Posts Tagged ‘Week 11’

Overall: 91-55
Last Week: 3-11

Welp, Week 10 went about as well for me as it did Peyton Manning—easily my worst week ever. Maybe it’s not a good idea to pick winners on a whim and type frantically for 15 minutes before I head out the door for an event. I didn’t get to watch a single second of football last week, but that looks like it was for the best. This week, I get a glimpse of football life after Peyton Manning. I couldn’t be less interested in these matchups. And I don’t even get the joy of seeing Eli awkwardly move around trying to make plays for the Giants. Someone needs to ascend to the top and knock off the Patriots. The Giants are following the formula of sleepwalking through the regular season to set up a miraculous playoff run that culminates in a Super Bowl against New England. This must happen. Help us, Eli. You’re our only hope.

Titans @ Jaguars

Congratulations, NFL. You’ve found the Thursday matchup that absolutely no one (including the home fans of Tennessee and Jacksonville) will watch. You didn’t even have to turn people off with your ridiculous “color rush” scheme that fucks with those who are color blind. Sadly, the Jaguars still have a reasonable shot at the division if they beat Tennessee and take advantage of their easy end-of-season schedule. I don’t want to live in a world where Jacksonville and Blake Bortles make the playoffs.

Win: Jacksonville Jaguars

Colts @ Falcons

So much for the Falcons turning the page and becoming a new team after Mike Smith. It turns out hiring Seattle’s latest defense lackey doesn’t automatically turn your defense into a poor man’s version of the Legion of Boom. By the way, Legion of Boom is such an awful nickname that cannot be used when a son of the Legion of Doom plays top-notch defense in the same division. Officially, there is no Legion of Boom and everyone must now start calling the Rams’ linebacker corps as the Legion of Doom—start painting James Laurinaitis’ face in the Animal makeup right fucking now. Back to this boring matchup of old man Hasselback against milquetoast Matt Ryan. There’s no reason Atlanta should lose this game, but I also can’t think of a compelling reason they’ll win aside from Julio Jones. Despite his all-world talent, the easiest playmaker for a defense to take away is a team’s No. 1 receiver. But can the colts stop Atlanta’s running attack? Nothing made sense last week so why not pick one more thing that doesn’t make sense.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

Broncos @ Bears

Let the Brock Osweiler era begin! I would rather see a crippled Peyton Manning play against the Bears. Have we considered the possibility that Gary Kubiak wanted Peyton Manning to get hurt beyond repair? Kubiak doesn’t have the mental acumen, but he damn sure looks like an evil genius who would seem more at home in a Bond movie petting his cat. Denver should have just let Peyton Manning be a player-coach in his final season before eventually hiring Kubiak. John Elway can’t be pleased with Kubiak’s shitty job, but his reasoning appeared to be more in line with “anyone is better than John Fox” rather than “look at how mediocre my former backup is at being a coach”. If anyone watches this game, it is because they’re interested in seeing how that gangly fuck Brock Ock performs. Even though Jay Cutler has been respectable this season, no one can muster a fuck to give. Sucking but not bad enough to get an elite QB is a familiar position for the Bears. That’s how they ended up with Cutler in the first place.

Win: Chicago Bears

Raiders @ Lions

Jim Caldwell’s strategy has worked! Everyone else has been fired except the Black Mannequin. His brilliant idea to stand still without blinking has confused and actually convinced the Lions’ owner into thinking he’s not even there. Martha Ford has the same vision as the fake T-Rex from Jurassic Park. Eventually, someone in the front office will point out to poor Martha that the lifeless black man on the sidelines isn’t a realistic statue of an old Detroit coach. Let’s allow Jim Caldwell to enjoy his one moment of genius before he gets shit-canned this offseason and then Martha Ford hands over the reigns to ol’ Jim Bob Cooter. It’s not very often that the Oakland Raiders get to face a franchise that’s more dysfunctional than them. For fuck sakes, look at Mark Davis’ Lloyd Christmas haircut. Al Davis is in hell rolling laughing at his son’s hair.

