Who doesn’t like NFL Predictions?!
Each week from here on out I will post my predictions on the weekends upcoming games. For the past three NFL seasons, I have attempted to accurately predict the winners of each game. I predict games without a spread or points and have finished above 65% each year. Also I have accurately had one team in the Super Bowl each year (Packers in 2011 & Patriots in 2012). FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T READ VERY WELL, PLEASE PAY CLOSER ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE: Without going into full detail, during PRESEASON of this year I predicted the following:
AFC Division Winners: Patriots, Steelers, Texans, Broncos
NFC Division Winners: Cowboys, Packers, Saints, 49ers
AFC Wild Card: Ravens, Bills
NFC Wild Card: Bears, Falcons
Super Bowl Prediction: Packers over Ravens
It is still early but looks as though I will be missing on a few of these but only time will tell.
After finishing 8-8 for the first three weeks of the season, I went 12-3 & 11-3 respectfully; 61% accuracy at this point in the season.
Enough of the backstory- LETS GET TO THE PICKS!
This week we are going to have some really close games; games that will be closer than most suspect. Winners in BOLD & Italic
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans
Analysis: The Titans defense is just atrocious and, as a result, the Steelers offense will have their way with them. Expect a lot of points scored from the Steelers. Chris Johnson may be able to get on tract if the Titans can run the ball up the middle against the less than Steeler Curtain Steeler D. Steelers a near .500 without Troy Polamalu in the lineup.
Key Players: Steelers Defense. If this unit doesn’t get it together, the Steelers may be in for a long season.
Fantasy Pick: Mike Wallace. Expect a big game from Wallace after one of the worst performances of his career last week (and as a result I lost a fantasy league by one point- COMON MAN!).
Oakland Raiders @ Atlanta Falcons
Analysis: The Falcons are clicking on offense and defense right now. Matt Ryan looks as though he is taking that extra step to join a class of great quarterbacks (I won’t throw around ELITE as everyone else does). The Raiders just dont have the weapons on defense to hang with Jones, White, Tony G & Turner.
Key Player: Darren McFadden. McFadden is the key to these teams success. He MUST have a solid D against a suspect run D for the Raiders to have any shot in this game.
Fantasy Pick: Matt Ryan.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
Analysis: Cleveland may squeak out its first win of the season this week but, in a close one, Bengals get a W.
Key Player: Brandon Weeden. He has improved each week but he must show why the Browns chose him in the first round (way too soon by the way.).
Fantasy Pick: AJ Green. AKA Calvin Johnson 2.0
St. Louis Rams @ Miami Dolphins
Analysis: Which Dolphin team comes to out to play? Dolphins must establish a run game and get Reggie in the flow for their teams success.
Key Players: Janoris Jenkins. Rams & Dolphins receiving cores; someone must show up. Jenkins is playing lights out right now and proving why he was a top 10 talent.
Fantasy Pick: Reggie Bush.
Indianapolis Colts @ New York Jets
Analysis: I want to take the Jets but I think their struggles continue.
Key Player: Who else other than Mark Sanchez?
Fantasy Pick: Colts defense because we know Sanchez will give them some points!
Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles
Analysis: The Lions have looked so up and down this year but so have the Eagles. I can see the Lions taking care of business in Philadelphia but the Lions can’t establish a run game.
Key Player: Michael Vick. Will he continue his streak of turnovers or will he turn the corner and get back to the Mike Vick we know?
Fantasy Pick: Calvin Johnson.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Analysis: The Buccaneers are a talented team and have an offense that can create matchup problems. Josh Freeman’s performance has on the decline but with more weapons surrounding him can he put it together? Chiefs defense must step up so this game doesn’t get out of hand.
Key Player: Brady Quinn, hands down!
Fantasy Pick: Jamal Charles continues his hot streak.
