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NFL 2016: Week 14 Predictions!

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Eric Berry will lead the Chiefs defense in a huge game this week in the AFC West.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 11-4

Season: 120-70-2

Big Five Games of the Week

Oakland @ Kansas City – Thursday Night Football this week features two of the hottest teams in the AFC. The Raiders are one of the top teams in the conference this season and they seem to always be apart of exciting finishes. This is because they are a tough team to put away and are able to mount comebacks late. A big reason for that is that their defense steps up and creates turnovers late in games. Thinking of turnovers, the Chiefs defense used a couple of turnovers caused by Eric Berry to score another huge road victory last week in Atlanta. Kansas City’s defense is as exciting as Oakland and they will make it hard for both offenses in this game on Thursday night. Even though Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin are playing at a high level right now, I’m going to give the edge to the Chiefs defense because they have better players in the secondary. After last week, we all saw what Eric Berry is capable of and Kansas City also receives solid play from their corners. On offense, QB Alex Smith will receive a boost in the return of WR Jeremy Maclin who has been out recently due to injury. Oakland’s weakness on defense is in the secondary and I think Smith will work to exploit that on Thursday night. Oakland QB David Carr has been playing great recently but he will find it hard on road this week against a tough defense. I’m going with the home team. Prediction: Chiefs 24 – Raiders 20

Pittsburgh @ Buffalo – The Steelers defense really stepped up at home last week and held the potentially explosive Giants offense to just 14 points. That included two huge turnovers in the red zone. The young Pittsburgh defense might be feeling confident about themselves but they will face a tougher challenge this week on the road against the Buffalo Bills. Now, I know that the Bills offense isn’t nearly as explosive as the Giants offense (at least on paper) but Buffalo’s strength will serve them well against the Steelers defense. Pittsburgh’s defense has allowed plenty of big time performances by opposing running backs this year. Buffalo plays a ball control style offense with their running game but the backs they have are supremely talented. I think LeSean McCoy can have a big day on the ground against the Steelers. Also, I’m not ready to count on the Steelers pass defense. The heat is on QB Tyrod Taylor this week to produce results. Taylor appeared to be frustrated with the way last week went in Oakland and how the media pressed him on it afterwards. I think Taylor will be looking to prove himself this week and he will receive great support by his receivers and the home crowd. I like WR Sammy Watkins’ chances against the Steeler corners as well. Buffalo’s defense has gotten tougher as the season has gone on. I think the Steeler offense will provide a great test for Buffalo and they might be able to win the game single handedly if given the opportunity. But I think Buffalo’s offense will do its part with helping the defense by controlling the clock and keeping Ben Roethlisberger and company on the bench. The Steelers maybe feeling “high” right now but they are a team that is usually ripe for a letdown on the road. I’m taking the Bills to keep their playoff hopes alive this week with a big home victory. Prediction: Bills 32 – Steelers 28

Houston @ Indianapolis – The last time I really watched Houston was against Oakland in that Monday night game in Mexico. From there, I believed that Houston was getting a bad wrap from the media and that they are actually better than what most people think. But they had a letdown on the road last week in Green Bay and they are looking more and more like a team that will meltdown in December instead of making a run to the postseason. I thought the Texans would be able to lean on their defense, which was playing well this season. But the injuries to LB Jadeveon Clowney and CB Jonathan Joseph have proved to be costly. I don’t think the Colts are a great or good team. But their offense has improved recently. RB Frank Gore is having a great bounce back season. QB Andrew Luck is finding his groove. The defense is even playing better with the return last week of pass rusher Trent Cole. The Colts are starting the trend in the positive direction and they might be able to score a huge divisional victory this week at home. Prediction: Colts 26 – Texans 23

Dallas @ New York Giants – The Cowboys are 11-1 with a current 11 game win streak. That one loss this season came in Week 1 at home to the New York Football Giants. A lot has changed since then for both teams. This is a huge NFC East contest that might determine the division champion. The Giants were on their own win streak until they ran into Pittsburgh last week. QB Eli Manning made some horrible decisions in the red zone last week and that is not going to cut it for a team that is fighting to stay alive for the postseason. Good news for Manning is that he will be facing a Dallas defense this week at home that doesn’t pressure the QB and seems to be allergic to creating turnovers. The Giants offense will have to have a bounce back performance at home this week in order to stop the Cowboys win streak. The Manning to Beckham Jr connection will have to be on point on Sunday night. I’m not giving that Giants defense much of a chance at stopping the Cowboys offense on Sunday. Like I said earlier, this Dallas team is much different than the one from Week 1. Dak Prescott’s confidence as a passer is improving from week to week. More importantly, this offense can still lean on Ezekiel Elliott and the run game. DE Jason Pierre-Paul is out of the rest of the season as he was injured last week in Pittsburgh. That will deal a huge blow to New York’s chances on Sunday and going forward for this defense this season. I think Dallas will be able to take care of business on the road this week and more on to becoming the NFC East champs. I also think that this will be the beginning of an ugly December for the Giants. Prediction: Cowboys 35 – Giants 30