Win: Oakland Raiders

Cowboys @ Dolphins

Tony Romo is back just in time to bring the Cowboys back from the brink of obscurity and return Dallas to their comfortable, rightful position of mediocrity. Last year was an aberration. Even with a healthy Romo next season, Dallas is not a juggernaut—last year’s sudden turn was the result of everything breaking their way. I’m not sure if the Cowboys can stop Dan Campbell and the Dolphins from punching them in the mouth repeatedly today. I don’t think anyone would be shocked to see a Dallas loss on the road in Miami. But there has to be some reason the Cowboys have decided to bring Romo back and risk further injury. This will be a sloppy unwatchable game, but Dallas has to beat someone at some point.

Win: Dallas Cowboys

Buccaneers @ Eagles

Charlie Kelly

How did I just now realize the Philadelphia Eagles are run by a person who is legally called Charlie Kelly? I demand to see Charlie Day get in character as Charlie Kelly dressed up as Chip Kelly wildly gesticulating on the sidelines. It can’t be any worse than real Chip Kelly calling the plays. Congratulations, Philly. You are now collectively one step closer to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia becoming your reality rather than simply mocking your existence as underground, gutter trash. Jameis should feel right at home.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Redskins @ Panthers

Redskins fans have convinced themselves that Kirk Cousins is their long-term answer. No wonder sleazy Dan Snyder is able to brainwash these gullible idiots out of more money every year. Good luck with the whitest QB known to mankind. In fact, that’s probably the selling point for the section of fans who are really into the team’s racist nickname. I can’t wait for more letters from angry moms that aren’t afraid to air their bigotry out in public. Continue directing your daughter’s attention to the sex objects masquerading as underpaid cheerleaders, you fucking idiots. There are so many more offensive aspects to the NFL fan experience like drunk fans and sponsorships than anything Cam Newton does on the football field.

Win: Carolina Panthers

Rams @ Ravens

Do you know how horrid Nick Foles has to play in order to be benched for Case Keenum? Really fucking bad. Kerry Collins right now with one foot in the grave would have been an upgrade on Nick Foles. I don’t have any faith in Case Keenum, but Todd Gurley has already proven to be a such a special talent that he could carry the Rams on his back. Baltimore seems due for some good luck finally after being fucked out of multiple wins by NFL officiating. But I can’t back Joe Flacco when the Ravens have absolutely no one to catch or run the ball. Halloween has passed and Justin Forsett is turning back into a pumpkin, which leaves the Ravens royally screwed. Baltimore’s defense is not the same without a known murderer roaming the middle of the field, and Case Keenum might honestly be able to take advantage.

Win: St. Louis Rams

Jets @ Texans

We already passed the point where Blaine Gabbert is starting an NFL game. Why not T.J. Yates? I remember Yates from his first go-around with Houston when the Texans lost Matt Schaub to injury—forcing a younger Yates into action in the playoffs. Suffice to say, there’s a reason Yates was no longer welcome in Houston before the Texans reached maximum desperation with pouting baby Ryan Mallett. Imagine if the Texans just stuck with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Sure, Fitzy isn’t flashy and his ceiling is supremely low, but you know the level of mediocrity you’re getting with Ryan Fitzpatrick. That level of mediocrity was damn sure good enough to ensure the Texans this AFC South title. While the Jets have started playing more like the Jets recently, New York’s defense should threaten bodily harm to T.J. Yates several times and the offense is capable of scoring enough field goals to win—as long as Brandon Marshall doesn’t drop 7 passes.

Win: New York Jets

Chiefs @ Chargers

Kansas City may really have something here with Charcandrick West. Charcandrick is playing like Charmander—burning opposing defenses game after game. It’s hard to trust an Andy Reid team lead by Alex Smith, but the Chiefs have a remarkably easy schedule down the stretch. San Diego doesn’t have any healthy receivers. At this point, I think they’ve been given default receivers with fake names like Inman and Outman just so they can field a full team. With talent, Philip Rivers is good enough to challenge for the playoffs. Without a supporting cast, this is the Philip Rivers you get. At least Chargers fans get to enjoy San Diego…until the franchise moves to Los Angeles in a year or two.

