Cowboys (-3.5) over GIANTS
Which Cowboys team will show up Sunday? Last week they took advantage of the sloppy Redskins to win their first game without Zeke Elliott. This week they get a Giants team that is free of Ben McAdoo and welcomes Eli Manning back into the fold. Typically a team that just fired their head coach tends to perform well. That can still happen.
My reason for picking the Cowboys has more to do with the weather. It snowed all day Saturday and it will be chilly for gameday in that wind bowl called MetLife Stadium. That should favor the run-heavy Cowboys who can still ground and pound with the best of them, even if they are missing their top gun. Likely a low scoring snoozer but you probably knew that already.
Prediction: Cowboys 17, Giants 13
CARDINALS (+3) over Titans
Being home dogs versus the Rams is one thing. Against this Titans team? Yeah, give me the points. The Titans are the worst above-500 team in the league. Marcus Mariota has been underwhelming as has the Titans offense as a whole. Last week they covered by the grace of God as Derrick Henry ripped off a 75-yard touchdown at the very end of the game to cover against the Texans.
The Cardinals are more feisty than the Texans, especially at home. Blaine Gabbert doesn’t scare a squirrel but the pieces around him might. Aside from ole reliable Larry Fitzgerald there is breakout tight end Ricky Seales-Jones who has had a strong rapport with Gabbert, hauling in three touchdowns in his last three games. Adrian Peterson will likely miss this game with a neck injury but that does not scare me. Take the home team with the points and live with making the right decision regardless of the outcome.
Prediction: Titans 21, Cardinals 23
STEELERS (-4.5) over Ravens
If you’re looking for a postseason bandwagon team look no further. The Steelers have everything you need and more. Antonio Brown is boomin’ and Le’Veon Bell is dancing. Ben Roethlisberger has even woken from his inept coma from earlier this season to turn it on. The result has been seven straight wins. Last Monday they won a slobber knocker against the Bengals in Cincy and unfortunately lost defensive cog Ryan Shazier who is expected to make a full recovery.
On Sunday night they face a Ravens team that is mediocrity personified. Their defense does the heavy lifting but will be without their top corner Jimmy Smith for the rest of the season with an Achilles injury. That means Joe “Flaccid” Flacco will have to step it up. Relying on Flacco is a lot like relying on an umbrella to keep you dry in a hurricane. Expect Le’Veon and Antonio to have big enough games that the Ravens offense simply cannot catch up.
Prediction: Ravens 17, Steelers 30
DOLPHINS (+11) over Patriots
Am I out of my fucking mind trusting the Dolphins two weeks in a row? Absolutely. That doesn’t mean I will change my pick here. The Patriots will win this game, that much is certain. But ask any Pats fan where they least like to play and the answer will be either Denver or Miami. For whatever reason wacky shit happens when Brady and Belichick play at either site. Denver was no issue for the Pats this season, but Miami could be a whole other ball game.
Gronk being out of this game is my main red flag. He’s the go-to when things get awry. Without him Brandin Cooks, Dion Lewis and James White will be depended on. Chris Hogan may return from injury but it’s too much to bank on him carrying a big load right away. The Dolphins on the other hand are coming off an impressive win over the bummy Broncos. The best part about their win is that the true talent in their backfield, Kenyan Drake finally received his proper workload and delivered 141 total yards and a touchdown. Drake will be in line for a similar workload Monday night so at the least the Dolphins should be competitive.
Prediction: Patriots 31, Dolphins 24
The Other Guys
Colts (+4.5) over BILLS
Vikings (-2.5) over PANTHERS
BENGALS (-6.5) over Bears
Packers (-3) over BROWNS
TEXANS (-3) over 49ERS
BUCCANEERS (+1) over Lions
Raiders (+4.5) over CHIEFS
BRONCOS (-1) over Jets
CHARGERS (-5.5) over Redskins
Seahawks (-2.5) over JAGUARS
Eagles (+1) over RAMS
Last Week: 7-6-1