NFL Tips: Week 6 – Sunday & Monday Games

Here are the rest of my tips for the weekend.

Oakland at Atlanta – Prediction: Atlanta 40, Oakland 28

Cincinnati at Cleveland – Prediction: Cincinnati 27, Cleveland 19

St. Louis at Miami – Prediction: St. Louis 17, Miami 14

Indianapolis at New York – Prediction: Indianapolis 26, New York 17

Detroit at Philadelphia – Prediction: Philadelphia 30, Detroit 27

Kansas City at Tampa Bay – Prediction: Tampa Bay 21, Kansas City, 10

Dallas at Baltimore – Prediction: Baltimore 27, Dallas 26

Buffalo at Arizona – Prediction: Arizona 27, Buffalo 7

New England at Seattle – Prediction: New England 27, Seattle 17

New York at San Francisco – Prediction: San Francisco 30, New York 17

Minnesota at Washington – Prediction: Minnesota 28, Washington 13

And then there were two…

Green Bay at Houston – Prediction: Houston 17, Green Bay 13

Denver at San Diego – Prediction: San Diego 33, Denver 27

Have a good weekend.

NFL Tips: Week 5 – Coming Into Their Own

I think it’s fair to say that Week 5 is around the time where team’s identities are starting to be a lot more solidified than before. It was great to see the proper refs back, and obviously they made some mistakes, like always, but everything was smoother and cleaner. Except for the massive hike in PI calls. Seriously, they need to fix that stupid rule. Anyhow, onto another fantastic bye-week schedule.

Thursday Night Football

Arizona at St. Louis: This week gets underway with a division battle between the Rams and Cardinals. Two teams who can both hold their own in the NFL these days. With the Cardinals being 4-0, it would seem like a bit of a gimme for them, but don’t underestimate the Rams. Their defense is underrated and division games are always more high-stakes and closer than other games. I do think Arizona will triumph, but it should be a good test and game.

Prediction: Arizona 21, St. Louis 16
Sorry, but gotta do quick-fire for the rest.
Miami at Cincinnati – Prediction: Cincinnati 27, Miami 17

Green Bay at Indianapolis – Prediction: Green Bay 30, Indianapolis 24

Baltimore at Kansas City – Prediction: Baltimore 45, Kansas City 20

Cleveland at New York – Prediction: New York 31, Cleveland 20

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh – Prediction: Pittsburgh 21, Philadelphia 19

Atlanta at Washington– Prediction: Atlanta 28, Washington 24

Seattle at Carolina – Prediction: Seattle 17, Carolina 6

Chicago at Jacksonville – Prediction: Chicago 40, Jacksonville 13

Tennessee at Minnesota – Prediction: Minnesota 30, Tennessee 10

Denver at New England – Prediction: New England 31, Denver 30

Buffalo at San Francisco – Prediction: San Francisco 24, Buffalo 7

And then there were two…

San Diego at New Orleans– Prediction: San Diego 28, New Orleans 27

Houston at New York Jets – Prediction: Houston 27, New York 0

Have a great weekend and good luck!

NFL Tips: Week 4 – Original Officials Return

Seeing as this week’s slate of games is a bit lackluster, the very recent news of the proper officials returning is going to be the leading story on every game. Especially on how many wrong calls they make and how easily they spot the ball where the replacements had monumental troubles in doing so. And I, for one, welcome our old punching bag overlords. So let’s get cracking.

Cleveland at Baltimore: Thursday Night Football couldn’t kick the week off any more boringly, I don’t think. The stinky Browns head to Baltimore to battle the Ravens who played in a great contest on Sunday night against the Patriots. I know I should expect the unexpected, but there’s no way I can see the Browns triumphing over the Ravens in this one. Unless the Browns come up with a gameplan that completely bamboozles the Ravens, I don’t see the Browns doing much at all.

Prediction: Baltimore 35, Cleveland 13

Carolina at Atlanta: Clearly my tip of the Panthers 2 Thursdays ago didn’t go too well, and the Panthers got hammered by the Giants. Welp, I’m not falling for that one again. Atlanta are one of three 3-0 teams going around these days, and they’re looking pretty damn good. Their offense is firing on all cylinders and their defense is keeping their own so far. I don’t think the Panthers will put up a similar performance as their last time, out, but I also don’t think they’ll win in this divisional match-up.

Prediction: Atlanta 33, Carolina 24

New England at Buffalo: This game was the absolute talking point last season, up until the saviour started for the Broncos, then no one could get any story in. But going back to last season, this 1st match-up made everyone think the Bills were the real deal, which they were until they eventually fell apart and reverted to their former selves. Which, unfortunately for the Bills fans is now the current selves even though they’ve won two of their games (Kansas City & Cleveland). New England’s start has been surprising and disappointing to say the least. I remember reading a legitimate article about them going 16-0, which sounds more preposterous now than it did then, before the season had started. Of course, at that point, Arizona was the worst team in the league and Baltimore was a one-dimensional team with an old defense who just lost their best player etc. That’s a lot of blurb for a pretty easy seeming decision here.

Prediction: New England 28, Buffalo 13

Minnesota at Detroit: With both teams having surprising results last week, I’m pretty confident in saying neither team’s fan base is truly confident about a victory in this one. Of course, before last week, Minnesota seemed like an easy beat, just the same as Tennessee. But 85 combined points later and the Lions are 1-2 up against a team who man-handled the 49ers, a team the Lions couldn’t beat just two weeks earlier. Although the Lions have won 3 straight match-ups against the Vikings, they’ve all be down to the wire. Including last year’s 2nd match-up where Ponder was so poorly destroyed, he got benched for a QB who can’t really throw and they still almost won. My inkling says Ponder won’t be sitting at any point in this one, and Lions fans hope Stafford doesn’t either. Neither team can stop the pass, but both have been fairly good against the run, so last week’s score in the Lions game isn’t completely unfathomable. And I’m really split down the middle, so bias is coming in to break it (sorry, just being honest).