Dallas Cowboys @ Baltimore Ravens
Analysis: I’m very high on this Ravens team. They have been competitive each of the past few seasons but have been unable to make it to the Super Bowl or win when it matters. Joe Flacco has a number of regular season wins but doesn’t have the playoff record for those wins to hold weight. As for Tony Romo, well, I’m not a fan. I believe he has terrible footwork and can’t do much with a tough pass rush in his face. The Cowboys have so much wasted talent at wide receiver, tight end and running back with Romo playing the way he is.
Key Player: TONY ROMO. Inconsistent quarterback play is the common theme here.
Fantasy Pick: Ray Rice has a great day in Baltimore.
New England Patriots @ Seattle Seahawks
Analysis: Seattle D is playing tough right now, especially at home. The Seahawks pass defense is shutting down top receivers so this matchup will be much closer than most think. The Patriots are starting to click again, which is scary for everyone.
Key Player: New England Tight Ends. If Gronk is playing, he needs to prove his hip injury isn’t an issue and if Hernandez is healthy, he must step up as he is a game changer and mismatch anytime he is on the field.
Fantasy Pick: Beast Mode- Marshawn Lynch.
Buffalo Bills @ Arizona Cardinals
Analysis: I’m not a believer in the 4-1 Cardinals. I am, however, a believer in the Buffalo Bills. I like this teams chances as I picked them early to win a wild card position. The Bills have weapons on offense and finally added pieces on defense to make this team a legitimate contender.
Key Players: The Cardinals Offensive Line. Did anyone watch the horrible Rams Cardinals game on Thursday Night Football? The Rams were rushing three against six and still getting to Kolb; this unit is absolutely abysmal.
Fantasy Pick: Larry Fitzgerald, the only player who can still put up ELITE numbers on an awful team.
New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers
Analysis: The 49ers are once again putting it together. Harbaugh and crew are still angry from last years bitter loss. The Giants offense is looking awesome right now; the offensive players are lighting up fantasy scoreboards each week.
Key Player: Alex Smith. If he can continue his efficiency the 49ers will keep scoring Ws.
Fantasy Pick: Michael Crabtree.
Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins.
Analysis: RGIII doesn’t look like a rookie and is creating a ton of excitement in Washington. The Vikings are flying under the radar right now.
Key Player: Adrian Peterson. Peterson is coming along very nicely after a terrible knee injury last year. He must continue his productive season for the Vikings to win this game.
Fantasy Pick: RGIII. He is a dual threat! Why not?
Green Bay Packers @ Houston Texans – Game of the Week
Analysis: The Texans look unbelievable right now. Arian is Fostering the People week in and week out but will this team continue its hot streak? The Packers don’t look like last years team despite Coach McCarthy saying this is his best team in years. I think this is going to be a great game for everyone to watch this weekend. The Packers are coming off a TERRIBLE loss to the Colts. Houston lost Brian Cushing. Rough Week for both teams.
Key Player: Alex Green. The Packers running back is an unknown unless your fantasy team is weak at running back and you needed a wavier wire pickup. He showed a few flashes last week but Green must get going or the Packers will be one dimensional once again.
Fantasy Pick: Arian Foster. Once again he shows why he is one of the most complete backs in the NFL.
Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers
Analysis: The Broncos have played teams close each game of the season (or close in the fourth quarter that is). Manning and crew are looking as advertised and Demaryius Thomas is carry all of my fantasy teams! I’m not high on the 3-2 Chargers as they really haven’t beat any good teams this year (Raiders, Titans & Chiefs) and lost to the Saints last week.
Key Players: Ryan Matthews. I am VERY high on Matthews and his potential despite being hurt and in the doghouse for the past few years. Matthews put up solid numbers last year despite giving up goal line carries to Tolbert. Matthews had a nice week running and catching passes despite not playing much during the beginning of the game.
Fantasy Pick: Demaryius Thomas. The 24 year old, 6’3” 229 lb wide receiver is a monster out there. Despite a lack of end zone targets, the receiver is putting up monster numbers each week.
Phew. Well hope you enjoyed my predictions and analysis.
Come back each and every week for more insight!