|Monday, December 10, 2012 11:26 AM|
No rant this week; no stark-raving bonkers this time around.
MINNESOTA: Da Bears’ “D” seems to be wearing down the stretch and now future Hall-of-Famer Brian Urlacher may be done for the regular season. All-Day Petersen continues an utterly amazing comeback and Six Rulers get big Norris Division triumph.
WASHINGTON: Ravens had a big chance to take control of AFC North and completely blew it against a backup QB in archrivalry game! RGIII is the real deal and in our nation’s capital, Redskins take advantage of emotionally-down Ravens.
CLEVELAND: See above. Chiefs were emotionally-charged last week after murder-suicide of teammate. Reality now hits and the emotions won’t be like they were. Browns get a win at home.
PITTSBURGH: Chargers are a train wreck, Rivers is a turnover waiting to happen and Norv Turner will get the ax. Big Ben makes his comeback and that gives Steelers a lift as they continue Chargers’ misery.
INDIANAPOLIS: Colts are serious wild-card contenders. Who’d have thunk that after last year’s disaster? They have been extremely good at home and they will continue that trend against Tuxedos.
ATLANTA: Falcons are on cruise control with solid running game, a QB like Matt Ryan playing very, very well and a defense playing very well. Cam Newton is starting to get back to where he was last year but it won’t be enough.
BUFFALO: St. Louis coming off a big win over 49ers but now head to cooler, outdoor climate of Buffalo. Bills’ defense starting to live up to the dollars and the running game should lead the way this week in Ralph Wilson Stadium.
CINCINNATI: Cowboys’ defense is just, well, terrible. They have up 33 points to rookie quarterback last week and Andy Dalton is coming into his own this season, as is The Law Firm (Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis). Romo won’t have things as easy this week against better Bengals’ “D” and Cincy gets big win in playoff push.
SAN FRANCISCO: 49ers need to figure out the QB situation or it will become a fiasco. Methinks they will — whomever they decide on — and the defense will limit Miami rookie QB Tannehill and get back on track.
NEW YORK GIANTS: G-Men are the most exasperating team in the history of the NFL. If they could ever figure it out on a regular basis, look out. My guess is, with their backs now against the wall with surging Redskins and some serious playoff scenarios staring them in the face, they do so against a terrible Saints defense.
NEW ENGLAND: Something has to give this week: Patriots have won last 19 games at home in December and Texans unbeaten on the road this year (6-0). A perfect situation for the magic of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady to keep Pats’ winning streak alive in Monday-nighter.
Chicago: I think the Vikings are a bit down right now and the Bears are in the right place to take the win on the road.
Baltimore: RG3 may be having a good year but this is the Ravens and they are still mad about that Steelers loss, Ravens are my second road-win team this week.
Pittsburgh: I hate to say it but with Big Ben back, the Steelers should be back on track and take it to the Chargers.
Atlanta: Atlanta is just plain good and the Panthers aren’t. Atlanta clinches with a win over the Panthers.
St. Louis: Another toss-up game and another guess. The Rams played a good game against the 49ers last week and play good again this week to beat the Bills (EN: This is your third road-team pick this week!).
Dallas: The Bengals can take a step closer to the playoffs with a win this week but history tells us they have a tendency not to win big games. I hate to do it but I have to take the Cowboys (EN: FOURTH!).
San Francisco: SF should have a easy time with the Dolphins this week and do so with a win at the Bay.
N.Y. Giants: The Saints just don’t have it this year and the Giants continue to roll on. Eli leads the Giants over the Saints.
Houston: The game of the week. We will see how good the Texans are; I think they are good enough to beat the Patriots (EN: Make that 5!).
Baltimore - After a slow start to the season, Washington is finally playing well with RG III at the controls. The Redskins are coming off a big win on Monday night against the defending champion Giants, while the Ravens suffered a tough loss last week at the hands of Charlie Batch and Pittsburgh. Ravens need a win to stay atop their division and their defense will help provide that.
Cleveland - The Browns have won two games in a row. Can they make it three in a row? Kansas City is coming off an emotional win and week with the death of teammate Jevon Belcher. The game also marks the return of former Browns quarterback Brady Quinn to Cleveland. It’s a rough return for Quinn to Cleveland as the Browns defense continues to play well.
Pittsburgh - Ben Roethlisberger returns to the Pittsburgh lineup this week. It’s all the Steelers need to continue their push to the playoffs against a struggling San Diego unit.
Indianapolis - Freshman quarterback Andrew Luck has the Colts looking towards the post-season. The Colts continue their big season with a win at home over the Titans.
Atlanta - The Falcons have clinched a playoff berth. Now the goal is to get homefield throughout the playoffs. And against a 3-win Carolina squad, they should be able to continue that quest.
Buffalo - Two 5-win teams that are playing to finish the season on a strong note. On most Sundays, you would favor the Bills because of the cold and nasty weather. But with unseasonable temperatures forecasted, the Bills outlast the Rams at home.
Dallas - Two teams battling for a possible wild card playoff berth. The Cowboys go on the road and spoil the Bengals’ hopes for the post-season.
San Francisco - The 49ers fell to the Rams in overtime last week. Playing under the bright Florida sunshine, San Francisco bounces back and continues their push towards the division title, no matter who’s under center.
N. Y. Giants - This is about the time last season the New York Football Giants turned their season around on their way to the Super Bowl. Although the Giants offense struggled in Monday Night’s loss to the Redskins, the Giants and Eli Manning find enough offense this week to end the Saints hopes of playing in the Super Bowl on their homefield.
New England - The Game of the Week in the NFL. Could this be a preview of the AFC championship game in January? The Texans have a good defense but they are a dome team playing outside in the cold of New England in December. Just a hunch but I have to go with the home team (Sorry, sis).