After two weeks Skye’s NFL predictions have returned! Unfortunately due to internet problems, a hectic life schedule (slight lie) and just other general excuses I haven’t been able to blog but after predicting 10/11 results correctly for week 8’s games with some very close perfect predictions too it was a very impressive weekend for me regarding the Sunday game predictions so maybe a rest was warranted.
Skye’s predictions: Week 8 scores:
49ers 28-17 Jaguars 49ers 42-10 Jaguars
Browns 16-26 Chiefs Browns 17-23 Chiefs
Dolphins 20-27 Patriots Dolphins 17-27 Patriots
Bills 20-37 Saints Bills 17-35 Saints
Cowboys 27-35 Lions Cowboys 30-31 Lions
Giants 24-23 Eagles Giants 15-7 Eagles
Steelers 20-16 Raiders Steelers 18-21 Raiders
Jets 20-27 Bengals Jets 9-49 Bengals
Falcons 24-26 Cardinals Falcons 13-27 Cardinals
Redskins 24-37 Broncos Redskins 21-45 Broncos
Packers 30-20 Vikings Packers 44-31 Vikings
So within the past two weeks there have been many twists and turns throughout the national football league from Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers suffering a serious injury to the Jacksonville Jaguars recording their first win this season last week. Tampa Bay also got their first victory whilst the Kansas City Chiefs remain undefeated at 9-0 as they head in to a huge game against divisional rivals Denver tomorrow with the Broncos only a game behind them at 8-1. The New England Patriots looked like their old selves with a huge 55-31 victory over Pittsburgh in week 9 whereas the San Francisco 49ers look out of sorts and find themselves at 6-3 after defeat last week to the resurgent 6-3 Carolina Panthers who have won 5 straight. In the NFC West the Niners are just a game ahead of the third placed Cardinals and in the distance of the 9-1 Seattle Seahawks whereas over in the NFC East Dallas are in first place at .500 along with the 5-5 Eagles.
New England, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Cincinnati lead their respective divisions in the AFC whilst over in the NFC Seattle, Dallas, Detroit and New Orleans are first place in their divisions. Let us take a look at tomorrow’s matchups with some analysis and then I will offer my predictions for all 13 of Sunday’s games.
(5-4) New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills (3-7)
The New York Jets had a bye last week after knocking off New Orleans in week 9 giving them plenty of time to prepare ahead of a road trip to Buffalo to face one of their AFC East rivals. The Bills lost to the Steelers last week and are now on a three game losing streak.
Buffalo will be hoping to end this bad run of form tomorrow against the Jets whilst putting a dent in New York’s playoffs hopes. Rex Ryan‘s team have been finding ways to win with good defense which will be needed when they come up against the likes of E.J. Manuel and CJ Spiller tomorrow
Rookie QB Manuel could cause the Jets D unexpected problems, 6 touchdowns: 4 interceptions in 2013, but New York’s own rookie quarterback Geno Smith hasn’t been too bad himself this season throwing 8 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. The Jets need to win games like this if they are to make the postseason and while I personally feel that Miami could still take second place in the AFC east from the Jets I am going to go for a Jets road win tomorrow with Rex Ryan’s team moving on to 6-4 but it will be a scrappy affair.
Prediction: Jets 21-17 Bills
As we all know the Atlanta Falcons’ Super Bowl or bust season was confirmed as a bust a while ago and the fact that they are on a three game losing streak doesn’t help in giving them much of an edge over a lacklustre Tampa Bay side who edged out a win last week against the Dolphins to record their first victory of the 2013 season.
If the Buccaneers win tomorrow they’ll demote Atlanta to last place in the NFC South and with Tampa at home they could quite well win a second straight game. Falcons QB Matt Ryan is still trying his best but without Julio Jones it was always going to be a struggle for Atlanta to get their season back on track.
