Tag Archives: Richard Sherman

NFL 2020: Week 8 Predictions

The “Lamest Show on Earth” will be featured this week in primetime on Sunday Night.

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 9-5

Season: 66-38-1

Week 8

Panthers over Falcons – Tonight, we’ll have an underrated NFC South rivalry to kick off Week 8. Carolina has been overachievers this season who must feel encouraged that RB Christian McCaffery is close to returning. Atlanta, on the other hand, has plenty of talent but they’ve greatly underachieved and its already gotten their coach fired. The Falcons are competing hard every week though. I bet this game will be competitive. 

Bills over Patriots – It’s going to be “all out there” for Buffalo on Sunday. New England is coming off its worst performance of the season, the offense has fallen flat due to lack of weapons and poor play from Cam Newton and now they’ll travel to Buffalo who are looking to establish its self on top of the AFC East. I can’t think of a better scenario for Josh Allen and the Bills. Sunday will be a great opportunity for Buffalo stake their claim for the division title.

Titans over Bengals – Tennessee must beat the teams that they are supposed to beat if they look to stay in the race for the top seed in the AFC.

Raiders over Browns – It seems like Cleveland is just trying to stay afloat and have enough wins to qualify for the post season as a 3rd place AFC North team. I feel like the Raiders can beat a team like Cleveland. The Raiders won’t seem as desperate.

Lions over Colts – It is dangerous to have faith in Detroit but the Colts lack offensive explosiveness. The Lions have an offense that can score in bunches. 

Packers over Vikings – Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are going to be able to beat the bad teams even in their own division. Minnesota is going to have to lean on Dalvin Cook who is returning from injury. 

Chiefs over Jets – Crazy mismatch here. The Le’Veon Bell revenge factor will be interesting though.

Rams over Dolphins – I wish Tua Tagovailoa the best. But this incredibly average Rams team is playing well right now because of the individual efforts of their two best defensive players, DT Aaron Donald and CB Jalen Ramsey. Good luck, rook.

Ravens over Steelers – I’m not sure about this one because Pittsburgh is playing really well right now (they’re undefeated, obviously). Baltimore will play them tough as usual and they may be aided by coming off the bye week fresh. Or maybe the long layoff will hurt them and the rhythm that the Steelers are on currently on will continue. I don’t know. This will be one to watch on Sunday, for sure. But Lamar Jackson got the best of this defense last year. I think he could do it again.

Broncos over Chargers – Rookie QB Justin Herbert is putting up impressive numbers but on Sunday, he’ll face a good defense in Denver. I question if the Broncos offense is capable to put up points if Herbert gets into a groove. 

Saints over Bears – Chicago has regressed as the Nick Foles experiment is looking like a failure. It seems like the Bears have a two headed monster at QB and either are any good. I wonder if the reported in fighting in the New Orleans locker room is real and will it affect the product on the field. Could the Sean Payton/Michael Thomas riff lead to an eventual split?

Seahawks over 49ers – San Francisco has picked them selves off the mat and are playing good football right now. This rivalry with Seattle has produced some great moments and I think they will continue that on Sunday. All of Seattle’s games have been crazy entertaining this season for some reason.

Eagles over Cowboys – It will be the “lamest show on earth” this Sunday night with this NFC East matchup. The Eagles have been bad this season but they haven’t been “Dallas Cowboys bad”. The Cowboys have cut some bad players this week leading up to this game, which tells me that Jerry Jones thinks that this season can be saved. I am less optimistic about that. I think more bad football is on the way and Philadelphia will be the benefactor of it this week. Fantasy Owners, start Carson Wentz this week. This Dallas defense will make him look like a football God on Sunday Night. 

Buccaneers over Giants – Tom Brady usually has a bad time against the Giants. I have a hard time believing that this Giants team will be able to get the best of Tom this time. 

NFL 2020: NFC Preview

TeflonTommy

After ruling one conference, Teflon Tommy arrives in Tampa looking to leave his mark on the NFC.

By: Elias McMillan

NFC

NFC East

It’s August and I’m feeling good about the upcoming season for the Dallas Cowboys. I know that when you just read that, your mind was screaming “Noooo. It’s a trap!” But really, I have no problem saying this about Dallas and setting myself up for a major disappointment. Why? Because why not. It is not out of the realm of possibilities to think this. The Cowboys return the number one offense in the NFL. They can certainly run it with Ezekiel Elliott. And Dak Prescott ran an improved passing attack, which added the best WR in CFB. Will the defense hold them back again? We’ll things could be different this time around. Major changes to the defensive line and a Bryon Jones-less, turnover-hungry approach in the secondary would make things even easier for Dak and the offense. But this hype has fallen short time and time again. What if the defense doesn’t improve? What if the offensive line starts to decline? Injuries? Etc. I’m just saying that it looks like new head coach Mike McCarthy has done his due diligence (including drafting extremely well this past April) so I’m expecting this team to win many regular season games. I’m not sure what that means for the playoffs. I feel confident saying that Philadelphia will be next to Dallas in terms of competition in the NFC East. Where Philly lacks in talent they make up for it with grit and toughness, which got them to the playoffs last year.  QB Carson Wentz returns still looking to regain that 2017 form while playing well enough to keep rookie QB Jalen Hurts on the bench. RB Miles Sanders could have a big year as the Eagles “A1” option in the backfield. The Eagles have many questions at wide out but they hope rookie Jalen Reagor can provide some answers. On defense, Philly features a beastly front led by Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, and newcomer Javon Hargrave. CB Darius Slay comes over from Detroit to a secondary that lost Malcolm Jenkins in the offseason. The Washington Football Team may not have a mascot (yet), but they quietly have a nice collection of young talent. Their QB situation is intriguing. QB Dwayne Haskins is looking to fully grasp the starting spot but veteran Alex Smith is also in the mix after rehabbing a gruesome leg injury. Also lost in all the QB talk, how different the offensive line will look without Trent Williams. In the backfield, they had to release one of their younger guys but the remarkable Adrian Peterson, at age 35, may be a player for Washington to rely on. WR “Scary” Terry McLaurin looks to continue his success from his rookie year. Washington has a talented defensive line and even more so now with the addition of DE Chase Young who is said to be the best overall player in the draft. I don’t see the New York Giants winning many games this year. QB Daniel Jones won a game last year at Tampa and the media immediately crowned him. I mean, he did show promise last season but let’s relax. I don’t think he has proven anything yet. The only thing proven about this offense is RB Saquon Barkley. On defense, there’s nothing to be exciting about. It’s just a mixture of mid-level veterans and unproven young guys. It’s going to be a rough year for football in New York.

