Well, the year is certainly winding down and with only 2 more weeks of games, it is becoming highly apparent I will not reach my goal of .750 winning percentage for my picks. By going 9-7 last week, my win-loss record for the year is now 148-76, hovering around the .661 mark. Even if I go 32-0 over the final two weeks, the best I can hope for is .703.
So, while that benchmark won't be reached, I still would like to finish on a strong note over these next two slate of games.
With all the unexpected events last week, it really won't serve much purpose to examine where each of last weeks 7 incorrect picks went wrong. However, a strong part of those losses can be attributed to surprising, if not shocking wins by Carolina, Washington, Indianapolis and Kansas City.
As for this week:
Thursday Night Football
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
The Texans lost a game they probably should have won and the Colts won a game they probably should have lost last week. The Texans just couldn't control Newton and the Panthers running game and rookie QB TJ Yates simply struggled most of the game. The Colts were determined not to finish in infamy by going 0-16. Now that that monkey is off their backs I'm expecting the Colts to revert to the way they've been most of the season. Texan DC Wade Phillips will still be sidelined due to his recent surgery but I think the Texans ground game against a Colt secondary that just hasn't played that well, albeit playing ok as of late, should be enough to get the W here. Texans 28 Colts 14
The full slate of games are on Saturday this year, with the exception of the lone game GB vs. Chi on Sunday Night and the Monday Night game that pits Atlanta vs. NO.
Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills
The stadium is going to be empty and I have a feeling those that will be in attendance may be going simply to see Tebow time live and in-person. The Broncos love to run the ball, with their QB and with whoever lines up in their backfield. The Bills can't seem to stop the running, just surrendering 203 yards to Reggie Bush last week. The sad thing is that those 203 yards are usually given up each week on the ground, just typically not to one player. Broncos should win this game pretty easily. Broncos 29 Buffalo 17
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
With Houston, Pittsburgh and Baltimore losses last week, the road to the Super Bowl looks as if it will go through Foxboro. With the game this week against the Dolphins and next weeks home game against the Bills, it looks highly likely the Patriots will win out and claim the number 1 seed for the AFC. Dolphins should put up a fight here, and I look for some production from their ground game and perhaps a decent outing by Fasano and/or Marshall, as the Patriot defense is pretty bad overall. But the Patriots will win, Miami won't be able to stop Brady, Gronkowski and Hernandez over the course of an entire game. Patriots 34 Miami 23
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens were destroyed last week vs. SD, they'll take it out against the Browns. Ravens 34 Cleveland 10
Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are playing for Romeo. Rumor has it that if they win out they'll help remove the interim tag and make Romeo Crennel next years Head Coach. The Raiders need to win to keep pace with Denver, and the Chiefs are technically still alive in the race. So those are two interesting storylines here, as is the fact KC beat the then undefeated Packers last week. I think KC pulls this one off as well in a lower scoring game. KC 17 Oakland 14
Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins
Redskins stunned the Giants last week and probably should win this game as well. However, I just have a feeling the A.P. and Gerhart will run wild here. Vikings 20 Redskins 13
Arizona Cardinals @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Cards are on a bit of a roll and the Bengals have slowed down as of late, despite winning last week. The Bengal defense is pretty strong and the Cards O-line is giving up a lot of production so I guess I don't really think it matters who plays QB for Arizona, in fact I think we may see both Kolb and Skelton here. Cincinnati 27 Arizona 17
St. Louis Rams @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben won't play here, so it'll be the Charlie Batch show. Good thing the Ram secondary and run defense is pretty lousy. That said I think the Steelers roll in this one, despite not having their franchise QB in the game. Steelers 20 Rams 6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers
I don't know what to think of this game. Really, I have no idea how to pick this one. Part of me says to go with Carolina. They just beat the Texans, Newton's played well all year for the most part and Tampa Bay is on the bad side of erratic most of the time. Yet, another one of those gut calls here. I think Blount, Freeman and one of the Buccaneer Receivers have a big game. TB 28 Carolina 21
New York Giants @ New York Jets
This is another one of those who knows type of games. Will Eli play amazing like he had been doing most of the year, or will he play terrible as he did last week against the Redskins? Will Sanchez play well or poorly? These questions will determine the winner here. I have more faith in Eli, so I'll take the Giants here. NYG 30 NYJ 27
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
I don't think the Jags are good enough to win here. Although Tennessee is up and down I think they'll have enough in them to get by Jacksonville at home. Titans 21 Jaguars 14
San Diego Chargers @ Detroit Lions
Should be a shoot-out and if this game were played in San Diego I'd pick them. But the game's in Detroit, therefore I'll take the Lions here at home. Detroit 35 SD 31
Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
The Eagles have been playing better lately and the Cowboys have been playing well, especially their QB Romo. That will be the difference in another high scoring affair. Dallas 31 Philadelphia 30
San Francisco 49'ers @ Seattle Seahawks
The hawks are tough at home, but their bread and butter has been the running game with Marshawn Lynch and that's running straight at SF's strength. A FG game with SF winning. SF 18 Seattle 12
Sunday Night Football
Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
I really don't think Chicago stands a chance here. Although, if SF loses and everything is wrapped up for the Packers, we could see Matt Flynn and that, while he's not bad, could spin this game in Chicago's favor. That said I don't see the niners losing and I still think we might see Flynn here, but in blow-out duty. GB 42 Chicago 6
Monday Night Football
Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints
Should be another quality MNF game, two in a row, I can't believe it. I look for a high scoring game here. And I really can see either team pulling this one out, but I'll stick with Brees and the home Saints to win a close but high scoring game. NO 42 Atlanta 38
Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a great weekend of Football.