I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Those Thursday games were enough to start off the holiday season. Games this week will have an impact on the upcoming playoff picture. Forgive me because I thought last week was the last week for byes. It appears those two teams that game us such an amazing Monday night football game are off. Kansas City and Los Angeles Rams will sit this week out. Let’s get into the week’s games.
CLEVELAND BROWNS vs CINCINNATI BENGALS:
The story here is Hue Jackson going up against his former team. Although he is not doing it as a head coach, he will still be on the sideline as a special assistant. Of course, stories of insider secrets being shared start to surface, but the players still have to play the game. The Browns have nothing to lose every week, so their play is never in question. The Bengals are another story. What started out as a promising season has quickly turned to into fighting for to stay in the post-season hunt. Andy Dalton may show up at home and give Cincinnati the boost they need. If he does not, Baker Mayfield and company get to rub dirt in Hue’s eye.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS vs TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS:
As Tampa Bay plays switcheroo with the QB, QB changes only happened because of injury on the San Fran side. Nick Mullens seems to be holding his own out there. With the few players he has around him, it should be enough to conquer the circus that the Bucs have become over the last four games. At this point both teams are just trying to finish the season out.
San Francisco 49ers
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS vs BUFFALO BILLS:
This should be so easy to choose, right? Looking back on one of the three wins that the Bills have will put everything in perspective for this game. Buffalo beat the Minnesota Vikings convincingly. Their defense contained the Cousins/Thielen/Diggs combination and held the Vikes to six points. This could definitely be the case when they face the Jags. If they can keep the Bortles/Fournette duo in check, the returning Josh Allen should have no problem getting the job done.
OAKLAND RAIDERS vs BALTIMORE RAVENS:
Did Lamar Jackson impress last week? If not, there is a great chance he will this Sunday. Ok, so it will be against the Oakland Raiders, but experience is experience, and no one gets to pick who they play. The Ravens offense will not be the only challenge that the Raiders will have to face. That Ravens defense will be time enough for the offensive likes of Derek Carr and crew. Here, the Raiders were only chosen once. That was last week. Do not look for that choice to be made again.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS vs CAROLINA PANTHERS:
OMG the Panthers and that game last Sunday!! They need to get right this week. It will be hard fought, but they should get it against the Seahawks. Carolina is perfect at home this season. Seattle’s defense has not been the most effective with all of the personnel losses. Unfortunately, Seattle depends too greatly on Russell Wilson to get the job done, but it is showing signs of wear on him. The Seahawks will keep up initially, but the Panthers come away with another win at home.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS vs NEW YORK JETS:
So the New England Patriots got taken down by the Tennessee Titans a couple of weeks ago. They have had time to think about that loss and rest. It will almost be three weeks of rest if you count this week. The Jets have not had the success they thought they would with Sam Darnold. There is no reason to think that New York will put up much of a fight this Sunday. Call it what it is and move on.
New England Patriots
NEW YORK GIANTS vs PHILADELPHIA EAGLES:
New York has won two in a row. Does this mean they get one over the flailing Philadelphia Eagles? It just might. Philadelphia is hurting bad. A player is lost every game. Not a good way to welcome back the quarterback that everyone doted on. In the meantime, Eli Manning and his merry band of thieves are building their confidence and stealing games. Because this is a division game, the Eagles may step up a bit and use the home field advantage in their favor. This was a real toss up decision on this one.
ARIZONA CARDINALS vs LOS ANGELES CHARGERS:
That loss to Denver is leaving a bitter taste in the Chargers mouths. Arizona will be their rebound game in their quest for the post-season. Not much excitement going on here.
Los Angeles Chargers
MIAMI DOLPHINS vs INDIANAPOLIS COLTS:
Even with Ryan Tannehill coming back this week, do not look for much improvement from Miami. The burst they had at the beginning of the season has clearly dwindled. It is like the crash after having one of those energy drinks. Andrew Luck and the Colts are on a four game winning streak. Who would have thought that? That Colts offense is playing under the radar, but clearly showing its talent. Miami may not lose out the season, but they will lose today.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS vs DENVER BRONCOS:
Speaking of luck, the Pittsburgh Steelers definitely have had their share. Last week was a clear testimony to that fact. Looks like they may be using that lucky rabbit’s foot again today. As long as Roethlisberger can stay focused, the Steelers should have no problem getting past the mediocre defensive play of the Broncos. The Broncos offense is no challenge for the Steeler defense either. Do not let that Broncos win last week over the Los Angeles Chargers fool anyone.
GREEN BAY PACKERS vs MINNESOTA VIKINGS:
Green Bay needs this win. NEEDS this win. The odds are against them as they have not been great on the road. There seems to be some tension behind the scenes in Green Bay, but hopefully, that will not effect the play on the field. TE Jimmy Graham should be back for the Pack. This is a good sign because he has been in the mix lately. Defense has not been a strong suit for the Pack either. Considering they will be facing Adam Thielen, Stefan Diggs, and Dalvin Cook, this could be a potential issue. Rodgers and company will have to score quick and often to get ahead here.
Green Bay Packers
Let’s see how these games turn out. It is getting heated in the race for the post-season. Warm up some of those leftovers and grab a seat. There are sure to be some games that will keep you glued to the tv. Good luck to your teams and picks!
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