Prediction: Lions 30, Vikings 28

San Diego at Kansas City: The Chiefs put in a valiant effort last week against the Saints and pulled off the overtime victory with one of those awesome Field Goal endings. Jamaal Charles went OFF! Putting up College Football like numbers, with 233 rushing yards. Unfortunately for the Chiefs the San Diego defense has been pretty great against the run thus far, with just an average of 59 yards allowed per game. Of course playing the titans helped those numbers quite a lot. But I still don’t see Charles putting up that sort of yardage, nor do I see the Chiefs passing game keeping them in it. San Diego put in a pretty crappy effort last week against the Falcons, scoring just 3 points. However I definitely expect them to rebound this week and put up a pretty good score.

Prediction: San Diego 32, Kansas City 20

Seattle at St. Louis: Thank you, Seattle, for single-handidly bringing back the proper officials. Your bullshit TD decision has saved the NFL community from crying even more than usual after Monday night. To be fair, though, outside of the winning TD, they played very well on defense, limiting the Packers to just 12 points. The Rams predictably stunk against the Bears, although they’re still doing pretty well on defense, and I expect this to be another low scoring in-division match-up.

Prediction: Seattle 17, Seattle 10

San Francisco at New York: Even though the 49ers had a surprising loss last week, I still think they’re a Super Bowl favourite, every team has off-weeks. The Jets stunk, again, barely getting past the Dolphins and only did because of poorly-timed timeout by Joe Philbin which won the Jets the game. If Philbin hadn’t called a timeout, the Jets would have had their kick blocked and subsequently stayed tied at 20-20. But of course the Dolphins somehow found a way to ruin it. Anyhow, the Jets still aren’t a good team and the 49ers are. Even if this is a bit of a defensive battle, it won’t be a very good game for the Jets

Prediction: San Francisco 27, New York 17

Tennessee at Houston: I don’t expect the Titans to put up 44 points this week. Hell, 14 would be a surprise for me, maybe even 4 would be a surprise? You get the point. The Texans defense has been as good as advertised thus far, even though they allowed 25 points to the Broncos last week. The Titans offense also isn’t in the same league as the Broncos, so that’s not a concern. I think the Texans get another easy win here.

Prediction: Houston 30, Tennessee 10

Oakland at Denver: The Raiders pulled the massive upset over the Steelers last week and look to continue that as they head to Colorado, the Sarcastiball capital, as they take on the Broncos. Even though the Broncos put up a good effort last week, they couldn’t beat the Texans. But I don’t see that being much of a problem this week. Denver has a pretty good overall team and the Raiders are just very inconsistent.

Prediction: Denver 35, Oakland 24

Miami at Arizona: Arizona are the real deal and could be a force in the league this year and their defense will be frothing at the mouth with this match-up. They hit Michael Vick 20 times last week, so imagine what they can do to Ryan Tannehill? I know I’d be worried about his health if I was a Dolphins fan.

Prediction: Arizona 24, Miami 7

And it’ll be quick-fire to finish off. Apologies again.

Cincinnati at Jacksonville– Prediction: Cincinnati 28, Jacksonville 19

New Orleans at Green Bay Prediction: Green Bay 30, New Orleans 27

Washington at Tampa Bay – Prediction: Washington 34, Tampa Bay 16

And then there were two…

New York at Philadelphia – Prediction: New York 20, Philadelphia 14

Chicago at Dallas – Prediction: Dallas 23, Chicago 21

Enjoy the weekend and games.

NFL Tips: Week 3 – Final Week of 16.

First off, I’d just like to reiterate Sam’s comments about Steve Sabol. It’s an unbelievably great loss to the NFL and the Sports world as a whole, and it’d be nice if other sporting codes could take his vision(s) and apply them to their respective sport. So, RIP Steve Sabol, you’ll be truly missed.

So here we are in week 3, and this marks the final week of a 16 game schedule until week 11, amazingly. Week 4 only has 1 less game, but I’m still technically correct. Anyhow, let’s get on with the tipping.

New York at Carolina: This week’s Thursday Night Football gives us the intriguing match-up of the Giants vs. the Panthers, this storie…OK, so this game is somewhat of a rarity, but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable or intriguing. And I’m definitely looking forward to watching it. Based on last week’s results, Eli’s arm didn’t fall off and Brees arm didn’t really work too well. The Panthers fought out a gutsy and convincing win over NFC South foes, the Saints. The other end was the Giants beating the Buccaneers, but still having a cry, anyway. Stupid East teams, right? Anyhow, I think Carolina’s Pass D has definitely improved this season, and if they can limit the Giants to a respectable rushing total, they could far alright. The Giants are off to a pretty poor start, despite being 1-1. They lost to the Cowboys, without really threatening and they barely got over the line in the touchdown for touchdown battle with the boys from Tampa. The Giants can still be lethal if they put it all together, but if the Panthers defensive backfield can keep it together, then I think the Panthers will, too. I’m actually going to give Carolina the slight edge, even though I think this will be a very tight contest, and either result wouldn’t surprise me.

Prediction: Carolina 30, New York 27

Unfortunately, I’ve left this a tad late, so will only give predictions.

St. Louis at Chicago –Prediction: Chicago 30, St. Louis 17

Buffalo at Cleveland – Prediction: Buffalo 27, Cleveland 24

Tampa Bay at Dallas – Prediction: Dallas 38, Tampa Bay 24

Detroit at Tennessee –Prediction: Detroit 45, Tennessee 17

Jacksonville at IndianapolisPrediction: Indianapolis 21, Jacksonville 18

New York at Miami – Prediction: New York 27, Miami 21

San Francisco at Minnesota – Prediction: San Francisco 24, Minnesota 10

Kansas City at New Orleans –Prediction: New Orleans 30, Kansas City 27

Cincinnati at Washington –Prediction: Cincinnati 20, Washington 16

Philadelphia at Arizona –Prediction: Arizona 24, Philadelphia 17

Atlanta at San Diego – Prediction: Atlanta 30, San Diego 26

Houston at Denver – Prediction: Houston 17, Denver 6

Pittsburgh at Oakland –Prediction: Pittsburgh 37, Oakland 14

And then there were two…

New England at Baltimore – Prediction: Baltimore 26, New England 21

Green Bay at Seattle –Prediction: Green Bay 24, Seattle 13
Have a great week of Football. :)

313 NFL Awards: Week 2, 2012.

What a week of football and we’re only 2 weeks into the season. Just the tip of the iceberg my friends. A roller coaster start like many NFL seasons before.

