Los Angeles Rams (4-9) @ Seattle Seahawks (8-4-1)
Well, the Rams have a new direction, and will rely on some new leadership to get them through. But what a welcome party: a trip to Seattle to face a Seahawks team fresh off an embarrassing blowout. I know the Rams have the Seahawks number, but not this time.
Prediction: Seahawks 27-14
Miami Dolphins (8-5) @ New York Jets (4-9)
The Dolphins got the worst news on Sunday, and will be without Ryan Tannehill on their trip to New York. They’ve been much better across the board, but the Jets have found a small little groove too. This screams upset alert, though, and I’ll take the Jets.
Prediction: Jets 21-17
Green Bay Packers (7-6) @ Chicago Bears (3-10)
The Bears are in a steady decline, and it doesn’t help to have Aaron Rodgers coming to town. The Packers are rolling, and are fighting for their playoff lives. I don’t think this will be the game that they’re caught napping.
Prediction: Packers 31-17
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) @ Houston Texans (7-6)
The Jaguars are in full on “spoiler” mode, and will look to ruin the Texans dreams of a division championship. But the Texans defense is swarming, and the offense was pretty decent against the Colts. Even better: the Texans are actually really good in games they’re supposed to win. This one falls in that category.
Prediction: Texans 24-14
Cleveland Browns (0-13) @ Buffalo Bills (6-7)
There’s already been some talk by Browns players that this will be the week that the streak ends. And it’s certainly their best opportunity. But the Bills offense is solid, and it’s going to be hard for the Browns to keep that rushing attack off the field. I’m just no feeling a road upset here.
Prediction: Bills 21-17
Philadelphia Eagles (5-8) @ Baltimore Ravens (7-6)
Two teams fresh off disappointing losses meet up in Baltimore. The Ravens are struggling to keep up with the resurgent Steelers, and probably need to win the division to make the postseason at all. The Eagles have been bad lately, but even worse on the road. Carson Wentz’ struggles continue.
Prediction: Ravens 27-20
Tennessee Titans (7-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)
The Titans have hit a stride and are competing for the division, while the Chiefs are rolling after knocking off the Raiders in an emotional game. The Titans look like a possible trap for them, but the Chiefs have seen the home upset thing before this season, and I don’t think they’ll sleep on this.
Prediction: Chiefs 24-21
Detroit Lions (9-4) @ New York Giants (9-4)
Well, two of the hottest teams in football are going to meet this week with their divisional hopes hanging in the balance. The Giants got a big upset last week, and I think their offense can bring home another big win. The Lions have played the close game thing all season, and it finally bites them on the road.
Prediction: Giants 28-27
Indianapolis Colts (6-7) @ Minnesota Vikings (7-6)
The Colts and Vikings are clawing upwards in their division, and need wins. The Vikings figured some things out last week, but that offense still scares me. The Colts can’t stop anybody, but Andrew Luck is good enough to solve that defense, and keeps the season alive.
Prediction: Colts 24-17
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-1)
It’s everyone’s favorite rivalry this week with the Bengals and Steelers linking up. The two have drastically different stakes this week than from a season ago, and the Bengals now have their season having by a thread. Still, an emotional home game for this team may be exactly what the doctor ordered, and Marvin Lewis always finds a way like this to save his job.
Prediction: Bengals 27-24
New Orleans Saints (5-8) @ Arizona Cardinals (5-7-1)
The Saints saw their faint postseason hopes evaporate, and are now playing for pride. The Cardinals less so. A road trip out west is always hard, and after that game with the Bucs, I’m not sure what the Saints have left in the tank.
Prediction: Cardinals 23-14
San Francisco 49ers (1-12) @ Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
Two tune-up games in a row for the Falcons to get ready for the Panthers and Bucs is just what the doctor ordered. As long as they play even half-okay, the Falcons should win this handily and get ready for the two week stretch.
Prediction: Falcons 28-17
New England Patriots (11-2) @ Denver Broncos (8-5)
The Broncos repeat chances are on life support right now, with one more slip up moving them out of the playoffs entirely. The Patriots are about as good as they can get, even after struggling with the Ravens. Still, a long road trip that just means more for the Broncos spells trouble for the AFC’s top team.
Prediction: Broncos 24-20
Oakland Raiders (10-3) @ San Diego Chargers (5-8)
The Chargers just don’t have much of a roster left after the mass of injuries going forward. That’s not a good sign with the pissed Raiders coming to town. The two have provided electric games, but Philip Rivers is the only person that can keep the Chargers in this.
Prediction: Raiders 28-24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5) @ Dallas Cowboys (11-2)
The Cowboys showed chinks in the armor, and the Bucs are streaking. With all the drama in Big D, and a team fighting for their division, all the recipes for an upset are brewing. Sign me up for a full-blown quarterback controversy!
Prediction: Bucs 27-24
Carolina Panthers (5-8) @ Washington Redskins (7-5-1)
It’s the Josh Norman game, with the conversation of this week being full on the former Panther corner. The game itself means more for the Redskins, but the Panthers’ slim playoff hopes ride on getting the upset. I like the Panthers to get it done.
Prediction: Panthers 24-17