Four games to go and still plenty to play for which should ensure lots of excitement this week as the count down to X-mas begins in earnest.
Cleveland at Buffalo – Neither team has much to play for this year, however both are probably a bit better than their records suggest so this could be quite lively. Could be close but we tip Cleveland by 3-7 points.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh – The Steelers had a massive win over the Ravens last week (in terms of importance anyway) and they should have little problem in beating a hugely disappointing Bengals side who will be lucky to avoid going from first to last in the NFC North in a season. Tip Pittsburgh by 7-10 points
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions- The Lions play well for three quarters in their games but keep fining ways to lose, and against the high octane Packers this looks the likely outcome again. Tip Packers by 7-10 points
NY Giants at Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings still have a very slim chance of making the post season and as often happens seem to be a different side under new management. This could be a close one as the Giants are no mugs however we will side with the Vikings by 7 points or less.
Tampa Bay at Washington Redskins – Oh dear where do we start with the Redskins Big name signings who fail to perform an irascible coaching style which doesn’t seem to be working and now virtually no chance of challenging in the tough NFC East. The Buccs on the other hand have came from left field with a young team and a real desire to win for their also young head coach. It might be a step too far to expect to see them in the playoffs but if they keep this up they will be a force in a year or two. Washington is not an easy place to win at and despite the turmoil we will just give the skins the edge by 3-7 points.
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers – This looks like a fairly easy win for the Falcons whi should cement their position as NFC favourites and take another step towards ensuring home field advantage.
Oakland at Jacksonville – The Jags looked impressive last week running the ball straight at the Titans, however I am not sure that tactic will work against the Raiders. This is a tough one to call and we will take a punt on the Raiders who could sneak it by 3 points or so.
Seattle at San Francisco – Amazingly at 4-8 the 49ers are still just about alive in the Awful NFC West which could be won 8-8 or even 7-9 such is the quality of the teams in it this year. A win here and they will only be a game back (assuming the Rams cant pull of a shock win at the Saints). Given this and the unpredictable nature of the Seahawks we will tip the 49ers to win by 7 -10 points.
St. Louis at New Orleans – The reigning Superbowl champions New Orleans Saints have won 5 games in a row and although they look unlikely to catch the Falcons now look nailed on for a Wild Card at least possibly against Sundays opponents. The Rams have surprised us this year and Sam Bradford looks like a quality QB who will be around for a while, however the team overall doesn’t look strong enough to cope with the Saints who have a mean secondary and will pile up the offensive yards. We expect a Saints win by 10 points +
Miami Dolphins at NY Jets – The Jets will be looking to bounce back from their mauling at the Patriots last week, and a game against divisional rivals Miami would probably not have been their first choice of follow up game. Still they should get back on track against their injury hit rivals. Its the Jets for us by 7-10 points
Denver at Arizona – the battle of the basement which will probably be most of interest to fans who want to see how the Broncos perform without Josh McDaniels. This one could go either way so we will just give Denver the edge based on the new coach effect. Denver by 3-7 points
Kansas City at San Diego – one of the games of the night, which could see the Chiefs effectively sew up the AFC West. The Chargers looked to be coming with their typical late season run until their slip up against Oakland last week. There are question marks over Matt Cassel’s fitness following his Appendectomy earlier in the week. We know NFL players are very tough but expecting him to play days after than is a little too much. Without him we are not sure they can win this one so its San Diego for us by 7 -10 points.
New England Patriots at Chicago Bears – What a game to look forward to with the Patriots who are showing that rebuilding is no excuse for not winning taking on a revitalised Bears who are looking mean on defense again. Had the Pats been at home this would have been an easy decision, but at Soldier Field things could be a little closer. The Bears are 7-1 at home in December and we are just going to give them the edge in what will be a close game. The Bears by 3 points.
Philadelphia at Dallas – The Eagles have surprised us this year and they are going to the playoffs without a doubt. However they might drop this one on the way against a much improved Dallas who will be desperate to give their fans something to cheer about. Dallas to win by 7 points or less.
Baltimore at Houston – The Ravens need this one to keep in touch in the AFC North and after a slightly sloppy performance against Pittsburgh we expect them to come back to their best here. The Texans are not a bad team but still look a long way from being a play off team and they will need a lot of luck to win this one. Overall its the Ravens for us by 10 points +