Preseason predictions are already proven wrong, ideas of what was supposed to happen are long gone and new ideas on what could happen are forming. However, don’t count on anything just yet. No need to put 1k on the Niners for a SB win. Geez. Calm down, climb down from the roof, take a deep breath and maybe put some pants back on because you’ve still got 15 more weeks of this grey-hair producing NFL season to go.

And with that, here are my prestigious Week 2 NFL Awards.

QB of the Week:

Eli Manning, New York Giants.

Wow. Way to rebound son. You ever think about playing basketball?

The younger Manning was awful in the first half of the game vs. the Bucs, throwing 3 picks and struggling to get anything going offensively. Here we go again Giants fans thought as week 1, Eli was also sub-par vs. the Cowboys in the season opener.

But something at halftime vs. the Buccaneers must have clicked. Maybe something was said, maybe he just likes to idle the machine for a while before he can finally put it into drive. Either way fans rejoiced as he produced numbers in one half of football that most would take 60 minutes to produce and helped pave the way for an outstanding comeback win to lead his team to a 1-1 record before their Thursday Night game in Charlotte vs. the Panthers.

For the record, he finished with 510 yards passing, 3 TDs (to go with his 3 picks) and a passer rating of 89.5, with a 60.8 completion rate. In the 2nd half alone, he threw for 295 yards, tying for the eighth most in NFL history and coming up 3 yards short of Phil Simms’ club record. An impressive 80-yards in 4 plays won the game for the Giants, which featured a 2pt conversion for backup RB Andre Brown. The duo of Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz helped Eli, combining for 21 catches, 378 yards, 18.0 yards per catch & 2 TDs.

Offensive Player of the Week (Other than a QB.. and someone not named Manning):

Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins.

Wait.. did I just write that? Reggie Bush?!

Yep, Reggie Bush. The same Reggie Bush that we all thought was nothing more than a scat-back, change of pace back, pass-catching back, punt returning/kick returning special-play-making back. Not an every down back like he showed on Sunday. What is this crap? Is 2012 really coming to an end, because he can carry the ball more than 12 times a game in a starters role? Well.. we’ll have to wait and see about that but one thing is clear, he certainly proved for one game at least, that he has it in him to be what he believes he can be: A starting RB in the NFL who can rush for 1k yards.

He helped Miami to a pivotal win in an AFC home opener over the Raiders, finishing with 26 touches for 172 yards and 2 TDs, including a 60 yard TD run. With a 6.6 ypc average, if he can produce the kind of explosiveness like he showed on Sunday for 20+ carries, it will alleviate pressure from rookie QB Ryan Tannehill and help keep the opposing defence honest. Add in his ability in the screen game, and you have a RB like Matt Forte. How his knee holds up over the course of the season, depending if he carries it 300+ times, will be the real test as well.

Many running backs have tried and failed to hold down the starting role as a NFL RB.. but for week 2, he certainly looked like the player that was drafted 2nd overall in the 2006 NFL Draft. I for one, will jump on his bandwagon if he proves me and the rest of the NFL wrong.

Honourable Mentions: Marshawn Lynch, Danny Amendola,CJ. Spiller, Hakeem Nicks.  

Defensive Player of the Week:

Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers.

Those golden locks are flowin’.

The former Defensive Player of the Year had a monster night on Thursday Night Football vs. the Chicago Bears. What a start The Machine is off to in 2012. 2.5 sacks in week 1, 3.5 sacks against Jay Cutler to go with 7 tackles (4 solo) and constant pressure that rattled Cutler enough to force him into 4 interceptions and more excuses. Matthews is one of only 6 players in NFL history to record 6 sacks or more in the first two games of the season, and he is the only player to do it twice. With DJ Smith making his presence felt as the other OLB, the Packers may have the player they’ve been looking for to help Clay. If teams double Matthews they’ll have Smith to answer for, making the Packers D a scary force for teams to game plan against. At his current pace, Matthews has his sights on the single season sack record and most likely, another Defensive Player of the Year award.

Special Teams: Adam Jones, CB/PR, Cincinnati Bengals.

Pacman packs a punch against the Browns.

The former electrifying and controversial CB is still around, just for those who haven’t heard his name in a while. Blast from the past maybe, but the guy is still playing ball and provides solid depth for the Bengals secondary. After much turmoil, it’s clear he’s found a home and in week 2, he helped the Bengals to a W over the Browns by returning the first Cleveland punt 81 yards for a touchdown.

2 minutes into the game and the Browns were setting up to punt. Jones caught the ball at the 19 and as soon as he caught it, he evaded one Browns defender. Then he started up field and sidestepped about 4 Browns defenders before cutting to the sideline, all the while weaving around other Browns. By the time Jones was at the 50 yard line, he was home and the crowd was on their feet as Jones looked like the player the Titans drafted in the first round many years ago. As he crossed the goal line, he threw the ball into the stands, jumped onto the goalpost and hugged the padding like hugging an old friend he hadn’t seen in 10 years.

Say what you will about his past, but the guy knows how to make plays when the ball is in his hands and he has some room to move.

Coach of the Week: Ron Rivera

Carolina Love to Chico for his Week 2 W over the Saints.*

I know, I know. Of course, I could put any of the 16 winners from the weekend here. But I won’t. Not yet. The Panthers haven’t won a home opener since it seems forever and haven’t beaten the Saints* since 2009. Going into week 2, the Panthers were looking at an 0-2 start if they played the way they did in week 1 vs. the Buccaneers. Had they lost, they would’ve gone into week 3 with a short turnaround and potentially gone 0-3 and before you know it, season is pretty much over in September. Not many teams get to the Super Bowl or even playoffs after 0-2, let alone a 0-3 start.

But the Panthers took care of business, thanks largely to head coach Ron Rivera and his coordinators of Rob Chudzinski and Sean McDermott. The offense was able to get its mojo back, lead on the ground by Cam Newton with 71 yards rushing. Along with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart both gaining 50+ yards on the ground, all 4 of the Panthers running threats of Newton, Williams, Stewart and FB Mike Tolbert, were able to score. On the day, the Panthers totalled 219 rushing yards and look to continue that on Thursday Night Football vs. the visiting Giants.

