Jazz: I’ll have to start tempering my expectations, but it was another pretty good week for last time around. I went 5-2 again for a season total of 47-50. (So close to .500 I can almost taste it from here.) Picking the 49ers and the Colts were my downfall, but hey… it was worth a shot. We won’t be picking the Jets game this week since they played last night. (No time for gloating now, but… sorry, Cowboys fans.)
Ed: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — and a big win over Jazz in the regular season. I’ll throw in my blown call for Thursday night’s game and call it a 5-3 week for me, which puts my season record at 65-33. Too bad I didn’t place a few bets while I was in Las Vegas this week … but knowing my track record, it would be the kiss of death.
Jazz: The Vikings welcome the Bears (1:00 pm, FOX) this week, though “welcome” probably isn’t the best word. Chicago’s offense has been up and down in recent weeks and they’re due for another down. Minnesota wins this one in a close match 23-17. The Steelers are playing the Broncos (4:25 pm, CBS) at home and earlier this season it would have been a huge, newsworthy event. But the Broncos fell hard when the fall came and now they seem ripe for the picking. The Jets really need Pittsburgh to lose for the AFC wildcard consideration, but I have a feeling the Big Ben to to Antonio Brown combination will pick them apart even if the long pass game against Denver is a losing proposition. I hate to do it, but I’ll take Pittsburgh 24-14.
Ed: The Steelers welcome the Broncos, but not Peyton Manning, and C.J. Anderson is questionable. Pittsburgh has been on an offensive tear lately, and playing at home against Brock Osweiler, their defense should do pretty well too. 27-19, Steelers. The Vikings play tough at home, while the Bears play pretty tough on the road. I’ll go with the home-field advantage, 24-17.
Jazz: Let’s pick five more games, shall we?
- Texans at Colts (1:00 pm, CBS) – Indianapolis is a two point favorite this week, but I’m sensing some upsets in the final weeks. TJ Yates has been looking very good and the Colts gave up almost a hundred points in the last couple games. I’ll take the slight upset and go with the Texans 24-12.
- Bills at Redskins (1:00 pm, FOX) – The Bills are at desperation time as they’ve sunk nearly out of the playoff picture, but they’re mathematically still in it. Washington, however, is in a three way tie for the NFC east. (Shocking with that crappy record.) But the Skins won’t fend off Rex Ryan’s boys this time. Bills knock out the Redskins 27-24, maybe in overtime.
- Packers at Raiders (4:05 pm, FOX) – The Raiders continue to play better than anyone expected, but that’s not saying much. The Packers are back in prime form and knock them out of the wild card hunt 24-12.
- Cardinals at Eagles (8:30 pm, NBC) – The Eagles are also in that three way tie in the NFC East, but this week they are up against the 11-2 team which will begin their inevitable fall to a short season. Cardinals takes it big 34-15.
- Lions at Saints (8:30 pm Monday, ESPN) – The last place Saints are playing the last place Lions. Who cares? Not me, but I’ll toss a bone to New Orleans and give them this one 30-24.
- Texans at Colts (1:00 pm, CBS) – Wait, the Colts are favored? With a 29th-ranked defense and a 26th-ranked offense? Houston gives up five fewer points a game than Indy. Texans 31-24 over the Colts.
- Bills at Redskins (1:00 pm, FOX) – This should be a good game; the two teams are evenly matched on paper. I’ll go with the Redskins at home with their 5-2 record there, 23-20.
- Packers at Raiders (4:05 pm, FOX) – Better on defense, better on offense, and riding a 2-game winning streak, the Packers should handle the Raiders on the road with a 33-27 win.
- Cardinals at Eagles (8:30 pm, NBC) – The Cards should blow away the Eagles, even in Philly, but I think the Eagles will make it interesting. 28-24 Cards. Might come down to the last possession.
- Lions at Saints (8:30 pm Monday, ESPN) – At times this season, the Lions have looked brilliant, but they’ve only won one game on the road … in Green Bay, but still. New Orleans scores 4 more points a game than Detroit but gives up 5 more points a game than the Lions. Calvin Johnson practiced on his bad ankle on Friday, and has until Monday night to get ready against the 30th-ranked passing defense in the league. I’ll pick the Lions for an upset on the road, 31-17.