Sunday, October 26, 2014

NFL Week 8 Picks: Examining the Projected Playoff Contenders and Pretenders

The NFL season is nearing the halfway point, or the time when we can legitimately begin the discussion of the possible playoff scenarios and seeding. Both conferences, the NFC and AFC, have clear division leaders but lack clarity with the possible Wild-card Selections.

To talk about the AFC, we need to consider the ramifications of the recent game between the Broncos and the Chargers. Along with Peyton Manning, a revamped but rugged defense helped Denver take down the San Diego Chargers in a relatively large win (35-21).  However, both of these teams are still likely favorites to make the playoffs.  If the playoffs were held today, this is how the AFC would look.

1. Denver Broncos
2. Indianapolis Colts
3. New England Patriots
4. Baltimore Ravens
5. San Diego Chargers
6. Cincinnati Bengals

In the running:
7. Buffalo Bills
8. Pittsburgh Steelers

Obviously, there is some consistency with the AFC with five of the six teams as previous playoff seeds last year.  Currently, the two teams that might make the playoffs are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills, who both have been fairly close to .500 for a majority of the season.  Because the AFC appears stronger than last year's iteration of the conference, it will be hard for both of these teams to reach the playoffs in January.

In the NFC, we are witnessing the rise of new powers while old ones struggle to win important games.  Consider that of the six playoff teams last year, their combined record is a meager 22-16-1 or a 56.4 winning percentage.  Compare that to this year's projected playoff teams who have a combined record of 21-12-1 or a 69.04 winning percentage.  As a result, we are looking at a very different group of playoff contenders.  Here are the projected playoff seeds:

1. Dallas Cowboys
2. Arizona Cardinals
3. Detroit Lions
4. Carolina Panthers
5. Philadelphia Eagles
6. Green Bay Packers

In the running:
7. San Francisco 49ers
8. Seattle Seahawks

The most surprising aspect of this year's playoffs is that both teams that made the NFC Championship game last year are right now slated to miss the games in January.  Only half of last year's teams (Panthers, Eagles, and Packers) are expected to reach the playoffs while the top three seeds were not even in consideration last year.  Thus, we are looking at a very different NFC.  With that in mind, we shall begin our weekly projections.

St. Louis Rams @ Kansas City Chiefs:
Both of these teams were not expected to be very good this year, but there are encouraging signs to believe otherwise.  Austin Davis, the new quarterback for the Rams, has significant potential to lead the Rams this season while Alex Smith, who recently signed a deal with the Chiefs to keep him in Kansas City, looks to move the Chiefs in to the playoff mix.  Andy Reid, coach of the Chiefs, is 13-2 in his coaching career after a bye week.  I think he'll do an excellent job in preparing his team to win an important home game.

Rams 16
Chiefs 27

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans:
I'm really disappointed with the Titans this season: it appeared that they were ready to make a leap in the relatively weak AFC South to playoff contention.  The Houston Texans, the NFL's worst team last year, has had a difficult time winning crucial games like its earlier match-ups against Dallas and Pittsburgh.  Despite their struggles to beat better teams, they should be favored on the road in this one because they have beaten some fairly weak teams (Redskins, Raiders, Bills) and are getting Jadeveon Clowney back.

Texans 20
Titans 14

Minnesota Vikings @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Both of these teams have been disappointments to say the least with a combined 3-10 record so far this season.  However, this game will be important in determining who can rise out of the hole of unimpressive performances and might actually make an attempt to do well this year.  Obviously this is the first year for coaches Mike Zimmer and Lovie Smith in their respective new teams but there should be some sort of accountability here: I have to go with Smith's track record and the fact that his team has had a whole week to prepare themselves for this game.

Vikings 23
Buccaneers 33

Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers:
This meeting between these two teams is the third in three seasons: each matchup has been defensive "slugfests" and are relatively low scoring.  However, while both teams relied on defense to win challenging games last year, they now have to rely on their quarterbacks more than they have had to in the past to win games this season.  Thus, we have to account for home-field advantage and the recent success of Cam Newton.  While I think the Seahawks can still make the Super Bowl, they are going to lose this game.

Seahawks 16
Panthers 20

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals:
The last time these two met, the Bengals put on a show in Baltimore by beating the Ravens in Week 1.  Since that win, these Bengals have lost two important games to the Colts and Patriots and don't look as strong as they did to start the season.  Additionally, the Ravens are 5-2 and have been playing some fairly good football as of late with big wins over Tampa and Carolina.  Because I believe in momentum in football, I have to go with the Ravens here: they just look like the more complete team right now on offense and defense.