On defense, the Panthers were able to slowly strangle Drew Brees, pressuring him, disrupting him and forcing him into 2 interceptions; one of those a pick 6 to Panthers safety Charles Godfrey. The Panthers shut TE Jimmy Graham down in the 2nd half and held WR Marques Colston to 1 reception, late in the game. The only success Brees had was checking down to RB Darren Sproles, who finished with 10 receptions. The defence was able to help the offense take advantage of the field position and with the running game and read option working like a well oiled machine, the Panthers controlled the game at their tempo, keeping Brees on the sideline, worrying about where he was going to get hit from next. If the Panthers can consistent play solid D, the unit and team will go places.

Goat of the Week:

The NFL and their continuing effort to wreck the game’s integrity.

I could also put the replacement referee crew of week 2’s games here but I won’t because the referees themselves aren’t at fault. They’re doing the best they can, under extreme pressure and unbelievable circumstances where they just can’t keep up with the speed of a NFL game. Embarrassing for all to watch, if the NFL doesn’t feel red faced from MNF alone and the debacle that was the 3 & 1/2 hour game, then I don’t know what will force them to do something.

Honourable Mentions:

Jay Cutler. Stop pouting and take it like a leader and man should. Enough with the excuses.  

Josh Morgan: Seriously. You throw a football at a guys groin in front of the referee late in the game and exactly.. what were you thinking? How old are you again? And how are you not cut yet?!

Rookie of the Week:

Who needs Luck to get his first win?

Congrats rookie. Luck lead the rebuilding Colts to a 1-1 record with a win over the Vikings, throwing for 221 yards on 20/31 passes, 2 TDs and no picks for a passer rating of 107.5. It was Adam Vinateri that clinched the winner with a 53 yard FG, with 8 seconds left but it was the new face of the Indianapolis franchise that steered the new-look Colts to the W. After Minnesota had tied it up thanks to a 6 yard Kyle Rudolph score, Luck marched the Colts 45 yards in 23 seconds, with back to back 20-yard completions before drawing the defence off-side, and then spiking the ball. On a day when we wondered what RG3 would do, I was wondering what Luck would do and as luck would have it, the rookie certainly didn’t look like a player who had been drafted 1st overall in April. Most impressive was his ability to allude defenders and still be poised to make the play. Moving forward, it’ll be interesting to see which rookie QB fares better.

Quote of the Week:

Ray Lewis, on the passing of NFL Films legend Steve Sabol.

“I think young kids in this business … really need to understand the impact that Steve Sabol had. We lost a great pioneer a few days ago with Art Modell and now lose another one. These men had a vision to do something great. The beautiful thing about what they were doing is it wasn’t for them, they had a vision to expand our league to expand our game and to expand our brand.”

When Ray speaks, I listen. Kids of today, take note.

Upset of the Week:

Cardinals over Patriots, at Foxboro.

Quiz question for $200: When was the last time the Patriots lost a home opener? 2002. Bonus round. What year is it currently? 2012. Show them what they’ve won Doug.

That’s right, a fantastic upset in Boston. And what a bit of a snore-fest it was to begin with. New England QB Tom Brady struggled and the Cardinals did their usual thing of not scoring. Both defences were holding their own and looked to be a New England win after Cardinals RB Ryan Williams fumbled in the crucial stages of the 4th with the Pats recovering the fumble with 1 minute to play. However, TE Rob Gronkowski was called for holding on a Danny Woodhead 30 yard TD run. New England were able to gain 6 yards before Brady spiked it where the Pats would settle for the FG try. And that’s when kicker Stephen Gostkowski shanked the 42 yard attempt; his first missed FG of the day after going 4/4. The Cardinals had escaped victorious by 2 points and Ryan Williams breathed a sigh of relief. In all honesty, he could’ve gone in my GOAT column, and so could’ve Gostkowski.. but both teams made so many bad plays it’s hard to just pin it on the one mistake.

Disappointing Team of the Week:

Dallas Cowboys.

I expected better from you. Actually, not really. But I should’ve known better than to tip you. Kudos to the Hawks though, for taking care of business. Couldn’t be happier for Wilson and Lynch in Seattle, as well that fearsome defensive backfield.

Top Plays of the Week:

Eric Wright, Pick 6 vs. the Giants.

Bucs DB Eric Wright’s pick of Eli Manning’s pass with 20 seconds remaining in the first half was impressive enough as he caught the bullet from Manning from about 5 yards away. From there, it’s like watching a Div 1 player go against a Div III team as Wright makes some incredible moves to get down the sideline and score.

Tom Crabtree, Fake FG Reception vs. the Bears.

It was Thursday Night Football and both teams were struggling to get anything going offensively. Enter, Tom Crabtree. Backup TE. With punter Tim Masthay holding for kicker Mason Crosby, Masthay would take the snap and shovel pass to Crabtree who took it from the left guard to the right tackle, straight up and the gut of the Bears D for a 27 yard TD that would spark the Packers into a beating of Jay Cutler’s Bears.

Honorable Mentions: Eagles TE Brent Celek for his ‘white-men-CAN-jump’ leap over Ravens safety Ed Reed, Reggie Bush’s impressive 23 yard TD run & Bengals WR Andrew Hawkins’ 50 yard TD catch and evade vs. the Browns.  

(For more “Plays of the Week”, click here to go to NFL.com.)

Hardest Hit of the Week:

Golden Tate on Sean Lee, Seahawks vs. Cowboys.

Boom. Cowboys Sean Lee gets layed out by a WR. ..Wait, what?

WR takes out a LB. Golden Tate, take a bow. Hines Ward would be proud. That’s how I want my WR’s to block when or my Panthers RBs are running up-field. Way to help the team and fire up the crowd. Lights out.

Headline of the Week:

NFL Films President Steve Sabol Passes Away

Worst-Play-of-the-Week:

Phantom PI Call on Steelers DB Ike Taylor.

