With just four more weeks in the regular season, we’ve evened our record to a smooth 40-20 while going 3-2 last week. The two games we lost were by a total of four points; Seahawks vs the Dolphins and the Bucs vs the Falcons. Nail-biters both, we came within a hair of going 5-0 for the second consecutive week. Let’s see if we can run the table this week with these five Best Bets…
*Home team in CAPS
JETS over the Cardinals- Rex Ryan says that his team still has one of the leagues five top defenses. I guess he wasn’t on the sidelines when his Jets were outscored 113-28 by the 49ers (week #4) Dolphins (week #8), & the Patriots (week #12). And their defense has almost been as bad as their offense! So the question remains why are we picking them to win this week? Two words: Ryan Lindley. He will be the Cards’ starting QB this week and has a QB rating of 47.0. Oh, and he has never thrown an NFL touchdown. If the Rams could force him into four interceptions last week then the Jets should do at least the same. Unfortunately, after they mop the floor with Arizona, we’re going to hear the Super Bowl predictions spewing out of Sexy Rexy’s mouth all week…
Seahawks over the BEARS- We like the visiting ‘dogs this week in what might end up being a 0-0 game when it’s over. Two of the leagues top defenses squaring off should keep the points low in this one. The Bears’ offensive line is a bit banged up from their game vs the Vikings last week. RB Matt Forte, who suffered an ankle injury in that game, is probable but not someone to count on as he’ll play way less than 100%. (Devin Hester is also questionable). The ‘Hawks, if you’ll remember, beat up Da Bears last December 18th AT Soldier Field 38-14 and we like their defense even better this year. They’re our ‘Upset Special’ of the week. *Editor’s note: The last NFL game to end 0-0 was played on November 7th, 1943 and featured the Lions vs the Giants. There were only 9 total first downs in that game!
49ers over the RAMS- This game might be closer than most think given that these two played to a 24 all tie just a few short weeks ago in week #10 at Candlestick Park. Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola both went over the century mark in that contest, 101 rushing and 102 yards receiving respectively. Two things changed significantly since then; the 49ers defense has played like they did last season and, instead of Alex Smith under center, Colin Kaepernick, who has been on fire, will start and give S.F. a better chance of winning.
RAVENS over the Steelers- These are another couple of teams that could play to a 0-0 tie. Historically, these two rivals have always played extremely close games- usually decided by one team lining up for a game-winning field goal. The difference this week will be the absence of Ben Roethlisberger from the starting lineup. In that game, Ray Rice was held to just 40 rushing yards, while Byron Leftwich passed for 199 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. The Ravens pulled out the win by…yep, a field goal- 13-10. Sunday, Charlie Batch will go up against Joe Flacco, a matchup that will make the Ravens come out on top.
Giants over the REDSKINS- The Giants travel to the nation’s capital for the Monday-Nighter and their second game against the Redskins this season having won the first in week #7 by the score of 27-23. The ‘Skins contained RB Ahmad Bradshaw, holding him to just 43 rushing yards in that one, however WR Victor Cruz had a game high 131 receiving yards and a touchdown while Eli Manning passed for 331 yards on the day. The Giants will need to do a better job at stopping the run if they are to have a legitimate chance at pulling off the victory as RB Alfred Morris and QB RGIII combined for 209 rushing yards in that game. If you believe in deja vous, it was last season (in week #15) that the Redskins stunned the Giants at Met Life Stadium 23-10. It evened their record to 7-7 but the Giants never lost another game in the regular season or in the post season. We’re sure that Big Blue has not forgotten that loss and will use that added incentive to up their record to 8-4.