The Cowboys have won three straight and are inching closer to a division title. Can they stop Drew Brees and the Saints? Probably not, but can New Orleans win an 11th straight game? The Saints held Atlanta to 26 rushing yards last week. Saints have won four of the last five in the series. Here comes another… New Orleans 37, Dallas 24.
Baltimore and Atlanta have only played each other five times. The home team has won the four. The Ravens have won two straight with Lamar Jackson at quarterback. The Falcons have dropped three in a row to fall out of playoff contention. Home field advantage and an iffy quarterback situation give the Falcons an edge… Atlanta 27, Baltimore 20.
The Broncos are hot with two straight wins over two very good teams (Chargers & Steelers). The Bengals were 4-1 at one point this season, but three straight losses have left them at 5-6. Cincinnati gave up four touchdown passes to rookie Baker Mayfield in a 35-20 loss to Cleveland last week. Denver did not turn the ball over in a 24-17 win over Pittsburgh, but they are only 2-3 on the road this year. Denver has beaten Cincinnati in six of the last eight meetings, including the last one in Cincy… Denver 29, Cincinnati 20.
This is exactly the type of game that the Lions win. Just 4-7 on the season, Detroit has wins over New England and Carolina. The 10-1 Rams only loss was to 10-1 New Orleans. The Rams offense averages over 35 points a game and the defense has the NFL’s sack leader in Aaron Donald who has 14.5. Detroit is 1-4 in its last five games… LA Rams 35, Detroit 25.
Good thing the Packers are at home. Green Bay has yet to win a road game this year but is 4-0-1 at home. Arizona has won just twice this season – both wins are over 2-9 San Francisco – and is likely to end up with the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2019. The Cardinals own the league’s worst offense. They average just 14.1 points per game. And, did we mention Green Bay is at home? Green Bay 24, Arizona 14.
Buffalo won its second in a row last week and now faces another AFC East foe in Miami. The Dolphins have won once in their last five games. QB Ryan Tannehill looked good in his return, but the Miami defense gave up 13 fourth-quarter points in a loss to Indianapolis last week. The Bills have won the last two against Miami including a 22-16 win in Miami last year… Buffalo 23, Miami 20.
The Giants thought they were going to win a third straight last week. It didn’t happen. They face a much better team in Chicago (8-3) this week. The Bears have lost three of the last four to the Giants but that dates back to 2007. This isn’t the same Bears team. Another win pushes them closer to an NFC North title… Chicago 34, NY Giants 27.
A couple weeks ago, Carolina was 6-2. Now, they are 6-5 and in desperate need of a win. No problem as next up is Tampa Bay, a team the Panthers have beaten in the last three straight meetings. In fact, the Panthers last victory was over the Bucs, 42-28 on Nov. 4. Carolina has won nine of the last 11 with Tampa Bay. The Bucs have one of the worst defenses in the NFL giving up 30.7 points per game (31st). That will be the difference on Sunday… Carolina 35, Tampa Bay 28.
Funny how things change. Four weeks into this season, Jacksonville was 3-1 and Indianapolis was 1-3. Fast forward and the Colts are 6-5 and looking for a wild card berth. The Jags have lost seven straight and are looking at which draft pick they will get. The Colts have a win over the Jags already this season. This is the week Jacksonville finally wins a game… Jacksonville 30, Indianapolis 27.
Houston had won seven straight prior to last Monday’s game with Tennessee. Cleveland has won two straight for the first time in a long time. Houston has won the last four against the Browns and leads the series 6-3. Cleveland hasn’t beaten the Texans since 2007 and the Browns are just 1-4 on the road this season…Houston 28, Cleveland 17.
The Jets are reeling after five straight losses have dropped them to 3-8. At 5-5, the Titans still have an outside shot at a wild card. The Titans are very good defensively allowing just 18.9 points per game. The Jets haven’t scored more than 17 points in a game since mid-October. Tennessee is 3-1 at home and the Jets are 1-4 on the road. Sounds like the Titans have an advantage. Tennessee 31, NY Jets 24.
It’s one of the oldest AFC rivalries dating back to the old AFL. This year, there won’t be as much hoopla as the Chiefs are 9-2 and one of the best teams in the NFL while the Raiders are struggling at 2-9. Kansas City has won six of the last seven against Oakland. The Raiders are awful on offense averaging just 17 points per game. The Chiefs, on the other hand, average 36.7, second-best in the NFL… Kansas City 38, Oakland 17.
The Vikings picked up a big win over Green Bay last Monday to keep their hold on the NFC’s first wild card. Now, they head to New England to face a Patriots team they haven’t beaten since 2000. The Patriots have won four straight against Minnesota, but the last Vikings win was in Foxborough, a 21-13 victory. New England is unbeaten at home this season… New England 33, Minnesota 21.
It’s the first of two Seahawks-49ers matchups this season. San Francisco has just two wins. Seattle is in the middle of earning a trip to the postseason. The Seahawks have won two straight over Green Bay and Carolina to move to 6-5. Seattle has the NFL’s best running game (147.1). The 49ers will start Nick Mullens again at quarterback on an offense that averages just 21.5 points a game… Seattle 28, San Francisco 17.