Seriously. How?

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap1000000062826/What-were-the-refs-calling

Ryan Clark comes in to lay Santonio Holmes out over the middle, like an safety should. The hit is clean, Taylor makes no contact and in fact loses Holmes before Holmes makes the catch and then proceeds to fall backwards, courtesy of Clark. It doesn’t take much for these replacement referees. Apparently asking for a penatly now results in the request being granted. Either way, you Mr. Ref get the Worst Play of the Week.

That’s it for Week 2 of the NFL Season already. Hard to believe but week 3 is just around the corner as we look towards Thursday night’s blockbuster NFC clash of the New York Giants visiting the Carolina Panthers.

Stay tuned for my preview of that game and more.

NFL Tips: Week 16 – Christmas Edition

Absolute crunch time is upon us with many teams able to sow up a playoff birth with a win this Christmas weekend. And with the Christmas holidays comes a change to the days. The majority of games this week shall be played on the unnatural Saturday, as Sunday’s taken up by some random holiday. Along with all that nonsense, the Suck for Luck Sweepstakes now have some more hopefuls, with the Colts winning last week against the Titans. Which now brings the Vikings and Rams into the race. The Colts would still prosper the most from the pick, as the other two have pretty good QB’s on their roster and are desperate for other pieces, mainly D on both teams. Anyway, enough of that crap. Last week wasn’t as solid as past ones, missing on Indianapolis, Kansas City (SAY WHAT?!), Philadelphia, San Diego, Carolina and Washington. Let’s get this shit going!

Houston at Indianapolis: Coming off a surprising loss, the Texans go to visit a red-hot Colts team who’s won 1 of their last 14 games. Nothing can stop them at this point, not even the injury of Peyt…Oh…Right. Yeah, sorry Indy, but 1 win doesn’t a good team make. Both teams go back to their previous ways.

Prediction: Houston 35, Indianapolis 6

Denver at Buffalo: Even though the Lions performance against the Broncos seems to be forgotten, they did create the first loss for Tebow and the Patriots created the 2nd on the weekend, with the Broncos eventually get blown out near the end. Buffalo are up the creek without a paddle at this point, and after such a promising start have stooped to quite a big low this season. Denver’s D is still relatively good and Buffalo have just been hopeless of late. Tebow goes to 8-2 methinks.

Prediction: Denver 24, Buffalo 14

Arizona at Cincinnati: I think this is a tough game to call. On face value, I guess you’d pick the Bengals, but the Cards have just been on a tear recently winning 6 or their last 7 games. With both of these teams winning last week, I find it even harder to confidently pick a winner. I will do so, of course. But be weary of this one.

Prediction: Cincinnati 28, Arizona 24

Jacksonville at Tennessee: I’m not entirely sure how you go from scoring 42 points one week to letting up 41 points the next, but that’s what the Jaguars achieved with their loss to the Falcons last Thursday. How any team can lose to the Colts is beyond me, but Tennessee did that. So both of these teams are known for being horrible right now. Who’s more horrible? I’ll say the Jaguars.

Prediction: Tennessee 31, Jacksonville 27

Oakland at Kansas City: It’s hard not to just start with the Chiefs unbelievable victory against the defending champion Packers. Their D has been pretty good through this season and have shut down other team like they did to the Packers (Raiders comes to mind). And if it wasn’t for their putrid offense, they’d definitely have won more games and would likely be leading the AFC West division. I probably was close to 3 or 4 heart attacks last week watching the Lions play the Raiders. Carson Palmer was on point all game, missing on only 8 passes and throwing no INT’s, a new record, I believe (I kid, I kid). The Chiefs win definitely gives them some hope, but if the Raiders can put up enough points, then the Chiefs won’t catch them.

Prediction: Oakland 27, Kansas City 16

Miami at New England: Miami got back to their resurgent ways against the Bills last week, but made it interesting by the end. The Patriots made the Broncos look like, well, the Broncos. Everyone scores against the Patriots, so Denver scoring a solid amount of points isn’t a shock, but the Patriots almost always score more, to compensate for their invisible pass D. Miami’s resurgence is nice and all, but the Patriots play is real and consistent, so they’ll be getting the win again.

Prediction: New England 31, Miami 28

New York at New York: The battle of New York goes down in…New Jersey this Saturday. This is a big game for both teams, with both still in playoff contention and the Giants are still hoping to hold off the Cowboys and Eagles to get the East division. The Jets somehow hold a wild card spot right now, but I think the Giants offense is too high-powered for the Jets to stop or keep up with in this grudge match.

Prediction: New York Giants 30, New York Jets 21

St. Louis at Pittsburgh: In between two black outs the Steelers did apparently play an NFL game, though a few people reported them to be missing in San Francisco. St. Louis put up another valiant effort against the Bengals, but couldn’t pull it off. Again. I think this one’s obvious. The Steelers will be pissed at their performance (or lack there of) and will be taking it out on the Rams and their revolving door of a QB.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 34, St. Louis 10

Minnesota at Washington: The Vikings do have a somewhat legitimate shot to win this game, as they’ve taken quite a few teams to the wire already this season. However, they are 2-10 for a reason and Washington’s coming off a big win for the team, so I think it’ll be 2-11 for Ponder and co.

Prediction: Washington 24, Minnesota 14

Tampa Bay at Carolina: Meeting for the 2nd time this year, both teams are more or less in the same position as last time. The Buccaneers can’t win and the Panthers are going steadily getting wins here and there. Boy the Buccaneers are horrible, getting lit up on Saturday Night Football by the Cowboys and having Raheem Morris a finger nails length away from a firing. And this could be the Coup De Grace for Morris as an in-division rivalry game always puts on the most pressure, outside of playoff related matters. I think the Panthers can get to 6 wins and end Morris’s job.

Prediction: Carolina 45, Tampa Bay 17

Cleveland at Baltimore: Like most others, I was pretty shocked to see the Ravens get blown out against a team like the Chargers on Sunday Night. The Browns followed their losing ways against the surging Cardinals. Cleveland put up a nice effort against the Steelers a couple weeks back and may do so again here, but it will again be a loss.

