Every week, we’ll look at the matchups of the week, and give our predictions for each of the games. If you’re a betting man…I’d take the opposite of these picks.
Last week, your resident expert went 8-5, and is sitting at 81-50-2 on the year.
Cleveland Browns (0-9) @ Baltimore Ravens (4-4)
Baltimore is a winning team again, and now controls its own destiny in the AFC North. It’s a surprising switch, but not exactly unexpected, as the expectations were for them to rebound. The Browns are the Browns. It’s tough to predict them to win a game, much less a road game with the leaders of the division.
Prediction: Ravens 27-17
Green Bay Packers (4-4) @ Tennessee Titans (4-5)
The Packers are on a slide, and so are the Titans. The Packers are struggling to get to form, with Aaron Rodgers publicly calling out the team this week. The Titans had few expectations, but have taken a step back after a nice few weeks. The Packers have to have this to gain ground, and I don’t think they lose it.
Prediction: Packers 24-20
Minnesota Vikings (5-3) @ Washington Redskins (4-3-1)
Minnesota has dropped three in a row, thanks in large part to the struggles of the offense. Bradford and the running game are both struggling, and they have to get a rebound. The Redskins are rebounding after a rough start, and are trying to keep pace with Dallas. These two teams are similar in a lot of ways, and I’m going home team.
Prediction: Redskins 23-17
Chicago Bears (2-6) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5)
“I’m not a loser,” was the statement Jameis Winston gave reporters this week when asked about his losing record as a starter. The Bucs QB has struggled to put wins together, but he’s got a great chance with this home game against Chicago. They’ve found themselves lately, but the Bucs are a tough out at home.
Prediction: Bucs 21-20
Kansas City Chiefs (6-2) @ Carolina Panthers (3-5)
The Panthers have won two in a row after the horrendous start, and look like the team they were projected to be to start the season. Meeting them are the Chiefs, who’ve been one of the more consistent and dominant teams in the league. But the Panthers look tough, and what better way to prove you’re back than an upset?
Prediction: Panthers 24-17
Atlanta Falcons (6-3) @ Philadelphia Eagles (4-4)
The Falcons have surprised me two weeks in a row, winning two games that I didn’t give them much chance to win. Waiting on a letdown second half of the season may not be plausible. The Eagles are on the downswing, and had a BYE week to figure it out. The Eagles are in must-win territory and at home, and I think they get one.
Prediction: Eagles 28-27
Los Angeles Rams (3-5) @ New York Jets (3-6)
The Rams are terrible after their 3-1 start, and the Jets were never good to begin with. So their upcoming matchup should be just great to watch. But for one team, it’ll be a good time. The Rams defense suffocated Carolina’s offense, and played good enough to win. And I don’t trust Ryan Fitzpatrick just yet. Rams win one.
Prediction: Rams 20-17
Denver Broncos (6-3) @ New Orleans Saints (4-4)
The Broncos are doing something that they never quite expected to be: staring up at the Raiders and Chiefs in the standings. After proving everyone wrong about Siemian, they are now facing the reality that the pundits may have been right. The Saints are a surprise team, but conquering these guys right after Seattle is a tough ask.
Prediction: Broncos 24-20
Houston Texans (5-3) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6)
The Texans have a chance to start to close up the division, after stumbling a bit to the lead that they have. The Jaguars, however, are a dumpster fire. But as crazy as it sounds, they actually are showing a little bit of promise in their losses. I have no idea why I feel this, but the Texans just can’t handle prosperity. Jags pull the upset.
Prediction: Jaguars 24-17
Miami Dolphins (4-4) @ San Diego Chargers (4-5)
The Dolphins have shown some life lately, giving some fight to their last few opponents and reviving their playoff chances. The same can be said for the Chargers, who are finally starting to pick up wins after getting very close before. Winning in San Diego is a tall task, especially for an East coast team.
Prediction: Chargers 31-27
Dallas Cowboys (7-1) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4)
The Steelers have now been knocked down into second place of the division, and are all of a sudden in panic mode with Big Ben nursing injuries. The Cowboys are rolling, but now face a quarterback controversy with Romo and Dak available. It just seems more like Dallas to create a full blown controversy and drop this one.
Prediction: Steelers 28-24
San Francisco 49ers (1-7) @ Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1)
The 49ers are dreadful, completely bad across both sides of the ball. But, we knew they probably would be. The Cardinals are the surprise, as they are struggling to even make the playoffs. They need a win in a bad way, and the 49ers should provide a way to get one.
Prediction: Cardinals 27-14
Seattle Seahawks (5-2-1) @ New England Patriots (7-1)
The Seahawks are more than good enough to win game, especially if Kam Chancellor plays. But the Patriots are rolling, and have been playing extremely well on both sides. The Seahawks aren’t a slouch, but the Pats haven’t lost two home games in one year in a long time.
Prediction: Patriots 24-21
Cincinnati Bengals (3-4-1) @ New York Giants (5-3)
The Bengals have been pretty average out of the gate, but somehow are looking at just a half game distance in the division standings. They had a BYE week to figure things out, and should look better. Giants offense is back to rolling, and should give the Bengals defense a lot to handle. Still, I like the Bengals to get things back to normal.
Prediction: Bengals 28-27