Quick Pick: Green Bay at Detroit (Week Thirteen; 2015)

GB @ DET

  • Favorite: Green Bay

This is a tricky pick. Green Bay’s been slumping as of late, but still tend to do well against division rivals on the road. I say “on the road” because Chicago beat them at Lambeau last week and they beat Minnesota on the road the week before that. Will it be the same with Detroit? Maybe.

I actually like Detroit in this game. They beat Green Bay at home last year. Why not this year? Well, the circumstances are obviously different, but they’re also primed for a juicy match-up between a struggling offense and a surging defense. I’m looking forward to this game a lot.

There’s not a lot to say here, just that I have more confidence in Detroit on their own turf to take down a struggling Green Bay team, much like I thought with Minnesota two weeks prior. See where that got me? Whatever! My gut’s tellin’ me to go with the roar in the dome tonight!

Winner: Detroit

Quick Picks: Thanksgiving Games (Week Twelve; 2015)

PHI @ DET

Philadelphia at Detroit

  • Favorite: Detroit (via NFLPickWatch.com)

Philadelphia has lost 2 in a row against teams that aren’t exactly heavyweights by league standards. Tampa Bay is improving, but Miami’s been poorly inconsistent. Last week’s brutal, one-sided loss to Tampa Bay caused a typhoon of turmoil for Philadelphia, causing a firestorm of reports and gossip about whether or not Chip Kelly and the Eagles were on each other’s last nerves. One thing’s for sure: if Philadelphia keeps losing, Kelly’s head coaching job likely won’t last past this season.

Detroit’s recent activity has been the opposite. After starting 0-5, they’ve won 3 of the last 5, with a 2 game winning streak against Green Bay and Oakland. They seem to be clicking more as a team, even if they aren’t exactly in playoff form. That might just be enough to keep them from dropping a game at home against a currently featherless Eagles team.

Both teams have a variety of problems, but with Mark Sanchez starting and Philadelphia’s defense fresh off a blowout performance, I think Detroit will make it close enough to win through in the end.

Winner: Detroit

CAR @ DAL

Carolina at Dallas

  • Favorite: Carolina

This might be the toughest pick I’ve had all season. Carolina has had a piss-easy schedule all season and Dallas is one of the more complete teams as long as Tony Romo is the starter. Wouldn’t you know, Tony Romo is starting. Decisions, decisions.

On one hand, Carolina has shown to perform well due to an ultra-balanced offensive attack of pass and run. That’s easy with Cam Newton as your quarterback, but nonetheless. The receivers aren’t great, but Greg Olsen is a reliable target and the offensive line is performing very well. Then you have the defense, which has consistently held teams to under 23 points, so offense isn’t entirely needed. They’re also pretty good with takeaways and sacks. They’re 10-0 for a reason.

On the other hand, Dallas is also a very good team. Their record is 3-7, but they’re 3-0 with Romo. Dez Bryant is healthy, Terrance Williams benefited from having Romo back, Jason Witten is still Jason Witten, and that Dallas offensive line. It’ll definitely be a fun game to watch, and their defense doesn’t slack, either. I only wonder how they’ll respond to Carolina’s ground game onslaught.

For the sake of taking chances, I thought long about every scenario possible. In conclusion, I feel more comfortable picking Dallas at home with a healthy Tony Romo than I am with Cam Newton and the Carolina defense. It’s a stretch, but I think it can happen.

Winner: Dallas

CHI @ GB

Chicago at Green Bay

  • Favorite: Green Bay

If this were 2014, or 2013, or 2012, or 2011, or whenever else, I’d pick Green Bay at home no question against Chicago. Now, I’m a little iffy. Chicago has shown that they aren’t exactly a team one can push around, even Green Bay. They’ve improved their play considerably since last season, especially defensively. I really like Chicago’s chances here, but ultimately, it’s still Green Bay’s division, and they showed that against Minnesota on their own turf last Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers’ offensive line has struggled since Denver clobbered them on Sunday Night Football. It was only until last week that the running game could get going, even if Rodgers still faced an enormous amount of pressure. His receivers are lacking, with James Jones and Randall Cobb the only real threats (and Cobb has been inconsistent) in the passing game. I feel this game will be a defensive one, with the turnover battle being a key factor. I expect a lot of sacks and a few interceptions from both sides.

One of the true “rivalry games” in the NFL, it should be a lot more competitive this game than it was in the last few years. I wholly look forward to it, and I’m confident in Green Bay to sweep Chicago in the division.

