An absolute dud by the Eagles as their nightmare season continued on Thursday Night versus the Seattle Seahawks. Looks like DeSean Jackson took my advice and has completely mailed in the rest of this season - he's simply not even trying. Missing blocks downfield for his RB, running routes with a limp and his head down, and avoiding any verbal communication with anyone wearing a green jersey. Solid work, DeSean. The Cowboys and Giants definitely approve of this behavior. Let's not harp on the bad, let's get to the good. Any by 'good' I mean our picks this week, hopefully...
Sunday, December 4th (1:00 ET Kickoffs)
Sunday, December 4th (1:00 ET Kickoffs)
Tennessee Titans vs. Buffalo Bills (-2.5)
I know that the Bills season is mostly washed away at this point - a win over Tennessee might conjure up some emotions where I think we are still in it and have a shot - but after last week's loss to the Jets, I know that's not feasible. The only reason I'm going with the Bills is to exact some revenge on the single most crushing defeat I've witnessed as a sports fan in my young life. The 2000 Music City Miracle. Probably the only time I've cried watching sports although I think I had to wipe away a tear when the U.S. Womens Soccer team lost to Japan this year. I love you Hope Solo. I digress, the Bills who have been good at home/Toronto this year are 4-1 - I look for them to get their offense going through the air and for their defense to contain a resurrected Chris Johnson. I'll take the Bills at home.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Chicago Bears (-7)
The Chiefs played the Steelers very well last week with Tyler Palko (3 INTs, 167 passing yards) at QB. The Bears hung with the Raiders last week with Caleb Hanie (3 INTs, 50% completion rate). Both of these guys suck. The Bears have the better defense, are at home, and have the best return man in football. But when it comes down to it I think Hanie negates all of that. I'll take the Chiefs to keep this close.
Atlanta Falcons (-3) vs. Houston Texans
Houston has won 5 games in a row. They've also lost two quarterbacks in as many weeks. Usually not a winning equation. I know that they don't rely very much on the passing game because of their elite running attack - but T.J. Yates? I just can't bring myself to do it. The Falcons are too good of a team to not like them in this game against a rookie quarterback. Matt Ryan is 20-0 when he posts a QB rating of over 100 and Michael Turner gives the Falcons a legitimate running game for a playoff caliber team. Backing a team as hot as the Texans is not a smart move against a team in the NFC that has shown they are capable of playing good football. I'll talk myself into taking the Falcons on the road.
Oakland Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins (-3)
After starting 0-7, the Dolphins have gone from that team that every fan circled as a W on their calendar to a team that no one wants to play anymore. The Raiders have done everything well this week up until LB Rolando McClain was arrested for assault and discharging a firearm. Not a good look. Although he did look fresh in his mugshot. McClain has only missed two games so far in his young professional career - in those two games the Raiders defense has given up 533 yards rushing. I expect the Dolphins to beat down the Raiders at home.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
The Bengals have played well to get to their 7-4 record but when it just doesn't feel like they're experienced enough to get by on talent alone. Coming down the stretch of the season they'll need to continue to get strong play from QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green - I just don't think they'll be able to keep up in the AFC North this year. I look for the Steelers to bounce back from last weeks snoozefest in Kansas City. Big Ben is as good as any QB in the league at spreading the ball around to his various weapons and he'll have every opportunity to do so against a banged up Bengals secondary - Adam "Pacman" Jones now starts. I'll take the experienced Steelers to make it rain on the Bengals in this one.
Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)
Raheem Morris has to be pretty high on the next coach to get fired list. The Bucs are proud owners of a five game losing streak and quickly turning into the doormat of the NFC South. After a 10 win season last year the Bucs have regressed week by week at a phrenetic pace. Luckily they still have the Carolina Panthers in their division and on their schedule this week. If Morris intends to be employed by the NFL in the future this is a must win game. I'll take the Bucs to snap their losing streak and keep their coach for at least one more week.
Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots (-20.5)
Wow - 21 points to cover this game?! Count me in. In a move to improve their team, the Colts thought it was necessary to do two things. Fire their Defensive Coordinator and Bench their starting quarterback. Excellent decisions. This week Curtis Painter will not be involved - Dan Orvolvsky will be. How embarrassing is it for Painter who couldn't even hold a job on an 0-11 football team? How bad do you have to be to get benched while healthy? Well, Orlovsky can't be much of an upgrade. In fact, he was the Quarterback for much of the Lions 0-16 season. Maybe the Colts have this tanking thing down to a 't'. No way Orlovsky keeps this close against the Pats. I'll roll with New England at home.
Denver Broncos vs. Minnesota Vikings (-1)
I'm not really sure why Vegas has this line in favor of the Vikings? Hasn't Tebow proven time and time again that he's going to find a way no matter how ugly or unconventional? I honestly think that the Broncos have a legit shot at making the playoffs. Their defense,
led by pass rushers Elvis Dumervil and rookie Von Miller, h