We can’t give you a Thursday night winner this week, like we have the last two weeks, but we do have picks to keep you alive. Here we go…
1. Pittsburgh over Cincinnati – The Steelers have been consistent in recent weeks, and this game against the Bengals is the best opportunity to use them in the season’s final four games. While the Bengals have some offensive firepower, they also are prone to brainlocks and big deficits, which doom them against good teams. After last week’s horrible loss, it’s hard to see Cincy going on the road and winning in Pittsburgh.
2. Atlanta at Carolina – The Falcons are another attractive choice, and the only reason we’re not taking them this week on the road is that we hope to save them for a Week 17 home game against these same Panthers. It may not be pretty, because the Falcons are prone to close games, but Atlanta hasn’t blown a game against an inferior team all season. They won’t this week either.
3. N.Y. Jets over Miami – The Jets got blasted Monday night against the Patriots, but we see them rebounding at home this week against the Dolphins. While Miami has been feisty on the road, the Fins are going into a buzzsaw this week, and Chad Henne’s propensity to throw interceptions is a problem against the ball-hawking Jets.
Traps to avoid: Jacksonville over Oakland, New Orleans over St. Louis – The Jaguars are on a serious roll, but the Raiders aren’t pushovers, and they have shown the ability to play incredibly well for short bursts of time. After last week’s road win in San Diego, we can’t say for certain that the Raiders aren’t on another hot streak. The Saints are a solid team that’s coming on, but the Rams are a quality team that has played close in many games this season. The Rams are learning to win, and last week’s road win was a step forward. So a win in New Orleans is at least within the realm of possibility.
Week 13 – W Philadelphia (vs. Houston)
Week 12 – W N.Y. Jets (vs. Cincinnati)
Week 11 – W Baltimore (at Carolina)
Week 10 – W Tampa Bay (vs. Carolina)
Week 9 – W Green Bay (vs. Dallas)
Week 8 – W Kansas City (vs. Buffalo)
Week 7 – L New Orleans (vs. Cleveland)
Week 6 – L Chicago (vs. Seattle)
Week 5 – L Houston (vs. N.Y. Giants)
Week 4 – L Tennessee (vs. Denver)
Week 3 – W Baltimore (over Cleveland)
Week 2 – W Oakland (over St. Louis)
Week 1 – W N.Y Giants (over Carolina)