As I’ve written before, we’re now in the hardest part of guessing who’s going to win games in the NFL.
Many teams have clinched spots or are out of the playoff race, and unless you’re going for an undefeated season (sorry Saints), you start dressing your backups. Maybe a coach wants to see how a certain rookie will play. Or a starter can either rest up or heal a nagging injury he may normally play through.
No matter the reason, it’s tough to guess who will start the games, and how long they’ll play in each game. For example, the Lions are way out of the playoffs. So they’ll continue to bench Matthew Stafford, who is injured, and put in the backup quarterback.
But if the Lions were fighting for a playoff spot, who knows if Stafford would get the nod.
The same is holding true right through the NFL. Some teams are dressing all their guys, and others are putting in backups. It’s adding another unknown equation into the mix. Will a fully healthy and rested defensive end play better than the first stringer who’s nursing a sore knee? Will some players see this as their chance to prove they can start in the league? Will other backups get picked on by the opposition because they’re not as good as the guy they’re replacing?
It makes it that much harder to predict what’s going to happen.
With that said, on to the picks.
|Chicago at Baltimore||Line: Ravens by 10 1/2||Ravens|
|Miami at Tennessee||Line: Titans by 2 1/2||Titans|
|Arizona at Detroit||Line: Cardinals by 11 1/2||Cardinals|
|Houston at St.Louis||Line: Texans by 9 1/2||Rams|
|Cleveland at Kansas City||Line: Chiefs by 1 1/2||Chiefs|
|San Francisco at Philadelphia||Line: Eagles by 8 1/2||49ers|
|Atlanta at NY Jets||Line: Jets by 4 1/2||Jets|
|New England at Buffalo||Line: Patriots by 6 1/2||Patriots|
|Oakland at Denver||Line: Broncos by 13 1/2||Raiders|
|Cincinnati at San Diego||Line: Chargers by 6 1/2||Chargers|
|Green Bay at Pittsburgh||Line: Steelers by 1 1/2||Packers|
|Tampa Bay at Seattle||Line: Seahawks by 6 1/2||Buccaneers|
|Minnesota at Carolina||Line: Vikings by 8 1/2||Panthers|
|NY Giants at Washington||Line: Giants by 2 1/2||Giants|