Baltimore @ New England – The Ravens offense finally exploded last week and that unit has been feeling great going into this huge road game against the Patriots. Historically, Joe Flacco has performed well against the Patriots defense. I mean, that’s not saying much as New England doesn’t really have much of a defense. But still, Baltimore has to keep whatever it is going on offense this week. New England’s defense is an overachieving bunch, again, but if the Ravens can press them and keep the pressure on, they may be able to score in bunches. Baltimore’s defense is talented but they are also beatable. This still isn’t the Baltimore defense of old. I expect Tom Brady to still be Tom Brady on Monday night. I think both offenses could do well in this game. The question will be which defense will show up for both teams. Baltimore has the top ranked run defense in the NFL but New England does a great job on the ground with LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis. Something will have to give on Sunday. I don’t know if this Baltimore team is capable of winning a big game like this one on the road. Brady and Belichick at home seem like a safe bet. Prediction: Patriots 31 – Ravens 21

The Rest of Week 14

Browns over Bengals – Cleveland has got to win at least once this season. Terrelle Pryor will have a 12+ catch performance. Robert Griffin III returns in a big way as well. That or the Browns will continue to be the Browns.

Lions over Bears – Chicago will offer no competition for Detroit on Sunday. They are too injured.

Broncos over Titans – Tennessee is still in the playoff race but so is Denver. The Broncos will need this one more.

Cardinals over Dolphins – Miami imploded last week and Arizona showed that they could still play good ball. I think the Cardinals will finish the season strong.

Washington over Eagles – Washington took their lumps last week on the road but they are still in a position to make a run towards the playoffs.

Chargers over Panthers – San Diego is more of a complete team than Carolina is right now.

Vikings over Jaguars – This might not be a slam-dunk for Minnesota. Minnesota was dealt another key injury last week. It has been that kind of year for them this season.

Jets over 49ers – I feel sorry for anyone who has to watch this on Sunday.

Seahawks over Packers – I know Seattle has had its troubles on the road and they are dealing with the lost of Earl Thomas but they can’t drop this one to a bad Packers team. Everyone is selling that Green Bay is still fighting for life in the playoff race but I just don’t see it.

Falcons over Rams – LA will not be able to out score the Atlanta offense. This will be too big of a chore for the Rams defense.

Buccaneers over Saints – Tampa Bay is right in the thick of things in the NFC South. Crazy.

Week 14 Fantasy Football Picks

QB: Phillip Rivers (Chargers) – At the bottom of the ranked pass defenses in the league this season, you will find three NFC South teams. One of them is the Carolina Panthers, the team that Rivers will face on Sunday.

RB: David Johnson (Cardinals) – Johnson has been playing as well as any RB in the league lately. On Sunday, he’ll face a poor Miami run defense.

WR: Mike Evans (Buccaneers) – The Saints secondary will not have an answer for Tampa Bay’s main passing target this weekend.

TE: Dwayne Allen (Colts) – I don’t think Allen will score three times like he did last week but Andrew Luck will give him more targets after his big performance last week.

DEF: Minnesota/Jacksonville – For the first time ever, I’m taking two opposing defenses. The Vikings/Jaguars game has the potential to be such an ugly game. Big day for the field goal kickers.

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NFL 2016: Week 13 Predictions!

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The Oakland Raiders are the hottest team in the AFC going into December.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 12-4

Season: 109-66-2

Big Five Games of the Week

Dallas @ Minnesota – The Cowboys are winners of 10 straight going into December. They are still the hottest team in football but they now enter a crucial part in their schedule. Minnesota went through a rough patch and many written them off, me included. But Mike Zimmer’s team is tough and they seem to always compete down til the last second. This will especially be the case when the Vikings are at home tonight in their new stadium in front of a raucous crowd. The big match up in this game will be the Vikings defense vs. the Cowboys offense. Minnesota’s defense is a talented group with young talent and key veterans in all position groups. Minnesota’s defensive line is tough and they have the ability to pressure the QB. I really like the LB’s Minnesota has and their secondary is ranked in the top 5 in the league. I feel like I’ve said this every week but the Cowboys offense has been able to take on all challengers week after week. But I think I can say with confidence that this Minnesota defense at home will be the toughest test yet for rookie QB Dak Prescott. Minnesota doesn’t have a highly ranked run defense but they will key against the run and they might be able to win some battles with the personnel they have. Cowboys fans should be worried about Prescott and if he will be able to move the ball through the air if Minnesota can slow down Ezekiel Elliott. For the Cowboys on defense, they have been such a curious case. In November, the team went undefeated while the defense did not cause a single turnover. This was the first time in league history that a team was able to do so. That’s kind of impressive but really, it isnt a good thing. Minnesota’s offense has been short handed for most of the season but if the Cowboys defense doesn’t find a way to challenge them, Sam Bradford might have one of his best games in weeks. I don’t think that will happen but mainly, the Cowboys defense has to figure something out soon. Why not on Thursday night against an offense that can’t run the ball and has protection issues up front? I think the Vikings will play Dallas tough at home but I’m sticking with the hot team on the road. Jason Garrett’s team is starting to build a rep as a tough visiting team. Prediction: Cowboys 27 – Vikings 24