Prediction: Baltimore 27, Cleveland 10

San Diego at Detroit: For the first time since 1999, the Lions have a chance to make the playoffs. And this is the game that gives them a good chance to get it, even with the Chargers abolishment of the Ravens on Sunday Night Football. The Lions got up against the Raiders on a 1 minute 37 second drive from Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson, winning the game by 1 point. Boy this is a hard game to pick and possibly hard to watch for Lions fans with so much at stake for the first time since hoping not to go 0-16 in ’08. I can’t tip the Chargers for any reason in this game. Bias coming strong here.

Prediction: Detroit 34, San Diego 28

Philadelphia at Dallas: There’s a lot of stake for both these teams, here. The Cowboys need a win to knock the Eagles out of contention. Both teams will also be aware of the situation with the Giants. And if the Giants do win, then the Eagles are knocked out before this one even kicks off, possibly deflating them enough that the Giants get an easy win here, but without knowing a Giants score right now, we just have to tip based on this game. The Eagles destroyed the Jets last week and the Cowboys destroyed are useless Tampa Bay team. I still think the Eagles can win this game, though.

Prediction: Philadelphia 37, Dallas 31

San Francisco at Seattle: Seattle’s base scheme is to the run the ball and the 49ers base scheme on D is to stop the run. This is bad for the Seahawks as the 49ers have done it all season, having allowed 0 rush TD’s, yes 0. I think the Seahawks will get shut out in this game, but will likely be low-scoring.

Prediction: San Francisco 13, Seattle 0

And then there were two…

Chicago at Green Bay: Despite a loss last week, I still think the Packers will win the Super Bowl this season. The only way they lose it is if they meet the 49ers along the way. Otherwise I don’t see them making a mistake. Speaking of losing, it seems to the Bears speciality right now. What a bad Christmas Day game, right? Bah.

Prediction: Green Bay 35, Chicago 20

Atlanta at New Orleans: Both of these teams are playing good football right now and this should be a cracking Monday Night Football encounter. The Saints are almost killing opponents right now and the Falcons are playing very good all-around football.The Saints just seem unstoppable right now and I don’t think a division rival will stop them. Their next stop will likely be in the playoffs. Maybe the Lions? Anyway, not changing topics, the Saints should get a good fought victory in this one.

Prediction: New Orleans 41, Atlanta 34

Have a great Christmas everyone, I’ll see you all next week for the New Years edition! :D

NFL Tips: Week 15

With 3 weeks left in the regular season, the playoffs are starting to shape up, but still aren’t solid. Hopefully week 15 can give us a clearer idea of who’s going where. I had another good week last week, getting 12 tips correct again (3rd straight week). The teams I missed on last week were: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Jacksonville and Arizona. Onto the tipping!

Jacksonville at Atlanta: Well, the horrible TNF match-ups continue and will do so with next week as well (Indianapolis at Houston or the other way round). At least we have two winners going into week, right? Right? Yeah, who am I fooling, the Jaguars still stink and Atlanta should give them a good hiding. Sans MJD.

Prediction: Atlanta 31, Jacksonville 17

Dallas at Tampa Bay: We’re very lucky this week to have two games before the Sunday games kick off. Even if both games will likely be one-sided blowouts. Raheem Morris could be fired if this game turns out the way it likely will, as the Bucs have lost 7 straight games and are likely to make it 8 here. Cowboys fans are desperate for a win, as they lost on a blocked FG last week against the Giants. I have absolutely no idea what’s happened to the Bucs, but I hope they enjoy their high draft pick this year. Plus if the Jaguars can put 41 points on them, imagine what the Cowboys are capable of!

Prediction: Dallas 40, Tampa Bay 21

Miami at Buffalo: It’s amazing how little it takes to change opinions on teams. Last week the Dolphins last by 16, which isn’t great. But it is better than 27 points which is what the Bills lost by. Yet somehow the Bills are the big favourites in this game. Just like the Panthers game against the Buccaneers recently, it dumbfounds me how this is the case. All teams have bad days, and that includes D’s which have dominated, look at San Francisco last week getting torn to shreds by Fitzgerald and co. Buffalo have been completely inept of performing on O recently. The Dolphins are better than the Chargers D and can hold them to 10, just like them. Dolphins get another deserved win, with a new coach.

Prediction: Miami 20, Buffalo 13

Seattle at Chicago: Regardless of the opposition last week, I think the Seahawks can run the table to end the season. Their run game is unstoppable right now and their D is absolutely ferocious getting picks and fumbles all over the field, as well as knocking the shit out of opposing receivers. Not really sure what to say about the unbelievable viewing at Mile High last week against the Tebows. The Bears almost literally handed Denver that game. Even though the Seahawks have done have an imaginary aura around them, they can definitely handle and beat the Bears, who are hopeless on offense.

Prediction: Seattle 27, Chicago 17

Indianapolis at Tennessee: Not going to bother with these until the Colts say otherwise. 0-14, baby!

Prediction: Tennessee 28, Indianapolis 14

Green Bay at Kansas City: Back to back blurbs with hardly any words. Packers are undefeated, and Kansas City are pretty hopeless. People are screaming trap game this and trap game that, but they also thought the Giants were gonna win…Um…Yeah.

Prediction: Green Bay 41, Kansas City 17

Cincinnati at St. Louis: Ah, how promising the Rams were, then they lost the majority of their players and couldn’t win at all. And then they lost their franchise QB for a few games and Steven Jackson hasn’t been himself, either. Everything’s gone wrong for the Rams this season. Which is the complete opposite for the Bengals, who are showing a much improved team and record. Well, improved over recent times, anyhow. The Bengals are only 1 game from being .500, but this match-up shouldn’t pose much of a thread and they should be able to create a non-losing season for the first time in a while.

Prediction: Cincinnati 34, St. Louis 13

New Orleans at Minnesota: The only way I see the Vikings winning this game is if the Saints D gives up in the 2nd half like the Lions did last week. Or if the Saints O takes 30 minutes before they get into gear, which is also what happened last week, when they took on the Titans. Minnesota does get pack Adrian Peterson which also gives them a chance, but unless they start Webb and he works his magic again, I’m not confident in their winning abilities.