Playoff Teams in CAPS Projected Finish: 1) DALLAS, 2) Philadelphia, 3) Washington, 4) New York Giants

NFC North

In 2020, Minnesota won’t look too different than a season ago. Which means, on paper, they’ll still have the best roster in the NFC North. QB Kirk Cousins is coming off a good year and the Vikings offense will also welcome back stars like RB Dalvin Cook, WR Adam Thielen, and TE Kyle Rudolph. They traded away WR Stephon Diggs but they drafted a possible replacement in Justin Jefferson. The Vikings will look different upfront defensively this year without Everson Griffen but they’ll feature DE Danielle Hunter who is one the best at his position. Once again, Anthony Barr will lead a talented group at LB. Many changes at the CB position but the Vikings do offer one of the top safety tandems in the league with Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris. It’s almost forgettable that the Packers made the NFC Championship last season. But they were in the position to help their cause in the off season through the draft but they chose not to. I’m guessing that the front office is thinking that the team will be good as long as they have QB Aaron Rodgers though they drafted his possible replacement in the first round. WR DeVante Adams is really good but that stands out even more because Green Bay doesn’t have a reliable second option. I think RB Aaron Jones has proven himself and I’m intrigued to see rookie A.J. Dillon. Green Bay’s defense isn’t all that great but they have two great players in LB Preston and Za’Darius Smith. Chicago is a team with many talented players but I don’t feel so confident about their chances this year. QB Mitch Trubisky has struggled and now he is pretty much playing to keep his starting job as the front office brought in Nick Foles in the offseason. I thought RB Tarik Cohen would break out last year but that didn’t happen. David Montgomery grabbed the reigns of the running duties in the backfield but he may have some injury issues. I do really like Chicago’s WR core. It’s a nice mix of young players and veterans like Allen Robinson. The Bears will have a great pass rush as long as they have LB Khalil Mack and even more so this year with Robert Quinn joining on. The Bears have another playmaker on defense. Safety Eddie Jackson has emerged and earned himself a big contract extension. The Lions will have a decent roster this year but I don’t think they’ll be good enough to contend for the playoffs. QB Matt Stafford returns from injury looking to re-establish himself as one of the better passers in the NFL. They’ll have a nice mix at RB with Kerryon Johnson and rookie D’Andre Smith. Stafford will also have the weapons at WR with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. On defense, Detroit’s front in a work in progress, which is why they brought in Danny Shelton from New England. They are surprisingly talented at the LB position. Jarrad Davis, Christian Jones, and Jamie Collins are all good players. The secondary will be without Darius Slay, putting the spotlight solely on first round pick Jeff Okudah from Ohio State.

Playoff Teams in CAPS Projected Finish: 1) MINNESOTA, 2) GREEN BAY, 3) Chicago, 4) Detroit

NFC South

This division could be defined by the play at the quarterback position. The Saints have had the best overall roster in recent history but they haven’t been able to turn that into post-season gold. New Orleans will return their usual suspects on offense with Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Karmara. The Saints are equipped with reinforcements at the offensive skills positions even at QB with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill.  New Orleans returns most of their starters on defense and they brought back Malcolm Jenkins as a veteran presence in the secondary. The most hyped team in this division is one that signed Tom Brady in the off-season. Tampa Bay had a productive offense a season ago but expectations will be even higher with Brady, who also brought along TE Rob Gronkowski. It was already enough that this offense features Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at WR. There will also be much intrigue in the backfield with the returning Ronald Jones and newcomer veteran LeSean McCoy. My question with this team is if the defense can be good enough to keep the opposing team off the scoreboard. Upfront, Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea can eat up enough blockers to free up playmaking LB’s Devin White and Shaquil Barrett. But that secondary struggled last season. Rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. could be a player that would help that situation. Atlanta will be under the radar once again this season. The stability that QB Matt Ryan has brought to this franchise doesn’t get talked about enough. Atlanta’s offense is really about how dominant WR Julio Jones can be on any given Sunday afternoon. RB Todd Gurley comes home looking to prove that he can stay healthy. On defense, DT Grady Jarrett is the main disrupter on the line of scrimmage and LB Dion Jones is also a big playmaker. Carolina will be rebuilding after firing their head coach, bringing in an inexperienced hire, and going through a messy divorce with the franchise’s most visible player. Now at QB, Teddy Bridgewater is finally betting on himself after a history of being injured in Minnesota and learning from Drew Brees in New Orleans. He’ll be greatly assisted in the backfield by RB Christian McCaffery who is one of the most electrifying players in the league. Bridgewater’s options at WR don’t sound exciting but they do have D.J. Moore and veteran Robby Anderson. The Panthers are going to be really young defensively this year. I like who they added in the draft on their defensive line. LB Shaq Thompson takes over as the leader of this defense after years of playing along side of Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis.

