Saturday, December 20, 2014

NFL Picks Week 16: Saturday Night Football

As the NFL's regular season comes to an end, making the playoffs becomes more important.  Today, we have two fantastic games with a classic NFC East divisional rivalry and an exciting matchup between two teams from the West.  Joining me in previewing and prognosticating this game will be my associate Justin Loughlin

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins
Rishab- As a spectator of the Giants/Redskins game last week, I was fairly impressed by Robert Griffin III in the first half.  He was fairly accurate and made some throws that reminded me of his rookie year.  However, I was extremely disappointed in his offensive line, who allowed the Giants defense to have a field day and pummel Griffin in the second half.  While I have always believed that the Eagles are pretenders in the NFC, their pass rush will likely dominate the Redskins and give Robert Griffin III a very difficult time.  I think we'll have a mid-scoring game but the Eagles will run away with it in the fourth quarter.  27-17 Philadelphia.

Justin- With Chip Kelly's offense once again rolling in high fashion, the Eagles steamroll the Redskins.  42-14 Philadelphia.

San Diego Chargers @ San Francisco 49ers 
Rishab- To say I've been disappointed with the 49ers this season is a blatant understatement. Despite sitting at .500, their offense has been the worst in the league. After basically giving up on their head coach, the 49ers may not win another game this season and don't look like the consistent team that they have been for the last three years.  I think the Chargers revive their playoff hopes with a slim win over the 49ers.  20-13 San Diego.

Justin- In a must win game for San Diego, Phillip Rivers leads the Chargers in a come from behind victory over the 49ers, topping them 28-24.


Monday, December 15, 2014

NFL Picks Week 15: New Orleans Saints @ Chicago Bears

The New Orleans Saints, who are trying to win an ugly NFC South, take on the Chicago Bears on one of the last Monday Night Football games of the year.  Joining me in previewing and prognosticating this game will be my associates Michael Mufson and Justin Loughlin.  

New Orleans Saints @ Chicago Bears
Rishab- With a win on the road over the Bears, the Saints would regain the lead in the awful division that is the NFC South.  Winning this game is imperative for the Saints to regain some momentum before possibly entering the NFC's playoffs as an underdog.  The Chicago Bears really don't have much to play for after they were eliminated from playoff contention.  Without Brandon Marshall, the Bears don't have a good chance at winning this one.  24-13 New Orleans.

Justin- The Bears sneak out a win against the Saints even with a Jay Cutler interception.  21-18 Chicago.  

Michael- The loss of Brandon Marshall kills the Bears in a season already in turmoil.  The Saints need to keep pace with the Panthers and Falcons, their two final opponents after defeating Chicago. New Orleans 31-21.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

NFL Picks Week 15: Sunday Predictions

As we enter the final three weeks NFL's regular season, some teams are in the midst of an intense playoff chase for division titles and wildcard spots while others are preparing for the 2015 NFL Draft to retool their rosters.  While some games count more than others, it is important to consider the ramifications for each team as we approach the playoffs.  With that in mind, we begin our predictions for Week 15.

Green Bay Packers @ Buffalo Bills
While the Bills have been very formidable this year, they lack a quarterback that can get them to the playoffs and win games against great teams.  Right now, the Packers are one of those great teams that has a quarterback who has already won a Super Bowl: Aaron Rodgers.  While I do think this game will be close, Rodgers and the Packers will win on the road.  26-20 Green Bay.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers
Even without Cam Newton, the Panthers should still be favored to beat the lowly Bucs at home.  I think Kelvin Benjamin has a huge game and the Panthers win by a convincing margin.  27-14 Carolina.

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
Here, like the Bills/Packers game, we have two franchises that are on opposite ends of the quarterback spectrum.  While the Colts will likely be set for years with Andrew Luck, the Texans are hoping to find their future in the upcoming draft.  While the Texans have been better than expected, I anticipate Andrew Luck having a great game at home.  31-20 Indianapolis.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens
While the Jaguars continue to remain with the AFC's worst teams, the Ravens are back in the playoff picture in the AFC North.  Without an offensive line that can protect Blake Bortles, I don't see the Jaguars having a chance in this game.  I'm going with the Ravens.  40-17 Baltimore.

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
Here is my upset pick of the week: I'm going with the Oakland Raiders to beat the Chiefs on the road. After beating the 49ers, Derek Carr continues to play well against a questionable defense and leads his team to another surprising victory.  20-17 Oakland.