Prediction: New Orleans 30, Minnesota 16

Washington at New York: I’m not entirely sure what you want to label the Giants win last week. “Lucky” is the first word that comes to my mind, but then again, they kept answering the Cowboys scores. I use “Lucky” because one hand decided that game. And blocks are never a guarantee or planned out to perfection every time. Jason Pierre-Paul had an amazing game, though. The Redskins held it with the Patriots for almost the whole game, but came up short by 7. The Giants play of late in the past two games definitely give them the advantage, but a rivalry is always an unknown.

Prediction: New York 21, Washington 17

Carolina at Houston: TJ Yates is a great story at the moment, not that he’s getting any coverage of course. But nonetheless, he’s kept the Texans on their course and won them the AFC South division title last weekend with the final play of the game against the Bengals. Carolina have been in almost all their games this season, but still seem to lack that final nail to put them away. They gave up a 24 point lead to the Falcons in the 2nd half last week to lose the game. I think this game will buck the trend for the Panthers, who’ll struggle to score enough points to keep up with the Texans. Their D is just too good for Cam Newton to do his thing.

Prediction: Houston 28, Carolina 10

Detroit at Oakland: I’m pretty use to seeing the Lions give up points after leading this season, but last week was pretty heart-stopping. A win last week just meant so much to their playoff cause. Keeping them up with the Falcons and taking the 2nd wildcard spot. I’m not really sure what the Raiders are doing at the moment, but if playing badly is their current gameplan, then I’m all for it! This game worries me, though. I can’t really put my finger on why, but teams that get drubbed the previous week always come out firing and wanting to getting early points. Hopefully the returns of key defensive players will ease those worries once the game kicks off. I’m still taking the Lions here, but I think it’ll be more of the heart-stopping variety.

Prediction: Detroit 34, Oakland 31

New England at Denver: Oh, goody, this game…Look I’m so sick of hearing about these two arsehole QB’s that I really don’t want to do this. I’ll just be quick and get it over with.

Prediction: New England 38, Denver 27

New York at Philadelphia: Both winners last week, this game should pretty enjoyable. Michael Vick has returned for the Eagles, which is always a boost. Sanchez probably had his best game of his regular season career, throwing for 2 TD’s and running for 2 others. This game’s hardish to call. The Eagles beat 1 team and I’m not sure why it makes them almost as good as the Jets. If Revis can shutdown D-Jax, then I think the Jets can definitely win. Especially with the way Shonne Green is running the ball right now. And the Eagles let up a lot of yards on the ground. Jets take it in a close one.

Prediction: New York 32, Philadelphia 31

Cleveland at Arizona: The Cardinals have won 3 straight games and are good odds to make it 4 against a Cleveland team that was only able to put up 3 points on the Pittsburgh Steelers. That might not be too surprising, but the Browns had a lot of chances to cash in on points and were only able to do it once.

Prediction: Arizona 26, Cleveland 14

And then there were two…

Baltimore at San Diego: It was good to finally see the Chargers dominating like their old ways. As well as that, Rivers has been interception-free for 3 straight games, though this game is a tough task. Obvious win was obvious for the Ravens last week, as they took on the winless (and useless) Colts with an easy win as Ray Rice rushed for 204 yards on the day. San Diego lets up yard on the ground too and Baltimore’s D is still as rock solid as ever. I can’t hold out much hope for the Chargers in this one, though.

Prediction: Baltimore 28, San Diego 14

Pittsburgh at San Francisco: Now this is the game of the week! Hard-nosed Football. Everything the NFL stands against. Every team has a bad day, and that’s what the 49ers endured last week against the Cardinals. They have clinched their division, though, so except for the #2 seed and a playoff bye, there’s not a lot they’re playing for. Pittsburgh’s day was a fair bit easier though against the Browns, only allowing 3 points and making a lot of good plays on D. The Steelers will be without their best D player James Harrison after a ridiculous suspension based on accumulative hits. Of course media never helps these bullshit outcomes, often inserting the idea in people’s heads to begin with. Saying all that, though, I think the 49ers can pull a bit of an upset and take the spoils in their hometown on Monday Night Football!

Prediction: San Francisco 24, Pittsburgh 17

Have a good week, everyone. :)

NFL Tips: Week 12

With a 16 game schedule every Sunday (and Monday) for the next 6 weeks, this is where it all gets very enjoyable and even more interesting. I was a poor tipper yet against last week, only getting 9 correct. The ones I missed on were, Cleveland, Miami, Baltimore, Seattle & Philadelphia. Legooo!

Green Bay at Detroit: Well, the Thanksgiving festivities and games are upon us. As always, we kick things off with the annual Lions game. This year against the best team in Football. Green Bay go into Detroit as a still undefeated team, looking to notch win #11 on the season (out of 11 games, for those playing along at home). The Lions will put up a very tough test, being a nationally televised game and all, but I believe the Packers will get that 11th victory, unfortunately. Only just.

Prediction: Green Bay 31, Detroit 28

Miami at Dallas: Just like the Lions, the Cowboys also have their annual Thanksgiving game against a resurgent Dolphins team. The ‘Fins have won 3 in a row, and are looking red-hot, being led by QB Matt Moore (colour me shocked). The Cowboys are also on a bit of a roll, but almost got tripped up last week by the Redskins, only being saved by Gano’s constant inaccuracy. Miami’s a nice story, but I think their streak ends on Thanksgiving.

Prediction: Dallas 29, Miami 21

San Francisco at Baltimore: To round out the Thanksgiving games, we have the Harbowl, as San Francisco (coached by Jim Harbaugh) go to Baltimore to take on the Ravens (coached by John Harbaugh). Despite the coaching match-up, this game should be an old-school defensive game. Two fantastic defenses trying to beat the shit out of the other team. That always makes for good watching, and is also good to know that Goodell will be having a cry, knowing how lacking in offense it will be. This really is a tough game to call, but I’m a believer in the 49ers and ya just never know what the Ravens will produce. I’ll take the consistency.