Playoff Teams in CAPS Projected Finish: 1) NEW ORLEANS, 2) TAMPA BAY, 3) Atlanta, 4) Carolina

NFC West

So, there’s always a surprise team that breaks out and goes from last place to first. I think that team will come from this division. Seattle and San Francisco have been battling for supremacy in the NFC West more recently but in 2020 I think it will be the Arizona Cardinals who will make a huge leap. QB Kyler Murray flashed potential last year and earned Rookie of the Year honors. I think this season he’ll continue to show improvement and in result, Arizona will be in contention. What is really going to help Murray this year is newcomer WR DeAndre Hopkins. After being casted off by Houston, Hopkins will be looking to show what everyone else knows, that he is one of the best WR in football. In a division with so many great defenses, I think the Cardinals will be able to say that they are among them. The group they have at LB is among the best in the league. They have a premiere pass rusher in Chandler Jones and multiple veterans at the LB position who are going to help mold their top pick in the draft, Isaiah Simmons. If Simmons can accumulate quickly to the pro game, this defense is going to be scary as he is a player who can make an impact as a rusher or in coverage. The Cardinals have had issues with pass coverage but they return veteran CB Patrick Peterson and free safety Budda Baker. The 49ers will be looking to repeat as conference champs this season. Embattled QB Jimmy Garoppolo is back as he is still trying to solidify himself as one of the league’s top passers. San Fran returns tons of depth in the backfield but not at WR where they are already suffering from many injuries. Rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk maybe thrown into the spotlight early in his career. Garoppolo will be able to count on TE George Kittle who is at the top in his position in the NFL. The Niners had a great defense a season ago but there will be changes this year. DeForest Bunkner was traded away from a talented group at defensive line that includes Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead. Rookie DT Javon Kinlaw will most likely fit right in with this group, as he was a highly disruptive force at South Carolina. The 49ers also have a productive group at LB as Fred Warner has been able to develop nicely. I like play in this secondary doesn’t matter much when you have such a dominant front four but loudmouth CB Richard Sherman will lead that group if he can continue to stay healthy. Seattle will stay in the mix in this division as long as they have QB Russell Wilson. Seattle will however be a run heavy offense this year, which means plenty of RB Chris Carson. The Seahawks don’t really have a “No.1” at WR but they’ll return Tyler Lockett who gained over 1,000 yards in 2019. We shouldn’t sleep on DK Metcalf who definitely has potential. I’m sure what TE Greg Olsen has to offer because he just can’t stay off the injured list. On defense, Seattle made a big splash trading for safety Jamal Adams. He joins a secondary that surprisingly struggled last year. Seattle will be tough in the middle of that defense with LB Bobby Wagner roaming around. In Los Angeles, the Rams will open up a new stadium hoping to mark the beginning of a new era for the franchise. I think the Rams have some talented players but as a whole, their roster doesn’t match up in this division. QB Jared Goff is criticized because of his contract but he’s an okay player. Todd Gurley is no longer in the backfield but the combo of Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson wasn’t too bad in his absence. I think rookie RB Cam Akers is going to be the breakout star for this offense. At WR, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are a decent duo. Really, this team only has two great players and they’re both of defense. DT Aaron Donald is beastly and CB Jalen Ramsey talks a lot but usually can back it up. I think the Rams will finish last in this division but probably with a 8-8 record. They wont be a terrible football team. I just think the other three teams in the division have a lot more talent.

Playoff Teams in CAPS Projected Finish: 1) ARIZONA, 2) SAN FRANCISCO, 3) Seattle, 4) L.A. Rams

Super Bowl LIV Prediction

mahomes2020

This could be the beginning of something special for Kansas City on Super Sunday unless San Francisco has something to say about it.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Conference Championships: 1-1

Playoffs: 5-5

Super Bowl LIV from Miami, Florida

San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

I’ve gone back and forth on this one in terms of who I think is going to win vs. who is actually going to win. Really, I just don’t want the snooze fest that was last year’s Super Bowl. And I don’t think we will get that. Super Bowl LIV will feature an old time theme in football: a really good offense vs. a really good defense. The question here is if that explosive offense will be too much for even a good-to-great defense to handle. For the Chiefs, QB Patrick Mahomes has drawn rave reviews and all is there left for him to do is to deliver Kansas City its first championship in over 40 years. Mahomes has the weapons to get it done in the passing game. The Chiefs offer multiple speedsters at the WR position and TE Travis Kelce can also provide big plays. In their way is a talented 49ers defense led by a young and active defensive line. Probable Defensive Rookie of the Year, Nick Bosa, leads this unit that includes former Chief Dee Ford and two 6”7 defensive tackles that wreck havoc in the middle. San Fran’s defense also gets outstanding play at LB with Fred Warner and Kwon Alexander and in the secondary with CB Richard Sherman. Kansas City doesn’t have a bad defense either. They shut down the league’s leading rusher two weeks ago and safety Tyrann Mathieu is currently playing his best ball of his career. The matchup between the Chiefs offense and the 49ers defense will take center stage on Sunday but another big question will be how QB Jimmy Garoppolo will affect the game. San Francisco ran the ball well two weeks ago with Raheem Mostert carrying the load but I think they will not be able to depend on him against the Chiefs front four. So, when called upon, can Garoppolo provide big plays down the field? Many are not expecting much from the 49ers passing game but I think that might serve as an advantage. WR Emmanuel Sanders and rookie Deebo Samuel should not be slept on by the Chiefs secondary. For entertainment purposes, I think that many including myself will be looking for the Chiefs to use that explosive offense, light up the scoreboard, and keep San Francisco from striking distance. Kansas City is the favorite in this game for a reason but some of it maybe sentimental. The Chiefs have the aging coach (Andy Reid), aging veterans on their last championship run (Terrell Suggs and Shady McCoy), and the new superstar who is ready to take over the league (Mahomes). I think it is possible that the Chiefs will be able to get up big in this game and not look back but something tells me that we’ll see something different. Maybe the 49ers defense will be able to win the battles up front and make it really tough on Mahomes. Maybe the 49ers will be able to keep Mahomes on the bench and control the clock with Mostert and a now healthy RB Tevin Coleman. I feel better saying that the Chiefs will win on Sunday but I have a strange feeling. It wouldn’t be the first time a star QB’s first championship appearance ended on a sour note. Prediction: 49ers 34 – Chiefs 31

