Jazz: It appears that crossing all my fingers and toes, along with buying new NY Jets bar glasses did the trick. I tied my best performance of the season to date (from week 1) going 6-1 last week. That brings me to 45-32 on the season and building a bit of a cushion over the .500 mark. On top of that, the Jets didn’t lose. (Okay… they had a bye, but that was about our only way of not taking another loss the way things have been going lately.) I don’t expect that streak to last longer than one week, but hope springs eternal.
Ed: Hey, remember my “drafting” strategy? I may have overdone it a wee bit last weekend. I went 3-4 to pull my season record down to 41-36, leaving me four games behind Jazz with just six weeks to go. I’m gonna have to turn on the afterburners now and start racking up a couple of table-runs to get back in contention. Speaking of table runs, how was everyone’s Thanksgiving? I don’t think the Lions, Redskins, or Falcons had a very happy one ….
Jazz: The Jets host the New England
Cheatriots Patriots in what’s sure to be an exciting game. Naw, I’m just kidding. The Jets have, over the past four games, managed barely 70 yards of ground offense per game and a negative ten turnover total. The Patriots somehow lost to the Titans, but that’s the Titans. I love the Jets but I’m not crazy enough to pick them here. I’ll hold my nose and take New England 32-13 and that’s probably being generous to New York. The Steelers visit the Broncos in Denver (4:25 pm, CBS) in a game where Denver is predicted to do better than I would have expected, while still being a 3 point underdog. Pittsburgh’s wins have come hard and they’re on the road, so Denver clearly has a shot. I’m going to go out on a limb here and take the Broncos with home-field advantage 27-21. The Vikings host the Packers (8:20 pm, NBC) in a match where one of these teams has to make a move soon (with some help) if they hope to catch Da Bears. Based solely on how Minnesota did against Chicago and the fact they’re not playing in Green Bay, I’m going to give the Vikings the edge in a close game, 33-27.
Ed: Last week, Pittsburgh nearly got caught with their pants down against a weaker Jaguars team. They finally woke up in the fourth quarter, and that should alert them to the dangers of looking past Denver today. The Steelers have a better offense and a much better defense than the Broncos, so look for a 28-19 win for the Steelers. In New Jersey, Tom Brady’s coming into the game having missed practice on Friday due to illness. He’s in the stadium as I write this, though, and he gets Gronk back today too. I think it’ll be a closer game than Jazz thinks as the Patriots aren’t very good on the road this year, but Pats still win 27-21. In Minnesota, the Vikings are very tough to beat at home, especially with their 5th-ranked defense playing indoors. Aaron Rodgers is healthier than when he pulled out a tie at home, but the Vikes will be too much for the Pack today. Minnesota 27-23 over Green Bay.
Jazz: Here’s four more to mull over while you digest your leftover turkey.
- Seahawks at Panthers (1:00 pm, FOX) – Both Seattle and Carolina needs this win to at least stay in the wildcard hunt, but Seattle needs it more, though they come in as a 3 point underdog. But Cam Newton’s passer rating hasn’t been great in the past few weeks, particularly on the long game. The Panthers have home field advantage and I’m going to go with the spread, picking the Carolina in a close one, 24-20.
- Giants at Eagles (1:00 pm, FOX) – The Giants have been simply terrible this year, but the defending champs haven’t been much better. The Giants are on the road but they’re also on a two-game winning streak and are starting to believe they might still sneak in for a wild card slot if they can win out. I’m thinking they will surprise the Eagles and make it three in a row. I’ll take New York, 27-17.
- Dolphins at Colts (4:25 pm, CBS) – Indianapolis is on a four-game winning streak and is still within reach of catching the Texans for their division title. Miami… not so much. They’re an 8.5 point underdog for a reason. Give me the Colts stomping the fins 34-26.
- Titans at Texans (Monday, 8:15 pm, ESPN) – The Titans are on a sugar high after beating the Patriots, but they’ve been one of the most inconsistent and unpredictable teams in the league. The Texans started off slow, but have now won seven in a row and are clinging to first place. They often win ugly, but they find a way to win at home. I’m taking Houston in another ugly win 24-16.
- Seahawks at Panthers (1:00 pm, FOX) – This is a pretty good matchup between two wildcard-tier teams. Carolina got stunned in Pittsburgh as the Steelers hung a caoga on them (look it up), but they’re undefeated at home. The Seahawks are 3-3 on the road. ‘Nuf said. Panthers 31-24 over the Seahawks.
- Giants at Eagles (1:00 pm, FOX) – The Iggles have been a disappointment this season, but the Gints have been a disaster. New York has a two-game win streak going, but they got it by beating the 49ers and then barely surviving the Bucs. However, Philly is out of cornerbacks and had to practice with wide receivers playing defense, so this might be Eli Manning’s moment. I’m still going with the Eagles at home, 26-17, but this might be a fun game to watch.
- Dolphins at Colts (4:25 pm, CBS) – Indy’s favored big in this game, thanks to home-field advantage and a nifty little four-game win streak. They’re back to .500 but haven’t beaten another .500+ team since the Redskins in week 2. Miami’s also 5-5 but lousy on the road, as they proved last week in Green Bay. They’ve only scored 25 points in the last two games combined, while it’s been seven weeks since the Colts scored less than 25 in any one game — including in two losses. Gotta go with the hot hand and home-field advantage here, picking Indy to win 30-17.
- Titans at Texans (Monday, 8:15 pm, ESPN) – The Texans come into this game with the intangibles, with the passing of owner Bob McNair and playing in the house he built. No way they end a 7-game hot streak on Monday Night Football in those circumstances. They’ll be playing out of their minds for McNair and will win 33-21.