Ravens 24
Bengals 17

Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars:
I've had fairly high expectations for the Miami Dolphins this season after they beat the Patriots in the first week of the season.  However, they have been incredibly inconsistent and have not been able to have a winning streak this season.  The Jaguars, coming off of their first win of the season, will look to take that positive momentum to win their second home game of the season. Because Ryan Tannehill is playing his best football as of late, I'm going with his Dolphins on the road.

Dolphins 19
Jaguars 15

Chicago Bears @ New England Patriots:
Even though the Bears have played relatively good football on the road, I can't see them winning this game: New England has had almost two weeks to rest and prepare themselves to beat the Bears. Additionally, I would expect Tom Brady to light up the horrific Bears' Defense.  Expect a big Patriots win in this one.

Bears 20
Patriots 42

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets:
The Jets have not won a single game after defeating the still winless Oakland Raiders in the first week of the season.  Meanwhile, the Bills have been inconsistent since opening up the season 2-0 and are hard to trust on the road in a place where they have not won a game yet (MetLife Stadium).  Even though this Bills team is much better than last years', I'm going with the Jets in an upset.

Bills 21
Jets 27

Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals:
To be completely honest with you, I am not a believer in the Philadelphia Eagles with Nick Foles leading the team.  After throwing only two last year, Foles already has seven to start this season. Additionally, the Cardinals are more talented on the defensive side of the ball and may cause some turnovers that might dramatically affect the game.  I'm going with the Cardinals in this one.

Eagles 26
Cardinals 35

Oakland Raiders @ Cleveland Browns:
Coming off of an ugly loss to the Jaguars, Brian Hoyer needs to have a big game or he might be replaced by Johnny Football.  The Raiders, who have not a game this season so far, need some kind of performance to appease their fans.  As a result, if Hoyer cannot play well, the Raiders will capitalize on his mistakes and come out with a win.  Unfortunately, I believed the Raiders would win last week and they let me down.  I'm going with Cleveland.

Raiders 14
Browns 23

Indianapolis Colts @ Pittsburgh Steelers:
Andrew Luck and the Colts have arguably been one of the NFL's best teams for the last five weeks. Luck, to put it simply has been spectacular with his accuracy, ability to throw, and his affinity for throwing touchdowns.  While the Steelers are coming off of a considerable home win over the Texans, they have not been able to garner a winning streak and they should not be the favorites at home.  I'm going with the Colts.

Colts 31
Steelers 27

Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints:
Considering the fact that the Saints have been awful this season, I hesitate to pick them here.  I trust Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in this one to win a statement game.  Expect a relative shootout but a Packers victory.

Packers 45
Saints 31

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NFL in London: Detroit Lions @ Atlanta Falcons Prediction

While this is one of the three games held in London this year, it does demonstrate the NFL's increasing willingness to support a team or more in Europe.  With the NFL constantly trying to improve its economic gains, it will likely have more and more games in London to prepare for a possible team or two.  With that in mind, we shall begin our projection for the game between the Falcons and Lions.

Much is on the line for the Atlanta Falcons in this game: this could be the make or break point of their season.  Coming off of a four game losing streak, the Falcons are in danger of having another nightmarish season and many speculate that this will be their fifth loss in a row because they are going up against one of the NFL's best defenses.  However, the Lions lack key playmakers on offense with Calvin Johnson Jr., Eric Ebron, Joseph Fauria, and possibly Reggie Bush not likely to play or have a substantial impact due to injury.  Thus, I trust Matt Ryan and the Falcons to make some adjustments and win a crucial game away from the Georgia Dome.

Lions 23
Falcons 34

Sunday, October 19, 2014

NFL Picks Week 7: Who are the contenders for the Super Bowl?

In the NFL's 2014-2015 season, we are starting to get to the point where we have our "contenders" and our "pretenders" for the upcoming playoffs.  If the playoffs were held today, this is how it would look.

1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. Arizona Cardinals
3. Detroit Lions
4. Carolina Panthers
5. Dallas Cowboys
6. San Francisco 49ers

Of these teams, I'd have to say that the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, and San Francisco 49ers are the contenders in the NFC.  I don't see Arizona going very far with Carson Palmer at the helm and the Packers are the more formidable team in the NFC North with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.  Another team worth mentioning as contenders are the Seattle Seahawks, who have just traded Percy Harvin to the New York Jets because of a variety of behavioral issues.