NFL Playoffs: Conference Championship Sunday Predictions

49ERS VS. VIKINGS NFC DIV PLAYOFF GAME

The table is set for the 49ers defense to lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Divisional Round: 2-2

Playoffs: 4-4

Conference Championship Sunday

AFC Championship Game

Tennessee @ Kansas City – The Titans are taking all challengers this post season. RB Derrick Henry is leading the way on the ground, punishing defenses. And QB Ryan Tannehill is making big plays when called upon. On defense, Tennessee’s secondary has also been impressive. That unit will be tested often on Sunday with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Kansas City was down early, big last week at home but that explosive offense was able to pull them out of the fire real quick. Houston didn’t do any favors for themselves either, as they made some mistakes down the stretch. I don’t think the Chiefs will be able to afford another slow start this Sunday. Tennessee has done a great job with ball control and staying away from game altering mistakes. I think Tennessee’s run game will do its job and keep KC’s offense on the bench, which could take the home crowd out of the game. If the Chiefs are able to bottle up Henry, Tennessee’s defense will be in serious trouble. They’ve done a good job so far in the playoffs but Kansas City is able to challenge them vertically unlike any other they have faced. I think the extra attention on the Titans backfield could open things for Tannehill and his young receivers. The Titans brand of football isn’t as fun and exciting as what Kansas City or what Baltimore was offering but it is working. It would just stink if it just came to a complete halt on Sunday. I’m rooting for the upset. Not sure it will happen but its what I’m wishing for. Another conference championship heartbreak for Andy Reid. Prediction: Titans over Chiefs

NFC Championship Game

Green Bay @ San Francisco – This 49ers team has been built for moments like this. San Fran is physical, they can run the ball and they have one of the league’s top defenses. That formula usually works in January. Green Bay will be the road underdogs in this NFC Championship game and it is easy to see why. I don’t think Green Bay’s offense is dynamic enough to get through the 49ers defense for 4 quarters. QB Aaron Rodgers played great against Seattle last week, finding WR Davante Adams for multiple big gains. I think that 49ers defensive front four will be able to limit the Rodgers-Adams connection. San Fran also defended the run pretty well last week, too. We might see quite a few screen plays from the Packers offense on Sunday to counter the 49ers’ aggressiveness. For the 49ers on offense, they just have to continue to keep things simple and stick to what works. QB Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t have a great game statistically but he stayed away from mistakes for the most parts. The big thing for him is that when he does screw up, he knows he has a great running game that he can lean on. I think the result of this game will be the least shocking one of the weekend. Prediction:  49ers over Packers

NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round Predictions

Wild Card Round - Buffalo Bills v Houston Texans

The Texans won in Kansas City earlier this season. Can they do it again in the playoffs?

 

By: Elias McMillan

Wild-Card: 2-2

Playoffs: 2-2

Divisional Round

Minnesota @ San Francisco – I was really impressed with the Vikings’ defensive line in their upset victory over New Orleans last weekend. In fact, this divisional round game between the Vikings and 49ers will be heavily influenced by the play at the line of scrimmage. San Francisco has bolstered a pretty dominant unit up front all season and they’ll have a chance to really exert their power in this game. QB Kirk Cousins avoided mistakes last weeks and made some pretty big throws. He will be under pressure again this week but I think past experiences will help him. I think Minnesota’s experiences in the post season will help them on Saturday. Many players on San Francisco will be making their playoff debuts. Everyone usually puts a spotlight on Cousins but I think Jimmy Garoppolo is the QB under the most pressure this weekend. Minnesota’s defense has been inconsistent but if they play like they did in New Orleans, the Vikings will be in this one. RB Dalvin Cook could see plenty of opportunities in this game, which will help Cousins against a top ranked pass defense. The 49ers have taken on all challengers this season but recently, they’ve been able to escape in some close games by the skin of their teeth. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said something this week about the last time they defeated New Orleans in the playoffs and came back the next week and laid a total egg in Philadelphia. That message will be hammered into his team this week and I think it will pay off as they will score the upset and advance to the NFC Championship Game. Prediction: Vikings over 49ers

Tennessee @ Baltimore – Tennessee didn’t have to do much to end the Patriots reign last week. But getting the job done in Foxboro shouldn’t be scoffed at. The Titans have a good thing going right now with the way they can control the clock with RB Derrick Henry which in return sets up the league’s highest rated passer, Ryan Tannehill. That formula will have to work overtime this week, as the Titans will face the league’s top offense in the Baltimore Ravens. League MVP Lamar Jackson should be fresh coming off the bye and his offense will be able to attack the Titans defense in a way that New England couldn’t do last week.  This game will be all about which offense can control the clock as both teams feature highly successful running games. I think the difference will be which offense can produce more big plays down the field. The Titans cannot sleep on what Lamar Jackson’s arm can do. Also, you have to consider that Jackson has a talent group of skill players on offense to go to. I have a feeling that Tennessee might be able to keep this one close to start but eventually Jackson and Ravens will overwhelm them. Prediction: Ravens over Titans

Houston @ Kansas City – The Texans pulled off a great comeback in the Wild Card round against Buffalo. I don’t think they can afford another slow start this weekend, as they’ll visit the Chiefs in Kansas City. Houston showed against Buffalo that when pressed, their biggest stars can make game altering plays. On offense, QB Deshaun Watson proved his worth during crunch time and on defense, it was J.J. Watt who provided the spark. The Chiefs are a team that can apply pressure for all 4 quarters, offensively and defensively. QB Patrick Mahomes and his fast break offense should be able to stretch the field against the Texans defense. Kansas City isn’t a great defensive team but they do have an active front four along with a tough secondary. The Chiefs have had problems with injuries this season and it is something that they will have to continue to avoid during this post season run. If the offensive weapons are rested and healthy, Houston is going to have a tough time keeping them off the scoreboard. Houston defeated KC earlier this season and I’m sure the home team hasn’t forgotten about that. Unlike that game in Week 6, the Chiefs will need to get off on a fast start and keep the Texans offense on the bench. Prediction: Chiefs over Texans

