No season has ever seen three 12-1 or better teams. If Pittsburgh, New England, and Philadelphia all win this week, that record will be broken. Admittedly this is a season of record breaking, but I suspect that this will be one record that holds on. With that bold prediction, let's look at the suspects:
New England (at home) faces a .500 non-division opponent. Being a Pats fan and a realist, I'll just chock up a Pats victory right now.
Pittsburgh (also at home) appears to be the most vulnerable to losing this week. They face the Jets, a 9-3 team whose record would have them atop two other division and tied for first in 3 other divisions. The poor Jets just happen to be in one of the three divisions that boasts an 11-1 team this year. The Steelers are unbeaten at home, however, and two of the Jets' three losses have been on the road. I'll predict a Pittsburgh Steelers victory.
So who does that leave us for an upset?
The Philadelphia Eagles have the easiest matchup this week, record-wise, when they square off against the 4-8 Washington Redskins. The Eagles are the only 11-1 team not playing at home this week, and they're also the only 11-1 team facing a division opponent. Add in that Washingon has the 2nd ranked defense in the NFL and that the Redskin offense is finally firing on all cylinders, and I smell an upset in the making.
If you're making any wagers this week, you might not have to look any further than Washington, where the Redskins are a 9 1/2 point underdog to the Eagles.
That's one bet I'd be willing to take this week. Look for the Redskins to surprise nearly everyone by beating the Eagles straight up.
DraftDodger wrote:New England (at home) faces a .500 non-division opponent. Being a Pats fan and a realist, I'll just chock up a Pats victory right now.
Yeah, objectivity has never stopped a Pats fan from making a point, why start now?
Bengals are one of the hottest teams in the league right now playing against a Pats secondary that is just begging to be exploited. I still have the Pats down for a win, but I don't see it being as easy as Cleveland was.
The only upsets I see this week...
Hmm, I see no upsets.
The Dallas (-6), Green Bay (-9) and Minnesota (-5.5) games should be the games that upsets come from, but I wouldn't pick any as an outright upset.
I still have the Pats down for a win, but I don't see it being as easy as Cleveland was.
Actually, it should be an easier victory than the Cleveland game. Bill B. has seen a lot more of Carson Palmer than he had of Luke McCown. The Pats gameplan hard against their opponents, and the smartest thing you can do to beat them is throw players into the mix that they aren't prepared for.
You're right that the secondary is ripe for exploitation, but the opposing QB has to really understand each defender then figure out where they are on each play. For example, Gay is a gambler, so if you're foolish enough to underthrow a ball his way, he'll likely pick it off. On the other hand, if you throw long and make your receiver turn on the afterburners to get the ball, Gay will miss the high toss and your receiver will have an easy TD.
Each defender has their Achilles heel, but the Pats mix things up enough to disguise their weaknesses.
Palmer could have a big day, but if he does, expect it to come in junk time. I'll be watching Rudi Johnson's play; that should determine how well the Bengals do.
I agree the Redskins look like a good bet getting 9.5 points this weekend. I see Philly winning but it being close. Have to expect a drop off after they destroyed GB last week.
Jets-Steelers should be a very good low scoring game IMO. Jets will need to be able to run the ball and stop Pittsburgh from running to have a chance. I like the Jets chances if the game is close going into the 4th quarter.
If any of the big three goes down it will be the Stillers. The Jets are pretty decent and Big Ben can't win 'em all. That said my upset of the week is the Texans pummling the Colts. Peyton will toss 3 or 4 TDs but that won't be enough as DD scores 2 TDs and Carr stops fussing with his hair long enough to throw 3-4 TDs.
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