Dec 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) reacts after a first down during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. San Francisco 49ers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 33-14. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Thoughts from Hispandrix
MIA@BUF: The Dolphins are the heavy favored, fresh off their win against the Patriots. However, the Bills spell classic ‘trap’ for the Dolphins. They played spoilers (somewhat) against all of the pick’em pickers last week by beating the Jags. I like the way the Dolphins have been playing recently, but they’re going to also hope for a Ravens loss in addition to their win. Not exactly the easiest of scenarios.
NO@CAR: As always, check out my Keys to the Game. SPOILER ALERT: I haven’t picked against the Saints this season. What makes you think I would now?
MIN@CIN: The Bengals defense is not the Eagles defense. That’s the bad news for the Vikings, who showed us some sort of anomaly last week on offense, proving that all they needed was to not have Adrian Peterson or Toby Gerhart to put up 40+ points in a game. Ridiculous. At any rate, the Bengals lost more than their punter last week, as they dropped their game against their hated rival, the Steelers. This is a huge chance for them to potentially threaten the Patriots for the #2 seed in the AFC. They should win, and will have to root for the Ravens.
IND@KC: It’s not looking good for the Colts. They’re going to be a one and done team in the postseason. You can take that to the bank. Why? Sure, they won against the Titans Sunday. However, the AFC South is where all of their victories have come since October 20th against the Broncos. Against the other non-AFC South opponents since? All losses. Rams (38-8), Cardinals (40-11), Bengals (42-28). Do I really need to go further? How about the Chiefs that have scored just 42.5 points/game in the past four games.
TB@STL: The Rams beat the Saints last week, upsetting them and spoiling the Saints playoff berth. Now they’ll host the Bucs, who got handled at home against the 49ers. I have to side with the Rams, because the Bucs are just 1-5 in their road showings this season. Zac Stacy should have a big day.
CLE@NYJ: As logic dictates, by taking the Jets here, it will mean the Browns will win. I wonder how many yards Josh Gordon will get today?
DAL@WSH: If Dallas loses this game, with the whole ‘December’ troubles already against them, they may just fire everyone. They should win, but we won’t be surprised if they choke again in typical Romo/Dallas fashion.
TEN@JAC: Just when you think it’s safe to pick the Jaguars, they lose. I guess I just have that effect on teams. The Titans almost pulled off a big upset of the Cardinals last week, but lost in overtime. Most of the players in this game are playing for a job next season, and despite that 0-4 showing the AFC South this season, I’ll still take the Titans.
DEN@HOU: Let’s see, Manning off a loss, playing against the Texans. Do I really have to say much more?
NYG@DET: The Giants are just playing awful. Eli Manning’s demons came back in a horrible way by throwing five interceptions last week at home. The Lions have issues of their own, especially in the locker room. However, with so much at stake, and with the Bears having their own tough test on the road against the Eagles, they need this game, desperately.
ARI@SEA: Seattle at home. Last trip for the Cardinals ended in a 59-0 suicide. The Cardinals are a better team than last year’s, but it’s still the Seahawks at home.
PIT@GB: No Aaron Rodgers? No problem. Sure, Matt Flynn had a bump in the road with the Lions, but ever since he’s stepped in, the Packers have actually played pretty decent. Let’s also not forget the explosion on offense last week that allowed them to upset Dallas after being down at the half 26-3. We may see a pretty crazy quarterback duel here in a close one, but I like the Packers.
OAK@SD: The Raiders are 1-4 in their last five, and 1-6 on the road. San Diego isn’t exactly a long distance, but the Chargers did all sorts of impressive things to control the Broncos and emerge victorious. The Chargers are clinging to playoff hopes, and while they should win here they need all sorts of help.
NE@BAL: All the Patriots can think about right now is last season, where the Ravens upset the Patriots to knock them out of the playoffs and deny them another Super Bowl shot. They’d love to spoil the Ravens season again by beating them today, but you can’t help notice the Ravens being 4-1 in their last five, and are 6-1 at home this season, only losing to the Packers.
CHI@PHI: The Eagles were exposed in a terrible way last week, losing a huge road game against the Vikings. The Bears narrowly escaped the Dawg Pound with a victory, but Cutler earned a much-needed victory. This game is crazy, because everything can change in the NFC playoff race here. The Eagles hold the #3 seed, and the Bears hold the #4 seed. I can’t wait to see McCoy against Forte in what should be a great matchup. I’ll take the Eagles.
ATL@SF: Let’s see. This could be the last game at Candlestick Park for the 49ers, at least regular season that is for the moment. Do I need to say more?