1. San Diego Chargers
2. New England Patriots
3. Cincinnati Bengals
4. Indianapolis Colts
5. Denver Broncos
6. Baltimore Ravens

In the AFC, we have very familiar teams slotted as possible playoff teams.  Of these six teams, five were in last years' playoffs and the Ravens won the Super Bowl just two years ago.  Here, the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens are the most impressive teams because of the play of their respective quarterbacks, Phillip Rivers and Joe Flacco.  However, I have some concerns over the Patriots, Bengals, and Colts because none of them has a considerable defense that can win games and cause turnovers in the playoffs.

With that in mind, we shall begin our picks for the week.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts:
These two teams played in a high scoring game last year and are currently slated to be in the playoffs. As a result, this matchup has significant playoff seeding implications, but we have to take a look at the quarterbacks in this one: Andrew Luck is playing far better than Andy Dalton this season. Because of that, I trust the Colts in this one.

Bengals 27
Colts 35

Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams:

Coming off a rough loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Seattle, these Seahawks are going to have to win a tough road game in the division to maintain hopes of winning the Super Bowl again.  Moreover, the Rams, who were up 14-0 on the 49ers, simply can't find a way to play an entire game of football this year.  Because of that, I'm going with the Seahawks.

Seahawks 23
Rams 19

Atlanta Falcons @ Baltimore Ravens:
To put it simply, this Falcons team has been a debacle for the last three weeks.  After losing to the Vikings, Giants, and Bears, the Falcons have significant concerns on defense and on the offensive line.  The home team this week, the Baltimore Ravens, are currently playoff contenders and need to win an important home game to further playoff hopes.

Falcons 17
Ravens 34

Miami Dolphins @ Chicago Bears:
This matchup hosts the NFL's two most inconsistent teams: the Dolphins and Bears have each had some signature wins so far, but have failed to defeat some of the weaker teams.  While the Bears have not won a home game yet so far, I think that they can win this kind of game and advance to 4-3.

Dolphins 20
Bears 29

New Orleans Saints @ Detroit Lions:
Before this season started, I circled this game as a must win for the Saints: a game that would prove if they are possible Super Bowl contenders.  Now, I view this game as a statement game for the Lions, who are playing significantly better on defense this year.  Even though the Saints have had a bye week to prepare for this game, they are not doing very well on defense.  I'm going with the Lions in this one.

Saints 18
Lions 27

Cleveland Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars:
These Cleveland Browns are not the Browns we have seen for the last ten years or so: this team can win some games and possibly have a winning record.  However, these winless Jaguars are not as bad as they have been playing: they have some potential with Blake Bortles at quarterback.   While I do think this game will be close, I'm going with the Browns in this one.

Browns 17
Jaguars 13

Minnesota Vikings @ Buffalo Bills:
After rough division losses for both of these teams last week, the Bills and Vikings need a win to remain competitive in their divisions.  These Bills have been playing some fairly good football with wins over the Lions, Bears, and Dolphins.  This is a must win game for these Bills to compete in their division and the Vikings lack enough offensive weapons to win in this one.

Vikings 14
Bills 24

Carolina Panthers @ Green Bay Packers:
This matchup hosts two of the better quarterbacks in the league: Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers. Both had some great games last week and have had some relatively strong seasons so far.  However, Rodgers, who has 15 touchdowns so far, is starting to hit his stride after not throwing an interception since Week 1.  While both teams are struggling to play "tough" defense, I'm going with the Packers in a high scoring game.

Panthers 27
Packers 44

Tennessee Titans @ Washington Redskins:
While the Redskins have been arguably one of the NFL's worst teams so far at 1-5, I have to pick them in this one against the Titans.  At the very least, they are not facing an "elite" quarterback this week because the Titans have their own quarterback issues.   As a result, the Redskins will win this week.

Titans 20
Redskins 33

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers:
Here, we have a great AFC West divisional game between the Chargers and Chiefs.  While both of these teams made the playoffs last year, the Chargers have been among the AFC's best this season with a signature win over the Seahawks in the second week of the season.  The Chiefs have been doing better, but I don't trust them to win a game of this magnitude on the road here.