Roddy White has been unimpressive this year and sadly Tony Gonzalez’s last season in the NFL is going to end in irrelevancy. The Buccaneers will be buoyed by their win last week and young running backs Bobby Rainey and Brian Leonard will share the load out of the backfield to help Tampa Bay defeat the Falcons.
Prediction: Falcons 20-23 Buccaneers
(6-3) Detroit Lions vs Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6)
The Detroit Lions gained sole control of the NFC North last week when they defeated divisional rivals Chicago 21-19 in a close encounter. With the Bears and Packers both enduring hard times due to key injuries this Lions team has a real shot of winning the division.
With seven games to go though they need to remain focused as a trip to Heinz Field is never easy despite the fact that the Steelers are suffering right now. This matchup suits Detroit as their passing game should tear Pittsburgh apart especially after they gave up 55 against the Patriots two week ago.
The Steelers did bounce back last week with a 23-10 win over the Bills but they’ll have to be at the top of their game to stop the Lions from winning a third straight. You can expect Matthew Stafford, 19 touchdowns to 7 interceptions, and Megatron, 9 receiving touchdowns, to have a field day against the Steelers with Detroit walking out of this one as winners.
Prediction: Lions 34-20 Steelers
(3-6) Washington Redskins vs Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
The NFC East is as tight as ever this season and that is evident by the fact that a win for the 3-6 Redskins tomorrow could put them firmly back in the hunt for the division title. A win for them would see Washington move just a game behind the Eagles and Cowboys with 6 weeks to go.
The Eagles have a monkey on their back at home having not won a single game at Lincoln Financial Field this year but they have been impressive in their last two games with wins over the Raiders and Packers getting them back to .500.
Young Eagles quarterback Nick Foles has been a big part of their revival with the QB throwing 10 touchdowns in his past two games, seven against the Raiders, and has not thrown a pick in his last 136 passing attempts this season. This game is almost too close to call and despite Redskins quarterback RGIII enduring a tough 2013 campaign he could still help this team revitalise their season with a win tomorrow. Personally though I think that the Eagles are overdue a home win and that thanks to their current form they will edge this one.
Prediction: Redskins 30-33 Eagles
(5-4) Arizona Cardinals vs Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8)
The Arizona Cardinals have won two games in a row to put themselves in the playoff hunt. Bruce Arians’ team won at home against the Texans 27-24 last week to get above .500 and move within one game of the second placed San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West.
Now while no matchup in the NFL is a gimme you have to say that Arizona will be more than confident of winning against Jacksonville despite the Jags claiming their first win of the season last week. Arizona has a tough schedule to finish the year but a win tomorrow to put them at 6-4 will give them confidence going in to a challenging run and with them knowing they have something to play for it can only be a good thing.
Jacksonville was always going to win one game and that’s despite the fact they are probably a worse football team than the Detroit Lions side that finished 16-0 a few years back but the chances of them recording back to back victories are slim so expect Arizona to get the win even if it does end up being a close game because they have a well organised roster to grind out a result.
Prediction: Cardinals 26-19 Jaguars
(3-6) Oakland Raiders vs Houston Texans (2-7)
In a game with not much relevance the Oakland Raiders go to Reliant Stadium to take on the Houston Texans. Thankfully new starting quaterback for Houston Case Keenam is the spark this game needs with the former third stringer impressing in his last two games with the Texans losing both in close ones.
Keenam has seven touchdown passes in those past two games and has helped revitalise superstar wide receiver Andre Johnson as a viable threat in the passing game. Keenam is looking to cement himself as the Texans’ future starting quarterback and despite posting a passer rating of 105.1 coach Gary Kubiak still isn’t ready to commit.
Keenam and Houston will win this one in my opinion as the Raiders look to regroup for next year and move on; speaking of moving on it appears they will be parting with Darren McFadden come next year which is an interesting development but also understandable.
Prediction: Raiders 19-31 Texans
(4-5) Baltimore Ravens vs Chicago Bears (5-4)
The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Cincinnati Bengals last week to put them just two games behind them in the AFC North meaning they are back in contention for the division and definitely in the playoff hunt.
