Buffalo @ JACKSONVILLE – I don’t see the dynamic duo of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller staying down long, even on the road against a suddenly hot Jaguars team. However, they need a quarterback to assist them and E.J.Manuel has been on and off since returning from his injury. Which one shows up here? I think we get the good Manuel here, and Buffalo takes a tough one. Pick – Buffalo.
Houston @ INDIANAPOLIS – The Colts have a prime opportunity to make a statement in this one. The Texans are undermanned, undercoached, and reeling after having lost so many games in a row, but they have pride, and they have a chance on the road against Indianapolis. If they can hurry him, they can take care of business on the road and pull this one off. I don’t see it happening, though, because I’ve seen nothing from the Texans that suggests a turnaround. I think Donald Brown has a good week, Luck throws a couple of touchdowns, and Indy takes this one at home. Pick – Indianapolis.
Chicago @ CLEVELAND – The return of Jay Cutler has gotten way too much press, and I think it’s only because of how well Josh McCown played last weekend. Otherwise it would have been a quick anecdote on sports pages. Many people forget that Cutler was playing well himself before he got hurt the first time. The only issue is whether or not he stays healthy in this one. Otherwise this isn’t even a contest. I think Jordan Cameron has a good day, but Marshall and Martellus Bennett have a field day. Cutler returns triumphant. Pick – Chicago.
Washington @ ATLANTA – Atlanta made it close last week and lost a heartbreaker, but it showed that they still have guts and they haven’t given up, even though there are no playoffs for them this time around. Washington, on the other hand, has made all the headlines with the shutting down of RGIII for the rest of the season. I think Cousins acquits himself well getting the start, and I think Washington rallies around him and they get the win on the road, another close one for Atlanta. Pick – Washington.
Philadelphia @ MINNESOTA – This is a huge possibility for a trap game, and I can see it a mile away. Philly is on fire, and they just won a big one at home in the snow. Minnesota may not have Peterson, their defense is hurting, and even though they’re at home, they’re massive underdogs. It could be a recipe for disaster for the Eagles, but I don’t see a letdown here. I think Foles plays well, DeSean Jackson has a huge game, and LeSean McCoy gets a couple of touchdowns. Philly takes it. Pick – Philadelphia.
Seattle @ GIANTS – Seattle just lost a close one at San Francisco, a game that would have put the cherry on top of the NFC West for them, so this should be a rebound game for them against the hapless New York Giants. However, I can definitely see the Seahawks taking this game for granted and Eli Manning and Andre Brown making them pay for the oversight. In the Meadowlands, I see Hakeem Nicks finally scoring and Brown having a monster game. They spring the upset. Pick – Giants.
San Francisco @ TAMPA BAY – Speaking of that Seattle/San Fran game last week, the 49ers proved that they can hang with the best in the division, at least outside of Seattle, while Tampa Bay has been playing a lot better of late. I see a Glennon regression here, though, against the suddenly tough again San Francisco defense while the 49ers offense takes off, getting ready for the playoffs. Kaepernick has a good day on the ground and through the air. Pick – San Francisco.
New England @ MIAMI – The Dolphins have played the Patriots very well of late, and Tannehill is coming into his own. The Patriots should have lost the game last week, and I think their luck runs out here without Gronk. Shane Vereen has a good game, but not a great one because the defense keys in on him, and the Miami defense has been traditionally good against Tom Brady anyway. The Dolphins take a close one at home. Pick – Miami.
Kansas City @ OAKLAND – Oakland just has not been playing well, and I don’t see that trend changing anytime soon, especially not this week against a Chiefs team that has suddenly rediscovered the passing game. Alex Smith has stepped up and I think he exploits the suspect Raider defense in this one, passing for over 300 yards and leading the Chiefs in a rout of the Raiders, even on the road. Pick – Kansas City.
Jets @ CAROLINA – The glass slipper fell off of Carolina last week in New Orleans while the Jets took to the air at the unlikeliest of times. Could the same thing happen again now that they’re on the same field? It could, but I doubt it. I think the Jets used up all of their magic in the game last week, and Carolina is angry. Their defense shuts down whatever offense the Jets can muster, and the Panthers start another win streak. Pick – Carolina.
New Orleans @ ST. LOUIS – The Saints showed that they’re still the Saints in dispatching of Carolina on Sunday night, but they could be setup for a letdown, especially with the weakness of opponent. I see this game being a trap game for sure, and I think Drew Brees is just a bit off after the big victory last week. St. Louis takes a shocker in my upset pick of the week. Pick – St. Louis.
Arizona @ TENNESSEE – I could go on about how Tennessee is better than advertised, but they’re not. I could also talk about how Arizona’s defense is overrated, but they’re not. The combination of the defense against the patchwork offense led by Ryan Fitzpatrick makes for a mismatch. Carson Palmer has a good day, Andre Ellingon has a great day, and the Cardinals take this close game. Pick – Arizona.
Green Bay @ DALLAS – No Rodgers again, but Matt Flynn looked a bit better last week in the first win for the Packers since Rodgers went out. They’re in Dallas, but being at home hasn’t really been an advantage for the Cowboys, and the ‘Boys defense has been abysmal lately. I don’t see them stopping the Green Bay offense, but Romo does his best to keep up. I think he makes it happen, and the Cowboys take it. Pick – Dallas.
Cincinnati @ PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh has pride, even though they lost last week to pretty much take them out of the playoff picture, but Andy Dalton is hot again at just the right time, even going into Pittsburgh. I think this is the time he gets over the hump finally, A.J. Green has a wonderful game, and the Pittsburgh defense gives up a bunch of points. This one isn’t even close, with Cincinnati proving they deserve to win the division. Pick – Cincinnati.
Baltimore @ DETROIT – Time was when this would have been a defensive team (Baltimore) vs. an offensive juggernaut (Detroit), and it was anyone’s guess who would take it. Things have changed in Baltimore, though, and Flacco is the focus of the team, slinging the ball all over the field. Luckily he has Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Marlon Brown, and Dennis Pitta to throw it to, and luckily the defense can still get opportunistic against a turnover prone Matt Stafford. That decides this one, and the Ravens win a tough one on the road. Pick – Baltimore.
The Fantasy Ace