As the second half of this crazy NFL season starts to unfold, playoff scenarios and implications are all over the place. This week features some intriguing matchups throughout the league that could determine who is going to be playing come January and who could be staying home.
The Patriots are playing their biggest game of the season due to their loss against the Jets last Thursday and as always, the Patriots community has came forward to give you their thoughts about who is going to win and lose this weekend.
Place your bets, gentlemen!
New England @ Miami
C Douglas Baker: Miami spanked my New England Patriots in Week Three. Both of these teams are better than they were then, but New England has the better team. Even though the game is in Miami, given the stakes I think the Patriots will be bring playoff intensity and pull it out.
Glenn Card: After that tough defeat at home the Pats travel south for another division match up. Miami has done a great job keeping close in this division to date. Belichick has called a bunch of colleges for their tapes of the wildcat offense and that embarrassment will never happen to him again. Patriots will win.
William Berry: I'm 97.35648985% sure the Patriots will win over the Dolphins in Miami. When was the last time two moderately evenly matched teams did not spit the season series.
Ryan Burns: Simply put, this game is for the Patriots' season. A loss would be catastrophic, as they would have to look for other teams in contention to start losing. I think that the team would rather be in control of its own destiny. Patriots win this one.
New York Jets @ Tennessee
C Douglas Baker: The Jets are a hot team right now with a four game winning streak, including wins over division rivals Buffalo and New England. Brett Favre and Thomas Jones have been playing well of late, and Kris Jenkins is starting to look like the terror he was when he was with the Panthers.
But the Titans are even hotter and the Jets are not as good as their fans think they are. I will be the biggest fan the Titans have this weekend and I think they will win a close game.
But wouldn't it be just our (Patriot's fans) luck that the Titans choose this week to lose their first game?
Glenn Card: I only see three chances for the Titans to be beat through the rest of their regular season schedule, and this is one of them. Based on the big win they scored over the Pats last week, I’ll give the Jets the benefit of the doubt in this game and say that they will win this one only if Farve throws no interceptions. Jets win on the road.
William Berry: The Titans are at home against the Jets. They will be undefeated when they lose to the previously winless Lions on Thanksgiving.
Ryan Burns: This is going to be a tough one. The Jets have to control the running game, and I think Kris Jenkins is going to be a monster. As much as I hate to say it, the Jets will hand the Titans their first loss.
Buffalo @ Kansas City
C Douglas Baker: Other than I think Kansas City is bound to win another game, I don’t know why I am picking them over Buffalo. Monday night Trent Edwards looked awful and I think the Chiefs are primed to pull off an upset and what better time to do it against a down team after a tough Monday night loss?
Glenn Card: I don’t care if the game is in Kansas. Buffalo should return to form and win this road game, which will keep the AFC East too tight to declare a clear winner yet.
William Berry: The Bills are in free fall, but the Chiefs are coached by Herm Edwards.
Ryan Burns: The Bills started off the season strong, but the rest of the AFC East has surpassed them as the season has progressed. The Chiefs get the win here at home.
Philadelphia @ Baltimore
C Douglas Baker: I don't see Philadelphia bouncing back from last week's debacle in Cincinnati. The Eagles seem to be a team on the decline. Despite having a rough week against the Giants I think the Ravens defense will shut down the Eagles and their offense should do enough to win the game.
Glenn Card: Baltimore is stinging from the beat down they got last week and will win this one at home against an Eagles team that can not win consistently. How many OT quarters did Donovan think he was going to get to win that last game?
William Berry: Ravens over Eagles.
Ryan Burns: God help us all if this game is tied after regulation. The Andy Reid era is griding to a halt, and losing to the Ravens will only expedite the process. Baltimore wins this one.
Chicago @ St. Louis
C Douglas Baker: The Rams are another miserable, no account team with a ton of injuries. They had a few surprising moments this year, but the last few weeks have been a disaster. Chicago hasn't been exactly impressive of late either, but they should come out with a win here.
Glenn Card: If the Rams can hang on they could be one loss away from the first draft pick. Chicago is playing like a .500 team but they win this road game.
William Berry: Chicago over St. Louis
Ryan Burns: I'm taking Chicago, one because they are playing the Rams and because I need Kyle Orton to tear it up so that I can make my fantasy league playoffs.
Houston @ Cleveland
C Douglas Baker: Sage Rosenfels. Need I say more? While Cleveland has looked pretty mediocre the past few weeks, their defense is tough (even though it fades in the fourth quarter) and they should be able to put up enough offense to beat Houston.
Glenn Card: Houston played a close game last week but they haven’t won a road game yet this year. They’re not going to win this one either. Browns win this one at home.
William Berry: Browns over Texans
Ryan Burns: So Brady Quinn is the latest QB with an injury. The Browns have been average at best this year, but so have the Texans. Still, I'm taking Houston to grind out a win on the road.
Tampa Bay @ Detroit
C Douglas Baker: I am picking Detroit to be the first team to go 0-16. The last team to go winless was the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers who went 0-14. They need company. Tampa Bay wins.
Glenn Card: How about a convincing win for the Bucs? Nope. The Lions actually goof and win one at home.
William Berry: Tampa Bay over Detroit.
Ryan Burns: One loss at a time Detroit, I know you can do it. Tampa Bay wins.
