Sorry I missed Thursday night's game with the Cowboys-Vikings, but I'm here now after having another strong week, moving my record further over .500. After a bad start to the season I'm doing much better. Let's see if I can keep it rolling.
Also, we never want to root for Dallas, but the Cowboys' win last night has helped the Giants in their playoff chase. The teams to watch down the stretch that might sneak up into the playoffs are actually the Buccaneers and the Washington Insensitives. Root against them!
Denver Broncos (-3.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Broncos need this win to keep pace with the Chiefs and Raiders and defense travels. The Jaguars and Blake Bortles have been inconsistent on offense, I think the Broncos will win this one pretty easily.
Kansas City (+4.5) at Atlanta Falcons
The Chiefs are a legitimately good team. Sure, their offense is extremely boring, but the defense is top notch and the Chiefs have been one of the best teams in the league over the last year in a half.
Houston Texans (+6.5) at Green Bay Packers
I think this is a bit of an over-reaction to the Packers play on Monday night. Until they prove otherwise they are still in an inconsistent offense and an average at best defense. Brock Osweiler might be the worst starting quarterback in the league, but the Texans defense is legitimately good -- fitfth overall in points and fifth overall in pass yards, I don't know if they can go into Lambeau and win, but I think it'll be pretty close.
The Eagles loss on Monday night as all, but eliminated them from the playoffs, but can Cincinnati put a full end to it? I don't think so. The Bengals lost A.J. Green and Bernard for the rest of the season and I'm not sure they have enough weapons to take advantage of an Eagles defense that is No. 3 overall in defense in Football Outsiders' DVOA metric.
Detroit Lions (+6) at New Orleans Saints
The Saints are rolling on offense and poor on defense (just another year at the office)..
San Francisco 49ers (+1) at Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears are too beat up and I think the 49ers will get up for a team that they can legitimately control. I think the 49ers have more talent right now than a Bears team that is on it's last legs.
Los Angeles Rams (+13.5) at New England Patriots
The loss of Rob Gronkowski will hurt the Patriots, especially down the field where they lack explosive options. I think the Rams tough defense should do enough to challenge the Patriots and make life difficult for them. I don' think enough to win, but I do think enough to stay within two touchdowns.
Miami Dolphins (+3.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The Dolphins are a team that is very hot behind a quarterback that is playing exceptionally well and a running back who can punish teams. I think they have a good shot of beating the Ravens out-right so I'll definitely take the points.
Buffalo Bills (+3) at Oakland Raiders
I think the Bills can run enough to give the Raiders some problems and slow down their pass rush and give the Raiders problems. The Raiders also have made a habit of playing games very close.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) at San Diego Chargers
This is maybe the most important game for the Giants this weekend outside of their own. The Buccaneers are one of the teams most likely to challenge them for a wild card spot down the stretch. The Lions and Vikings are high up there now, but they will play each other again and the Giants will get to play the Lions. A loss here by the Buccaneers helps the Giants big time. But I think the Buccaneers have playing well and have a good shot at winning this game so I'll take the points.
Washington (+2.5) at Arizona Cardinals
Here's another important game for the Giants. Go Cardinals!
However, I think Washington is the better team and is getting points.
New York Giants (+6) at Pittsburgh Steelers
(Insert picture of Rodeny Dangerfield) The Giants get no respect. No respect. 8-3 with one of the league's best defenses and they are 6-point underdogs to at team that been wildly inconsistent. This is a huge test for the Giants defense, and one that we all hope they are up to the challenge for.
Carolina Panthers (+7) at Seattle Seahawks
What is the Panthers motivation here? That is the big question. If they are true professionals I think their strengths match up well with the Seahawks so I don't see this being a big blowout.
Indianapolis Colts (-1.5) at New York Jets