Win: Kansas City Chiefs

Packers @ Vikings

Olivia Munn isn’t the problem. No Jordy Nelson and the franchise’s philosophy of “anyone can catch passes from Aaron Rodgers” is the problem. Green Bay hasn’t been the same offensively since the catastrophic injury to JerMichael Finley. Has the team even attempted to replace the playmaking TE? Not a chance. Instead, I think they picked up a random black guy who claimed to be a distant cousin to Aaron Rodgers—Roger Rodgers or something like that. When Jordy Nelson was lost for the year during the preseason, Green Bay’s genius idea was to pick up James Jones from the scrap heap and hope the magic of Green and Gold brought him back to life. And that actually worked for a few weeks. But no one can gain separation and everyone has focused on Randall Cobb because he’s the only genuine threat remaining. What the fuck is Aaron Rodgers supposed to do except run around and hope the defense falls apart? Especially when Fat Elvis has decided to glue Eddie Lacy’s ass to the bench in favor for another mediocre player the Packers drafted. Maybe spending some money on free agent talent is an idea to consider. Green Bay is in jeopardy of being passed by the Minnesota Vikings. It feels weird to say that out loud. Somehow, some way, Aaron Rodgers is winning this game and breaking the freezing cold hearts of Vikings fans.

Win: Green Bay Packers

49ers @ Seahawks

San Francisco finally found an injury excuse to kick Colin Kaepernick out of the locker room. This is Blaine Gabbert’s team! YYYEEEAAAHHHHH!!!!! Jim Tomsula couldn’t be more pumped to have an underdog like him leading these men. Sadly, Gabbert’s “momentum” will come to a screeching halt in Seattle against the Seahawks—who might finally be pissed off after being embarrassed by Arizona. Russell Wilson is too busy not fucking Ciara to care about going back to the Super Bowl. Seattle still doesn’t have any idea what to do with Jimmy Graham or how to put together a coherent offensive game plan. But the Seahawks could probably sleepwalk once again and beat these Gabbert-led 49ers.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Bengals @ Cardinals

Andy Dalton finally turned into Andy Dalton. We expected that. Everyone knew that was coming at some point, we just had to wait for the other shoe to drop. But did anyone expect that to happen against the Houston Texans? The Red Rocket’s face turned dog-dick red in embarrassment after the game, which was only made worse by his lame beef with J.J. Watt. We will now witness the descent of Andy Dalton. Cincinnati wishes they could have Carson Palmer back. I’m legitimately shocked that Carson Palmer has resurrected his career and surpassed of he performed at his previous highest level. I think you can give that credit to Bruce Arians. Arizona lucked into a great coach that works extremely well with Steve Keim and the Cardinals’ front office. With a straight face, you can now say that the Arizona Cardinals are one of the most talented teams in the NFL—both offensively and defensively.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Bills @ Patriots

Fuck Rex Ryan, his massive horse mouth, and his giant white teeth. Fuck Tom Brady. Fuck Bill Belichick. Fuck that big dumb goofy polar bear Rob Gronkowski—catching footballs with his stupid face.

Win: New England Patriots

Overall: 89-57
Last Week: 9-4

Bills @ Dolphins

Both teams are mirror images of each other. But the biggest difference between these division foes is the quality of their QB play. While Kyle Orton is adequate between the 20s, Buffalo doesn’t score TDs without an explosive. With Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller out and Sammy Watkins playing hurt, the Bills will find it difficult to move the ball against Miami’s stout defense. On the other side, Ryan Tannehill is progressing as a passer, but his inability to land deep throws could still jeopardize his job since Mike Wallace will never shut up about his touches. You get yours, 60 Minutes. Miami is just good enough to be dangerous, but the Dolphins seem ticketed for Arizona’s fate in 2013—the best team to narrowly miss out on the playoffs.

Win: Miami Dolphins

Bears @ Vikings

Welp, that didn’t work out very well. Formerly the Monsters of the Midway, those monsters are now hiding under the bed after the Bears were abused and embarrassed in their last two games against the Patriots and Packers. Chicago still hasn’t figured out how to adapt their defense after shifting from the ill-fated Tampa 2 scheme, which significantly deteriorated their talent level. While Chicago will still have games where they cannot stop the opposing offense, expect them to look a little better this week against Minnesota’s rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater. The Bears need to stuff the box to stop the run on early downs and force the Vikings to punt on 4th down in a run-of-the-mill field position battle. Since Cutler is struggling to put a relatively competent drive together, Chicago needs to ride Matt Forte and put the burden on him in order for the Bears to correct course and notch a victory against the Vikings.

