Last week was a very good week for our selections. I went 12-2, so it was a very nice week. Now, let’s do it again this coming week, and help find a whole bunch more straight up winners for your office pool. With Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville, and New Orleans on the sidelines with byes, there are again 14 games to deal with.
Pittsburgh at Tennessee - The Steelers can’t decide what team they are. Two weeks ago against Oakland they were an offense force, but the defense was a joke. Last weekend the defense looked solid, but the offense was pathetic. It’s a highly unpredictable team right now. Fortunately, they are playing at a team with more issues than them, so they can win this one — and they really need the win. Take the Steelers.
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Oakland at Atlanta - At some point the Falcons are going to lose. They aren’t a team with 16-0 in them. That first loss isn’t coming here, though. Oakland can’t find any consistency, and Atlanta isn’t going to make a misstep at home in a very winnable game. Take the Falcons.
Kansas City at Tampa Bay - Kansas City fans actually cheered when Matt Cassel was hurt on Sunday. While that was an incredibly classless act, the underlying sentiment is sound — this just isn’t a very good QB, and he is dragging his team down. Tampa Bay is feisty and better than their record, and the Bucs come out on top. Take the Bucs.
Indianapolis at N.Y. Jets - Andrew Luck and the Colts showed incredible toughness in the second half of their stunning win over Green Bay last week. That was emotion-fueled, so it’s hard to know how much will carry over. Still, they are well ahead of schedule, and New York is damaged and flawed. Take the Colts in a mild upset.
Cincinnati at Cleveland - I really don’t like this Cincinnati team. The Bengals won three in a row before their last loss, but they are not complete and I don’t trust them. I am really tempted to take the Browns. Until they prove they can win one, though, I can’t do that. Take the Bengals.
Detroit at Philadelphia - Philadelphia is a broken team, and I really don’t trust the Eagles. Their 3-2 record is an illusion, and this team isn’t going to finish above .500. The Lions haven’t been much better, but I am going to have faith that the week off to get their act together will have worked miracles for them. Take the Lions.
St. Louis at Miami - St. Louis has not been strong on the road, so the Rams would have to have a nice edge here to be chosen. They don’t. Miami’s nice win against Cincinnati was no fluke. Ryan Tannehill is playing with tremendous confidence the last couple of weeks, and the team around him is responding very well to their excellent coaching. Take the Dolphins.
Dallas at Baltimore - How do you deal with that last Baltimore game? That’s the big question. Against the Chiefs on Sunday the Ravens were completely inept on offense — the worst they have been in a long, long time. They couldn’t run or pass. Do they deserve a mulligan, or will a rested Dallas team with a renewed secondary be able to make things difficult for them? I choose the latter. Take the Cowboys.
Buffalo at Arizona - Both teams were seriously exposed last week. The problem for the Bills is that it is the second straight week it has happened. Now they have to travel all the way across the country again. The Cardinals will be tough at home where they have been very tough to beat. At least they have a solid defensive showing last week to build on. Buffalo has nothing. Take the Cardinals.
New England at Seattle - I like a lot of what the Seahawks are doing, and I like how their defense played against the Panthers. New England is playing very well, though. They are running the ball so well that it makes life very tough for opposing defenses. This will be a tough game — and a personal one for former New England coach Pete Carroll — but the Seahawks will fall short. Take the Patriots.
N.Y. Giants at San Francisco - I don’t personally like the Giants that much, but I respect what they have done and how solid they can be when they are on their game. The Niners, though, are just plain better. They have allowed three points in their last two games while scoring 79, and they couldn’t be more confident. They will also be motivated for revenge after last year’s overtime playoff loss. Take the 49ers.
Minnesota at Washington - I have given up trying to figure out how the Vikings are doing it and now I’ll just accept that they are doing it. Washington has some serious injury concerns, and have a vulnerable line that Minnesota can exploit. Take the Vikings.
Green Bay at Houston - Before the season this one seemed like it was going to be one of the true highlights of the whole season. The Texans have done their part, but the Packers really haven’t. Green Bay has issues, and Houston is well-positioned to take advantage. Take the Texans.
Denver at San Diego - I really don’t like how the Chargers let their game against the Saints get away from them. They should have won that. I also don’t trust them to come back angry and motivated in this one. Denver has clear issues, though, and San Diego is good enough to exploit those issues if they play their game. That means I have to trust the home team — as much as I don’t like them. Take the Chargers.
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