Sunday, November 27, 2011

NFL Week 12 Predictions


FALCONS 31, vikes 17

I’m sorry Purple Faithful, but this game looks hopeless. Atlanta’s awesome aerial attack versus a weak Minnesota secondary combined with Adrian Peterson’s absence spells doom for the Vikings today. Falcons QB Matt Ryan tops 300 yards as his team cruises to its seventh win of the season.

BENGALS 17, browns 10

It will be a battle of field position today at Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals QB Andy Dalton will miss his stellar rookie connection with A.J. Green, but RB Cedric Benson plows his way past the Browns in pacing the home team to victory.

bucs 24, TITANS 20

At 5-5, Tennessee desperately needs a win to keep its playoff hopes alive. Tampa Bay has underwhelmed this year and has lost its last four games. Today, however, the Buccaneers harness their talent and earn a road upset over the Titans.

panthers 23, COLTS 17

Oh how the Colts continue to miss Peyton Manning. Could Indianapolis go from perennial playoff contenders to joining the 2008 Lions as the only teams in NFL history to go 0-16? At this point, the answer is “yes.” After a deflating loss in Detroit last week, Cam Newton gears up for a paltry Colts pass defense as the Panthers surpass its win total from last season.

RAMS 20, cards 17 (in OT)

Two very mediocre teams meet in St. Louis today as the Rams host the Cardinals. Okay, maybe mediocre is too nice. In a game of little relevance, Steven Jackson gives those diehard Rams faithful who attend the game at the Edward Jones Dome something to cheer about. St. Louis tops Arizona as the teams even their records at 3-7.

JETS 17, bills 13

Rex Ryan may have a big mouth, but its Mark Sanchez who may be the scapegoat for the Jets falling well short of reaching its third consecutive conference title game this season. New York’s playoff hopes are in jeopardy, but the team’s sixth-ranked defense tames slumping Buffalo as the Jets squeak by the Bills today.

texans 17, JAGS 10

The 7-3 Texans look to put a huge stake toward its first division championship today in Jacksonville. The Jaguars (3-7) have struggled, but its defense poses a daunting task. Moreover, Houston starting QB Matt Schaub was put on season-ending IR after suffering a torn ligament against Tampa Bay two weeks ago. Back-up Matt Leinhart has yet to throw a pass this season, but he does have the NFL’s top defense, the AFC’s top running game and the return of star WR Andre Johnson on his side. Leinhart manages the game clock, limits his mistakes and hands off to Arian Foster as the Texans pick up the win.


RAIDERS 24, bears 17

Chicago picked up a big win last week against the Chargers. But the team also lost its quarterback. With Jay Cutler gone for the season and no prominent back-up plan, the Bears struggle in Oakland today. Unlikely heroes Carson Palmer and Michael Bush continue leading the Raiders toward the playoffs. Oakland beats the Bears.

HAWKS 23, skins 17

This game almost has the allure of today’s Rams-Cardinals game. The Seahawks scrape by the Skins on a ho-hum day in Seattle.

pats 27, EAGLES 17

Vince Young impressed in New York last week against the Giants. Not so much today. Building off its Monday Night blowout of the Chiefs, Tom Brady and his arsenal of passing weapons lead the Patriots past the Eagles in Philadelphia this afternoon.

CHARGERS 27, broncos 20

Denver’s defense has been very strong in recent weeks and Tim Tebow simply continues to win games. San Diego has underachieved and finds itself in the midst of a miserable five week losing streak. It’s hard to pick against the fortuitous Tebow, but Philip Rivers is due for a breakout game. The Chargers win at home.


steel 23, CHIEFS 16

Pittsburgh is definitely the better team in the Sunday Night matchup this week. But the Chiefs can be very tough to beat at home. In a closely fought battle, Pittsburgh pulls away at the end and improves to 8-3.


SAINTS 34, giants 20

The Saints return from its bye week revived and ready to make a serious playoff run. Drew Brees rifles through the Giants secondary in leading New Orleans to a comfortable win at home in the Superdome tomorrow night.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

NFL Thanksgiving Day Predictions

Packers 31, LIONS 27

Improving to 7-3 after its 49-35 defeat of Carolina last week, Detroit looks like a playoff force again. Hosting its annual Turkey Day contest, the Lions take on Aaron Rodgers and the undefeated Packers. Green Bay showed some vulnerability last week against Tampa. So can the Lions exploit these weaknesses, pounce on the Pack and earn a huge win for its franchise? Close, but not quite. Anticipate a wildly entertaining contest featuring fabulous efforts by both teams, but the Super Bowl Champs survive with a late game touchdown drive.