Win: Chicago Bears

Texans @ Browns

The Ryan Mallett era is underway! Oddly enough, Cleveland was one of the oft-mentioned franchises targeting Mallett, but no deal materialized even though New England ended up selling him for new hair plugs for Tom Brady. With Arian Foster out and Alfred Blue taking on the bulk of running responsibilities, Mallett does not have ideal conditions for his debut on the road versus an always competitive Browns defense. Brian Hoyer is not going to single-handedly win games, but Hoyer just needs to be a little better than Mallett for Cleveland to continue as their division leader. And next week is the Return of Bluntman, Josh Gordon! The picture is looking brighter and brighter for the Browns.

Win: Cleveland Browns

Seahawks @ Chiefs

Seattle deserves to taste how it is to play in a raucous, rowdy road environment with obnoxious levels of noise. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the best home-field advantages, but Kansas City doesn’t inspire confidence with their struggles on offense. With 10 weeks of football in our rearview mirror, the Chiefs still don’t have a WR with a TD catch. Can you fucking believe that? If Jamaal Charles isn’t moving the chains, then Kansas City’s offense is so inept on a drive-to-drive basis. Seattle has sucked as well, but the Seahawks defense has been surprisingly porous. For some reason, I expect Kansas City to finally record a receiver TD against Richard Sherman, but Russell Wilson put Seattle in a position to kick a game-winning FG in the final moments of a sneaky competitive matchup.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Broncos @ Rams

For the first quarter of last week’s game against the Raiders, Denver was pressing and attempting to be perfect on every play. Peyton Manning and the Broncos inevitably settled down and settled in for an impressive offensive output over Oakland. The Rams will provide much tougher competition on both sides of the ball in St. Louis—especially with Jeff Fisher turning back to Shaun Hill as the starting QB. If Sam Bradford stayed healthy (admittedly, a huge if), then the Rams might actually be in the NFC playoff picture. With the problems Denver is experiencing on their offensive line, Peyton Manning needs to be sure to keep a RB or TE in protection to keep him upright. Expect a close competition through the first half and likely late into the game. However, Manning has a knack for figuring out defenses after halftime adjustments. Tennessee always played Indianapolis close when Fisher and Manning where with those respective teams, but the talent discrepancy between these teams gives the edge to Denver.

Win: Denver Broncos

Bengals @ Saints

Holy fuck, Andy Dalton is atrocious. My hatred for Red Rocket was justified after Dalton put together quite possibly the worst game for a starting QB. It’s clear that conditions have to be completely perfect in order for Dalton to have a competent performance. Even though, it’s a coin toss as to whether he’ll still sail passes in frustrating fashion. On the other side, Drew Brees just needs to protect the ball and enable Mark Ingram to run it down the throat of the Bengals defense. Cincinnati’s sense of pride is mortally wounded after last week’s embarrassing output in primetime, but the Bengals lack the cohesion and healthy talent to be competitive with New Orleans.

Win: New Orleans Saints

49ers @ Giants

Two of the most inconsistent QBs (Colin Kaepernick and Eli Manning) face off against each other in this uninspiring matchup. Both Kaep and Eli are capable of great performances, but it’s not an outcome that can be expected every week. With mediocre supporting casts on offense, this game will hinge on defensive performances. San Francisco will finally have Aldon Smith back, which gives the 49ers a slight advantage.

Win: San Francisco 49ers

Buccaneers @ Redskins

This Pirates vs. Indians matchup could be a high-scoring shootout between two shitty teams or a truly unwatchable mess with no fantasy upside. No one except for close family and the most dedicated fans will give a fuck about this game. If Robert Griffin III cannot beat Josh McCown and the Buccaneers, then the Washington Redskins have more problems than their shitty owner and racist team nickname.

Win: Washington Redskins

Falcons @ Panthers

While there are some interesting matchups in this Week 11 slate, Atlanta on the road against Carolina is not among the highlights this week. The Panthers are reeling and Cam Newton is not able to elevate this mediocre supporting cast. I wouldn’t blame Cam. Although Newton hasn’t progressed to meet expectations, the burden of blame is squarely on the organization and Riverboat Ron Rivera. Despite pouring exorbitant amounts of money into running backs, Carolina utilizes Newton as their most prolific runner, which puts him in unnecessary danger. If a mobile QB finds the delicate balance between passing downfield and extending plays with their legs, then that player will become the most dangerous offensive weapon in the NFL. For a short stretch, Russell Wilson masquerading in that role, but he was propped up as if he belonged because of Marshawn Lynch’s impeccable offensive brute force. My money would be Atlanta to score 24+ points, which appears to be a daunting task for Carolina to match—even though Atlanta’s defense is atrocious with as many holes as Swiss cheese. Anything can happen in this division matchup.

