Last Week: 8-5
Overall: 87-46

Redskins @ Vikings

Does anyone know what to expect from RGIII anymore? This has certainly been a lost season and frustrating year for the Redskins for reasons on and off the field. At what point do we ask ourselves the question as to whether or not the NFL has passed Mike Shanahan by like it did with Joe Gibbs? Washington is undisciplined and it shows in their uneven performances. I’m not sure if their coaches even know what their strategy is week-to-week as they appear so afraid to let RGIII get touched. But Robert Griffin needs to run to be effective. Let’s not allow last year’s stretch run that thrust the Redskins into playoff competition cloud the fact that RGIII is not in the same stratosphere of passers as Andrew Luck—and neither is his judgment. San Diego deserved to win last week, but Washington pulled out the victory so I figured the momentum would continue for the Redskins this week over the Vikings. Not so much.

Win: Washington Redskins

Seahawks @ Falcons

Atlanta is awful. Those dirty birds are falling from the sky and their season has already circled the drain. I’m sure the Falcons will frustrate some teams down the stretch in an attempt to play the role of spoiler, but Atlanta’s defense has been atrocious and Matt Ryan is not the type of QB who can pull a team out of a tailspin. Although the Seahawks are inconsistent and fail to perform as a cohesive offense on the road, Seattle should have enough talent to take care of this ailing Atlanta team. If I’m going to take the Seahawks seriously as a Super Bowl contender, this game needs to be a blowout on the heels of an inexplicably close game against Tampa Bay last week.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Lions @ Bears

What a joy it is to see a Chicago offense move the ball consistently with a scrub at the QB position. For years now, the Bears have struggled to coax above-average play from their quarterbacks for the length of the season—especially when injuries inevitably strike. It’s certainly possible that Josh McCown’s performance has created significant leverage in the inevitable contract negotiation with Jay Cutler this offseason. If this upcoming draft is as deep as everyone has suggested, then the Bears should strike and start developing someone with a real chance to become an elite QB. Jay Cutler is not that player. I don’t think Matthew Stafford is that same caliber of player either, but he does have the benefit of knowing Calvin Johnson will jump up and catch anything he heaves up for grabs downfield. That may be hindering Stafford’s development and decision-making because the Lions rely too much on it, but that strategy is winning games right now. Detroit took the first game of this match-up earlier this season, but I believe the Bears can even up the series despite the Lions superior defense and downfield passing. Sometimes, the NFL doesn’t have to make any sense.

Win: Chicago Bears

Eagles @ Packers

Talking about the nonsense that permeates the NFL…how the fuck did Nick Foles throw 7 TDs last week? Seriously? With both Michael Vick and Aaron Rodgers injured, this week’s match-up has turned into Nick Foles vs. Seneca Wallace. Vince Young had to be truly atrocious for Green Bay to dump him for a smaller, less skilled version of what he offers. Wallace has always seemed like he should’ve been utilized more like Antwaan Randle El rather than a full-time quarterback. Of course that means Seneca will launch passes downfield and throw for 6 TDs this week while Nick Foles implodes again or gets injured—forcing us to watch Matt Barkley be uncomfortable and struggle mightily. Since I must pick a team in this match-up, I’ll go with the team who has a QB that’s more familiar with their system.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Jaguars @ Titans

At some point, the Jaguars have to get a couple breaks with a kick-off or punt return for a TD or perhaps even a few huge defensive plays to create turnovers. They can’t possibly go winless the whole season, can they? Jacksonville has to come out and surprise someone, but I don’t think that’s going to be this game. Tennessee is fighting for a playoff spot and a chance to become relevant again. In the NFL, the worst thing a franchise can be is irrelevant…just ask the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Win: Tennessee Titans

Rams @ Colts

St. Louis has no business being this spry and competitive—especially without Sam Bradford. While many seem to think Indianapolis will handily dispose of the Rams, I haven’t been convinced the Colts are an elite team and they’re certainly not consistent enough to count on a multiple touchdown difference in this match-up. The Rams will play the Colts close if they can run the ball effectively, which is something that Indy has not done since trading for Trent Richardson. This could be the game that Richardson gets everything on track, but I wouldn’t place money on that possibility. In the end, Andrew the Giant should be in a position to run time off the clock for a Colts win instead of being forced to lead another improbable comeback effort.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

Raiders @ Giants

The Oakland Raiders aren’t this good and the New York Giants aren’t this bad, right? Terrelle Pryor has surprised me this season because I thought he’d be a zero or worse as a quarterback, but he’s displayed elusiveness and persistence with play-making ability. That still may not be enough to be the long-term starter for an NFL team with hopes of contending for a Super Bowl, but it’s better than Matt Flynn and the other hot garbage that’s been tossed out and passed off as an NFL starter in Oakland the past few years. With Andre Brown returning to give the Giants some thump running the ball, Eli Manning should improve his consistency and hopefully New York can take advantage of more play-action downfield. Let’s face it, no one has been threatened by Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis. Oakland is still battling injuries while New York is starting to get healthy, and the Giants could still have hope of being a factor in their division if they win this game.