BOYS 24, fins 13

Both teams enter this game playing fantastic football. Miami began its season with seven straight losses. Then suddenly, behind a staunch defense and outstanding play by QB Matt Moore, the Dolphins have won three straight by a collective score of 86-20. Dallas puts an end to this today. The Cowboys push its win streak to four, celebrating its Thanksgiving with a feast of the Fins.

RAVENS 20, niners 17

First-year coach Jim Harbaugh has his 49ers playing outstanding football. Under the management of Jim’s older brother, John Harbaugh, the Ravens have been strong but inconsistent. This epic battle of the brothers is a brutal bout fought tooth and nail. Led by lethal linebacker Patrick Willis, San Francisco brings its A-game across the country tonight. But Baltimore is too tough at home. RB Ray Rice leads the Ravens attack as the home team ekes out the win by a field goal.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NFL Week 11 Predictions



New York was embarrassed last week. The Broncos defeated Kansas City despite just two completed passes. Denver QB Tim Tebow, come hell (or maybe heaven, in this case) or high water, has been finding ways to win. Tebow might turn his magic into a couple more wins before Denver's season ends. Tonight, however, the ex-Gator finds himself lost in Revis Island. Meanwhile, Jets QB Mark Sanchez connects with his talented, 6-foot-5 touchdown target (Plaxico Burress) as the Jets soar past the Broncos at Mile High.

RESULT: BRONCOS 17, jets 13

Broncos cornerback Andre Goodman picked off an errant Sanchez pass and dashed in 26 yards for a game-tying touchdown late in the third quarter. The Jets would answer with a Nick Folk field goal. Then, once again, Tebow (who went 9-for-20 for 104 yards passing) worked his magic. The Miracle Man engineered a 95-yard game winning drive, culminated by his 20-yard touchdown scamper with 58 ticks left on the game clock. Broncos improved to 5-5, while the Jets fell to 5-5.


VIKINGS 27, raiders 24

Perhaps I’m too much of a homer, but I’m going to pick the home Purple despite its despicable Monday Night performance six days ago in Green Bay. Losing Antoine Winfield for the season, Minnesota’s pass defense sunk a step lower by resigning Benny Sapp – the ex-Viking dumped by the 2-7 Dolphins earlier this season. Meanwhile, Raiders QB Carson Palmer is coming off a near-perfect performance in his team’s upset win at San Diego. Palmer picks apart the Vikings secondary today, but “All Day” Adrian Peterson paces the Purple offense just enough for his team to eke out a home victory.

Jags 17, BROWNS 13

Week by week, Jacksonville rookie QB Blaine Gabbert continues his gradual progression. He's also able to lean on a solid defense and his 5-foo-7 bulldozer RB Maurice Jones-Drew as the Jaguars top the Browns in Cleveland.

LIONS 30, panthers 27

Get ready for a shootout! Matthew Stafford rebounds from a rough outing last week in Chicago and outduels Cam Newton today as the Lions edge out the Panthers.

PACK 38, bucs 17

Uh-oh. This pick reminds me of my 34-13 Eagles over Cardinals prediction last week. However, the way Aaron Rodgers is playing somehow leaves me without a shred of doubt that his Packers win comfortably in this one.

bills 20, FINS 17

Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick connects for 100 yards and a touchdown with

WR Stevie Johnson as the Bills defeat their divisional foe Fins in Miami.

boys 27, SKINS 17

Cowboys RB Felix Jones returns from a nagging ankle injury that’s sidelined him since week six. The way rookie rusher DeMarco Murray has carried the ball, 607 rush yards on 75 carries since taking over as Dallas’ lead back, Jones merely adds a nice change-up to Murray’s

fastball. The Boys take out the Redskins in D.C. today to climb to 6-4.