Washington Redskins @ New York Giants
This is one of the few divisional games that has no implications on the playoff picture.  However, I would expect Eli Manning and the Giants to win a home game against the Redskins, who do not have a clear answer at quarterback.  While I have supported Griffin in the past, the answer to Washington's quarterback problem may not currently be on the roster.  I'm going with the Giants in this one.  35-13 New York.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Atlanta Falcons
I don't know what to think of the Steelers anymore: they beat some of the NFL's best but lose to some of the NFL's worst.  However, the Falcons are one of those middling teams that might represent the NFC South in the upcoming playoffs.  Because the Steelers need another crucial win on the road to solidify their chances of winning the division, I'm picking them.  31-27 Steelers.

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
After losing to the Ravens at home last week, the Dolphins are in real danger of losing their slim playoff hopes.  The Patriots, who are coming off of an impressive victory on Sunday Night Football, are looking to win their division with a win over the Dolphins.  I think Tom Brady and his Patriots win the AFC East easily.  38-20 New England.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
Today marks the beginning of the Johnny Football era in Cleveland with first round draft selection Johnny Manziel starting his first game of the season.  While I think the Bengals will make this game close, I'm picking the Browns to win.  20-16 Cleveland.

New York Jets @ Tennessee Titans
We should label this game as the battle for the first overall pick: both of these teams have been awful and have very few bright spots to look for this season.  However, the Jets actually showed up in Minnesota and I think they will win on the road here.  13-10 New York.

Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers
The Broncos have changed their offensive schemes to adjust to Peyton Manning's slump and face a difficult rematch with the Chargers who need a win here to revive their playoff hopes.   I'm going with San Diego.  34-27 San Diego.

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
When I looked at this matchup before the season began, I assumed that that this would be the game that would decide the NFC West.  Instead, the 49ers are on the brink of losing their playoff hopes and the Seahawks are looking to win the NFC West against the shaky Cardinals next week.  While I think this will be closer, the Seahawks still win.  20-13 Seattle.

Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions
While Teddy Bridgewater has clearly been the best rookie quarterback, he faces an uphill climb against the Lions.  I think Matthew Stafford gives the Lions the offensive firepower they need to make the playoffs.   I'm going with the Lions in this one.  28-21 Detroit.

We'll post our Sunday Night predictions later in the afternoon.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

NFL Week 15: Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams

With a playoff spot on the line, the Arizona Cardinals travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams on Thursday Night Football.  The Rams, who have shut out the last two teams they have faced, have a rather difficult challenge against the Arizona Cardinals, who just won a crucial victory over the Chiefs.  Tonight, my associate, Justin Loughlin, will be joining me in picking tonight's game.

Rishab- The St. Louis Rams are playing really solid football right now and are a quarterback away from postseason contention.  Nevertheless, their defense will carry them in this one in another relatively low scoring matchup where the Rams sneak a win with a late field goal.  16-13 St. Louis.

Justin- The Arizona Cardinals are undoubtedly one of the top teams in the NFL and show it this week topping the Rams despite a strong defensive performance by St. Louis' front seven. 24-14 Arizona.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

NFL Week 14: Sunday Predictions

As we enter the final month of the NFL's regular season, some teams are in the midst of an intense playoff chase for division titles and wildcard spots while others are preparing for the 2015 NFL Draft to retool their rosters.  While some games count more than others, it is important to consider the ramifications for each team as we approach the playoffs.  With that in mind, we begin our predictions for Week 14.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Detroit Lions
Rishab- Last season, Tampa Bay traveled to Detroit and beat the Lions in a surprising upset. However, this year the Lions have a coach in Jim Caldwell that is very likely to lead them to a winning season and a playoff spot.  I think the Lions have a very good team that can definitely make an impact in the postseason and should have no problem taking down the Bucs.  35-13 Detroit.

Michael- Detroit looks to keep up with Green Bay in the NFC North race.  They win an easy one here against a bad Bucs team.  24-10 Detroit.

Indianapolis Colts @ Cleveland Browns
Rishab- After a putrid performance against the Bills, Brian Hoyer needs to have a breakthrough performance against the Colts to keep his starting job.  However, the Indianapolis Colts are one of the better teams in the NFL with Andrew Luck leading his team to an 8-4 record and a likely division title.   While I do think this game might be one of the more interesting of the week, Johnny Manziel somehow finds his way on the field and gives the Browns some much needed energy in the offense. Manziel's inevitable performance may not result in a win, but it will give the Browns something to look forward to in the future.  31-20 Indianapolis.