The Ravens’ schedule is challenging but there are enough winnable games for the defending Super Bowl champions to make it back to the postseason. This week their opponents are the Chicago Bears who will be looking to immediately bounce back from a critical defeat to the Lions last week.
Josh McCown will start for the Bears this week but he has impressed when playing under centre for Chicago. This result will come down to whose defence manages to get pressure on the quarterback on third downs as in a tight affair like this one of two plays could determine it. Personally I feel that despite injury problems the Bears will win this one as the Ravens still lack top quality and a true identity.
Prediction: Ravens 20-24 Bears
(4-5) Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)
What a difference a week makes! The Cleveland Browns will be firmly in the hunt for the AFC North title with a victory over the Bengals tomorrow. Cleveland will move to a game behind Cincinnati with a win and if they win that game they have on the Bengals they’ll be in first thanks to sweeping the series between the pair.
Admittedly there are a lot of ifs and it is admirable to this Browns roster and management that there season is still alive after trading away Trent Richardson to the Colts and losing quarterback Brian Hoyer to a season ending injury especially as the latter had such a great effect on the team when he came in.
The Browns have had their bye to prepare for this game while the Bengals are looking to snap a two game losing run after defeats to Miami and Baltimore. A win tomorrow will put them at 7-4 and more importantly comfortable in the division heading in to their own bye which is what I believe they will do with AJ Green having a big game!
Prediction: Browns 20-28 Bengals
(4-5) San Diego Chargers vs Miami Dolphins (4-5)
This matchup has gone under the radar a bit this week as it could have big playoff implications for both teams as both the Chargers and Dolphins look to get back to .500. With the two teams having good rosters that could well sneak in to the postseason in a wildcard spot this game will be extremely interesting.
In today’s NFL it sound obvious in most cases but I firmly believe that this game comes down to which quarterback performs better out of Phillip Rivers and Ryan Tannehill. Rivers has been playing very well in 2013 throwing 18 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions whilst the Dolphins’ second year QB Tannehill has improved and thrown 12 TD’s to 11 picks.
San Diego have lost two straight games and Miami were defeated on Monday Night Football in week 10 by the previously winless Buccaneers so both will be looking to get back to winning ways. In a game that is close to call it’s hard to imagine this encounter exceeding an 8 point margin either way but people have talked about the potential of three teams emerging from the AFC West in to the postseason and I believe the Chargers keep their chances alive with a win in this one as the Dolphins continue to be plagued by off the field distractions.
Prediction: Chargers 28-20 Dolphins
(5-4) Green Bay Packers vs New York Giants (3-6)
The New York Giants possess probably the most unimpressive three game winning streak in the history of the NFL and somehow are still within a chance of winning the NFC East despite losing their first six games this season.
A couple of weeks ago and all bets would of been off as Green Bay would have been predicted to win this game by all those with even half of a brain but the injury to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers shocked the league and showed just how quickly fortunes can change in sport. Rodgers is hoping to return on Thanksgiving but he will need his team to get a much needed win tomorrow to keep them in touching distance at the top of the NFC North.
The Giants meanwhile will be hoping that their defence can disrupt Green Bay’s third string QB Scott Tolzien by putting him under pressure from the offset. In their past two meetings the Giants have blown out the Packers and despite the Giants being diabolical at times in 2013 I think they will win this home game tomorrow to complicate things even more within the NFC East leaving the Aaron Rogerless Packers needing to pull a rabbit out of the hat.
Prediction: Packers 23-29 Giants
(2-7) Minnessota Vikings vs Seattle Seahawks (9-1)
The Minnesota Vikings have a lot to ponder at the end of 2013 but their QB Christian Ponder looks set to start against Seattle on Sunday after recovering from a dislocated shoulder injury suffered in week 10’s Thursday Night Football win over Washington.