Seattle @ Green Bay – This game will be pretty to look at. A cold and snowy Lambeau Field will set the scene for two teams that are usually mainstays in the NFC playoffs. Seattle was able to get by a wounded Eagles team last week and they didn’t earn any style points with that victory. With better QB play, Philadelphia might have been able to pull that one out. Seattle is currently having issues with scoring touchdowns, which may have to do with their injury situation. It’s cool that RB Marshawn Lynch is back but even he admits that he is not in game shape. QB Russell Wilson will have to do the heavy lifting for this Seahawks offense but how is that different from any other season? Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is used to putting the team on his back as well but this season, his supporting cast isn’t that bad. In this cold weather game, I’m expecting big things out of RB’s Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. I think the Packers running game will have a huge affect on the outcome in this one and it will allow Aaron Rodgers to control the clock and take some big shots down the field. Seattle’s defense is talented but they really got off easy last week. If their front four can’t get in the face of Rodgers, it could be a long, cold night for that unit. I’ve been mostly unimpressed with the Packers this season but I think they matchup well against Seattle. Russell Wilson has never won in Green Bay and on Sunday, the Packers will set the scene for a NFC North Championship game for the conference title and a Super Bowl berth. Prediction: Packers over Seahawks

 

 

NFL 2019: Week 17 Predictions (Condensed Version)

Steelers Bengals Football

Can the “Duck Man” lead Pittsburgh past Baltimore this weekend and into the playoffs? Somehow, I doubt it.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 12-4

Season: 147-92-1

Week 17 Picks

Jets over Bills – Buffalo has already clinched their playoff spot and will be better off resting starters. The Jets could have a 7-win season after starting off 1-7. Not bad.

Browns over Bengals – Cincy is committed to the tank. The Browns could finish with seven wins. I said this about Cleveland back in August, “You have to crawl before you can walk.”

Packers over Lions – I see Detroit playing them tough but Green Bay could be in line for a first round bye in the post season.

Chiefs over Chargers – Kansas City has slim chances to improve their playoff position. But they have also had some bad luck this year when it comes to injuries. They could also rest their regulars.

Bears over Vikings – Minnesota is locked in at the 6 spot in the NFC and they’ve already announced that they will rest key starters.

Patriots over Dolphins – New England, with a win here, would clinch the number two seed in the AFC.

Falcons over Buccaneers – After a bad start, Atlanta has rebounded and saved the jobs of their head coach and general manager. That’s something to be proud of.

Saints over Panthers – New Orleans will need to win this one to avoid playing during Wild-Card Weekend. And what is this I’m hearing about Antonio Brown? Sean Payton, don’t do this. It could be fun. But, just say no.

Giants over Eagles – Philadelphia stinks. I’ll applaud their defense for last week, at least. But still. Not a very good team. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley will look dynamic.

Washington over Cowboys – The Dallas Cowboys are a complete waste of time. It would be so “on brand” for the Eagles to lose but then Dallas fails to take advantage. I’m looking forward to the “Dallas fires Head Coach Jason Garrett” update scrolling across my screen. Having to watch this team for another week is punishment enough.

Raiders over Broncos – Oakland, despite the injuries, got the win last week and has a chance to sneak into the post season this weekend. Jon Gruden is quietly doing an okay job in Oakland.

Rams over Cardinals – Two teams with nothing to play for. For those watching this one, count how many times the announcers mention the ages of the head coaches.

Colts over Jaguars – Jacksonville is going to have an interesting offseason coming up in 2020.

Ravens over Steelers – Baltimore has the #1 seed locked up in the AFC and will rest their starters. But even with a playoff spot on the line, I don’t see Pittsburgh being successful with their current situation at the QB position.

Titans over Texans – Houston is going about business as usual this week but I’m not falling for it. If Coach Bill O’Brien has a brain, he will undoubtedly rest his starters this week ahead of Wild-Card weekend. Tennessee will be ready to take advantage.

49ers over Seahawks – San Fran has grown since losing to Seattle just weeks ago. Plus, the Seahawks are a bit dinged up. It is a big spot to win on the road in Seattle but I think the 49ers can do it and clinch home field advantage for themselves in the NFC.

NFL 2019: Week 14 Predictions

dakjg2019

With 4 games left in the season, the 6-6 Cowboys would like to begin their playoff push tonight in Chicago.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 11-5

Season: 114-77-1

Top Five Games of the Week

Dallas @ Chicago – With 4 weeks left in the season, the Bears have a slim chance at making the playoffs, currently sitting in third place in the NFC North. A win tonight at home would definitely help their situation. Chicago, after a tough start, has gained momentum recently winning their last two games. Dallas is desperate for something positive after losing their last two. Though they are still in the driver’s seat in the NFC East, their play recently hasn’t spurred any confidence. I think the Cowboys are in a “back against the wall” scenario and how they respond to that will go a long ways in terms of closing out their division, solidifying their playoff spot, and possibly saving the job of their head coach. In recent years, the Cowboys have responded well in these situations. In the last two seasons, Jason Garrett has led them to 3-1 records in the month of December. Tonight, the Cowboys will have to be the aggressor. Their defense has been lacking impact plays recently and that’s something that must change. Chicago doesn’t have much to offer besides their defense. Dallas must protect the football on offense and the defense can’t let Mitch Trubisky beat them. Dallas has to start playing like they’re desperate. Tonight, on the road in Chicago, would be the best time for that. Prediction: Cowboys over Bears