Chiefs 24
Chargers 28

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys:
I think a lot of experts are forgetting that the Giants are 4-1 in Jerry World and typically do the best when no one expects them to win.  We need to consider that the Cowboys just played the Seahawks and won in Seattle.  However, I simply can't trust these Cowboys, who are just an injury on offense away from stinking up the rest of the regular season.   As a result, I'm picking the Giants in an upset this week.

Giants 26
Cowboys 20

Arizona Cardinals @ Oakland Raiders:
This, to put it simply, is a major trap game for the Cardinals.  The Derek Carr led Raiders have been playing some fairly good football, but have yet to actually win a game this season.  The Cardinals have already lost to an AFC West team on the road and the Raiders are going to win their first win of the season in this one.

Cardinals 15
Raiders 23

San Francisco 49ers @ Denver Broncos:
This week's Sunday Night Football game hosts a great inter-conference matchup between the 49ers and Broncos.  These 49ers have lost substantial talent on the defense with Navarro Bowman, Patrick Willis, and Aldon Smith out with injuries and a suspension to Smith.  However, Vic Fangio has helped this unit remain one of the best defenses in the league.  Nevertheless, I'm still picking the Broncos in this one in a shootout because of Peyton Manning's ability to stretch the field with Julius and Demariyus Thomas.

49ers 30
Broncos 38

We'll post our Monday Night Prediction tomorrow.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

NFL Picks Week 4

This week in the NFL marks the end of the first quarter of the 2014 season.  Some teams have done very well so far, dominating in the first several weeks with unblemished records (Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles) while others have plummeted without a win (Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers).  However, a majority of teams have either a 1-2 or a 2-1 record, making this week a very interesting one in the NFL in terms of establishing a tone for the year.  With that in mind, we shall begin our predictions.

New York Giants @ Washington Redskins:
We were correct on this selection, see here for more details.

Miami Dolphins @ Oakland Raiders (in London):
Here we have a game in which the coaches of both teams are on the so called "hot seat" or are in danger of losing their jobs.  Joe Philbin, head coach of the Miami Dolphins, has had trouble in the media by creating a "quarterback controversy" by not stating that Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins first round selection in 2012, would be starting.  His decision has caused some issues and may distract the team from beating the winless Derek Carr led Raiders in London.  I'm thinking it is going to be a rather low scoring affair.  Dennis Allen and his Raiders win their first game of the season.
Dolphins 13
Raiders 17

Detroit Lions @ New York Jets:
The Jets are coming off of a losing streak to two NFC North teams (Packers and Bears) that they should have beaten.  Instead, the Jets are 1-2 and desperately need a win to remain in the divisional race.  Here is an interesting statistic: Geno Smith has thrown at least one interception in each game this season.  However, it appears that he has made some strides as a quarterback and I think he'll even lead them to a win this week.  This is going to be a relatively high-scoring game: the Jets advance to 2-2.
Lions 23
Jets 28

Carolina Panthers @ Baltimore Ravens:
Both of these teams are 2-1 right now and look like possible playoff contenders.  The Ravens have been playing far better on the defensive side of the ball while the Panthers are maintaining sustained success from the 2013 season.  However, Steve Smith, former Panthers receiver, was released in the offseason and decided to sign with the Ravens.  Smith clearly wants revenge which might make this game one of the best of the week.  Count on a low scoring game with some great defensive performances.
Panthers 14
Ravens 20

Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts:
Coming off of a very impressive victory over the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars, the Colts have another divisional game.  The Titans, who haven't won a game since the first week of the season, may be without starting quarterback Jake Locker. Andrew Luck, franchise quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, may be set for yet another huge game if the Titans cannot pose any threat on offense.  As a result, I'm going with the Colts in a big win.
Titans 10
Colts 37

Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans:
One of these two teams will be 3-1 as of Monday and will be viewed as a considerable contender to make the AFC playoffs.  Both are led by quarterbacks who either have or are playing for the Bills (Ryan Fitzpatrick and EJ Manuel), adding some intrigue to one of the more boring games this week. Manuel has been making some improvements this season, thanks to rookie Sammy Watkins and will likely lead his team to a victory here.  This game has the potential for many turnovers so I would not start anybody in Fantasy Football unless we're talking about defense.  I'm going with the Bills.
Bills 23
Texans 19