Win: Atlanta Falcons

Raiders @ Chargers

Oakland is counting down the days until the season mercifully ends. After initially fighting hard against Denver, the Raiders imploded as per usual. Coming off a bye week, San Diego is rested and fully prepared to pick apart Oakland—finally moving past their last game in which they lost 37-0 to the Dolphins. Will the Raiders go winless in 2014? It’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Win: San Diego Chargers

Eagles @ Packers

As anticipated, Mark Sanchez eventually earned his opportunity to start. If not for Nick Foles’ injury, it would have been his ineffectiveness that created an opening for Mr. Butt Fumble. Sanchez performed like The Sanchize last week, but the Green Bay Packers will provide a more formidable opposition this week. With Aaron Rodgers operating on all cylinders and Eddie Lacy finding running lanes, the Packers could be the most dangerous team in the NFC. It’s all a matter of their defense producing to the level of their offense, which will once again be the determining factor this week. Philadelphia can score the same amount of points with less talent, which puts the onus on Green Bay to create turnovers in order to ensure enough drives to generate point separation.

Win: Green Bay Packers

Lions @ Cardinals

Arizona has been performing well above expectations all year despite a myriad of injuries. However, the most recent injury might be the most damning as the Cardinals will be without Carson Palmer for the rest of the year. For the second time, Palmer suffers a devastating knee injury after signing a contract. Perhaps those discussions should have waited to see if Carson Palmer could have continued his career resurgence in the desert. At some point, these injuries will take their toll. Drew Stanton is competent and capable of guiding a team to victory, which he’s proven this year in emergency duty. But the pressure will be on Stanton to match Matthew Stafford blow for blow. With Calvin Johnson healthy, the Cardinals will need to hit on their blitzes to keep the Lions limited offensively. Although Austin Davis wasn’t the type of QB to take advantage downfield, Matthew Stafford will lean heavily on Megatron and Golden Tate to beat coverage from Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie. Unless Arizona’s defense puts forth another improbable, flawless performance, then the road for the NFC playoffs will travel through Detroit.

Win: Detroit Lions

Patriots @ Colts

Goofy Luck

Tom Brady can wax poetic on the difference in athleticism between himself and Andrew Luck all he wants. While Tom Terrific would surely take Luck’s mobility and ability to run over defenders, Brady’s supporting cast is substantially better than anything the Colts could hope to put together on the field. With a smorgasbord of explosive, elusive players, Tom Brady also has the best TE (possibly in NFL history) to throw the ball up to because no one is covering Gronkowski. In fact, no one even tries to chip or re-route Gronk, which gives him free reign to do whatever the fuck he wants to opposing defenses. Indianapolis will need Luck to surgically remove a giant horseshoe from his ass in order for the Colts to win.

Win: New England Patriots

Steelers @ Titans

What a fucking pathetic Monday Night Football matchup. Pittsburgh is highly overrated after Rapistberger’s 3-week stretch of invincibility and flawless victories from Week 7 to Week 9. The Steelers will exact their revenge after last week’s embarrassing loss to the Jets. Let’s just say this picture shouldn’t turn out very pretty for the Titans. Could Tennessee truly be considering firing Ken Whisenhunt in his first season? I’m sure we’ll see former Titans head coach Mike Munchak (a more doughy, slightly retarded version of Jim Schwartz) on the sideline of the Steelers 7 times during this blowout.

Win: Pittsburgh Steelers

Last Week: 7-7
Overall: 94-53

Colts @Titans

Jake Locker’s Lisfranc injury leaves the Titans’ playoff chances in Davy Jones’ locker. Even with the Colts playing uneven, inconsistent football, Andrew the Giant should be able to move the offense enough to outscore a team with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their quarterback. Unless Indy implodes to allow Tennessee to score while on defense, then the Colts will punch their ticket for the division lead and another playoff appearance.

