksonville. The Jaguars have been quite dreadful this year as I’m sure their (1-9) record shows, but in my opinion they have played better football the past few weeks and just not able to get a win. Jaguars second-year QB Blaine Gabbert has been battling injuries the past few games which has given back-up QB Chad Henne, formerly of the Miami Dolphins, the opportunity to get the NFL’s 32nd offence going. Last week rookie WR Justin Blackmon exploded onto the NFL scene with 236 yards and one TD, and second-year WR Cecil Shorts scrambled for 81 yards and one TD. I would like to pick Jacksonville to win this game, and I definitely think this is a game they can win, but I have to pick the (4-6) Tennessee Titans. Titans RB Chris Johnson has gone off in the last two games, putting up 141 yards on the ground against the Bears in week 10, and 126 yards last week against the Miami Dolphins. If whoever is playing QB for Tennessee, be it Jake Locker or Matt Hasselbeck, can limit the turnovers then I think the Tennessee Titans will beat Jacksonville and cover the spread.
Cleveland Browns v. (-1) Pittsburgh Steelers
It is rumoured that (6-4) Pittsburgh Steelers 3rd string QB Charlie Batch is going to be starting this divisional matchup on Sunday and that’s not good news for Steelers fans. The (2-8) Cleveland Browns have been playing some good football this year even though their record doesn’t reflect it. Lead in the air by rookie QB Brandon Weeden, and on the ground by rookie RB Trent Richardson, I think the Cleveland browns will beat the Steelers for the first time since week 14 of the 2009 season. The Steelers are battling too many injuries to key players this season, and the Browns are a dangerous team. Even though the Steelers have the #1 defence through 10 games this season, 1st in passing and 4th in rushing, I think the Browns 27th ranked offence will outscore them… and by them I mean the Steelers defence, because I don’t think QB Charlie Batch stands a chance. Cleveland for the win!
Buffalo Bills @ (-3) Indianapolis Colts
Ok maybe I’m picking the (4-6) Buffalo Bills to beat the (6-4) Indianapolis Colts because I drink the same water as many Bills fans, but I truly believe that Buffalo is better than Indianapolis. Imagine Buffalo had a QB like Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck? Sure they have the 27th ranked defence, and the 16th ranked offence… anything can happen when you BILL-IEVE!!! HA! In all seriousness though, Bills QB and Harvard graduate Ryan Fitzpatrick just has to throw to Bills receivers and for 10 yards on 3rd and 10… not 3 yards. Bills RB Fred Jackson should be back this game, and that will be a great addition for those close yardage situations, however they need to keep feeding RB C.J. Spiller the ball. I’ve been thoroughly impressed by Colts QB Andrew Luck through his first 10 games of his NFL career. Last week he had a rough time in New England, and I think that will happen this week at home to the Buffalo Bills. Bills to win and cover.
Kansas City Chiefs v. (-10.5) Denver Broncos
Last week I picked the San Diego Chargers to upset the (7-3) Denver Broncos and it almost happened at the end… but it didn’t. This week I’m going to pick the (1-9) Kansas City Chiefs to upset the division rival Denver Broncos. It’s hard to go against Broncos QB Peyton Manning but this game is in Kansas City, Chiefs QB Matt Cassel and RB Jamal Charles have both been playing better as of late and the Broncos are due for a loss!! Weak, I know, but I’m going with it!! Chiefs win (longshot, but I definitely think they will cover the +10.5 spread Las Vegas is giving them!)
Miami Dolphins v. (-3) Seattle Seahawks
The (6-4) Seattle Seahawks don’t lose at home, they lose on the road. This season they’ve beaten teams like Green Bay and New England at home, but have lost to teams like Arizona and St. Louis on the road. This game is in Miami against the (4-6) Dolphins. Miami is coming into this game with extra lest after losing to Buffalo in prime time on Thursday night of week 11. The Seahawks are sporting the NFL’s 3rd ranked defence, allowing 296.8 yds/g, to the Dolphins 21st ranked defence which allows 363.1 yds/g. The only thing consistent about Miami this season is that from week to week they are inconsistent. I think Miami is due for a win, and Seattle is due for a loss coming off their week 11 bye and two consecutive home games(30-20 win vs. the Vikings, and a 28-7 win against the J-E-T-S!). The Dolphins are riding a three-game losing streak against the Colts, Titans and Bills. I’m taking the Miami Dolphins to win.
-2.5 Chicago Bears v. Minnesota Vikings
Big divisional matchup. The (7-3) Chicago Bears are coming in on the heels of an embarrassing loss down in San Francisco to the 49ers on Monday Night Football last week, while the (6-4) Minnesota Vikings enjoyed a late season week 11 bye along with Seattle, NY Giants and Tennessee. Before the Vikings bye week, in week 10 they beat the division rival Detroit Lions in Detroit to the score of 34-24 and would love to get another divisional victory to keep pace with the surging (7-3) Green Bay Packers whom they will face next week. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been awesome this season. He’s leading the league through 10 games with 1128 yards on the ground, and has been able to rack up 7 touchdowns. He is most definitely in the MVP conversation and with how tight the NFC is this season he is going to try and carry the Vikings on his back to the playoffs. As much as I want to pick the Bears to win this game, if Bears franchise QB Jay Cutler can’t take the field on Sunday then I think the Vikings will win. If QB Jay Cutler can’t suit up because of a concussion he received in week 10 to the Houston Texans, then back-up QB Jason Campbell will have to take the field and we all seen how that played out on prime time!! If Cutler is in, I’m taking the Chicago Bears to win and cover the spread. If Bears QB Jay Cutler is out, I’m taking the Vikings to win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v. (-1) Atlanta Falcons
Last week both of these teams started out slow and came back to win nail biting games. The NFL’s top team through 11 weeks, the (9-1) Atlanta Falcons fought back for the victory against a one man offence (Arizona’s RB Larod-Stephens-Howling) in a game where Matt Ryan put up 301 yards, 0 TD’s! 5 INTS! The (6-4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers got off to a slow start and a few costly QB Josh Freeman interceptions to the Carolina Panthers, however by the end of the game Freeman remembered Tampa Bay signed TE Dallas Clark in the offseason, and found him in the end-zone for a 15-yd TD in OT. Atlanta has had problems stopping the run this season, allowing 130.5 yds/g, which could be a big problem because Tampa Bay rookie RB Doug Martin has been on fire this season with 1000 yards rushing so far with 7 TD’s, and 319 yards in the air and 1 TD. He has only turned the ball over 1 time this season. Even though the Falcons are (9-1) I’m going to take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win this game. I think they are going to be a strong team down the stretch.