Winner: Green Bay

Quick Pick: Buffalo at New York (Jets) (Week Ten; 2015)

Buffalo had a huge victory over Miami last week. However, I feel that Miami is starting to lose the thunder they once had against AFC South teams after they got trampled by New England. Not to say it wasn’t an impressive victory, but most predicted it (I didn’t).

Both of these teams are interesting defensively. They used to be powerhouses. Buffalo had an elite defensive unit last year, while New York had an elite defensive unit up until the Oakland game a few weeks ago. Now, these two defenses look a little straddled; like they aren’t tapping into their full potential. I feel these two defenses are almost at equal standings in this match-up, with the edge leaning slightly to New York, as they’ve given up less points than Buffalo.

Thus, I’d have to go by the offensive side of the ball, where New York has more talent on their side of the ball. Willie Colon was put on Injured Reserve, which is a huge blow to their offensive line, but they haven’t given up many sacks this year. If only they could allow Chris Ivory some room to run, though. He hasn’t played well the last few weeks. They got FitzMagic. They got Brandon Marshall. They got Eric Decker. Hell, if Ivory doesn’t run well, FitzMagic could run himself. He just needs to not kill himself doing so.

I’m sure Rex Ryan’s plan of action will be to run the ball, run the ball, and then run the ball some more. He’s got the firepower to do it. Tyrod Taylor’s a great athlete. LeSean McCoy is a great athlete. Karlos Williams has shown to be a reliable back. New York’s front four needs to play stout against Buffalo’s running game. Sammy Watkins also plans to test the waters of Revis Island. Not much aside from him, though. Robert Woods, maybe?

New York is also playing at home. I gotta say, they’re looking like the better choice here. And who am I to bet against FitzMagic? He just needs to stay in the game. Stay in the game and win it. I expect about 10 sacks tonight.

And the Color Rush uniforms look bad. That is all.

Winner: New York

Quick Pick: Cleveland at Cincinnati (Week Nine; 2015)

Cincinnati better put on their big boy pants, because they’re playing 3 PRIMETIME games in a row. 1 tonight, 1 next Monday, and 1 the following Sunday. Andy Dalton is 3-7 in PRIMETIME games. However, 2 of his 3 wins were at home, so he has a good chance here. After all, who are they facing?

Cleveland? Oh.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: the last time Cincinnati faced Cleveland in PRIMETIME, they lost 3-24. At home. Dalton threw 3 picks and didn’t even complete 1/3 of his passes. Cincinnati was clearly the better team, but they blew it anyway. This should make this game very, very interesting.

But that was last year. This is this year. Cleveland’s defense is not what it was last year and neither is Dalton. I took a chance with Dalton last week against Pittsburgh on the road and he didn’t disappoint, but looked a little shaky. I think it’s safe to say that Cincinnati should wrap this game up without a hitch.

But then again… PRIMETIME.

Winner: Cincinnati

Quick Pick: Seattle at San Francisco (Week Seven; 2015)

This is interesting. Very interesting, indeed.

San Francisco tends to do better at home, at least defensively. Seattle tends to do worse on the road. Seattle also seems to do really well against San Francisco. It’s hard. It’s really hard.

Initially, I wanted to pick San Francisco. They have the better defense (at home) and Colin Kaepernick has been playing well in the past two weeks… against New York (Giants) and Baltimore, but nonetheless. However, their offensive line has gotten him sacked at least twice in basically every game this season. Seattle’s defensive line is better than most. Not to mention, Bobby Wagner’s coming back this week. Bobby Wagner seems to have fun against San Francisco.

Both of the teams’ offensive lines are bad. I would argue that Seattle’s is worse, but Seattle has a better defensive line and string of linebackers. The only thing that worries me is Seattle’s secondary, which has been lacking in the last few weeks. It was against Carolina and Cincinnati, sure, but San Francisco has some deep threats, like Torrey Smith. Not to mention, Seattle’s run defense has also been sporadic thus far.

Both of these teams are just far below par. San Francisco’s wins came against Baltimore and Minnesota. Seattle’s wins came against Detroit (controversially) and Chicago without Jay Cutler. San Francisco really does seem like the more logical choice, but Seattle has a much more talented roster. Mrmm.

Y’know what? I think I’ll take Seattle. Kaepernick hasn’t proven himself against a better (kinda) defense thus far. It won’t start tonight.

Winner: Seattle