Win: Indianapolis Colts

Jets @ Bills

I’ve been consistently incorrect about games involving either of these two teams. Neither is incredibly talented or deserving of making the playoffs. The Bills are the walking dead, but the Jets still have some signs of life. As long as Geno Smith takes care of the football, New York’s defensive line can win games against mediocre teams all by themselves. Without a lockdown secondary, the Jets aren’t in the elite level of defenses, but they won’t need to be against a banged up Buffalo team just trying to remain competitive. If New York wants to continue to entertain playoff hopes, this is a must-win for the Jets.

Win: New York Jets

Ravens @ Bears

Chicago may play more consistently without Jay Cutler, but I don’t know if they’re better without his play-making ability. Baltimore is still under the delusion that they can make the playoffs, which makes this a dangerous game to predict. After last week’s miserable last minute loss, the Bears need to defend home field against the Ravens who do not know what they want to hang their hat on as an offensive identity. Baltimore should be pounding the run and using play-action for large chunk plays downfield. While I want to see the Bears thrive without Smokin’ Jay, my head envisions Baltimore getting back to business.

Win: Baltimore Ravens

Browns @ Bengals

I don’t know why, but I really like this Browns team. Try as they might, Cleveland doesn’t seem capable of making a playoff push with their 3rd quarterback. But the Browns are within striking distance. I’d like Cleveland’s chances much more if they were going against a fledgling franchise just wanting the season to be over. Unfortunately, Cincinnati is starting to get desperate and the Bengals need to win this one to stay close to the playoffs. I feel my distrust in the Ginger Gunslinger has been vindicated by his up-and-down, uneven play as the Bengals signal-caller. As long as Dalton doesn’t sail passes into the hands of the Browns secondary, then Cincinnati should be able to control the ball and outlast their Ohio counterpart.

Win: Cincinnati Bengals

Redskins @ Eagles

RGIII still isn’t himself. Nick Foles is playing well beyond himself. Something has to give as these quarterbacks go against one another this week. Philadelphia is finally starting to gel as a cohesive unit on offense and the Eagles defense isn’t losing games for them. On the other side of the field, Washington’s defense is miserable and the Redskins do not seem to be on the same page on a week-to-week basis. Washington could definitely win this game with the help of a few breaks. But with the Eagles jockeying for the division lead, the adjoining Cowboys downward spiral makes me hope that Philly can surpass Dallas as the division favorite. While part of me wants to see RGIII return to relevance, I don’t think that will happen until 2014 with Washington shouldering another loss.

Win: Philadelphia Eagles

Lions @ Steelers

Pittsburgh is in a pathetic position with no salary cap flexibility, which should ensure a relatively long run of irrelevance. But the Steelers have a prime opportunity to re-position themselves if they make the right moves. The first thing on that list should be trading Ben Rapistberger who is still young enough to garner a decent return. Drafting near the top also increased the probability that Pittsburgh can find a young, cheap replacement to lead the Steelers back to relevance. If only Pittsburgh’s front office can put their own pride aside. Detroit should be more than willing to help Pittsburgh put that plan in motion this week by posting another win. Since the Steelers defense is in shambles, look for yet another monster performance by Calvin Johnson.

Win: Detroit Lions

Falcons @ Buccaneers

Neither of these teams are going anywhere this season. At this stage, the stinkers on the NFL schedule really start to stink. I don’t know anyone outside of Atlanta and Tampa Bay that will be paying attention to this clunker. Are there even any fantasy implications in this game? Matt Ryan shouldn’t be starting for anyone while Roddy White and Stephen Jackson can’t stay healthy. Is Vincent Jackson the only starter in this game? Since Greg Schiano should have been fired several weeks ago, I’ll go with Atlanta with the win trying regain some respect in the league.

Win: Atlanta Falcons

Cardinals @ Jaguars

Jacksonville made their shocking stand for 2013 last week against the Tennessee Titans. The conditions for the perfect storm finally happened. But that should be all the winning the Jaguars plan to do for the rest of the year—especially if they want the opportunity to draft No. 1 overall and select a real QB. Meanwhile, Arizona aspires to be a playoff team and no playoff team should lose to the mighty untalented Jaguars. Carson Palmer will need to avoid tripping over his own feet for that to happen.