Kansas City @ Atlanta – The Chiefs scored an impressive road victory last week at Denver but I feel that they aren’t getting enough credit. Everyone is focusing on the bad decision that the Denver coach made in overtime. But I like this Chiefs team a lot. I like their pass rush and I like their ball control offense. Atlanta scored a lot of points last week but they’ll face a greater challenge this week in Kansas City. The Chiefs will present many problems that may slow down Atlanta’s high-powered offense. I think the Chiefs pass rush will be able to get after Matt Ryan. I think Kansas City will be tough to run against. I think Atlanta will be leaning on Julio Jones to provide most of the big plays down the field but a pretty good CB, Marcus Peters, will challenge him. I don’t think Alex Smith will out gun sling Matt Ryan but I do not trust Atlanta defense right now. Yes, that unit has gotten better this season but they are dealing with some injuries right now. I like the Chiefs to score their second straight road victory. Prediction: Chiefs 35 – Falcons 28

Houston @ Green Bay – The Packers won a prime time game as an underdog last week so now everyone is riding high on them. I am not. This is the same Packers team that can’t stop anyone. This is the same inconsistent Packers offense from this season. This is the same Packers team that has already lost some big ones at home this year. Everyone is ready to write off Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans but I am not. First, they have a decent defense. Houston has one of the top pass defenses in the league and they are getting decent play out of their defensive line. Second, though Osweiler has been inconsistent, Houston can lean on Lamar Miller and the run game. Especially against the Green Bay defense. Lets face it, we all thought that the Packers were going to lose last week in Philly but that win for them wasn’t that impressive. We should have known that the Eagles were capable of laying an egg at home like they did. Houston will not lay an egg on the road this week as they have realistic playoff hopes still. I like the Texans this week. Prediction: Texans 32 – Packers 23

Buffalo @ Oakland – The Raiders are the hottest team in the AFC right now. Last week’s close victory at home against Carolina was a classic and one that the Raiders of old would have lost. These new Raiders will be looking to keep it rolling at home this Sunday against a Buffalo team that is fighting to stay in the playoff race. Buffalo has an overachieving defense under Rob Ryan and I think they’ll figure out a way to slow down David Carr and the Oakland offense. The Bills defense will keep it close and the ball game will come down to who can make the more big plays. Recently, Buffalo’s offense has been proving that they are much more than just LeSean McCoy. Shady is a big part of their success but Tyrod Taylor and the passing game is starting to become a factor as well. The Raiders have a really good defensive front seven and they played last week against the best mobile QB in the league. I think Khalil Mack and company will be prepare for what Taylor tries to throw at them. But Oakland’s weakness on defense is that secondary and Buffalo will have Sammy Watkins back from injury this week. Oakland’s defense did a great job at creating turnovers against Cam Newton and they will have to do the same this week against a different mobile QB. I think Buffalo will keep this one close but it is hard for me to pick against this Raiders team at home. Prediction: Raiders 22 – Bills 16

New York Giants @ Pittsburgh – The Giants quietly have the second best record in the NFC and they have won six straight. But lets be real, who have they beaten in that streak. A bunch of nobody’s. The 2016 Steelers may not be world-beaters but they will bring this Giants team right back down to earth on Sunday at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh seems to always have a big victory at home against a NFC team. It wasn’t going to happen against Dallas this year but I think it has a better chance of happening this week. The New York Giants shouldn’t be able to slow down the Pittsburgh offense. Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and company should be able to have impressive stat sheets once this one is done and over. But Pittsburgh’s defense really isn’t that good, either. So, we will be likely looking at a shootout between Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning. Odell Beckham Jr and Antonio Brown will be trying to one up each other on each possession. Both QB’s will throw the long ball with ease. The Steelers do have the edge at running the football but Bell will be facing a tough defensive line that the Giants offer. Jason Pierre Paul was a beast last week but again, that was against Cleveland. I don’t trust either defense in this matchup and the winner will likely be the team with the ball last. Mike Tomlin will make damn sure on Sunday that the Steelers will be that team. Pittsburgh needs this one at home to start out December on the right foot. Prediction: Steelers 39 – Giants 33

The Rest of Week 13

Bears over 49ers – Colin Kaepernick is playing well recently but the San Fran defense is still so bad. They will make the Chicago second string look like Pro Bowlers.

Eagles over Bengals – Philadelphia stinks and it is time to pack it up for their 2016 season. Lucky for them, Cincy appears to be done as well without a couple of key players missing from the offense.

Patriots over Rams – New England won ugly last week and they’ll probably have to do the same this week against a bad but tough LA team.

Lions over Saints – Detroit needs to begin their push towards the postseason on Sunday on the road.

Broncos over Jaguars – Jacksonville should bring out the 1998 team that upset Denver in the playoffs to play in this game. They might stand a better chance than the current team.

Dolphins over Ravens – Pittsburgh fans will rejoice to see this final. Miami has confidence and they are looking to stay in the playoff picture.

Cardinals over Washington – Arizona is bad this year but they have a pretty good secondary and they will challenge the suddenly hot Kirk Cousins. I like the Cards in an upset.

Chargers over Buccaneers – Tampa scored a huge upset at home this week. A long flight to southern California will serve as a wet towel. San Diego will play great at home for once.

