We are now well and truly into the ‘business end’ of the NFL season with a number of teams already having 1 foot in the playoff door! This week sees a number of Superbowl favourites go on the road in the hope of securing another win that keeps them in the hunt for the post-season.
Let’s start with Thursday Night Football;
Saints @ Falcons;
Nothing like a Divisional game to kick off the week ahead! The Falcons will host the Saints at the impressive Mercedes-Benz Stadium this Thursday. Yet, even more impressive this season has been the Saints running game with Ingram and Kamara looking dangerous every time I have seen them. Kamara is certainly in contention to be ‘Rookie of the Season’ and can see the dynamic duo having another strong game to propel the Saints to victory and keep them on their way to winning the NFC South.
Packers @ Browns;
The Packers picked up a much needed win last time out against the Bucks and can only see 1 winner here. With the return of Aaron Rodgers on the horizon and the loss of form of the Detroit Lions, I can see the Packers fighting tooth and nail in trying to secure that wildcard place. On the other side of the ball, the Browns played well last time out and the return of Josh Gordon certainly helped but the Packers will have too much in this contest.
Lions @ Buccaneers;
A tough game to call after both teams had disappointing losses last game day. The Lions have been in bad form lately with the offensive line looking vulnerable each week. That said, I can see the Lions recording a win on the road in Tampa against the inconsistent Bucks. If Matt Stafford’s‘ hand has not healed, this game could be closer than expected.
Raiders @ Chiefs;
Another divisional game this week takes place in the AFC West. This is a huge game for both teams with the loser all but saying goodbye to any playoff hopes they have. The Raiders have been poor this season and the Chiefs 5-0 start seems an age ago now. That said, there were signs of life on offense last time out against the Jets and can see the crowd at Arrowhead Stadium ensuring the Chiefs pick up a much needed victory.
Vikings @ Panthers;
Case Keenum is on fire! Who would have thought that at the beginning of this season?! The Vikings have recorded impressive wins of late against the Rams, Lions and Falcons and think they will get another here. The Panthers lost ground on the Saints last weekend so will know the importance of this game but can see the Vikings stifling the Panthers running game in a close affair.
49ers @ Texans;
Jimmy G. led the 49ers to only their second win of the season last Sunday and looked impressive on his first start for the Red & Gold. The Texans are struggling on offense with Tom Savage at the helm and have no hopes of making the playoffs. How they miss Deshaun Watson!
PICK: 49ersEmbed from Getty Images
Colts @ Bills;
The Bills pushed the Patriots hard in the first half last week and I wonder how much that took out of the team? The Bills have looked solid on defence all season and can see them once again restricting an opponent, this time the Colts. The Bills to win a low scoring game.
Bears @ Bengals;
Both teams with losing records face off with very little riding on it. The Bengals couldn’t get the job done last time out against the Steelers after jumping into an early lead. Yet, the Bengals have more talent on offense compared to the Bears and feel this will be the deciding factor in this one.
Cowboys @ Giants;
What a week it has been for the Giants! The Giants fired Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese earlier this week and it will be interesting to see how the Giants react this week. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Eli Manning at the helm again showing the Giants he can still be their QB next season. However, the Cowboys got back to winning ways last week and feel they will have too much for the Giants on both sides of the ball in an entertaining game.
Titans @ Cardinals;
A must win game for the Titans to keep them atop of the AFC South. The Titans will be fighting with the Jags until the final matchup of the season to secure top spot, but feel they will lose ground this weekend. The Cardinals have not looked inspired under Blaine Gabbert but am predicting Larry Fitzgerald to have a big game to help the Cardinals record a victory at home.
PICK: CardinalsEmbed from Getty Images
Jets @ Broncos;
The Jets got back to winning ways last week at home against the Chiefs. The Broncos have looked increasingly poor for the majority of the season and must be the most disappointing team of the season considering the positivity in the early weeks. The Bengals recorded a victory at Mile High a few weeks ago and the Broncos season will reach a new low this Sunday when the Jets record a win on the road.
Redskins @ Chargers;
Each week the LA Chargers are looking more and more impressive. The offence is beginning to click into gear with Keenan Allen hitting top form of late and this, coupled with the fact the Chargers boast of a solid defence, can see them making a late dash for the playoffs. The Chargers are 1 of 3 teams in the AFC West on a 6-6 record but feel their momentum will propel them to the summit before the season ends. Kirk Cousins has had an impressive season considering the amount of injuries the Redskins have suffered but will come up short here.
Seahawks @ Jaguars;
This is the game of the week for me. The Seahawks will be rejuvenated after their vital win last week against the Eagles with Russell Wilson earning talk of a MVP. We all know how strong ‘Sacksonville’ are on defence with Calais Campbell in particular having a monster of a season. This proves to be an intriguing game but feel Russell Wilson’s mobility will cause the Jags problem of defence and predict the Seahawks to achieve the road win.
Eagles @ Rams;
The Eagles will look to get back to winning ways but will face a tough test in the Rams. Sometimes a loss at this stage of the season can be a good thing and am predicting this will only help the Eagles to get back on track. This contest sees two good QB’s in their second season face off but am predicting the Eagles to get the job done in LA.
Ravens @ Steelers
This is a second divisional rival game in a row for the Steelers after securing an impressive comeback against the Bengals last week. The Ravens are on-course to secure a wildcard spot and do boast an impressive defence yet a struggling offense. This is going to be a low scoring game with the Steelers coming out on top, just!
PICK: SteelersEmbed from Getty Images
Patriots @ Dolphins;
The Patriots are on an 8 game winning streak and can’t see this ending here. They will be missing Gronkowski but will have more than enough to topple the Dolphins whom did record a good victory last time out. It may be closer than people think but am going with the ever reliable Patriots.