Now the season has passed the midway mark, and the focus begins to really shift towards the playoff picture. In both conferences there are many quality teams all vying for a small few positions in the postseason. Every win is crucial as this year ten wins may not even be enough to secure a spot in January. Many matchups this week will be crucial to the success or failure of contending teams in the second half of the year. Here’s how I see it all going down.
Vikings at Bears: Is this finally the week the Bears get a win? I know we’ve been saying this for weeks, but home against Minnesota will give them a great opportunity. Bears 24-20
Texans at Browns: The Browns are 6-3? Is it a sign of the apocalypse? But seriously, Mike Pettine knows what he’s doing. It’s basically a Texans must-win, but I don’t like their odds. Browns 27-23
Falcons at Panthers: Want to hear a joke? Both these teams are still very much alive in the playoff race. And one of them has to win, so the Saints have a right to be nervous and hope for a tie. Falcons 20-14
Bengals at Saints: The Bengals are incredibly confusing, I think I’ve said that a billion times since the year started. However, the Bengals are bad on the road and the Saints are great at home, so I feel confident in this one. Saints 34-20.
Buccaneers at Redskins: Another game someone unfortunately has to win. RG3 played well enough last week to hold his starting job although I felt Colt McCoy had earned the spot. As for the Bucs, nothing’s gone their way, and it doesn’t change today. Redskins 27-16
Broncos at Rams: Now let’s think about this for a minute. The Rams are the most impressive 3-6 team I’ve ever seen. They’ve beat the Seahawks, the 49ers, and nearly took down the Cowboys and Eagles. But, Peyton is Peyton. I don’t think Austin Davis pulls off another upset. Broncos 38-20
49ers at Giants: The Giants have lost four straight, but looked sharp through three quarters in Seattle last week, and Odell Beckham is an absolute monster. The Niners are coming off a huge win in New Orleans, but I say it’s time the Giants bounce back and stick a fork in San Fran’s playoff hopes. Giants 30-27
Seahawks at Chiefs: Now this is one interesting matchup. Seattle has definitely been weaker this season than the last two years, but still remain in the wild card hunt, and are facing some big games up ahead. The Chiefs are also wild card racing, but I give Seattle the nod in what should be a close game. Seahawks 24-23
Raiders at Chargers: Haha, very funny Oakland. You think you can win a game. Chargers 31-20. Watch them win now that I said that…
Lions at Cardinals: This is my game of the week. With a combined record of 15-3, both these teams are safely in the playoffs at this stage. However, Arizona needs to be able to win with Drew Stanton at QB. It’ll be tough, but I think their defense is strong enough to hold. Cardinals 20-14
Eagles at Packers: Actually, this could also be game of the week. Again, the Eagles are trying to hold on in the NFC East with the Cowboys while Nick Foles is out. The Packers have been a wrecking crew the last few weeks, including a 55-14 thrashing of the Bears last week where Aaron Rodgers likely would’ve broken the single-game passing touchdowns record if he played the whole game. I can’t pick against Green Bay at this point in the season. Packers 37-27
Patriots at Colts: Or is this the game of the week? Seriously, a lot of great games people. Andrew Luck will look to continue his MVP form against the hottest team in the league right now. I honestly have no idea, but I do know that I own Vereen, Edelman, and Gronk in my fantasy football league, so I need them to perform. Patriots 34-31
Steelers at Titans: Let’s face it. The Titans are at home, but does that really mean they should be expected to win? I see the Steelers winning big. Steelers 31-13
Have fun watching the games this week. There are some real good ones.