-1 Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers
The (8-2) Baltimore Ravens have the 21st ranked offence and the 25th ranked defence this season however they’re leading their division and have 8 wins. Ravens RB Ray Rice, one of arguably the best running backs in the league, has managed to go over the 100 rushing yards mark in a game only twice this season due to a shift from a ground offensive strategy to an air assault by the arm of QB Joe Flacco. I’m glad this games spread is only (-1) because I think it’s going to be a close game. The (4-6) San Diego Chargers lost to the division leading Broncos last week in a game where they couldn’t cap a late rally. QB Philip Rivers has played better the past two weeks, however unable to pull off victories against Tampa Bay in week 9 and Denver in week 10. He has managed to keep the turnovers up though, which will no doubt continue this week against the ball-hawk Ravens(Safety Ed Reed IS playing. He won the appeal of his 1-game suspension for crushing Steelers RB Emmanuel Sanders). I’m taking the Baltimore Ravens to win this game in a tight game.
St. Louis Rams @ (-2.5) Arizona Cardinals
This game takes the irrelevant cake of the week! It’s the “Who Care’s Bowl” we have to put up with twice a year from these brutal division rivals. Who’s the QB in Arizona this week? There have only been 3 games this season where a (4-6) Arizona Cardinals WR has breached the 100 yard mark, and might I add the Cardinals haven’t won since the last did at home to Miami, in week 4. They will most definitely be hungry for a win in this game since the (3-6-1) St. Louis Rams are rivals and they were the team who kick-started this Cardinals 6-game losing streak. If the 9th ranked Cardinals defence can play like they did last week against the league-leading Atlanta Falcons, then I think Arizona can stay in the game, but I really like the prospects of the St. Louis Rams with Head Coach Jeff Fisher calling the shots. The Rams WR’s have been playing great and if the RB’s can hold on to the ball I think that the St. Louis Rams will win this game.
New Orleans Saints v. (-2) San Francisco 49ers
I think this game is going to come down to heart. The (7-2-1) San Francisco 49ers might be without their starting QB Alex Smith for another game, but as we seen last week against the mighty Chicago Bears defence- back-up QB Colin Kaepernick can get the job done. This game features the 2nd ranked passing offence in the (5-5) New Orleans Saints, lead by QB Drew Brees, against the 2nd ranked passing defence, lead by ILB Patrick Willis. Even though the 49ers are known for their hard-nosed defence, and unlike the New Orleans Saints, who’s success solely rides on QB Drew Brees’ shoulders, the 49ers can run the ball at will. They average 165.3 yds/g on the ground, which is the best ranked rushing defence over all. New Orleans can’t lose any more games or their season is pretty much finished. That’s why I say this game will come down to heart. This is going to be a great game! Saint’s for the win.
-2.5 New York Giants v. Green Bay Packers
There are a couple great games this week and this is definitely one of them. You have the (6-4) New York Giants who are coming off a much needed week 11 bye on the heels back to back losses to Pittsburgh & Cincinnati facing off against the (7-3) Green Bay Packers who have been surging on a 5-game win streak, last losing to the Indianapolis Colts in week 5. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is having another MVP-calibre season this year, throwing for 2,619 yds in the air with 27 TD’s & only 6 INTS! The Giants need to win. Green Bay is riddled with injuries and none more significant than OLB Clay Mathews who is most likely going to be sidelined again this weekend with a shoulder injury. If this is the case then a healthy Giants offence could pick apart the Packers secondary this Sunday night. I expect a high scoring game and since the spread is (-2.5) I’m taking the New York Giants to win and cover.
Carolina Panthers @ (-2) Philadelphia Eagles
If you have Eagles RB Lesean McCoy in a fantasy pool then run out and grab back-up RB Bryce Brown ‘cause McCoy ain’t playing! He’s an injury-prone RB and went down with a concussion last week against the Redskins in a blow-out loss. Who knows how long he’ll be out for but I highly doubt he’ll be suiting up Monday night. There are also reports that (3-7) Philadelphia Eagles QB Mike Vick might be able to suit up for this game, but I honestly don’t think it matters who gets behind that offensive line! It’s horrible. Both of these teams are fighting for their coaches who will most likely be fired either at some point this season if they keep losing, or when it’s over, so I’m expecting a good game. The (2-8) Carolina Panthers have only had 50+ rushing yards in 4 games this season. I do expect a close game, but I think the Carolina Panthers are going to win this game on Monday Night Football! Let’s go Cam Newton!