The Steelers lost last week for the first time in seven games. The Chargers also had a six-game win streak stopped two weeks ago. Ironically, both teams lost their winning streaks to the Denver Broncos. The Steelers are 7-3-1 and in control of the AFC North while the Chargers are 8-3 and in the wild card hunt. Pittsburgh has won four of the last five against the Chargers. Playing at Heinz Field in December is tough… Pittsburgh 34, LA Chargers 33.
Monday night’s Redskins-Eagles matchup takes on a level of importance after a Washington loss and Philadelphia win in Week 12. The Redskins (6-5) must navigate the rest of the season with Colt McCoy at quarterback. Philadelphia needs to finish strong in order to be able to defend its Super Bowl title from a year ago. The Eagles won both games with Washington last year and will likely have to again in 2018. They get the first one at home… Philadelphia 21, Washington 20.
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2018 NFL Football Season
Green Bay @ Detroit
The Lions are hot. Three wins in a row, including a Thanksgiving Day stomping of Philadelphia have Detroit talking about a possible playoff run. The remaining schedule features just one major hurdle – the Packers this Thursday night. Detroit beat Green Bay at Lambeau Field earlier in the season. Don’t believe that the Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will let that happen again… Green Bay 29, Detroit 23.
NY Jets @ NY Giants
The Giants will officially be the home team at MetLife Stadium, the home field for both the Giants and the Jets. Both teams are clinging to visions of the playoffs. The Giants (5-6) didn’t help themselves last week with a loss to Washington who is now in control of the NFC East. The Jets are 6-5 and in contention for a wild card berth. A win over the Giants would give them momentum heading into late season showdowns with AFC East foes New England and Buffalo. It’s a tossup… Giants 32, Jets 31.
Arizona @ St. Louis
The Rams are one of two teams to beat the Cardinals, but an ugly 31-7 loss to the Bengals last week has St. Louis reeling. Head coach Jeff Fisher’s team was 4-3 five weeks ago and has now lost four in a row. The offense hasn’t scored more than 13 points in its last three games. Don’t expect anything different… Arizona 33, St. Louis 13.
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay
A month ago, the Falcons appeared to a legitimate playoff contender. Four straight losses later and they look like what they are – a team struggling to find itself. Wide receiver Julio Jones was held to just 56 yards receiving last week by a very good Minnesota defense. Look for Jones and Atlanta to redeem itself for its earlier loss to the Bucs… Atlanta 24, Tampa Bay 17.
Seattle @ Minnesota
The Vikings are for real. At 8-3, they lead the AFC North. The offense has the league’s leading rusher, Adrian Peterson, and head coach Mike Zimmer’s defense ranks in the top ten in every major statistical category. The Seahawks got a big win over a pretty good Pittsburgh team last week and are making their playoff run. Can they win in Minnesota? Probably not… Minnesota 23, Seattle 17.
Carolina @ New Orleans
The league’s only remaining unbeaten team takes on division rival New Orleans, a team it beat 27-22 earlier in the season. The Saints have the league’s worst defense. They give up 31 points per game and seem to be getting worse every week. Cam Newton and the Panthers are not losing this week… Carolina 28, New Orleans 13.
Philadelphia @ New England
After losing three in a row, the Eagles are still alive in the very poor NFC East. The problem is they have to face the 10-1 Patriots coming off their first loss and do so in Foxborough. With TE Rob Gronkowski possibly out this week, the rest of the Patriots offense is going to have to step up. And they will. The Eagles drop their fourth in a row… New England 30, Philadelphia 24.
Indianapolis @ Pittsburgh
The Steelers let one get away last week in Seattle. QB Ben Rothliesberger reportedly had a concussion late in the game and threw a costly interception. If he plays against the Colts, expect the Pittsburgh offense to play well at home. The Colts have won three straight but are still suspect. Running back Frank Gore has yet to crack 100 yards in a game this season. Don’t expect that to happen against a stout Pittsburgh defense playing in front of its home crowd… Pittsburgh 34, Indianapolis 31.
Kansas City @ Oakland
The Chiefs have turned their season around with five straight wins. QB Alex Smith and WR Jeremy Maclin are playing well and the running game, featuring Charcandrick West, is somehow the sixth best in the NFL. West has stepped in for Jamaal Charles who is out for the season with a knee injury. The Raiders won last week after losing three straight. They are still very much alive for a wild card berth in the AFC. Can they win this rivalry game at home? Kansas City 27, Oakland 24.
Dallas @ Washington
It’s one of the NFL’s greatest rivalries. Now, the 5-6 Redskins, currently in first place in the NFC East, will take on the 3-8 Cowboys, who have not won a game that QB Tony Romo did not finish. Romo reinjured his broken collarbone last week in the Cowboys Thanksgiving Day loss to Carolina. He will miss the rest of the season. Washington somehow beat the Giants in the division that nobody seems to want to win. Without Romo, the Cowboys are just awful… Washington 23, Dallas 17.