Baltimore @ Buffalo – The Bills were impressive on Thanksgiving. They can really start to turn heads in the AFC with another strong performance against one of the top teams in the league. Baltimore is on a roll right now, taking on all opponents. Last week against San Francisco, they battled all the way down to the last second and were victorious. Buffalo is a talented team that is especially receiving great play upfront defensively. But it seems like nothing can derailed the Lamar Jackson train right now. Buffalo is going to need some dynamic plays offensively to keep pace with the Ravens offense. I don’t know where they can get that from. December games in Buffalo can be tough but I think this Baltimore team is built for it. They handled the weather well last week. Prediction: Ravens over Bills

San Francisco @ New Orleans – The 49ers lost a tough one last week but I came away feeling good about their standing in the NFC. They took one of the league’s best teams down to the wire in a game that could have gone either way. This Sunday, they’ll face another great opponent in New Orleans. The Saints have had some hiccups this season but they are still one of the proven best teams in the conference. I think they will be in trouble this week though. New Orleans has struggled against strong defensive fronts this year. The 49ers have the formula for getting to the QB and limiting their opponents scoring chances. The Saints aren’t bad defensively either but I think they have some holes up front that the 49ers running game can expose. Much like their game last week in Baltimore, I think San Fran is looking at a contest that will be determined in the last minutes. Prediction: 49ers over Saints

Kansas City @ New England – New England’s lack of offense finally caught up to them last week. They have done some amazing things defensively this season but at the end of the day, you must figure out a way to score points. Tom Brady needs help at the receiver position and the offense’s running game can only do so much. Kansas City pretty much has the opposite problem. Patrick Mahomes’ offense can look unstoppable at times and they will pressure New England’s defense in a way that they haven’t seen all season. I have to wonder if Brady is going to ask owner Robert Kraft to bring back Antonio Brown after this one. Prediction: Chiefs over Patriots

Seattle @ LA Rams – The Rams got a much-needed win last week but thanks to the Seahawks and 49ers, they seem like a playoff long shot. Seattle is a team where you pretty much know what you’re going to get each week. They just play hard and it’s a reflection from their head coach, Pete Carroll. I honestly can’t stand him but year in and year out, his team competes at a high level. No matter what they have in the backfield or at receiver, they are solid offensively. A lot of credit should also go to QB Russell Wilson. The Rams have been shaky offensively this season. QB Jared Goff has been inconsistent and the play calling suggests that they don’t really trust that RB Todd Gurley is fully recovered from injury. The Rams should also be better defensively since acquiring CB Jalen Ramsey but that transaction hasn’t really proven its worth yet. Seattle has had issues in the past on the road but I think they’ll handle this week’s test. Prediction: Seahawks over Rams

The Rest of Week 14

Falcons over Panthers – Who had Ron Rivera getting fired before Dan O’Quinn? Not me.

Browns over Bengals – Cincy finally won last week. I think Cleveland will benefit from playing one of the league’s worst defensive teams this week.

Packers over Washington – Does Washington have some momentum left over after beating Carolina last week? Technically, they are still alive in the horrible NFC East.

Vikings over Lions – Minnesota should feel good about their playoff chances. They still can afford a let down at home against a division rival.

Jets over Dolphins – Dare I say that the Jets play better this year at home?

Buccaneers over Colts – In a mild upset, I see Tampa’s defense stepping up against a wounded Indianapolis team.

Texans over Broncos – Houston has the potential to play well against any team in the league.

Chargers over Jaguars – The Chargers were hosed by the refs last week. They are owed one.

Raiders over Titans – Another upset here. Tennessee is playing well but they are inconsistent. Gruden will have his guys ready to play at home this week.

Cardinals over Steelers – The formula of having a good defense and very little offense can only take you so far in this league. Arizona isn’t great but they aren’t the Browns.

Eagles over Giants – Sorry to be the buzz kill here but the potential return of Eli Manning will only help the Eagles pass rush, right?

NFL 2019: Week 13 Predictions (Condensed Version)

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The Buffalo Bills will be looking to stay in the AFC playoff conversation by making a statement in Dallas on Thanksgiving.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 9-5

Season: 103-72-1

Week 13 Picks

Bears over Lions – Detroit losing on Thanksgiving is a tradition. Chicago’s defense should be able to take care of Jeff Driskel.

Bills over Cowboys – Dallas didn’t get hammered physically last week in New England. It was mentally which could be even worst. If they don’t recover and focus up on a short week, this Bills team could shock them. Buffalo needs this to stay the AFC wildcard race.

Saints over Falcons – Atlanta embarrassed New Orleans in their first meeting. The Saints haven’t forgot and they’ll be looking for revenge in the Super Dome.

Jets over Bengals – Cincy blew their chance at getting a victory last week. Now, they come crawling back to Andy Dalton. Not a good look.

Titans over Colts – Indy is banged up. Tennessee is beginning to look like a team that could sneak their way into the playoff conversation.

Eagles over Dolphins – Philly is such a mess currently. It wouldn’t surprise me if Miami gave them trouble on the road.

Packers over Giants – Green Bay got taken back to the woodshed last week. Hopefully, this road trip to the Big Apple will be more successful for them.

Steelers over Browns – Cleveland is the much more talented team even without Myles Garrett. But the wounded Steelers will have blood in their eyes still from what happened at the end of the last meeting just two weeks ago. When was the last time Cleveland swept the season series with Pittsburgh?

Panthers over Washington – Kyle Allen has to make the offseason decision at QB hard for Carolina. A loss here would really hurt his cause.

Buccaneers over Jaguars – Not saying that the two are linked but it seems that Jacksonville lost its juice when Nick Foles returned. Hmmm.

