Bengals (-3.5) at Bills: The Bengals aren’t just on a hot streak, they are the real deal. I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up facing Brady and the Pats in the AFC Championship game. Now ESPN gives the Patriots, Jets, and Bills a 30% chance to all make the playoffs out of the AFC East, I’m going to say more like 5%. The Bills are a little banged up right now on offense. Tyrod Taylor is probably not going to play this week, McCoy has been out, Karlos Williams is questionable (will probably play though), and Sammy Watkins has missed the last couple games. So how are they going to put up points? Their Sexy Rexy defense has been a little disappointing so far too, and the Red Rocket and AJ Green coming to town will be a tough task to contain for anyone.
Vikings (-4) vs Chiefs: I’m not a big believer in the Vikings. Outside of AP, they are a mediocre team. But I am a huge believer that the Chiefs are garbage, and thats before Jamaal Charles torn his ACL. I picked them to lose straight up to the Bears last week as -9.5 favorites and they did. AP will run wild over KC and put up enough points himself to put this game out of reach. Lock it up!!
Chargers (+10.5) at Packers: The Packers are a great team, especially at home, but the Chargers can score points. With Gates back it should really open up the offense and help Melvin Gordon find some running room. This is looking like a shoot out, and 10.5 is just too much to cover. Packers win 34-27
Patriots (-7.5) at Colts: The Patriots are on a mission this year and Tom Brady is going on another FU tour of the NFL like in 2007. They are unstoppable, and Andrew Luck can only do so much on his own. The Colts need to get younger skill players because Andre Johnson and Frank Gore are on their way out very soon. Yes, I know they have shown flashes of their old selves, but that is just a mirage. Pile on the points early and often Mr Belichek, and don’t let your foot off the gas.
Broncos (-4) at Browns: Peyton Manning is getting older and might not have as much zip on his throws, but he is a master of his craft and evolves every week to overcome Father Time. The Browns had a big win last week against the division rival Ravens, but I don’t see them moving the ball very well against a very tough Broncos defense. Let down game for the Browns.
Denver (-4) vs Cleveland- Josh McCown is having some season for the Browns. Through 4 games that he has played in this season, he has thrown for 1,203 yards, 6 TD’s and carries a 102.8 Rating into this game. However the 5-0 Broncos are finding ways to win without Peyton Manning playing with MVP-like numbers. Their defense is truly their strength this season and combined with Manning’s practical and efficient play, the Broncos will come out of this game 6-0.
Minnesota (-4) vs Kansas City- The Chiefs have suffered some heart breaking losses this year so far, but no loss will be greater than the one to their star running back, Jamaal Charles, who tore his ACL last week. The Chiefs will have to go with unproven Charcandrick West to carry some of the load that Charles gave the Chiefs in the backfield in both the running and passing game. The Vikings, on the other hand, have not been good coming out of bye weeks (have gone 0-5 in their last 5 seasons) and Teddy Bridgewater certainly has not flashed an encore sophomore season that Vikings fans envisioned after Bridgewater won Pepsi Rookie of the Year last season. However a strong Vikings defense that is ranked 4th against the pass should be enough to stop Alex Smith, Jeremy Maclin and send the Chiefs packing back to Missouri.
NY Jets (-6) vs Washington- The last time these 2 teams met was back in 2011 where the Jets defeated the Redskins 34-19. It’s safe to say these 2 teams are much different than they were 4 years ago. The Jets, with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB, are finally playing with an offense they didn’t have under Rex Ryan. The passing game and running game are complimenting a stingy defense that ranks top 5 in the NFL in four major categories: Total Yards (1), Passing Yards Allowed (2), Rushing Yards Allowed (2), and Points allowed (1). The Redskins did play hard down in Atlanta against the Falcons before losing in OT, however the Kirk Cousins that lost the game last week is the same Kirk Cousins we should expect to see against this Jets secondary coming out of their bye.
San Diego (+10.5) vs Green Bay- This is a trap game for Green Bay in the sense that they are favored by double digit points at home. However the Chargers can move the ball downfield, ranking 2nd in passing yards and 3rd in total years in the NFL. We saw the difference a well rested (due to suspension) Antonio Gates makes to this offense, and last week was no different. Green Bay will get a scare this week.
Philadelphia (-4) vs NY Giants- In 2 separate straight pickem pools I chose the Eagles to win and I’m going with the trifecta here (not that I wish it or want that). Eli Manning is coming off an unbelievable performance against the 49ers, leading the Giants to victory in the final seconds after throwing his 3rd touchdown and coming away with NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. However with Odell Bekcham Jr and Reuben Randle both questionable with hamstring injuries and Victor Cruz looking like another Inactive status this week, the Giants’ arsenal of weapons are slim. Chip Kelly’s Eagles finally woke up last week after a decisive win against the Saints and expect them to use a heavy dose of DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews to start the game before airing it out. My view on this game may change as more injury news comes out such as the health and status of Giant’s key defensive players- Devon Kennard, Jon Beason, and Prince Amukamara- but the Giants are just too decimated with injuries mid week to feel confident.
Gaining momentum has not felt this good, but a back to back good weeks got this guy smiling!
Cleveland (-4) vs. Denver: It’s more about Cleveland coming together this past week than Peyton not making it count like he has been doing in the past. I like the Browns taking it or keeping it just a field goal away.
Jacksonville (+1) vs. Houston: This pick would have looked ridiculous the past 2 year (at least), but the way Bortles is moving the ball and his receivers making plays makes me love the chances of them taking the win!
Carolina (+7) at Seattle: *UPSET ALERT* Call me a homer, but I can’t seem to not smile at the fact that they are giving Seattle just a touchdown… Like Cam Newton said in his Wednesday 10/14 press conference “No disrespect to that stadium or other stadiums, but loud is loud…” And the way that Seattle is finally getting together does not scare me one bit.
San Francisco (+2.5) vs. Baltimore: The Ravens D is not as intimidating as it use to be (thanks to Suggs being out) but I like the way my 49ers look last week against the mighty Giants. They are finally getting to click and it feels like the breakout week!
New England (-7.5) at Indianapolis: C’mon, Brady… enough said. But in case you need more, Brady is going to be fired up considering that Deflate Gate was actually started by the Colts. Now for Gronk and Edelman I can see them just blowing up the field with great catches.