RAVENS 20, Bengals 13

Facing the league’s top defense without standout WR A.J. Green proves to tall of a task for Andy Dalton and the Bengals. Ray Rice leads the Ravens ball control offense as Baltimore improves to 5-0 at home


RAMS 24, hawks 17

St. Louis slowly works to salvage a season that started 0-6. QB Sam Bradford's regained form from injury, the welcomed addition of WR Brandon Lloyd and continued solid production from RB Steven Jackson are too much for the Seahawks to handle. The Rams protect its home turf today, defeating Seattle by seven.

NINERS 27, cards 17

John Skelton looks like he just might be stealing Kevin Kolb’s job as Arizona’s starting QB. The Cardinals were spectacular in an impressive win at Philly last week, but Skelton and standout receiver Larry Fitzgerald aren’t enough today. The 49ers stunning season continues as San Francisco defeats Arizona and improves to 9-1.

FALCONS 31, titans 23

After a crushing overtime loss at home to the Saints last week, Atlanta doesn’t put itself in position to push its luck on fourth down behinds its own 30-yard line today. The Falcons topple the Titans by eight.

BEARS 27, chargers 24 (OT)

San Diego is in trouble, having lost four straight and its AFC West lead. Things get worse as the team travels to Chicago to face a hot Bears team. Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson and the Chargers put for a spirited effort. But the Bolts fall short as Matt Forte and a resurgent Bears defense stave off San Diego in overtime.


GIANTS 24, eagles 17

Philadelphia’s Vince Young gets his chance to back up his preseason “Dream Team” talk in New York tonight. Lacking WR Jeremy Maclin and practice with Philly’s first team offense, Young and LeSean McCoy aren’t enough to spearhead a win. Eli Manning came up short of a comeback win in San Francisco last week. Tonight, the Giants set the pace early and defeat the Eagles at home.


PATS 27, chiefs 10

Kansas City has been playing lackluster football as of late. New England looked like Super Bowl contenders last week in blowing out the Jets in New York. Tom Brady has little trouble solving the Chiefs defense as the Pats pound KC at home.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NFL Week 10 Predictions



San Diego suffered a tough home loss to the Packers last Sunday. However, QB Philip Rivers was able to rekindle some lost mojo during the game's final three quarters. The bitter taste of Cheesehead defeat, combined with Rivers’ revival, sparks the Bolts to a swift knockout of the Raiders.

RESULT: raiders 24, CHARGERS 17

My prediction was way off. San Diego’s offensive line offered minimal

protection – to say the least - of Rivers. Instead of Rivers, Oakland QB Carson Palmer played the role of revived quarterback. Palmer’s precise 16-of-20, 299 yard, 2 TD performance, combined with RB Michael Bush’s 157 yards on the ground, led Oakland to an impressive road win.


saints 31, FALCONS 27

Drew Brees has his way with Atlanta’s defense as the Saints maintain its grasp on the NFC South. Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones and Michael Turner roll up their share of production, but New Orleans’ offense proves too much to overcome.

steel 17, BENGALS 10

Rookies Andy Dalton and A.J. Green have been impressive, but Pittsburgh’s bone-crushing defense bruise up the Bengals today. Paced by QB Ben Roethlisberger and Rashad Mendenhall, the Steelers stymie Cincinnati by seven.

rams 23, BROWNS 13

Cleveland’s offense is fast and furiously declining. RB Steven Jackson leads his Rams to a road win in Ohio.

BOYS 27, bills 20

The feel-good, no-named 3-0 bunch out of Buffalo watch its upstart season come to a halt. The Cowboys, led by Dez Bryant and surprise RB sensation DeMarco Murray, have little difficulty handling the Bills in Big D. Dallas improves to 5-4, Buffalo falls to 5-4.

jags 17, COLTS 13

Its hard not to think the Colts will eventually win a game. Hosting the 2-6 Jaguars seems like a good opportunity to accomplish this. Right? Wrong. Indy’s pitiful defense and lack of good quarterback play lead to loss No. 10.

CHIEFS 24, broncos 17

Kansas City rebounds from its embarrassing 31-3 home loss to Miami last week. Matt Cassel rallies his troops and finds his top target (WR Dwayne Bowe) for a pair of scores as the Chiefs beat the Broncos at Arrowhead.

FINS 20, skins 16

This game competes with the Rams/Browns and Jaguars/Colts for the least intriguing matchup of the week. Miami picks off Washington QB John Beck not one, not two, but, three times today as the Dolphins pick up its first home win since week 10 of last season.