Prediction: San Francisco 14, Baltimore 10

Minnesota at Atlanta: Minnesota came up short against the Raiders last week, while the Falcons got a 6 point win over the Titans, after holding off a nice comeback. The Vikings are a pretty poor team, even with Adrian Peterson. Since the Vikings are going down so early, AP has been a bit of a non-factor of late, which is never a good sign. Atlanta’s been up and down most of the year, but this seems like a pretty easy match-up for them.

Prediction: Atlanta 28, Minnesota 13

Cleveland at Cincinnati: Cleveland pulled off a 4 point victory over Jacksonville last week, while the Bengals fell just short to the Ravens by 7. Cincinnati have been pretty consistent throughout this season, and Cleveland have been consistently bad. I think it’s a comfortable Bengals win.

Cincinnati 21, Cleveland 6

Tampa Bay at Tennessee: This is a tough match-up to call. Both teams have been so inconsistent this season, ya just don’t know who’s going to show up to play or not. The Titans fell short to the Falcons, after putting up a good comeback effort, while the Buccaneers really took it to the Packers in the 2nd half (This gives me hope for the Lions!) before the Packers eventually pulled away. I’m going with Tampa Bay simply off what I saw last week, but it’s another 51/49 type game.

Tampa Bay 28, Tennessee 27

Carolina at Indianapolis: The Colts have a very mild chance in this game, but they might actually be playing for Luck at this point. The Panthers played very well last week before a 2nd half collapse, but the Lions aren’t the Colts. Carolina shouldn’t have much trouble here.

Prediction: Carolina 35, Indianapolis 21

Arizona at St. Louis: The 2nd match-up in 3 weeks, this will be an underrated game. Last time out, the Cardinals won it off, what I believe was, the best play of the season so far. A 99 yard punt return TD from the Rookie, Patrick Peterson. It was marvellous TV to watch, especially live. Jaw on floor type stuff. St. Louis are up the proverbial creek without the paddle, though, having placed yet another CB on IR (that’s 10 CB’s on IR on the season). Arizona’s not a great team, but they’re still better than St. Louis, who’ve I’ve been over-valuing the whole season.

Prediction: Arizona 17, St. Louis 10

Buffalo at New York: Well, it was good while it lasted, but the Bills have been blasted the past two weeks, killing any hope of taking the AFC East away from the Patriots. They head to Metlife stadium after a 35-8 crushing at the hands of Miami. Yes, Miami. Surely the Bills will have to show their past form at one point again this season? If so, they’ve got an uphill battle, after they just lose their best player in Fred Jackson for the season. I was going to give them the tip before hearing that, but it’s an almost impossible task now. Jets should take this one. Maybe even in a shutout.

Prediction: New York 21, Buffalo 0

Houston at Jacksonville: Jacksonville were pretty valiant in this contest earlier this season, and with the Texans having lost their best QB for the season, it’ll be the much maligned Matt Leinart getting the start, after they missed out on Kyle Orton. Jacksonville really only have 1 plan, and that’s to let MJD run as much as possible, for as much damage as possible. If the Texans can contain him enough to make the Jaguars a primary passing team, then I think they’ll take the victory. But it won’t be as easy as it may seem.

Prediction: Houston 27, Jacksonville 20

Chicago at Oakland: Hmmm…This is an interesting game to weigh up. The Raiders have gotten back what they lost when Jason Campbell went down with a nice resurgent Carson Palmer (I still think they should’ve tried for Matt Flynn, but I digress). But the Bears have lost Jay Cutler indefinitely to a broken thumb, and have to weight their playoff hopes (good news for the Lions) on Caleb Hanie. I’ll be honest, I think Hanie’s a better QB than people give him credit for. Not some kind of freak who’ll rip the Raiders to shreds, but he can make nice throws, with an odd interceptions and maybe a couple TD’s. The reason this is so tough to weigh up, is because neither team has an offense which can rip apart the opponents D. The Bears are a stout run D, while the Raiders are tough to throw on. I think the Bears can win this, but I’ve stupidly doubted Oakland before. This could be another one of those.

Prediction: Chicago 34, Oakland 26

Washington at Seattle: The ‘Skins were unlucky last week, simply because of their woeful kicker. Seattle’s favoured in this game, which honestly baffles me. The Redskins D will be able to stop them, it’s the offense scoring which is the main worry. But still, the Seahawks are a bad team, regardless of their result last week.

Prediction: Washington 21, Seattle 10

New England at Philadelphia: Ah, one of those inter-division games (East vs other East). The Eagles have been the most inconsistent team this whole season, while the Patriots can’t really stop any offenses. I think this game will be pretty overrated like most of them and the Patriots will get a pretty comfortable win.

Prediction: New England 37, Philadelphia 21

Denver at San Diego: I don’t know about you, but this Denver team can definitely beat bad Run D teams. So it’s lucky they’re playing the Chargers, who allow 124.3 yards per game. I’m not entirely sure what to make of San Diego, they just haven’t done anything of note so far. Maybe they can turn on their usual late-season heroics, but those were when Rivers was playing as a top-5 QB, not a bottom-5 QB. So unless the Chargers have found some miracle cure for his interceptitis, I think the Broncos can notch another win.

Prediction: Denver 16, San Diego 9

And then there were two…

Pittsburgh at Kansas City: Will the Kyle Orton era (probably 6 games) start for the Chiefs when they host the Steelers? Only time will tell, but let’s be honest. It probably won’t make any difference to the final result. The Chiefs started floundering again, while the Steelers have been looking good, and are coming off a nice bye before heading into the final stretch. I don’t think the Chiefs have much shot in this game, Orton or otherwise.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 24, Kansas City 10

New York at New Orleans: We wrap up this weekends festivities with a Monday night game in Louisiana. The Giants head to the Superdome to face the high-flying Saints, who are coming off the bye. The Giants do have a shot in this game, but that’s only if they stop Drew Brees. Giants rookie CB Prince Amukamara had a nice showing in his first game, making 5 total tackles and getting an interception for his troubles. The Giants D is pretty banged up, though, so they’ll probably have a bit of trouble with Brees. I reckon the Saints will take it, but it should be an interesting contest.

Prediction: New Orleans 33, New York 21

Well, another tips article down. Have a great Thanksgiving and weekend, everyone. Go Lions!