Michael- I believe starting Brian Hoyer is the right move, and benching him last week may provide him more incentive to do well.  However, Cleveland cannot keep up with Andrew Luck and the high powered Colts offense.  38-20 Indianapolis.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals
Rishab- This game has major playoff implications: if Pittsburgh can beat one of the AFC's most talented teams, then they can reassert themselves back in to the AFC North playoff race and possibly win the division.  Additionally, Andy Dalton has been mediocre for most of the season, even when his offensive line has done an excellent job in providing him protection against opposing defenses. Because the Steelers usually play better against the league's best teams, I'm going with them in a low-scoring game.  21-17 Pittsburgh.

Michael- The Bengals' defense seems to be back in form.  Expect them to shut down LeVeon Bell while Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill get back on track in a win against Pittsburgh.  24-17 Cincinnati.

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Rishab- Both of these two AFC South teams are coming off of impressive victories, which adds some intrigue to a normally boring AFC South game.  Additionally, the Texans have been running the ball effectively while doing an excellent job pressuring the quarterback.  While Blake Bortles is going to be a star in the NFL, the Texans are likely to win this game to remain afloat in the crazy AFC wildcard race.  20-13 Houston.

Michael- The Jaguars had a successful comeback last week, but it will not happen again against a tough Texans team with a healthy Arian Foster.  31-13 Houston.

Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins
Rishab- This is one of the best games of the week: Ryan Tannehill needs a resurgent performance to prove he is the future in Miami while the Ravens will be missing Haloti Ngata for the rest of the regular season due to Ngata's steroid usage.  Last year, the Ravens won in Miami, but are coming off of a rough loss at home to the San Diego Chargers.  I'm going with the Dolphins to win a crucial game that will either bolster or thwart their playoff hopes.  23-19 Miami.

Michael- Miami's run defense is not up to par with their pass defense, while Justin Forsett and the Ravens' running game have been playing very well.  I think the Ravens have a huge game on the ground and will run over Miami.  27-17 Baltimore.

New York Jets @ Minnesota Vikings
Rishab- How bad are the New York Jets?  So bad that they squandered plenty of opportunities on Monday Night Football to lose to the Dolphins in a game they should have won by at least two touchdowns.  Instead, the Jets are likely to earn a top five selection in the upcoming draft in which they will likely select yet another quarterback.  Speaking of teams doing well in the NFL draft, the Minnesota Vikings had another excellent draft in 2014 in which they selected two impact players on both sides of the ball (Anthony Barr and Teddy Bridgewater).  Look out for the Vikings next year. 27-10 Minnesota.

Michael- Adrian Peterson seems likely to come back next week, but the Vikings play a bad Jets team this week and will get another win before Peterson's return.  24-13 Minnesota.

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints
Rishab- In this matchup we have two of the more disappointing teams in the NFL trying to remain alive in the pathetic division that is the NFC South.  Still, the Saints are somewhat respectable after their surprising road victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.  While I don't think Drew Brees is going to throw for five touchdowns, the Saints will do enough to win an awful game.  27-17 New Orleans.

Michael- The Saints look to reclaim the NFC South with a win over the Panthers.  In a battle between bad defenses, expect another shootout and another strong performance from Drew Brees.  42-35 New Orleans.

New York Giants @ Tennessee Titans
Rishab- The New York Giants desperately need a win to show that the remnants of their injury depleted roster can actually compete.  These Giants could honestly be 6-6 right now had they finished the last three games they way they had started in the first half of each game.  Instead, like the Jets, the Giants are slated to earn a top pick in the NFL's upcoming draft.  I won't be surprised if they are up 28-0 by the end of the second quarter and lose 34-31.  27-20 New York.

Michael- The Giants have to win one of these games, right?  28-21 New York.

St. Louis Rams @ Washington Redskins
Rishab- At this point it is clear that there is no franchise quarterback on either of these teams (unfortunately Robert Griffin III has been playing poorly in his last few starts) when one sees the two starting quarterbacks, Shaun Hill and Colt McCoy.  Nevertheless, the Rams have acquired significant talent on both sides of the ball thanks to the RGIII trade in the 2012 NFL Draft. I think the Rams find a way to win an ugly game on the road in this one.  24-9 St. Louis.

Michael- Both of these teams have been awful because of quarterback issues.  Colt McCoy gets the edge over Shaun Hill.  17-10 Washington.

Buffalo Bills @ Denver Broncos
Rishab- This is a game that the Broncos might actually lose if they did not have CJ Anderson. The Bills, like the Arizona Cardinals can destroy any running attack and can put substantial pressure on the quarterback, but can fall trap to the deep passing game.  Peyton Manning, who doesn't have the arm strength he used to, can still confuse defenses and I think he and his Broncos will beat the Bills in this one.  33-17 Denver.