Seahawks over Panthers – A Bad road loss followed by an ultra impressive home victory. Same old Seahawks.

Colts over Jets – Indy would have actually stood a chance last Thursday if they had Andrew Luck. That should serve as motivation this week but the Jets will be a tough out at home in primetime.

Week 13 Fantasy Football Picks

QB: Matthew Stafford (Lions) – Stafford should be on his “A” game against the New Orleans secondary.

RB: Jordan Howard (Bears) – The young Chicago runner will find plenty of room against the 49ers defense.

WR: Antonio Brown (Steelers) – Brown will have a good time on Sunday against the trash talking, loud mouthed Janoris Jenkins of the Giants.

TE: Travis Kelce (Chiefs) – Kelce was Alex Smith’s go to receiver down the stretch last week at Denver.

DEF: New England – I kind of feel sorry for rookie Jared Goff this weekend going up against a Bill Belichick coached defense. He will definitely see some things that he didn’t see in college.

NFL 2016: Week 9 Predictions!

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The Ravens could really tighten up the AFC North race on Sunday or they could let the rival Steelers pull away.

By: Elias McMillan

 

Last Week: 8-4-1

Season: 70-48-2

Big Five Games of the Week

Philadelphia @ New York Giants – This rivalry game might determine which team will have the inside track on chasing down the first place Cowboys in the NFC East. Last Week, Philly almost caught Dallas slipping off the bye week but they still managed to blow a 10 point lead in the final quarter. After watching that game, I didn’t come away too impressed with the Eagles. I think Philadelphia’s defense is tough but it is going to be hard for them to win games in the future with that inconsistent offense and unwise play calling. The Giants won an ugly game before the bye week in London. I don’t expect them to come out firing on all phases but their superior offense should give them the upper hand in this game. New York’s defense can play well in stretches and for some reason rookie Carson Wentz has cooled off from his hot start at the beginning of the season. Either Wentz doesn’t have the ability yet to command his offense down the field or maybe the short passing game is really holding him back. Either way, the Eagles are not getting consistent play from their RB’s and they lack a serious deep threat. I think Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr will be able to get their hook on and the Giants defense will not allow Wentz to beat them. Especially at home. Prediction: Giants 23 – Eagles 13

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore – The Ravens will need to win this game to prevent the Steelers from separating from the pack in a suddenly tight AFC North. The Steelers-Ravens rivalry may not be what it used to be but this week’s game actually will hold some weight in terms of how the rest of the season could play out. Both teams are coming off the bye but one has horrendously under performed recently. Baltimore got off on a 3-0 start but since then, the offense has sputtered and the defense hasn’t been able to carry them to victory each week. Coming off the bye, Baltimore will be looking for Joe Flacco to rebound and go back to playing at a level tat earned him that big contract. Flacco has had to deal with an inconsistent group at receiver but he still has to be the one to figure out this team’s offensive woes. The Steelers are probably still the class of this division but they have had some serious injury problems. Ben Roethlisberger just had his yearly injury but luckily it came before the bye week. With an extra week to rest, Roethlisberger, at 100 percent or not, will probably play this Sunday at Baltimore. The Ravens pass rush is going to have to find out how mobile Ben can be on that knee often on Sunday. They must send the pressure because if not, they wont be able to slow down the Steelers offense with their many weapons. Baltimore has a top 5 run defense but they will have their hands full with Le’Veon Bell. Baltimore had an awful 2015 but they were still able to sweep this Steelers team. Revenge will be on the minds of many Steelers on Sunday and Pittsburgh will be able to take that first step towards pulling away in the AFC North. If Pittsburgh somehow loses, it will be an entire new ball game in that division. Prediction: Steelers 26 – Ravens 20

Indianapolis @ Green Bay – There isn’t any thing redeemable about this Colts team. Especially when they are playing outside of their division. Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton are usually good but that’s about all Indy has going for them. Green Bay lost a close one last week but in that game in Atlanta, Aaron Rodgers looked really good. Like, a lot like his old self. And he is going to have to be back to his old self as long as the Packers will be one dimensional on offense. The Eddie Lacy injury has hurt Green Bay’s balance on offense but they’ll be okay as long as Rodgers continues to play at a high level. I don’t see Rodgers being slowed down by this Colts defense especially playing at home. A Rodgers-Luck QB duel sounds cool but Green Bay’s defense should be able put up more of a resistance than their counterpart. The Colts wont let this game get away but they’ll run out of time at the end. Prediction: Packers 31 – Colts 23

Denver @ Oakland – The Raiders are in first place in the AFC West and this week they are in primetime for the first time in a while against the hated Denver Broncos. This will be such a huge spot for this young and upcoming Raiders team and that home crowd should be rocking. Denver had a few hiccups recently but last week, they looked like a team that was ready to get back to playing at the level they were at earlier this season. Denver’s defense dictated the pace last week vs. the Chargers and they’ll have to do so again this Sunday night. QB David Carr, who is coming off a career game last week in Tampa Bay, powers Oakland’s offense. I think the Denver defense will be able to make it hard for him in this matchup. Oakland’s defense has been sort of a disappointment this season though they have improved in stretches. The Raiders did give up a lot of points last week against a bad Buccaneers team and I see that as a bad sign going into this game. Denver’s offense is going to have struggles at the line of scrimmage in this game. The Broncos running game is still trying to account for the CJ Anderson injury and the Raiders have a really good front seven on defense. However, Oakland has a weakness in their secondary and Denver has the savvy vets at receiver to exploit those weaknesses. Discipline might also be an underlining factor in this game as Oakland was penalized at a record number last week. No QB will be the story on Sunday night. Instead it will be all about Von Miller and the Broncos defense reclaiming the AFC West on the road. Prediction: Broncos 24 – Raiders 23