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears:
The last time the Packers were in Chicago, they won a division title.  Now, 1-2 coming off of a loss to the Lions, these Packers are desperate for a win.  However,  the Chicago Bears are coming off of two road prime-time victories, which bodes very well for their playoff hopes. However, the Packers have the best quarterback in the league on their team (Aaron Rodgers) and should win a shootout on the road.  I'm going with the Pack.
Packers 35
Bears 31

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Pittsburgh Steelers:
Coming off of an impressive win over the Panthers on Sunday Night Football, the Steelers are hoping to win against a team that failed to show up in its only primetime appearance so far.  The Bucs are rolling with Mike Glennon, who had a decent rookie year in the NFL.  However, these Bucs have had plenty of time to recover and may actually pose a threat to the Steelers.  As a result, the Steelers should win, but it will likely be closer than most expect it to be.
Buccaneers 17
Steelers 24

Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers:
This is the first week of the Blake Bortles era for Jacksonville and after watching him in the preseason, I think the Jaguars will be better.  However, they are going up against one of the AFC's best teams: the San Diego Chargers.  While I don't think this game will be a blowout, it won't be close either.
Jaguars 14
Chargers 30

Philadelphia Eagles @ San Francisco 49ers:
This has trap game written all over it for the 49ers, who have lost their last two games this season. These Eagles are 3-0 and are doing very well on offense this season.  The 49ers need to go back to the "ground and pound" offense that we are so familiar with to win this one.  Something about this matchup says that Philadelphia will win but I'm going with the 49ers in a mid-scoring affair.
Eagles 23
49ers 31

Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings:
The Atlanta Falcons are coming off of a great win over a divisional rival while the Vikings are starting first-round selection Teddy Bridgewater for the first time.  Atlanta's defense is not very good and but the Vikings have had to deal with injuries and suspensions.  I also think that Bridgewater is better than many may anticipate and may shock the Falcons in this one.  However, Matt Ryan may have one of his best seasons so far and I'm counting on him to win this one.
Falcons 24
Vikings 20

New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys:
Fantasy Alert!  This game has the potential for a real shootout with almost 70 possible total points because both defenses are so bad.  Both of the quarterbacks in this game, Tony Romo and Drew Brees, have the potential to score at least forty points each.  However, the Saints are a better team and barely have a better defense than the Cowboys.  This is going to be a high-scoring game.
Saints 45
Cowboys 38

We'll post our Monday Night Prediction tomorrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Week 4 NFL Picks: New York Giants @ Washington Redskins

After coming off of a solid home win against the Houston Texans, the New York Giants travel to Washington to take on the Redskins on a short week for Thursday Night Football!

Eli Manning and the Giants offense is coming off of one of their best games in quite a while. Rashad Jennings, one of the Giants' free agency additions, has really helped the offense maintain drives. Additionally, Victor Cruz finally had a great game and even showed off some of his famous salsa in front of the home crowd.  The Giants' defense has been playing fairly nicely, coming off of a game in which they had three interceptions and a couple of sacks.  As a result, this Giants team is looking pretty good, compared to its performance in Week One.

The Redskins, led by backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, are coming off of a narrow loss to the Eagles.  Cousins has been playing very well but has faced some of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Giants faced Cousins in the season finale last year, limiting him to a lost fumble, two interceptions, and a completion rate lower than 50%.  Obviously Cousins will play better than that, but he may not have an easy time against these Giants.  Moreover, the Redskins have lost a few players to injuries on both sides of the ball and have to rebound after the loss to the Eagles.

I am picking the Giants to win this game: their offense is starting to click and show progress while Kirk Cousins has to play one of the better defenses in the NFL.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

NFL Picks Week 3

After yet another exciting week in the NFL, The Rishab Report is revealing its Week 3  picks. Last week, we had our worst week in three years, finishing 6-10.  Fortunately, we picked Atlanta to beat Tampa Bay. As a result, we are 1-0 this week so far.  With that in mind, we shall begin!