Michael- Buffalo's pass defense may be ranked fifth in the NFL, but Denver is nearly impossible to beat at home (6-0 this season) and should make it 7 on Sunday.  30-17 Denver.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Arizona Cardinals
Rishab- In a battle of two teams that have both lost their last two games, there are serious playoff consequences for both conferences.  Enter the Kansas City Chiefs, who have lost two straight divisional games but remain afloat in the playoff race at 7-5.  The Arizona Cardinals are having trouble winning games without Carson Palmer and I think Drew Stanton is the only thing that prevents the Cardinals from becoming a real contender in the NFC.  I'm going with the Chiefs on the road.  21-10 Kansas City.

Michael- Arizona is unbeaten at home this season, but they lost their "workhorse" running back Andre Ellington last week.  It will be hard for them to beat the Chiefs without him and a poor performance in Atlanta last week.  27-10 Kansas City.

San Francisco 49ers @ Oakland Raiders
Rishab- If the 49ers lose this game, all of their playoff hopes can be flushed away because they won't deserve a spot in the NFC's tournament.  After publicly humiliating themselves on national television against the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers need an elite performance from Colin Kaepernick to prove that the 49ers' offense can actually work.  If not, there needs to be major changes this offseason in Santa Clara. 30-11 San Francisco.

Michael- The 49ers have looked awful the past three weeks, but they get an easy Raiders team to keep them in the playoff hunt.  17-3 San Francisco.

Seattle Seahawks @ Philadelphia Eagles
Rishab- This has to be one of the best games of the season: one of the best offenses takes on one of the best defenses and Mark Sanchez continues to get opportunities to rewrite his career. This is the kind of game where it should be competitive until the last minute until one team makes one crucial mistake or turnover.  The Eagles, despite their ability to win games, have committed many turnovers with both Mark Sanchez and Nick Foles, and won't get away with any against the Seahawks.  I'm going with the Seahawks in this one.  23-21 Seattle.

Michael- Seattle's defense has returned to championship form after giving up a combined six points in the last two weeks.  Although they most likely cannot keep the Eagles to three points, the defense will lead Seattle to another win.  21-14 Seattle.

New England Patriots @ San Diego Chargers
Rishab- Despite a close loss to the Green Bay Packers last week, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are still one of the NFL's best teams.  While San Diego upset the Ravens in Baltimore last week, I find it hard to believe that they can repeat their last performance for a second week in a row. I think Tom Brady throws for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns against a inconsistent San Diego defense.  40-31 New England

Michael- The Packers ended the Patriots' seven game win streak last week, but the Patriots will rebound and win by ten points.  34-24 New England.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

NFL Picks Week 14: Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears

As the NFL postseason looms near, some games can dramatically impact the playoff picture. Tonight's game between the Cowboys and the Bears is one of them.  If the Bears win, they keep their playoff hopes alive.  The Cowboys need to win this game to prove that they can win games in December and are a legitimate postseason contender.  With that in mind, my associates, Andrew Hurdman and Michael Mufson will join me in predicting tonight's game. We will also take this opportunity to introduce our new co-editor, Justin Loughlin.

Rishab-The Dallas Cowboys can break their 8-8 yearly streak with a win over the Bears.  When the Cowboys traveled to Chicago last year, their defense was putrid.  With new starters in Anthony Hitchens and DeMarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys defense should not have difficulty in stopping the Bears.  Additionally, Tony Romo has had a full week to rest for this game and should play substantially better than he did last week.   30-21 Dallas.

Michael- The Cowboys are an astounding 5-0 on the road this year, but the road to mediocrity begins tonight.  Alshon Jeffery has an ailing ankle so expect a big day from Brandon Marshall.  31-28 Chicago.

Andrew- After an embarrassing loss on Thanksgiving to the Eagles at home, the Cowboys bounce back against the struggling Bears.  27-21 Dallas.

Justin- Even with poor offensive performance in last week's game, the 8-4 Cowboys will come out on top against the 5-7 Chicago Bears.  In a now very crowded NFC playoff race, the Cowboys are in a must-win situation and will prevail.  Dallas 27-14.

Monday, December 1, 2014

NFL Picks Week 13: Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets

After some great games on Sunday, we'll finish our Week 13 predictions with the Dolphins/Jets game.  Joining me will be my associate, Michael Mufson.

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets

Rishab- I'm really starting to like Ryan Tannehill's development in his third year as a quarterback. He's making better decisions from the pocket and has kept his team competitive against some very good teams.  I think he'll lead the Dolphins to a statement victory on the road.  40-17 Miami.

Michael- The Jets have switched back at quarterback deciding to go with Geno Smith.  Do not expect anything we haven't seen this season: Miami's defense is going to cause some turnovers in another awful performance by the Jets.  24-10 Miami.