Win: Arizona Cardinals

Raiders @ Texans

Matt McGloin versus Case Keenum! No, this isn’t some miserable mid-week college football match-up on ESPN2. With Terrelle Pryor injured and out of commission for this week, the undrafted Matt McGloin is making his first NFL start, which doesn’t bode well for the Raiders. Houston may not be going anywhere in 2013, but the Texans should still manage to be interesting with Case Keenum and Ben Tate serving as their new QB/RB combination for the rest of the season. Much more interesting than the Oakland duo of Matt McGloin and Rashad Jennings.

Win: Houston Texans

Chargers @ Dolphins

Either the Dolphins were truly impacted by the Richie Incognito scandal or Miami just isn’t very good. Or both. After losing to in-state rival Tampa Bay, Miami’s aspirations of a playoff appearance may have just been flushed down the toilet. If that didn’t happen already, it will this week with San Diego stopping by to strike another blow to Miami. But that’s more because of the current state of affairs for the Dolphins rather than how good the Chargers are this season. San Diego is dangerous against anyone, but I haven’t been thoroughly impressed with anyone aside from Danny Woodhead—who has emerged as a real multi-dimensional threat out of the backfield.

Win: San Diego Chargers

49ers @ Saints

San Francisco is not the same team offensively as they seemed to be during last year’s stretch run. Without a consistent downfield threat, Kaepernick has struggled mightily, but the close return of Michael Crabtree should hopefully help the 49ers re-emerge as a Super Bowl contender. New Orleans should be able to keep San Francisco suppressed for this week though. The Saints may not yet be the elite level team I think they’re capable of being, but Mark Ingram was dominant running the ball last week and that could propel New Orleans past Denver in terms of the best offense in the NFL. San Francisco may need to start looking behind them because the Cardinals are coming.

Win: New Orleans Saints

Packers @ Giants

Eli

Green Bay is struggling and desperate like a caged wild animal. The Packers are dangerous, but most of their teeth have been removed as a result of injuries. Even Seneca Wallace went down last week, which left Scott Tolzien as the starting quarterback. Do you need evidence that Green Bay is grasping for straws? The Packers just signed Matt Flyn, which is truly an act that reeks of desperation. Despite Eddie Lacy’s strong running style, it’s tough to envision the Pack pulling out a win since they are hurt everywhere. Of course, a few more Eli Manning interceptions could be an effective tonic for what ails Green Bay. But I think the presence of Andre Brown has helped the consistency of New York’s offense—giving opposing teams another threat to allocate additional attention to address. Watch out for Eli Manning Face! Wait for the return of the Giants rhetoric in 3…2…1…

Win: New York Giants

Vikings @ Seahawks

A shitty Vikings squad on the road in the hostile environment of Seattle? I don’t give Minnesota much of a chance versus the Seahawks. It would take a significant injury to Russell Wilson for Seattle to cough up this easy win.

Win: Seattle Seahawks

Chiefs @ Broncos

Peyton Manning’s “lower body” injuries could really hinder the Broncos in this pivotal, potentially season-deciding match-up. With two sprains in the same ankle, Denver will likely build the offensive game plan around quick, short passes so Kansas City can’t get close to taking a shot on Manning. That means a lot of screen passes (both WR and RB) and reliance on the run. I have serious questions about whether Denver can win without an incredible defensive performance due to the health and restrictions likely on Manning. But I expect the Broncos to pull it out nonetheless. I don’t want to live in a world where Alex Smith’s noodle arm can win over the precise dissection that’s present in most Peyton Manning performances.

Win: Denver Broncos

Patriots @ Panthers

All the hype of Cam Newton can continue to mount. The Panthers may actually be a viable playoff team, but I don’t trust the creativity of their coach staff to help propel what has been a pretty bland, unimpressive game plan every week. Considering Belicheat has been able to build a plan of attack over a longer period of time, I expect the Patriots to come up with a scheme to confuse Cam Newton and force bad decision by the entire Carolina team. It may not play out like that, but I would expect controlling Cam Newton’s running ability to be the utmost priority. With a stout defensive effort, New England would just need their offensive line to fend off Carolina’s feverish pass rush (the strength of their defense) to give Brady enough time to hit the intermediate passes and move the chains for the win.

Win: New England Patriots