San Diego Chargers @ Buffalo Bills:
The Bills are currently 2-0 and have had some great victories so far this season over the Bears and Dolphins. Meanwhile, San Diego has recently defeated the current champions, the Seahawks. However, they have to travel across the country to Buffalo. I'm going with EJ Manuel and the Bills.
Chargers 20
Bills 24

Houston Texans @ New York Giants:
The Giants have been turning the ball over as much as my dog grabs a towel from my kitchen counter (extremely often). Fortunately, the Giants' offense looked much better last week and because of that, I'm going with the Giants to snap the losing streak.
Texans 13
Giants 23

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles: 
The Redskins are coming off of a great win over the Jaguars with Kirk Cousins at the helm. Moreover, the Eagles have been slow to start in the first two weeks of the season and Nick Foles has already matched his interception total from last year.   I'm going with the Redskins in an upset.
Redskins 28
Eagles 24

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions:
The Green Bay Packers were in jeapordy of starting the season 0-2 when the Jets were up 21-3 in the second quarter.  Then, Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson lit the Jets and won 31-24.  Additionally, the Lions are coming off of a rough loss to the Panthers and are looking for a win at home.  However, I have the Packers winning a shootout.
Packers 37
Lions 30

Dallas Cowboys @ St. Louis Rams:
Slowly but surely, the Cowboys are starting to rely on the run game, rather then watching Tony Romo throw a game-ending interception.  As a result, I'm liking the Cowboys in this one (they have a quarterback and a great running game).  However, St. Louis' defensive line is one of the best lines and should give the Cowboys some problems.
Cowboys 20
Rams 9

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars:
The Colts have not been lucky this season so far (they are currently 0-2) and are not relying on their young franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck, as they did before.  However, Jacksonville is coming off a horrible loss to the Redskins and the Colts need a divisional win to get back in the playoff picture. With that in mind, I have to go with Indianapolis, otherwise the Houston Texans may very well win this weak division.
Colts 30
Jaguars 17

Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints:
Here we have another 0-2 team that needs a win to reestablish its playoff hopes: the New Orleans Saints.  After losing two close road games to the Browns and Falcons, the Saints need a great victory at home to prove that they are still playoff contenders.  Additionally, the Patriots made a fool out of the Vikings last week and I think Minnesota has a hard time rebounding.
Vikings 14
New Orleans 35

Tennessee Titans @ Cincinnati Bengals: 
After a great win over the Falcons, the Bengals are looking to start the season 3-0 with a win over the extremely inconsistent Titans.  Because Andy Dalton looks refreshed and calmer with Hue Jackson as the new offensive coordinator, I'm going with the Bengals in this one.
Titans 10
Bengals 27

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns:
Here we have this week's AFC North duel between the Ravens and the Browns.  The Ravens are playing their third divisional opponent in three weeks, a real challenge for most teams.  However, the Browns almost beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week One and upset the Saints last week.  I like the Browns at home to win an important low-scoring divisional game.
Ravens 14
Browns 20

Oakland Raiders @ New England Patriots:
This might be the last straw for the Dennis Allen era in Oakland.  Unless Allen can coach his team to beat the juggernaut Patriots, he might be fired on Monday.   I'm going with Brady and the Patriots.
Raiders 14
Patriots 42

San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals:
I watched the first half of the 49ers/Bears game last week and I am worried about Colin Kaepernick. However, the 49ers are more likely to run the ball in this game. I'm going with the 49ers in this one.
49ers 27
Cardinals 22

Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks:
We all remember the Super Bowl (43-8) and the prowess of the Legion of Boom.   Unfortunately for Denver,  the Seahawks' offense looks much better this year. I'm going with the Seahawks.
Broncos 20
Seahawks 37

Kansas City Chiefs @ Miami Dolphins:
The Chiefs are looking like a 6-10 team that does not have enough weapons on offense to reach the playoffs.   Furthermore,  the Dolphins have a great pass rush that will humiliate Alex Smith.  Dolphins are the wise choice in this one.
Chiefs 13
Dolphins 16

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Carolina Panthers:
This week's Sunday Night game is an interesting one.  With Cam Newton and Ben Roethlisberger,  this game might be the best of the week.  I'm going with the Panthers to win this one.
Steelers 20
Panthers 21

We'll post our Monday Night projections tomorrow.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

NFL Picks Week 2

While the first week of the 2014 season carried many surprises, The Rishab Report was only 50% correct on all of its predictions.  Even worse, we already got this week's game between Baltimore and Pittsburgh wrong as well.  This starts us out at 8-9 to start the season, but we have plenty of chances to adjust and improve our accuracy.  With that in mind, we shall pick!