Ravens over 49ers – Here’s a possible Super Bowl preview. Shame that most of the country won’t be able to see it. It will be strength vs. strength when you talk about the Ravens offense and the 49ers defense. Maybe the long road trip for the Niners will play a factor. I have too much trust in Lamar Jackson to pick against him right now.

Rams over Cardinals – LA needs a pick me up victory in the worst way.

Chargers over Broncos – I’m excited to see the return of Chargers safety Derwin James. If not injured, I think LA’s season might be going differently.

Chiefs over Raiders – I’m not sure why everyone was shocked about Oakland’s loss to the Jets last week. The Raiders have a history struggling with long road trips. However, they’ll take their lumps again this Sunday against the Chiefs.

Patriots over Texans – Stephon Gilmore vs. DeAndre Hopkins will be must see TV. Let’s see if the New England offense can respond against an offense that maybe able to score more than 9 points.

Seahawks over Vikings – In what should be a close matchup, I’ll go with Russell Wilson as Kirk Cousins usually falters under the primetime lights.

NFL 2019: Week 10 Predictions

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks

Can Russell Wilson and the Seahawks give the 49ers their first loss of 2019?

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 9-5

Season: 78-56-1

Top Five Games of the Week

Los Angeles Chargers @ Oakland – I’m kind of surprised to see the Raiders with a 4-4 record. Right now they have the inside track on finishing second in the AFC West and maybe competing for a Wild-Card playoff spot. Tonight’s game against the Chargers will be key for them going forward. A win tonight and then upcoming games against the Bengals and Jets could mean that Oakland could be sitting pretty with a 7-4 record. But first things first, they have to defeat a Chargers team who is coming off their best win of the season over Green Bay. The Chargers have been the picture of inconsistency in the AFC over the last few years. Tonight, I think they’ll have to lean on a strong defensive performance. Edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will have to impact what David Carr and the Raiders offense can produce. I’m looking for Oakland to challenge LA’s run defense tonight with rookie Josh Jacobs who is having a good first season. My heart goes out to those fans in Oakland who will not be able to see their team at home for not much longer. I think the Raiders will send those fans home happy tonight. Prediction: Raiders over Chargers

Carolina @ Green Bay – I’m not sure what happened to the Packers last week in LA. Maybe they were enjoying the SoCal nightlife before Sunday’s game. Aaron Rodgers assured everyone after the loss last week that there’s no need to worry and they’ll get back on track. Easier said than done, as Green Bay will welcome a pretty good Carolina team this Sunday. Carolina’s defense should serve as a good test for Rodgers. The Panthers hoist a top pass defense in the league. Green Bay may find success in the run game with Jamal Williams and Aaron Jones as Carolina’s run defense ranks near the bottom. On offense, the Panthers will continue to feed their MVP candidate RB Christian McCaffrey and will hope to keep the Packers pass rush away from QB Kyle Allen. Carolina is going to need points to win this one on the road. I don’t think Allen will be able to out-produce Rodgers offensively. Prediction: Packers over Panthers

Los Angeles Rams @ Pittsburgh – Even though the Colts weren’t healthy last Sunday and their QB was knocked out of the game, that was still an impressive victory for the almost equally wounded Steelers. Currently, the Steelers are playing at a high level defensively especially when you look at edge rushers, T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree. That defense will have its hands full this Sunday with the LA Rams coming into town. The Rams are among the top teams in the NFC and should be well-rested coming off the bye. QB Jared Goff is a guy that can be rattled when pressured but he has the pleasure of being surrounded with a great supporting cast when you talk about RB Todd Gurley, and wide outs Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Pittsburgh’s offensive line also faces a tall task with LA’s defensive front led by Aaron Donald who will have his own cheering section in the stadium. If the Steelers could gut out another victory this week, that would be an eye-opener. But I just don’t see it. Prediction: Rams over Steelers

Minnesota @ Dallas – The Cowboys victory over the Giants last Monday night did not inspire any confidence from me, at least. Dallas overcame a sloppy start a finished the contest in style but they still have a ways to go if they want to be a contender in the NFC. I see Minnesota as a team that was in a similar rut earlier this season. But recently, QB Kirk Cousins has turned it on and the Vikings offense is flourishing. On Sunday night, I’m expecting to see a really good contest featuring two similar but talented teams. Minnesota and Dallas have great rushing offense led by Dalvin Cook and Ezekiel Elliott. The Dallas run defense was up to the task last week slowing down Saquon Barkley and they’ll have to repeat that performance in this game. Minnesota could be shorthanded offensively if WR Adam Thielen is unable to play. The Vikings offensive line could have their hands full as the Cowboys offer a pretty good pass rush with Demarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn and recently acquired Michael Bennett. Minnesota’s defense isn’t bad either as they rank in the top ten against the run and the pass. This should be a close game and the winner will be the team that wins the turnover battle. Dak Prescott and Cousins must protect the football as the QB with the last possession could decide this one. I’m not confident but I’m going with the home team. Prediction: Cowboys over Vikings

Seattle @ San Francisco – It goes without saying that this is the biggest game of Week 10. San Francisco is still sporting an undefeated record but they’ll welcome a great challenge on Monday night with the Seattle Seahawks coming to town. I feel that San Fran’s success is sustainable because of two reasons: the running game and the pass rush. On offense, the 49ers have been getting it done on the ground with Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida. They could play a huge factor in this game as Seattle struggles against the run. The Seahawks will have to answer that with the way they can get after the QB. Thinking of getting after the QB, the Niners are pretty good at that too. Russell Wilson is normally calm and collected but Dee Ford and Nick Bosa will be looking to make sure that he is not comfortable on Monday night. It would take a great effort from Wilson for Seattle to give the 49ers their first loss. I expect to see the home team to stay the course and score a big divisional victory. Prediction: 49ers over Seahawks

The Rest of Week 10

Lions over Bears – It would be nice to see Mitch Trubisky turn it around but I just don’t see it.

