Better late than never, right?? We weren’t going to pick the Thursday night game anyway, so it’s all good. This is a pretty neat weekend for football fans. Not only are there NFL games on both Saturday and Sunday, but the college bowl season gets underway as well. I hope y’all have your Christmas shopping finished and can stay home vegging out & watching football. Last week was pretty rough for yours truly, as I went 0-5. The blow was softened just a bit when I won an exciting game in my dynasty league and made the playoff, so I’m excited about that. Zach fared a little better at 2-3, which means that he’s taken back the season lead. We’ll see what happens after this weekend.
My Season: 46-45
Z’s Season: 47-44
Philadelphia (-7.5) at NY Giants
Holy quarterback condundrums Batman!! The Eagles have lost QB Carson Wentz for the remainder of the season to a torn ACL. The good news is that they’ve already clinched the NFC East, and as far as backups go there are worse options than Nick Foles. The Giants have Eli Manning back under center after firing their coach a couple of weeks ago, but other than that I’m not sure there is any good news for them. The Giants are actually worse than the Jets right now. Who would’ve predicted that a few months ago?? Having said that, The Vibes are whispering to me. While I think Foles is a decent quarterback and Philly is obviously a talented team, any thoughts of them being a legit Super Bowl contender have gone away, and I think The G-Men might actually steal this game. Zach disagrees and is making the more logical choice.
My Pick: NY Giants
Z’s Pick: Philadelphia
Green Bay at Carolina (-3)
As opposed to the folks in Philadelphia the Cheeseheads have good quarterback news. Aaron Rodgers returns from injury this week, and the sports media has been slobbering all over themselves. It’s going to be an uphill climb for Green Bay to sneak into the playoffs, but it is still mathematically possible. The Panthers are in a dogfight for a playoff spot as well. They’ve won 5 out of their last 6 games after a rough first half of the season, and feel like they could become a formidable post-season threat. I’m all for heartwarming fairy tales, but I think Rodgers’ comeback might not go as well as many hope it will. Zach concurs.
My Pick: Carolina
Z’s Pick: Carolina
Tennessee at San Francisco (-2)
I really thought that the Titans were solid favorites to win the AFC South this season, but I don’t believe anybody saw the success of the Jacksonville Jaguars on the horizon. That being said, Tennessee is only one game out of first place and are in good wildcard position. Conversely, the 49ers are dwelling at the bottom of their division as has been the norm the past few years. I understand that it’s commonplace for the home team to be favored by about three points in NFL games, but I’m not sure why that would hold true in a game like this where the visiting team is clearly superior. Zach feels like Tennessee is too inconsistent and ‘Frisco is much better with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.
My Pick: Tennessee
Z’s Pick: San Francisco
LA Rams at Seattle (-2.5)
The Rams hold a one game lead in the NFC West, but Seattle’s home field advantage is one of the most daunting in the NFL. The Seahawks have been more…erratic…this season than we’re used to seeing, but when the chips are down in big games it’s hard to bet against QB Russell Wilson, meaning that if they can get into the playoffs all the questions & inconsistency will quickly be set aside. Meanwhile, the Rams, with all of their young talent, have really put things together this year, though they’ve also been a little up & down. If this game were being played in Los Angeles I might be inclined to take the underdogs because that’s just how I roll. However, the home field is just too much to overlook in this case. Zach concurs.
My Pick: Seattle
Z’s Pick: Seattle
Atlanta (-6.5) at Tampa Bay
The NFC South is really interesting, with three teams being possible playoff contenders. One of those three, however, is not the Buccaneers. They’re currently on a three game losing streak, and that’s not even their worst skid of the season. I haven’t been paying enough attention to know exactly what has gone wrong, but I don’t foresee things suddenly turning around this weekend. The Falcons haven’t had smooth sailing this year after being in the Super Bowl last season, but they’ve done enough to still be in the playoff hunt and feel like they might be peaking at the right time. Zach likes Atlanta to win big.
My Pick: Atlanta
Z’s Pick: Atlanta