Buffalo @ Seattle – After taking a serious whipping at home last week, the Bills will travel to Seattle on Monday night to take on a Seahawks team that is coming off two lackluster performances on the road. CenturyLink Field will be a sight for sore eyes for the Seahawks who desperately need a confidence builder. Seattle’s offense isn’t carrying enough weight recently and the defense couldn’t bail them out last week in New Orleans. Russell Wilson is going through a stretch where he hasn’t thrown for a TD in a while. Buffalo’s defense couldn’t stop Tom Brady last week but I think they will fare better against this Seahawks offense. I think Buffalo will be able to win the battle up front and Wilson will struggle to find big gains down the field. I think this could be a real competitive game but not without LeSean McCoy who will probably miss this matchup due to injury. Bills QB Tyrod Taylor will have too much on his plate on Monday night going up against Seattle’s defense. I expect Seattle to roll at home but it could be interesting if Buffalo’s defense can limit a struggling Seattle offense. Prediction: Seahawks 29 – Bills 18

The Rest of Week 9

Falcons over Buccaneers – Matt Ryan is on a hot streak and he may be playing as well as anyone right now. Tampa Bay’s defense has been reeling recently.

Cowboys over Browns – Dallas has the ultimate trap game this week against a winless Cleveland team? Really? Naw. The Browns are that bad. They shouldn’t have a chance.

Chiefs over Jaguars – Alex Smith goes down last week but KC was still able to roll on the road. That was impressed. Jacksonville has been the opposite of impressive this season.

Dolphins over Jets – I think the Jets are starting to look old and are starting to break down. Miami’s younger talent will shine in this one.

Lions over Vikings – All of those injuries are starting to catch up with Minnesota finally.

Panthers over Rams – Cam Newton was a big factor again last week coming off of the bye. Jeff Fisher’s teams are historically dirty and with all the talk about the refs treatment or lack there of with Newton, I think you can guarantee that there will be some type of incident in this game. Hopefully, Newton will be able to survive.

Saints over 49ers – Dream matchup for New Orleans. They can score in bunches while San Fran cant stop anybody.

Chargers over Titans – This will be one of those weird close ones that San Diego seems to always find them selves in. I’ll give the edge to the home team. San Diego will protect the ball and their defense will be the ones to force the big turnover.

Week 9 Fantasy Football Picks

QB: Matt Ryan (Falcons) – Ryan is playing well and the Buccaneer secondary gave up a bunch of yards last week vs. Oakland.

RB: Mark Ingram (Saints) – New Orleans isn’t known for running the ball but they have plenty of opportunities to against a really bad 49ers defense.

WR: Jarvis Landry (Dolphins) – Jets CB Darrelle Revis admitted recently that his “body is starting to break down”. That should be music to the ears to Miami’s top young receiver this week.

TE: Travis Kelce (Chiefs) – Kelce had a good showing last week and he’ll have a favorable matchup this week against Jacksonville’s secondary.

DEF: Detroit – Minnesota has major protection issues. The Lions will be able to get after Sam Bradford on Sunday in a way that could turn the game in their favor.

NFL 2015: Week 6 Predictions!

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Arizona comes into Pittsburgh this Sunday playing as well as anyone right now.

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 13-1

Season: 52-25

Big Five Games of the Week

Cincinnati @ Buffalo – In last week’s game vs. Seattle, it began to look like the old Bengal team that would falter in big games was back. But despite being down in the second half of that game, the Bengals stormed back and was able to come up with a big home victory against the defending NFC champs. It’s still early in this season but maybe this is a sign that this years Bengals team is ready to shed the label of being habitual folders. But once again, there’s still a lot of season left. Cincinnati will travel to Buffalo this weekend where the Bills will be looking forward to getting some key guys back from injury. QB Tyrod Taylor is coming off a gutsy performance on the road last week where he got pretty banged up. Taylor will be looking to still play this weekend but hopefully, he’ll be able to get help from a couple of RB’s returning from injuries. RB LeSean McCoy is still limited in practice due to his hamstring injury and RB Karlos Williams hasn’t been cleared since suffering a concussion so, both players’ statuses for Sunday are still up in the air. Cincinnati comes into Sunday with the 2nd ranked offense in the league. Buffalo has a great defensive line and they defend the run really well. The Bengals might have a tough time getting Giovanni Bernard or Jeremy Hill going on Sunday. Good news for Cincy is that Andy Dalton is still playing some of his best football right now despite still making mistakes from time to time. The Bengals will definitely have an advantage in the passing game as Buffalo wont have an answer for both A.J. Green and the emerging Tyler Eifert. Buffalo is a tough place to win but I think the Bengals will stay undefeated this weekend. Prediction: Bengals 28 – Bills 20