New England Patriots @ Minnesota Vikings-
I'm going with the Patriots in a seven point win. If the Vikings start out 2-0, I would be very surprised, considering the latest incident with Adrian Peterson.  Tom Brady should really have no problem getting his first win of the 2014 season.
Patriots 27
Vikings 20

New Orleans Saints @ Cleveland Browns-
This is a trap game for New Orleans: they were 3-5 on the road last year and are coming off a close loss to the Falcons.  However, nothing in Cleveland makes me want to pick them without Josh Gordon in the passing game.
New Orleans 35
Cleveland 17

Atlanta Falcons @ Cincinnati Bengals-
While both teams won last week, the Bengals looked far more impressive in Baltimore than I expected them to be.  Moreover, Atlanta's offensive line has taken some serious injury hits as of late and I think they are due for their first loss of the season.
Falcons 27
Bengals 34

Detroit Lions @ Carolina Panthers-
I still can't believe that the Panthers are still looking like a possible NFC South Champion, even without quarterback Cam Newton in the huddle.  As a result, I'm picking the Panthers to open the season 2-0 over the Detroit Lions with help from Cam.  I don't think that the Lions are a bad team, but I think the Panthers will be better than most expect.
Panthers 23
Lions 14

Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants-
After a brutal Monday Night Football loss to the previously mentioned Lions, I'm picking the Giants to win in an upset.  The Cardinals have lost parts of their defensive foundation due to injuries and suspensions and are coming from the West Coast on a short week.  Additionally, the Giants need to prove that last year's 0-6 start was a fluke, rather than an expectation.
Giants 17
Cardinals 10

Dallas Cowboys @ Tennessee Titans-
After embarrassing themselves against the 49ers last week, the Cowboys are looking to get their first win of the season on the road.  However, the Titans looked great on the road last week and I'm going with them to start their season 2-0 and leave the Cowboys with even more questions.
Cowboys 20
Titans 30

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Washington Redskins-
I'm going with the Jacksonville Jaguars to win their first game of the season after falling short against the Eagles last week.  With RGIII  confused in his new offense, I think the Redskins will struggle to score against a possibly good Jaguars team.
Jaguars 23
Redskins 16

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills-
The Bills did very well against the Dolphins last year, and after coming off a road win in Chicago, I'm liking EJ Manuel's development.  If he and Sammy Watkins can start to connect, then the Bills might have a playoff ready roster.  This is my upset pick of the week, I'm going with the Bills in a very close one.
Dolphins 17
Bills 20

St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers should have no issues in winning this game: the Rams are without a quarterback and a decent squad of wide receivers.  If Tampa does not win this game, then the calls to start Mike Glennon might start earlier then expected.  However, I'm going with Tampa in a decent victory.

Rams 9
Buccaneers 23

Seattle Seahawks @ San Diego Chargers-
Seattle looked truly dominant and worthy of winning a second Super Bowl last week, but they have to win some games on the road to have the opportunity of home-field advantage in the playoffs.  I think that they can beat a tired Chargers team that is coming off a letdown loss to the Cardinals on Monday Night.

Seahawks 31
Chargers 20

New York Jets @ Green Bay Packers-
After looking like a good, but not great quarterback against the Seahawks, Aaron Rodgers returns home to face the New York Jets.  He and his team have had plenty of time to prepare and I don't think that they will have significant problems to worry about against the Jets' questionable group of cornerbacks.
Jets 14
Packers 24

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos-
Coming off of a home loss to the Titans was bad, but having to face the juggernaut Broncos is no easy task either.  With few weapons on the offense (other than Jamaal Charles), I can't see Kansas City putting up more than 20 points on the Broncos who are likely to score over 35.
Chiefs 20
Broncos 38

Houston Texans @ Oakland Raiders-
Despite a close loss to the Jets last week, the Raiders looked pretty good with rookie Derek Carr at the helm.  With the absence of Jadeveon Clowney, I think the Raiders can win in an upset.
Texans 10
Raiders 21

Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers-
With the possibility of not playing with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, the Bears are looking far more likely to start the season 0-2.  Additionally, the 49ers played very well against the Cowboys last week and were up 28-3 by half way through the second quarter.  I'm going with the 49ers in a good win.
Bears 20
49ers 38

Philadelphia Eagles @ Indianapolis Colts-
I feel like this contest has the potential to be one of the league's best games of the season.  Because both teams have weak defenses, I'm counting on a shootout.  However, Andrew Luck is home and is looking for a win after last week's loss to the Broncos.  I'm taking the Colts in the shootout.
Eagles 41
Colts 47