Win: New York Giants

Bills @ Steelers

Pittsburgh gets too much credit and respect for their historic success as an NFL franchise. Right now, the Steelers are terrible and their fans should put those Terrible Towels away unless they’re rooting for Pittsburgh to suck so bad that they trade away Rapistberger and start fresh with a new QB. While I hate the Steelers, the Bills have been a fun underdog to root for all season—just a shade below the lovable losing Cleveland Browns. Even if Buffalo doesn’t win this one, the Bills will likely keep it close for most of the match-up. Although the aim of this endeavor is to predict the weekly happenings in the NFL, I’d be regret not siding with the Bills in this game against the Steelers because I garner too much enjoyment from rooting against an alleged rapist.

Win: Buffalo Bills

Bengals @ Ravens

Baltimore isn’t any good. Cincinnati may not be all that good either after losing Geno Smith for the rest of the season in last week’s upset loss against the Miami Dolphins. I’m still regretting talking myself out of selecting the Browns over the Ravens, and I’ll likely be doing the same next week as well. For some reason, the former Super Bowl champion Ravens still have some caché and potential to turn things around. Baltimore shouldn’t be this bad. If the Ravens committed more to running the ball, then perhaps play-action could increase their receivers’ ability to create separation and make more big plays. It’s hard to say whether I trust Joe Flacco more than the Ginger Gunslinger for Cincy. Since this is a coin toss game, I’ll go with the defending champions to hang around just a little longer in the potential playoff picture.

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Panthers @ 49ers

Now that Cam Newton is actually playing a good team, it will be interesting to see how the Panthers perform in a big game. San Francisco has corrected their course and managed to stabilize the direction of their season, which is no surprise considering how good Jim Harbaugh is as a coach. The 49ers have wisely utilized an effective running game to punish opposing defenses and open things up more on offense. With Aldon Smith returning in this game, San Francisco should be able to pressure Cam Newton and force him to make mistakes. If Carolina is on the same level as New Orleans in their division, then Cam will need to be Superman to pull of this road win against a strong 49ers team.

Win: San Francisco 49ers

Texans @ Cardinals

Wade

Arian Foster needs season-ending back surgery. Backup RB Ben Tate is trying to play through broken ribs. Matt Schaub’s ineffectiveness has forced Houston to turn to second-year hometown favorite Case Keenum. Gary Kubiak just collapsed during the middle of last week’s game against the surging division rival Colts. And now the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man (Wade Phillips) is getting another chance to be the head coach of an NFL team. With all of that working against Houston, there is no chance in hell I can trust the Texans to win on the road against a surprising well-coached, tough Arizona Cardinals team. Arizona has returned as a top-notch powerful defense, which is necessary for them to win games since they have Carson Palmer launching pick-6 interceptions and Rashard Mendenhall plodding with a recovering Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals need to show they’re not the same old Cardinals by handling the Texans attack and countering heavily with Andre Ellington who can make big plays happen quick.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Broncos @ Chargers

It finally happened. Jack Del Rio is the head coach of a team with Peyton Manning. For years, I wondered what that would be like while watching the Colts play against the Jaguars. If you look at the players on those teams, the Jacksonville Del Rio Jaguars had no reason to be as good or relatively competitive as they ended up being. In my opinion, that was because Del Rio always seemed to be a little crazy, and he knew teams needed to take risks to upset a Peyton Manning-lead team. With Jon Fox recovering from heart-related surgery, Jack Del Rio takes over the Broncos and I can’t wait to see if that crazy look is still shining in Del Rio’s eyes. If he plays this perfectly, Del Rio could launch himself back into a head coaching gig next year—or even possibly taking over all the controls at USC. Denver needs to get healthier and more consistent on defense to make it to the Super Bowl so I hope Del Rio brings that intensity to the entire team. It’ll be real interesting to see how the Broncos respond and play this week. I expect this match-up to be a shootout, and Denver will need to play good defense because San Diego always manages to create a few turnovers against Manning.

Win: Denver Broncos

Cowboys @ Saints

Dallas won last week, which means they will likely lose this week in another classic road loss meltdown. Meanwhile, New Orleans is looking to punish Dallas after losing to the New York Jets last week, which is just indefensible. With a significant home-field advantage, the Saints should be primed to get back on the horse this week and kick the shit out of the Cowboys. The only reason I give Dallas a chance is Tony Romo, but things just don’t seem to work out in his favor in the final moments of a game—especially when it is on the road against a very good team. Rob Ryan will also be looking to take revenge on the team who unjustifiably released him last season. How is Monte Kiffin’s corpse treating you, Dallas? This Weekend at Bernie’s sequel hasn’t turned out so good.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Dolphins @ Buccaneers

This should be a “Loser Leaves Town” match-up. Can we please rid ourselves of at least one dumpster fire of a franchise in Florida? Tampa Bay is an uninteresting mess while Miami is an interesting mish-mash of shit on offense and defense. Joe Philbin must lack a pair of testicles considering Richie Incognito was allowed to be a team leader for the Dolphins. How was Incognito allowed to throw around the N-word and considered as an “honorary black guy” by teammates in the Miami locker room despite being an annual member of the All-Asshole team in the NFL? What do I get for loving pink lemonade, grape drink, watermelon, and fried chicken while also having very ashy elbows?

Win: Miami Dolphins

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