Fourteen weeks into the season, we're still left scratching our heads and trying to figure out why the Eagles are terrible, how Aaron Rodgers is able to perform at an unfathomable level week in and week out and how the Colts allowed themselves to fall off so hard with Peyton Manning out.
With the playoff races heating up, this is one of the most exciting times in the season. Teams are entering must-win games and dejected fans are already eying the NFL draft in April.
Will Rodgers lead the Packers past the Raiders and one win closer to an undefeated season? Will the Colts finally put it together and hand the Ravens another puzzling loss?
Here are picks for every game this week.
The Steelers have won seven of their last eight and are rolling into the playoffs with a full head of steam. The Browns haven't scored more than 20 points since Week 2 and there is no way the vaunted Steelers defense winds up losing in a defensive struggle against the reeling Browns.
Arian Foster encounters a Bengals run defense that only allows 96.3 rushing yards per game this week. T.J. Yates will be exposed this week and completing less than 50 percent of his passes won't cut it. We'll see how good the Texans look when Yates has to win them a game.
Don't let Ndamukong Suh's suspension trick you into thinking the Lions aren't going to bring it. They may have barely slipped away from the Vikings in their first meeting, but playing in Detroit will show the real disparity between a Lions team on the verge of making the postseason and a Vikings team that already has 10 losses.
As nice of it was for Chris Johnson to finally show up to the 2011 NFL season, he's a day late and a dollar short. Rushing for 130 or more yards in three of his last four games has many high on the soaring Titans, but his efforts to outscore Drew Brees will be unrecognized on Sunday.
There is no logical explanation for the Dolphins winning four of their last five games or the Eagles losing four of their last five. What should be happening and what is actually happening are two different things entirely. The Dolphins are too hot to pick against and the Eagles have proved time and time again they don't want it.
The streaky Chiefs took down the banged-up Bears to snap their four-game losing streak, but it's going to take more than 10 points to take down the Jets this week. The Jets enter a must-win game here and won't squander a chance to gain ground in the AFC wild-card race.
The Redskins have lost seven of their last eight games. To make matters worse, Trent Williams and Fred Davis are serving suspensions. The Skins won't be able to take advantage of a porous Patriots offense and their defense can't hope to contain Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Michael Turner is going up against a Panthers defense that allows 132.5 rushing yards per game. He's going to absolutely handle Carolina, and when Turner racks up more than 100 yards, Atlanta is undefeated. A painful loss last week will have the Falcons clawing for every down in this one.
It's always tough to figure out who has the upper hand in a battle between two completely inadequate teams. The Bucs' six-game losing streak looks like it's headed for seven, as the Jags will be looking to impress new management. Maurice Jones-Drew has 87 yards or more in his last four games, LeGarrette Blount is coming off a 19-yard performance against the Panthers, and Bucs have crawled into a state of indifference.
While it still looks like the Colts will win at some point, their first win of the season isn't coming this week. With or without Ray Lewis, the Ravens are Super Bowl contenders and will show the Colts why they are still the scariest team in the league.
If you aren't on the Tebow train yet, what's it going to take to convince you the guy is for real? People say he couldn't win in a shootout, that his production in a gimmick offense wouldn't last, that Von Miller was more important to the success than Tebow. No. 15 notched his fifth consecutive win last week without Miller and will take down a Bears team that couldn't score more than field goal last week.
Beanie Wells can kiss his production goodbye. The 49ers haven't allowed a rushing touchdown all season long and they're playing to not only maintain their historic run, but also to obtain a first-round bye. The 49ers will force the Cardinals to throw and after that doesn't work, Alex Smith is going to have his work cut out for him.
The Packers aren't losing a single game this season. Every week, we hear nonsense about why their opponent has what it takes to take them down. They've had a target on their back all season long, but Aaron Rodgers has been as close to perfect as he can possibly be week in and week out and the deepest team in the league will bury an Oakland team that got ruined by the Dolphins last week.
This is the time of the year when the Chargers are at their best. Philip Rivers looked like he was back to his old self last week against the Jags and with the Bills coming into Qualcomm, there is no way the Bills are going to come in with no Fred Jackson and shock the Chargers. Even though the Bolts haven't been on their "A" game this season, they've got this one in the bag.
The Cowboys have a chance to put the Giants to bed this week. This is a game with NFC East implications running rampant, and the battle for division supremacy will be decided on Sunday. Though Eli Manning and the Giants are a talented team in a desperate situation and the Cowboys dropped an easy win over the Cardinals, Tony Romo's Cowboys are 5-1 in Jerry World and won't fall victim to a late loss at the hands of their division foe.
St. Louis Tams vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks blew the Rams away in a 24-7 win in St. Louis with Sam Bradford under center for the Rams. With this game in Seattle and Bradford's status in question, there is no way to justify picking the Rams over the Hawks this week.
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