EAGLES 34, cards 13

No DeSean Jackson. No problem. With Philly’s playoff hopes on the line after losing to the Bears last week, Michael Vick carves up Arizona’s defense as the Eagles cream the Cardinals.

BUCS 24, texans 20

Tampa Bay’s enigmatic season takes a turn for the better today. The Bucs manage to contain Houston superstar Arian Foster to eke out a four-point win at home.


Ravens 27, HAWKS 13

Ray Rice runs all over the Seahawks in Seattle. Ravens win big.

BEARS 27, lions 23

A hotly contested division duel takes place at Chicago’s Soldier Field today as the Bears host Detroit. The Lions’ lack of running game leans the advantage toward the home team as Chicago wins its fourth straight.

giants 20, NINERS 17

Missing some key offensive cogs, Eli Manning managed an impressive road win in week nine. Manning maintains his mojo in San Francisco today as his Giants hold off the Niners.


JETS 20, pats 17 (in OT)

The most closely competed contest of week 10 ends with the Jets stingy defense staving off Tom Brady’s Patriots in overtime.


PACK 37, vikes 27

Offense abounds as Vikings rookie QB Christian Ponder progresses with his passing game in Green Bay tomorrow night. It’s not enough, however, as Aaron Rodgers dices his way through Minnesota’s secondary and the Packers run at perfection continues.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NFL Week 9 Predictions


BILLS 20, jets 17

Buffalo’s resurgence continues as the upstate New York gridders hold off the big market Jets by a field goal. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson lead a balanced offensive attack past a stifling Jets defense.

BOYS 24, hawks 10

Rebounding from an embarrassing loss Sunday night in Philadelphia, the Cowboys soar past Seattle with ease.

falcons 34, COLTS 13

It’s hard to believe how much difference one player can make? The lost season that is the 2011 Colts continues to spiral downward spiral as the Falcons swoop into Indy and put this game away by halftime.

CHIEFS 24, fins 16

After being hammered by a combined score of 89-10 and losing its star player in the team’s first two games of the season, the Chiefs have a four-game winning streak and appear poised to take hold of its division. QB Matt Cassel and his KC crew make it five in a row, dispatching the Dolphins at home.

SAINTS 31, bucs 27

New Orleans is out for revenge against its NFC rival this week. The Saints defense has proved to be a sieve this season (ranking 28th in yards allowed); but after losing to the Buccaneers at home in Week 6, the team plays just well enough to top Tampa this time.

niners 24, SKINS 17

The wrecking ball that is Frank Gore leads the NFC’s unexpected gem past the downtrodden Redskins in D.C.

TEXANS 23, browns 10

No Peyton Hillis and no Montario Hardesty for Cleveland trumps the absence of Houston’s Andre Johnson. The Texans ride Arian Foster past the bumbling Browns.


bengals 20, TITANS 17 (in OT)

Who would have thought the Bengals and Bills would both be 6-2 at the season’s midpoint? Yep, that’s what I thought. No one.

RAIDERS 23, broncos 13

The Tim Tebow experience comes up short again. Oakland’s defense steps up while Carson Palmer learns the Raider ropes.

rams 23, CARDS 17

As bad as this team looked two weeks ago, the once 0-6 Rams feast on John Skelton’s Cardinals for its second straight defeat.

pack 27, CHARGERS 24

Some pundits (i.e. Star Tribune writer Mark Craig) predict the Packers to suffer its first loss this week. I beg to differ. San Diego plays tough at home, but Aaron Rodgers is too good. Green Bay goes to 8-0.

PATS 27, giants 24

New York’s aerial attack versus the Patriots week pass defense is intriguing. But missing a couple key cogs (RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WR Hakeem Nicks) causes the Giants to come up short in New England.


STEEL 20, ravens 13

Pittsburgh has won six of its last seven, but don’t expect the team to be complacent against its vaunted divisional rival. Think the Steelers forgot that embarrassing 35-7 shellacking the Ravens doled out in Week 1? Pittsburgh makes certain to avenge that loss and come away with the victory tonight.


EAGLES 27, bears 17

It was just a matter of time before this juggernaut put its pieces together. The Eagles bury the Bears tomorrow in Philly.