Jacksonville @ Minnesota
C Douglas Baker: This is a tough one to call but Minnesota should win this game if Gus doesn't chunk up a bunch of interceptions like he did against the Packers.
The Vikings have a solid defense that is hard to run against and Adrian Peterson who is hard to stop. Meanwhile, Jacksonville continues to implode internally.
Glenn Card: The Vikings had a tough loss last week. Adrian Peterson will help them get back into the win column.
William Berry: Vikings over Jaguars.
Ryan Burns: Minnesota will bounce back with a victory against the Jags this weekend, keeping them alive for now in the NFC.
San Francisco @ Dallas
C Douglas Baker: With Romo back the Cowboys are back in the saddle and will ride over the tough, but not good enough, 49'ers on Sunday.
Glenn Card: I like what is happening with San Fran but they are going into Dallas and Romo has this team resurging and looking for at least a playoff berth. Dallas has to run the table to be able to guarantee a spot so they are not dropping this one as they win at home.
William Berry: Dallas over San Fran.
Ryan Burns: Ahh, remember when this rivalry meant something? Me too. Times have changed though and although Dallas impressed people last week and Romo healthy, I'm taking San Francisco in my upset pick of the week.
Oakland @ Denver
C Douglas Baker: Denver sometimes actually can play defense when they have a mind to. Oakland has had a couple of close games but they are a lousy no account team and the Denver offense just may put up 50 points on them.
Glenn Card: Did I actually see some life out of the Raiders? No, that was just a body twitch just before rigor mortis sets in. There is no doubt Denver wins at home.
William Baker: Denver over Oakland
Ryan Burns: Oakland just wants to end the season, while Denveris still playing for their playoff lives in the disappointing AFC West. They cruise at home, especially if that famous Denver weather is present.
Carolina @ Atlanta
C Douglas Baker: The last time these two teams played Carolina held Michael Turner and Matt Ryan in check and won the game rather handily. Even though they are playing in Atlanta, I don't see a different outcome this week.
Glenn Card: In this conference game you’d like to think that Atlanta is not going to lose two in a row at home. Carolina is just too strong for the Falcons on paper. I think the Falcons pull an upset here.
William Berry: Atlanta over Carolina.
Ryan Burns: Matt Ryan will put a stamp on his ROY campaign this week, beating division rival Carolina. Falcons win at home.
New York @ Arizona
C Douglas Baker: Yes, I am predicting an upset. This game is in Arizona, and the Giants are ripe for a let down.
Either Kurt Warner will turn the ball over six times and the Giants will blow out the Cardinals, or the Cardinals offensive line will man up against one of the best defensive lines in the league, allowing Kurt Warner just enough time to take advantage of the Giants' weak secondary to win a close one.
I'm predicting the latter. (Or I've lost my mind).
Glenn Card: This is a game I’ll be watching. The Giants are strong but I hope there is a heatwave in Arizona. I want to see Kurt Warner take the lead in the MVP standings by winning this game at home against a really good team.
William Berry: Arizona over the G-Men.
Ryan Burns: Kurt Warner gives the Giants some payback and leads the Cardinals to the upset in a shootout.
Seattle @ Washington
C Douglas Baker: Poor Seattle. This is another team that came into the season with a lot of (empty) promise. No running game, all their receivers hurt, injured quarterbacks, and a defense that has taken the year.
The Redskins are not as bad as they looked the past few weeks and will want to win this one to keep their playoff hopes alive. And Jim Zorn should be fired up to beat his old team.
Glenn Card: The Redskin loss to Dallas last week really hurt their playoff possibilities. They have to win the rest of their schedule to have a chance. This will be a road win for Washington.
William Berry: Washington over Seattle.
Ryan Burns: I have to take the 'Skins over Seattle on the road, as they have to win this one to hold their ground in the playoff picture after last week's loss versus the Cowboys.
Indianapolis @ San Diego
C Douglas Baker: I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the whiniest team in the NFL get the beat down this year. Peyton looks to be back in his groove, the Colts running game has come to life, and their defense has an occasional pulse.
I think the Colts pull out another close one in San Diego and bury the Chargers' season, especially given how the refs LOVE the Colts and seem to HATE the Chargers.
Glenn Card: Ok, I’ll eat crow now and say that the Colts are peaking at the right time and they will beat San Diego for a road win.
William Berry: Chargers over Colts.
Ryan Burns: The Colts hold the tiebreaker over the Patriots if they end up tied going into the playoffs. With that said, I am picking the Chargers to win this game at home and stay alive for one more week.
Green Bay @ New Orleans
C Douglas Baker: Even with Reggie Bush supposedly coming back and Drew Brees playing well, I just have a good feeling about the Packers in this game. I know Green Bay hasn't looked as good as they did earlier in the season, but their defense is a turnover machine (even if they can't stop the run).
If Greg Jennings would get his head out of his behind and stop dropping passes Green Bay should be able to pull this one out.
Glenn Card: I always root for the Saints as underdogs and they always lose when I do. I’m going to pick Green Bay in this match up only to see if the jinx will go the other way.
William Berry: Packers over Saints.
Ryan Burns: The Packers had a big win last week and will have another one this week. Packers win to stay atop the division.