If the season were to end today, this is how the playoffs would look. Crazy, right? This is why we love the NFL. As always, the lines are from ESPN and my picks are in caps.
NEW YORK JETS (-4.5) at Denver Broncos
All the stories about the Broncos this week have been about how they are adapting to Tim Tebow. Apparently, adapting to Tim Tebow is running the ball 55 times and throwing it just eight. Apparently, Tim Tebow can’t throw the ball. Apparently, Tim Tebow is a quarterback. Who can’t throw the football. Again, proof that this pick was made before the game.
Buffalo Bills at MIAMI DOLPHINS (-2.5)
Karlos Dansby of the Dolphins thinks that he is the best linebacker in the NFL. Has he been spending too much time with Vontae Davis? Because with the best linebacker and the best cornerback tandem, you’d think they’d have more than two wins. Still, I think the Dolphins surprise the Bills this week.
CINCINNATI BENGALS (+7.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens haven’t beaten a team by more than a touchdown since their Oct. 16 game against the Texans. John Harbaugh quickly forgets that he has one of the best running backs in the league. Against the Seahawks, he elected to have Joe Flacco throw the ball 52 times and only let Ray Rice carry it five times. Five! His team got down early and never recovered. The Bengals will keep this game close.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (-0.5) at Cleveland Browns
It’s Blaine against Colt. Wow, that makes it sound like it might be a semi-interesting game. Don’t be fooled.
DALLAS COWBOYS (-7.5) at Washington Redskins
Mike Shanahan is insane. After Redskins RB Roy Helu had a very successful day against the 49ers two weeks ago, Shanahan thought it was a good idea to start Ryan Torain last week. Surprisingly (sarcasm), Torain was ineffective (11 carries for 20 yards) while Helu did well with limited carries (six for 41 yards). Don’t be surprised if he benches Brian Orakpo for those stupid Geico commercials.
Carolina Panthers at DETROIT LIONS (-6.5)
Regarding whether or not he will be fined for throwing Bears DB D.J. Moore to the ground during the brawl last week, Matthew Stafford said, “Suh told me they come on Thursday or Friday. He knows best.” Suh does know best. He gets fined practically every other week. The Lions didn’t like the beat down they received last week. Stafford will take his anger out on the subpar Carolina defense.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at GREEN BAY PACKERS (-14.5)
Not much to say here, keep taking Green Bay until they prove otherwise. But that shouldn’t change this week, considering they are playing a team with a quarterback who might actually be crazy.
Oakland Raiders at MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-1.5)
The Raiders seem to be one of the hot picks of the week, but I’m not convinced. This game is going to come down to whoever can run the ball more effectively. I’ll take Adrian Peterson over Michael Bush against the Vikings sixth ranked run defense.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (+2.5) at St. Louis Rams
Remember when this matchup was deciding the winner of the NFC West last year? How times have changed.
Arizona Cardinals at SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-9.5)
Do we have a quarterback controversy brewing in Arizona? On one hand, we have Kevin Kolb. They signed him to a five-year, $63 million contract prior to the season and so far he only seems capable of leading the league in intentional grounding penalties. On the other hand, we have John Skelton. He is in the middle of a four-year, $1.97 million contract and has led his team to consecutive wins. Good thing they signed Kolb to that huge contract in the offseason before seeing him play!
TENNESSEE TITANS (+6.5) at Atlanta Falcons
Which Titans team is going to show up this week? The one that shut down Cam Newton and the Panthers, or the one that got blown out by the Texans? I’ll just take the points.
San Diego Chargers at CHICAGO BEARS (-3.5)
Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers hate each other and have since Cutler played for the Broncos. But as much as I hate Cutler, I can’t overlook how terrible Rivers has been.
Philadelphia Eagles at NEW YORK GIANTS (-3.5)
I’m no football player, but I don’t think that being late to a team meeting because your alarm clock didn’t go off is the best way to get a bigger contract.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (+14.5) at New England Patriots
There weren’t many good things the Chiefs could take away from last week’s game against the Denver Tebows. Except this amazing catch by rookie WR Jonathan Baldwin. Wait, the catch didn’t count? Well, never mind then.