Ravens over Bengals – Baltimore can’t afford a let down after their huge victory at home last week.

Bills over Browns – Cleveland is an absolute joke. That coaching staff should be ashamed. The players should be ashamed. The fans are ashamed. The organization should also be ashamed.

Chiefs over Titans – Kansas City is just counting the days until Patrick Mahomes returns.

Saints over Falcons – Not sure why Atlanta hasn’t fired Dan O’Quinn yet.

Giants over Jets – Both of these franchises have seen better days but right now, the Giants at least appear to have more hope.

Buccaneers over Cardinals – Tampa has lost a couple of close ones recently. Something will go right for them eventually.

Colts over Dolphins – Indy is very healthy right now but the Dolphins are still the Dolphins.

NFL 2019: Week 6 Predictions

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The 49ers are still unbeaten. On Sunday, they’ll face a tough opponent in the Rams.

 

By: Elias McMillan

Last Week: 8-7

Season: 44-33-1

Top Five Games of the Week

Carolina @ Tampa Bay – This NFC South divisional game in London could have a big impact later on this season in terms of playoff positioning. Carolina has found its stride offensively of late thanks to the play of RB Christian McCaffrey. Tampa Bay enters Sunday with one of the top run defenses in the league. The play of LB Shaq Barrett has really made a difference for this young team. Panthers QB Kyle Allen has done a good job keeping the Carolina offense afloat without Cam Newton but on Sunday that unit will be challenged up front. Tampa is looking for consistency in their passing game but if they can get going against the Panthers secondary, they’ll be able to fill the stat sheet. Prediction: Buccaneers over Panthers

Houston @ Kansas City – This matchup will feature two of the better young QB’s in the league. Patrick Mahomes had a rough go at last week, as the Chiefs were shocked at home by the Colts. Deshaun Watson has shown recently what he can do with his arm when he has enough protection. I think Mahomes and Watson’s talents will be on full display Sunday in a high scoring contest. Defensively, the Chiefs were bullied upfront last week and they’ll be looking to bounce back against a Texans offensive line that can be described as shaky. Houston’s secondary ranks near the bottom of the league in pass defense so I think that will allow Mahomes to have a big game as well. Prediction: Chiefs over Texans

Philadelphia @ Minnesota – The Vikings were able to put it all together last week against a bad Giants team. They’ll return back home Sunday to face a much tougher NFC East opponent. The Eagles are looking like a team that is just now finding their groove. After a dominant performance last week, they’ll be looking for similar results in Minnesota. The Vikings offer one of the league’s top rushing attacks but the Eagles’ run defense ranks first in the NFL. If Philly’s defensive line plays like they can at the line of scrimmage, QB Kirk Cousins could be in for a tough day. Minnesota’s defense isn’t bad either. They must start off fast pressuring Carson Wentz and keeping the home crowd engaged. This should be a big test for the Eagles. The big victory on the road would serve as a momentum boost heading into a clash with Dallas next week. Prediction: Eagles over Vikings

San Francisco @ LA Rams – It’s a shame that the majority of the country won’t be able to see this game on Sunday. The winner here will most likely have the inside track to the NFC West title. The 49ers are the surprise of this early season, remaining undefeated after destroying Cleveland on national television. San Fran has been a joy to watch especially considering how this team was built. They have one of the best defenses in the league led by pass rushers Dee Ford and rookie Nick Bosa. On offense, RB’s Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman are proving to be one of the top duos in the NFL. The Niners are also getting it done in the secondary with a pass defense that ranks 2nd in the league. The Rams are a good football but they’ve been inconsistent at times. I think they’ll present the 49ers with their greatest challenge so far this season. QB Jared Goff leads one of the top passing attacks in the league. Unfortunately for the Rams, their defense is average at best despite having Aaron Donald. CB’s Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib have formed a bad habit with allowing big plays down the field. The Rams are a talented team but the Niners could prove to be just as talented. Plus, they are just playing better football right now. Prediction: 49ers over Rams

Detroit @ Green Bay – Green Bay really flexed their muscles in Dallas last week. Despite being outgained offensively, they attacked the Cowboys with a successful ground game and were able to force turnovers on defense. Not a lot is known about this Lions team. But they do only have one loss, playing Kansas City at home down to the wire. In recent history, the Packers have owned Detroit within the division. For the Lions to flip that script, they have to attack this Packers defense down the field. Detroit’s defense isn’t highly ranked either so, I imagine Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will be looking for big plays in the passing game as well. Rodgers at home against the Lions seems like a safe bet but it wouldn’t surprise me if this game were highly competitive. Prediction: Packers over Lions

The Rest of Week 6

Patriots over Giants – The top defense in the league faces a young and banged up offense.

Seahawks over Browns – I hope Baker Mayfield learns something watching Russell Wilson this week.

Dolphins over Washington – Yes. Miami will get off the snide and play inspired football at home against Washington who just fired their coach.

Saints over Jaguars – I wonder what impact Jalen Ramsey will have in this game. Regardless, I don’t see Jacksonville keeping pace with the Saints’ offense.

Ravens over Bengals – I was not impressed with Baltimore at all last week. They won but they didn’t deserve it. I hope they hit the reset button in practice this week. They can still be so much better than what they showed last week.

Falcons over Cardinals – If Atlanta loses this one, they might be looking for a new head coach real soon.

Broncos over Titans – Tennessee showed promise earlier this year but things look to be turning for the worst.

Cowboys over Jets – Dallas can’t over look these “lay-ups”. The Jets will have opportunities for success on Sunday. Le’Veon Bell faces a poor run defense and the offense could also receive a boost from the returning QB Sam Darnold. The Cowboys have to show that they are ready to bounce back while not over looking their opponent.

Chargers over Steelers – LA fell short at home last week. Pittsburgh is down to their third string QB. I think the Chargers will be aiming for an impactful performance against a wounded opponent.