Arizona @ Pittsburgh – Arizona isn’t undefeated but you could argue that they have been the most impressive team in the NFC so far this season. Keys to their success would be a healthy Carson Palmer, a talented RB core by committee, and an attacking defense. Arizona is playing as well as anyone going into this big road game in Pittsburgh on Sunday. Pittsburgh isn’t getting enough out of their offense since the Ben Roethlisberger injury but they just got enough last Monday night in San Diego for the victory. With Mike Vick starting again this week, the Steelers would be better served by getting Le’Veon Bell as many touches as possible on Sunday. Vick’s inaccurate passing will spell trouble for Pittsburgh on Sunday as Arizona is really good at turning bad passes into turnovers going the other way. Arizona is pretty stingy against the run so, I think Pittsburgh will struggle to score points this week. You will also have to wonder how Pittsburgh will be affected from by playing on the west coast after a short week. Star WR Antonio Brown has been vocal this week about the lack of offensive production coming his way but it looks like that will continue to be the case until Ben returns. Pittsburgh’s defense has overachieved recently and they actually deserve a lot of credit. But I believe Bruce Arians will really test that unit this week and expose their weaknesses. Arizona is built to go into tough environments on the road and win games and I think they’ll prove that this week. Prediction: Cardinals 35 – Steelers 21

Carolina @ Seattle – The undefeated Panthers are coming off the bye week, as they will travel to Seattle for a tough road game. Carolina’s early success this season is amazing considering the lack of depth at receiver and playing without their best defensive player, LB Luke Kuechly. Kuechly will be ready to return this week and he’ll be returning right on time for this Carolina defense that will be facing the best running attack in football. Veterans Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson have been slowed by injuries but the Seattle running game has still been able to take off behind rookie Thomas Rawls. Carolina’s run defense should be even better than it already is with Kuechly returning so this will be a matchup to watch in this game. Russell Wilson is still a consistent playmaker for Seattle but with the protection issues on the offensive line, he has been prone to some mistakes this season. Carolina will be able to pressure him again this week and he’ll also have to look out for CB Josh Norman who may be the league’s next “Richard Sherman” as far as shutdown corners may go. Cam Newton has been carrying the Panthers offense this season but I think Seattle’s defense will put too much on his plate this week. I don’t see Carolina being able to be successful on the ground this week and Seattle’s secondary won’t respect any of Carolina’s receivers. With constantly seeing eight in the box on Sunday and without a reliable deep threat, Newton is line for his toughest start on the season on Sunday. Prediction: Seahawks 26 – Panthers 13

New England @ Indianapolis – Let me first say this: the media’s angle on this game is all wrong. Every journalist or talking head on TV is saying that this is a revenge game for the Patriots because the Colts “snitched” to the NFL about the “Deflate-gate”. But the Patriots destroyed the Colts in that AFC Championship game a season ago. So, shouldn’t the Colts be the ones looking for revenge this Sunday night in their home stadium. But either way you look at it, this game will end badly for the home team. The Colts have been an early disappointment this season. QB Andrew Luck is returning from injury in this game but even he hasn’t been as sharp as expected this season. The Patriots don’t have a great defense but the Colts have struggled to get any consistent play through the air and on the ground. Indy’s defense was also supposed to be improved this season but we have yet to see evidence of that. Tom Brady will be in attack mode in this game and the Colts wont have an answer. Prediction: Patriots 40 – Colts 28

New York Giants @ Philadelphia – The Eagles enter this huge early season NFC East showdown vs. the Giants with as much confidence as they’ve had this season thus far. The Eagles killed the Saints at home last week and it was the best their offense has looked all season. Of course, I must point out that the subplot of that game was that the New Orleans Saints absolutely suck. The Giants also had a triumphant moment last week as they defeated the 49ers with a late touchdown pass in the 4th quarter. I must also point out that the 49ers are not very good. My point is that this game will be an absolute NFC East garbage fest. Philly is favored in this matchup for reasons that actually make a lot of sense. The Giants don’t have the defense to slow down Philly’s many offensive weapons and the Eagles front seven has had a knack for giving Eli Manning a hard time. But I don’t think Sam Bradford will be able to have the success down the field that he had last week. New York doesn’t have a great secondary especially with Prince Amukamara out with an injury but that secondary isnt as bad as New Orleans’. Also, the Giants offensive line is under appreciated and if Manning has time, he’ll attack Philly’s awful secondary. Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz are both banged up but I don’t think it will matter. This game with be an ugly slop fest that will serve one purpose: ratings for ESPN because of the markets involved. Can you tell that a Cowboys fan wrote this? Prediction: Giants 24 – Eagles 21

The Rest of Week 6

Falcons over Saints – Atlanta looks vulnerable but New Orleans has the worst defense in the league.

Broncos over Browns – Great job by me for picking the Cleveland upset last week. By the way Cleveland, your 7 game losing streak begins now. Enjoy.

Bears over Lions – Remember when Chicago was tanking and trading all of their players away? Detroit’s nightmare season will continue at home on Sunday.

