I had a perfect 5-0 in picks last week but still trail my friend, Josh Brewer by a few games in our pick’em. Make sure you check out his blog at alwaysbrewing.blogspot.com. Let’s get to the picks!
1. Minnesota at Chicago:
- Minnesota is one of the big surprises of the NFL and got a key win against Detroit two weeks ago. They are only a game behind the Bears and the Packers for first place so this is a huge game for both teams. The Vikings will not have Percy Harvin at their disposal because of an ankle injury which will limit what Minnesota can do on offense. Onthe Bears side of things they will get Jay Cutler back. I think Bears fans saw how important Cutler is to this team because Jason Campbell couldn’t do anything against a tough 49ers defense. The return of Cutler and the absence of Harvin will be the deciding factors for a Bears victory.
- Bears- 27-16
2. Atlanta at Tampa Bay:
- Tampa Bay is another surprise team competing for a playoff spot in the NFC. They welcome the 9-1 Falcons to town who started hot and have found ways to win some sloppy games. Tampa has the worst rated pass defense in the NFL so look for Matty Ice to get back on track this week even if he doesn’t have stand-out Julio Jones lining up across from Roddy White. The keys for Tampa to win are a steady dose of Doug Martin and for Josh Freeman to be smart with the ball. Atlanta has to take advantage of Tampa’s terrible pass D. The Falcons get back on track.
- Falcons- 34-24
3. New Orleans at San Francisco:
- Jim Harbaugh declared he was going to ride the hot hand at quarterback and is doing just that by naming second year man Colin Kaepernick the starter for Sunday. After he tore apart the Bears’ defense on Monday night, Harbaugh gave the nod to the Nevada product to go against a horrendous New Orleans defense. New Orleans has quietly won three straight and five of their last six, the Saints are quietly approaching the group of teams fighting for the wild card spots. I think the 9ers made a premature decision at quarterback and the Saints hot streak will continue.
- Saints- 30-20
4. Baltimore at San Diego:
- Before the season started this was one of the games I was looking forward to the most. But yet again, the Chargers are who we thought they were. A team with a ton of talent who can’t live up to it. Philip Rivers is struggling again to protect the ball (see the Tampa game). The Ravens pulled out an impressive win in a slug fest with the Steelers on Sunday night football. Jacoby Jones has been an incredible acquisition for this team but they need to get Ray Rice the ball more since he is only averaging 55 yards rushing a game in his last five. Ravens are just the superior team here.
- Ravens- 27-17
5. Green Bay at NY Giants:
- The Packers are pulling out games this year with their defense and offense which has made their five game winning streak even more impressive. They will be without Clay Matthews again this week which I think will be a huge blow. The Giants are in a slump but I don’t trust this team any farther than I can throw them. And with my bad knee I shouldn’t be throwing anybody. I feel like the Giants wake up out of their coma this Sunday and end the Packers streak.
- Giants- 27-24