Last Week: 9-6
Overall: 68-39

Panthers @ Buccaneers

Cam

Slow down on the Cam Newton hype. I’m not sure if I’m completely buying the company line that Newton is the first man in and the last one out of the Panthers’ facility. If so, fantastic. But I’ll believe it when I see it. And a 6/0 TD/INT ratio over his last 3 games is a great start, but it’s considerably less significant when it’s come against the Buccaneers, Rams, and Vikings. Before this 3-game stretch, his previous 3 games saw a completion percentage below 55% with a 5/5 TD/INT ratio against the Cardinals, Giants, and Bills—not exactly world-beaters either. The difference in these stretches lies in the adjustments in the offensive philosophy where Carolina is designing more runs for Cam, which is opening up more passing lanes. Cam Newton can be a highly effective quarterback when everything breaks just right, but I don’t think enough is there between the ears and on the field for the Panthers to be a true contender. With that said, there’s no chance they would lose to the Buccaneers who play like garbage and probably smell like it too since their locker room is infected with the spread of staph infection. I’m just waiting for when Greg Schiano gets fired and the headline reads “STAFF INFECTION GONE.”

Win: Carolina Panthers

Cowboys @ Lions

Classic Cowboys Road Loss in the Last Seconds Alert! That’s my first thought whenever I see Dallas gaining confidence and momentum before a big road game. But it’s against the Lions so how do you factor that into the algorithm? Detroit seems like they’re becoming healthier, which could make for a monster performance from Calvin Johnson. While I would like to give the Lions the edge considering home-field advantage, this could finally be a statement from Dallas that they’re finally off the roller coaster. I still can’t trust them, but Romo is substantially better than Stafford and I think the Cowboys can show enough stability to put away the Lions a week after the Bengals accomplished the same exact act.

Win: Dallas Cowboys

Browns @ Chiefs

What is Cleveland doing with benching Brandon Weeden?! I’m kidding, of course. But this move just confuses the hell out of me because I thought the Browns were content with being shitty to put themselves in a better position for the future. If that’s the strategy, naming Jason Campbell the starting quarterback is only going to make you better based on the premise of addition by subtraction. Brandon Weeden is that bad. Why didn’t NFL teams learn from the famed failed Drew Henson Experiment? The Cowboys loved strong-armed baseball players that had no idea how to play football like Drew Henson and Chad Hutchinson. Giving former baseball players who couldn’t hack it the opportunity to lead an NFL franchise probably isn’t the smartest decision. Is Chris Weinke the most successful former baseball player turned NFL QB later in life? That’s not a good track record. Cleveland could stand a real chance to upset the Chiefs, but I just can’t take the upset with the game at Arrowhead.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Dolphins @ Patriots

Miami is mediocre and the Patriots may just be mediocre as well. With Gronk finally back and growing stronger, the Patriots should become more consistent offensively—especially if Danny Amendola manages to stay healthy for a stretch. On the opposing side, the Dolphins dealt for Bryant McKinnie to solve their offensive line woes, which reeks of desperation. Look for New England to grind against the Miami defense and attempt to wear them down by relying on the run game and short, quick passes.

Win: New England Patriots

Bills @ Saints

Buffalo has been shockingly spry. I don’t know how, but they’ve managed to piece together enough parts to give them an opportunity to win close games. Even with Jimmy Graham injured or at the very least limited, the Saints should be whole enough to power through the Bills. It’s difficult to foretell any scenario in which Buffalo outscores New Orleans unless Drew Brees gets hurt early.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Giants @ Eagles

An immobile Michael Vick is not a good Michael Vick. Normally, that would result in the opposition being favored, but the Giants have been that bad this year. New York picked up Peyton Hillis from the street, and he’s now their starting running back. With a still struggling offensive line and an awful defense, Philadelphia should be able to score enough points with an offensive game plan focused on LeSean McCoy. Of course, there’s the looming threat of a small injury tweak putting Vick on the bench and Matt Barkley into the game. That didn’t work out too well last week. The Eagles should seriously considering running the Wildcat damn near exclusively if the alternative is Matt Barkley.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

49ers @ Jaguars

Those poor, poor Jaguars fans. NFL football in Jacksonville has not worked. I don’t want to see Tim Tebow play in the NFL, but this has to be the only possible franchise that would make the move because of the direct impact on ticket sales. Maybe Jacksonville entertains the idea if Chad Henne gets hurt. Regardless, the Jaguars will remain the same ungood team. It’s just about how interesting they aspire to be and how much they want to truly be in London.

Win: San Francisco 49ers

Jets @ Bengals

New York has been extremely fortunate this year to be in their current position. The Jets are undeserving to be this potentially close to the playoffs, but I believe the Bengals can knock New York off their high horse. Naturally, this means the Jets will handily win this game because I’m that unlucky as a sports fan. I can never have happiness. If I was George Costanza-esque in the evil genius department, I would take advantage of that knowledge and bet the Jets. But football is just more fun when you’re rooting for or against a team. Cincinnati needs to show something here at home.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Steelers @ Raiders

Pittsburgh could potentially position themselves at the top of their division. I would hate to see it happen, but the Steelers need to win on the road against Oakland if they’re truly on the right path. I’m not so sure Pittsburgh can turn things around that quickly after seeming to be so old earlier in the season. If so, then that’s a testament to Mike Tomlin. But I’d rather root for the Raiders and Terrelle Pryor may actually be something special with his dynamic ability to escape pressure and make something out of nothing.

Win: Oakland Raiders

Redskins @ Broncos

RGIII has returned. Washington still sucks, but at least Griffin is capable of being a dynamic threat again. Denver is coming off a tough road against the Colts after fumbling away a Manning comeback. With a significant home-field advantage at high altitude, the Broncos will be looking to make a statement while the Redskins are just trying to keep their heads above water. Unless Peyton Manning is actually hiding an injury after suffering a brutal sack at the hands of former teammate Robert Mathis, then Denver should shred the Redskins defense and operate efficiently once again.

Win: Denver Broncos

Falcons @ Cardinals

Atlanta needs to do the right thing and trade Tony Gonzalez to the Kansas City Chiefs for anything they can get. The Falcons aren’t going anywhere, and I think you’ll see why today when they struggle against the Cardinals defense. Arizona needs to increase Andre Ellington’s touches and put Ryan Williams on the field so they at least know what they have since Rashard Mendenhall is hurt. And please keep the ball out of Carson Palmer’s hands as much as possible. The Cardinals could be a good team with a capable QB.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Seahawks @ Rams

Sam Bradford is out for the year and the Rams only had Kellen Clemens as depth on the active roster at quarterback. That should have been all I had to say about this game, but the initial reports were that the Rams had interest in Tim Tebow—though they didn’t seem to want the circus. But St. Louis did want some type of circus since they called Brett Favre. Why? I hate Tim Tebow as much as the next atheist. If you’re willing to deal with a media circus, he still deserves more of an opportunity than Brett Favre. After picking up Brady Quinn off the scrap heap, I’m sure St. Louis will have more than a few retreads hop on and off the QB Carousel. The Seahawks are going to dominate the Rams. Target every defense opposing the St. Louis offense in Fantasy Football.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Packers @ Vikings

I don’t care who Minnesota names their starting quarterback. Christian Ponder gives the Vikings their best opportunity to win, but Green Bay is a much better and more complete team—even if half of their roster is playing injured or inactive with injuries. If the Packers can escape with a victory and without incurring any more damage, then look for Green Bay to ascend to the top of the division since the Bears will be without Jay Cutler for a few weeks and Detroit is just slightly above average.

Win: Green Bay Packers

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