Titans over Dolphins – I love new interim head coach Dan Campbell. I feel like after Miami loses this game, he’ll challenge Tennessee head coach Ken Whisenhunt to a fistfight at the 50-yard line.

Vikings over Chiefs – Should have been a matchup between two of the best RB’s in football. Jamaal Charles’ season is over and so is Kansas City’s.

Jets over Washington – The surprising Jets will be well rested going into this game coming off the bye.

Texans over Jaguars – Houston isn’t any good. Gus Bradley’s seat will be pretty hot if the Jags lose this one.

Packers over Chargers – San Diego doesn’t have the defense to slow Aaron Rodgers and this Green Bay offense.

49ers over Ravens – Its hard to explain whats wrong with Baltimore this season. They just loss too many key pieces. Kind of like the team they’ll face on Sunday.

Fantasy Football Picks of the Week

QB: Tom Brady (Patriots) – Brady will go HAM this weekend in Indy. He’ll embrace the boos. He’ll silence the crowd too.

RB: Devonta Freeman (Falcons) – New Orleans has one of the worst run defenses in football. Freeman runs as hard as anyone in football right now. He’s having a breakout season this year.

WR: Anquan Boldin (49ers) – I know that the Niners don’t have a great passing offense but Boldin will demand the football this week against his former team.

TE: Larry Donnell (Giants) – With the uncertainty surrounding the availability of Beckham and Cruz, look for Eli Manning to target his TE against Philly’s sorry secondary.

DEF: Seattle – The Seahawks will be able to stack the box and eliminate the passing game this week against Cam Newton and his limited offensive teammates.

NFL 2015: Week 2 Predictions!

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Rex Ryan has been looking forward to this Sunday’s matchup with New England for awhile.

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 11-5

Season: 11-5

Big Five Games of the Week

Denver @ Kansas City – Denver won ugly in Week 1 but it seems like not everyone was impressed with that. The headlines have been all about how shaky Peyton Manning and the offense looked and not about how Wade Phillips’ new defense helped Denver win that game. You must give Baltimore’s defense credit as well. Denver was facing a tough defense and they’ll do so again this week in Kansas City. The Chiefs were really impressive last week and the score of the game against Houston really didn’t tell the tale of the contest. Kansas City dominated and the passing offense looked improved. I’m not sure how the Chiefs offense will look this week especially through the air. Denver seems to have a better pass defense this season so I would expect Jamaal Charles to get a lot of touches tonight. The story of tonight’s game will be that Kansas City pass rush giving Manning fits. The crowd at Arrowhead will be on fire and that will help the Chiefs gain a big victory in the division. Prediction: Chiefs 28 – Broncos 20

New England @ Buffalo – Buffalo really surprised me last week with how impressive they looked against the Colts (my Super Bowl pick). I wasn’t surprised about how the defense played but the offense led by Tyrod Taylor definitely took my attention. Rex Ryan has circled this date on Sunday for a while now and it looks at least on paper that his Bills will be able to matchup well against the Patriots. New England got the victory over a short handed Pittsburgh team last week but they really didn’t blow me any with their performance. Against the Pittsburgh defense, Tom Brady really should have done more on the stat sheet. Brady will find life tough on Sunday against that Buffalo front four. New England’s running game was a nice surprise in Week 1 but they’ll face a different type of monster this week in Buffalo. The Buffalo run defense did pretty well last week even without its star, DT Marcell Dareus. The Bills secondary also did a great job last week slowly Indy’s elite passing attack. I like the matchup for Buffalo between their secondary and New England’s receivers. I wonder if Julian (Jerry Rice) Edelman will be barking after every catch this week. I know Rob Gronkowski is a beast and he’ll get his touches but him and Brady wont be able to carry this offense alone against this defense. Thinking of defense, New England’s defense is poor. Tyrod Taylor took advantage of a weak Colts defense last week and I think he’ll be able to do the same this week. I’m taking the home team. Prediction: Bills 29 – Patriots 17

San Diego @ Cincinnati – There was some preseason hype surrounding Oakland before Week 1 but that was all but ended by the Bengals last week. I gotta give the Bengals credit because it felt like last week could have been one of those classic times where they disappoint. I don’t think Cincinnati played an outstanding game or anything but it means a lot if you can take care of the teams that you are suppose to especially on the road. The Bengals now return home to face San Diego who has had some recent success in Ohio. The Chargers were indeed shaky last week but they were able to leave with a victory. San Diego has to be encouraged by the performance of WR Keenan Allen who is trying to rebound after a slow 2nd season. I think the Chargers offense will have a harder time this week. Cincinnati played well defensively last week and they can really lean on that defense especially if the offense struggles. San Diego gave up a lot of yards last week so I think the Bengals should be able to form a game plan to take advantage. San Diego especially struggles against the run so I would expect Andy Dalton to hand off to Jeremy Hill a lot on Sunday. If Cincinnati can play up to there potential, they should be able to take care of the Chargers at home this Sunday. Prediction: Bengals 30 – Chargers 24

