Jazz: It was another good week in the NFL for Team Jazz. The Seahawks and the Cowboys caught me off guard, but I still managed to ring up a 5-2 session bringing me to 42-48 for the season. The Jets’ overtime win against the Giants nearly had me sleeping on the couch for the night, but that’s the price you pay. I’m closing in on a .500 season if I can get a couple more weeks like that going, so fingers crossed! (Yes, my hopes and dreams have been a bit downgraded.)
Ed: I seem to have hit a speed bump in the second half of the season. I went 3-4 last week, putting me at 60-30 for the season. I need to step things up a bit this week, lest I encourage Jazz any further.
Jazz: The Vikings already managed to lose on Thursday night, so that’s one chore out of the way. The Jets have strung together two wins in a row and things are getting tense in the Hot Air football booth. There are currently three AFC teams tied at 7-5 in the wildcard race and two of them are the Jets and the Patriots. Gang Green welcomes the 3-9 Titans to New Jersey and we come into it a 7 pt favorite. The Jets looked good on both sides of the ball last week, but our special teams are still simply awful. Still, they should have enough juice to finish this one off, so I’ll stick with the Jets to win 27-17. The Steelers visit the 10-2 Bengals in a division rivalry match and they’re a three point underdog, but I’m going to shock everyone and go with the upset because Pittsburgh just needs and wants it more. Steelers win 26-21.
Ed: The Steelers face their toughest test of the season today in Cincinnati, but they seem to be firing on all cylinders after last week’s blowout win. They have the #2 offense in the league, going up against the #9 defense. I’ll pick the Steelers for a 31-24 upset. If the Jets can’t handle the Titans at home, they need to start playing Division III college ball. Jets 27-13 over Tennessee.
Jazz: Five more games to fill up our dance card.
- Bills at Eagles (1:00 pm, CBS) – This game is a dogfight between two teams who are in the hunt for a wildcard spot and a division lead respectively. It’s a tossup on the Vegas line, but I believe Philadelphia will sense my desperation to keep the Bills out of the wildcard hunt and beat the Bills 23-17.
- 49ers at Browns (1:00 pm, FOX) – This is sort of the battle of the basements today, but that’s what makes them more evenly matched. The 49ers have only been averaging 14 points per game since they put their new QB in play, but Johnny Football still seems more like Johnny Foozeball and and the Browns are dead last in the NFL in multiple stats. I’ll go with San Fran 23-20.
- Colts at Jaguars (1:00 pm, CBS) – The Colts are a couple of games up on Jacksonville, but in the AFC South that’s not saying much. The Vegas line has this game as dead even, but Indianapolis is still smarting from that awful outing against Pittsburgh. They’ll get back on track this week beating the Jags 31-20.
- Patriots at Texans (8:30 pm, NBC) – I hate picking this game, but it’s the Sunday night special. The Patriots have lost two in a row to the great joy of 90% of the nation, but that can’t last forever. As for the Texans, they’re in a tie for the lead in the AFC South, but I’m afraid Brady is too much for them. Go with the Patriots 28-21 though I pray I’m wrong.
- Giants at Dolphins (8:30 pm Monday, ESPN) – The MNF game sends New York’s “other team” down to Miami. The weather won’t be the only good thing for the visitors and the Giants will win this one easily, 24-13.
- Bills at Eagles (1:00 pm, CBS) – On paper, this is a pretty good matchup. Both teams have post-season aspirations, too. I have to give this to home-field advantage, with Philly edging Buffalo 27-24.
- 49ers at Browns (1:00 pm, FOX) – This is a game that will have literally dozens on the edge of their seats. Only five teams have a worse offense than the Browns, but the 49ers are the worst in the league. Cleveland’s D gives up almost 5 points more a game, but I’m going to go with Cleveland and the home-field advantage, 23-19.
- Colts at Jaguars (1:00 pm, CBS) – Indy has poor defense, poor offense, and perhaps some coaching issues as well. They’re at .500 overall and on the road, but I think the Jags put it together this week, 30-24.
- Patriots at Texans (8:30 pm, NBC) – The Pats have a better offense, and on points allowed a better defense. The problem for Tom Brady is his options in the passing game. Gronk, Amendola, and Chandler are game-time calls and won’t be 100% even if they do play, and everyone else is second-string or lower against the Houston D. I’ll go with the Texans to give the Pats their first 3-game losing streak in 212 games, 24-20.
- Giants at Dolphins (8:30 pm Monday, ESPN) – I could look at the stats, but the bottom line is I’m tired of picking the Giants in games they should win only to watch them underperform. Miami’s got its own problems, but I’ll go with the Dolphins for a 28-21 upset win.