The Vikings though face an uphill task of attempting to hand Seattle their first home defeat with Russell Wilson as the team’s quarterback; Wilson is 20-6 as a starting QB in the NFL and tied for the third most victories by a player at the the position in his first two seasons as a starter. 3 more wins in the teams last 6 and Wilson will pass Ben Roethlisberger on that list who won 22 games in his first two seasons. Wilson has 17 touchdowns to just six interceptions this year and with the way Seahawks are performing it seems as if the NFC’s road to the Super Bowl will be going through Seattle as they look to home in on the number one seed.
You can expect Seattle to win this one even if Vikings running back Adrian Peterson outshines Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch. Seattle’s defence is monstrous and will create turnovers while the offensive weapons Wilson has at his disposal are impressive plus Percy Harvin returns tomorrow after his long injury to play against his former team so expect fireworks.
Prediction: Vikings 21-31 Seahawks
(6-3) San Francisco 49ers vs New Orleans Saints (7-2)
At the start to the season some expected the 49ers to march back to the Super Bowl but 9 games in and sitting at 6-3 behind the 9-1 Seahawks in the NFC West questions are being asked about this team. Of course the team has had injury problems but so has near enough every franchise this season.
Aldon Smith has had troubles off the field and Colin Kaepernick has been hit and miss throughout the current campaign. The Niners are still a very dangerous team but to go on the road to the Superdome and play the Saints who have the 2nd best offense and 7th best defence in the league is a huge challenge especially as the Niners are coming off a 10-9 loss to the Panthers which is what has caused alarm bells to be rung.
The Saints dismantled the Cowboys 49-17 last week and will be in no mood of slowing down this week especially with Carolina breathing down their necks in the NFC South. While I feel it is ludicrous to say the 49ers will miss the postseason I do feel they have issues that need to be resolved but as for tomorrow’s game it could be another brutal encounter for the Niners as they go up against another one of the leagues best defenses and face Saints QB Drew Brees who is no slouch with his 25 touchdown passes this year. This has the potential to be a real thriller; I’m going with New Orleans because Sean Peyton’s team are a real threat and at home are almost unstoppable.
Prediction: 49ers 23-33 Saints
(9-0) Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos (8-1)
Our final game this week is the mouthwatering encounter between AFC West rivals Kansas City and Denver. The two possess the best records in the entire AFC with the Chiefs owning one of the best defenses and the Broncos possessing the best offense.
It is a game with high anticipation and one both teams need to win as it is almost certain to be a key factor in deciding who wins this division; the best part is they still have another matchup with each other coming up in two weeks. These two teams are also fighting it out for the battle to gain home field advantage for the playoffs as both look to seal one of the two bye week spots.
The Chiefs have been grinding out wins and have managed close wins over the Browns and Bills who aren’t two of the best in the NFL but wins are wins and you have to give credit where it is due so props go to Andy Reid and his Chiefs team. Tomorrow against Denver though is a whole different kettle of fish as they go up against Peyton Manning who his having a fantastic season with the future hall of fame quarterback currently on 33 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions in the teams first 9 games.
Defensively the Chiefs are better than the Broncos that’s for sure but the Chiefs’ offense is still finding its feet to a degree so they will need to up their game tomorrow as this one could possible end up being a shootout. Chiefs QB Alex Smith hasn’t fared well against Manning in the past and to go to the conditions that Mile High has to offer is never no easy challenge. Personally it is very tough to call but with the amount of weapons the Broncos have offensively you have to say that being at home they get this win and move in to first place in the division. The Chiefs will learn from any mistakes they make and get back to the drawing board. I feel that the reason they lose this one, despite sounding slightly contradicting, is that although they needed a bye week is has come at the wrong time just because of who they are facing after it and despite some injury concerns around Manning I just feel that the Broncos will have too much to offer tomorrow and will get the win.
Prediction: Chiefs 27-38 Broncos