Dallas @ Philadelphia – The Eagles really disappointed last week. I mean, it hard to follow up winning the “preseason Super Bowl” with playing in a meaningless Week 1 road matchup. But seriously, I think Philly will be okay going forward. That is if their QB Sam Bradford can stay healthy. The Eagles are pretty much the same team from last season. The thing that’s supposed to be different is their power running game with DeMarco Murray that did not show up last week. You gotta give Atlanta’s run defense credit, I guess. This week’s game against Dallas is huge. Even more so since it’s the home opener for Philly, they are winless, and their new star free agent acquisition faces his former team. The pressure will be on Philly big time on Sunday this week. But I honestly like their chances. Dallas clearly didn’t play good enough to win last week but they somehow did. Thanks to the stupidity of the Giants clock management. Dallas showed a lot of positive things last week but they also showed that a lot of the problems from last season are still there. For instance, the run defense. Chip Kelly will definitely be able to find plays for Murray this week against that Dallas front four. Dallas doesn’t have a run stuffer up front and they’ll be down a pass rusher due to injury. That should be great news for Bradford and the passing offense. For Dallas, they’ll face a tough challenge once again in Philly’s front seven. The Eagles are pretty good at stuffing the run and rushing the QB. Tony Romo was able to find the answer to Philly’s defense in their last meeting in WR Dez Bryant. Now that Bryant is out with a broken foot, Romo may struggle to find a reliable game-breaking target in the passing game. Which is a shame because the Eagles secondary is garbage. Is WR Terrance Williams ready to break out this week? We will certainly find out. I would expect Jason Witten and the RB’s by committee to receive plenty of targets in the passing game much like last week. But without Dez, the passing game wont be able to be dominant enough to take this victory away from Philly. The celebration at the end of this game will be over the top, as the media will once again proclaim the Eagles to be “Week 2 champions”. Yeah. Prediction: Eagles 37 – Cowboys 28

Seattle @ Green Bay – Seattle’s offense isnt good enough to win ball games even with new TE Jimmy Graham. That’s okay because Seattle can lean on that great defense. Oh wait, that defense isnt so great this season because starting safety Kam Chancellor is still holding out. That’s the story of this game in a nutshell, I think. Green Bay should be able to take full advantage of Seattle’s secondary issues. Aaron Rodgers will have a big game especially if the Packers offense cant get the running game going against Seattle’s front seven. Green Bay struggled defensively at stopping the run and that might serve as an advantage for Seattle. Maybe this can be a game where Marshawn Lynch can do the heavy lifting for Russell Wilson. Even if the Lynch has a good game, the offense will be “too vanilla” for Seattle to outscore the Packers at home. I’m taking Green Bay. Prediction: Packers 34 – Seahawks 25

The Rest of Week 2

Cardinals over Bears – Carson Palmer played well last week. So did Arizona’s defense. Arizona will be so slept on again this season. They should be taken very seriously.

Titans over Browns – Marcus Mariota maybe ready for the big time after all. The media wants to talk about Johnny Manziel’s turnovers last week but they don’t want to talk about how disappointing the Cleveland defense was. Hmmm.

Lions over Vikings – Maybe Detroit’s defense wont be as bad after losing all those stars on the defensive line. One thing for sure: Minnesota’s offensive line problems may haunt them the entire season.

Saints over Buccaneers – Jameis Winston will be okay. But Rob Ryan will throw some weird stuff at him this week. Also, Tampa’s defense smells bad.

Falcons over Giants – Atlanta’s defense already looks better with Dan Quinn at the helm. New York did absolutely nothing to be in that game with Dallas last week and they deserved to lose because they are idiots.

Steelers over 49ers – Did you guys stay up on Monday night? Did you see how physical San Francisco played? Pittsburgh better not sleep on this opponent.

Rams over Washington – Aaron Donald is so freaking good.

Panthers over Texans – I liked what I saw out of Carolina’s defense last week. This is why I still picked them to win the South again. Houston’s QB issues may hold them back for a second straight week.

Ravens over Raiders – Baltimore has to feel encouraged by how well the defense played last week. Oakland is a mess already. But we thought that things would be different with Del Rio. Shame. (Survival Football Pick of the Week)

Dolphins over Jaguars – Miami was suppose to dominate Washington last week. They didn’t and I’m starting to think that my preseason prediction about them will be true: they’ll under perform under Joe Philbin all season.

Colts over Jets – Indy looks the same from last season. They still didn’t get that defense fixed. They better not let Ryan Fitzpatrick embarrass them on Monday night.

Fantasy Football Picks of the Week

QB: Matt Ryan (Falcons) – Ryan’s connection with Julio Jones looked great in Week 1. New York’s secondary gave up a lot of yards last week. I like Atlanta’s passing game this week.

RB: Justin Forsett (Ravens) – Forsett gain a lot of tough yards last week. He’ll gain a lot of easy ones this week against Oakland.

WR: Odell Beckham Jr (Giants) – After a lackluster Week 1, the Giants will need a big game from their big play receiver. They’ll need a lot of points to beat Atlanta.

TE: Tyler Eifert (Bengals) – Eifert had a coming out party last week and that will continue this season as Dalton will continue to trust him.

DEF: Detroit – Minnesota offensive issues might continue this week. Detroit’s defense is very opportunistic and can create turnovers.