Yes, I know there was a Thursday night game. I barely watched it. Flipped to the Georgia Tech v Virginia Tech game while running and promptly began wondering why Georgia Tech refused to tackle the Logan Thomas, VT QB, who would QB sneak 5 yards regularly on short yardage situations.

Anyway, long point aside, we’ll skip the Thursday night game this week. If I were to have done a predictions, I would’ve been wrong anyway. I would’ve figured Palmer was still working out the offense, and the lack of Run DMC would’ve spelled a tough night for Oakland in San Diego. But the Chargers continue to underwhelm. Anyway, if Andy would like to include his “what I would’ve done” more power to him, we’re moving on to the Sunday games.

Arizona @ Philadelphia

Cole – Philadelphia may have been given a death nail last Sunday. But maybe no one has looked at the standings in the NFC East. The Giants are 6-2 with Eli Manning playing out of his mind. The rest looks a lot like the AFC West – mediocre. Now, I’m buying the Giants as the eventual winner, but my point is that Eli is carrying that team right now. Defensively they’re average, it’s only when he wills his team to win that they do (I guess a Manning is required to do this every year…). Therefore the Eagles are still not out of it… somehow. Arizona is coming off an overtime win at St. Louis. Neither team was impressive last week, but the Eagles have been at times this year, and Arizona is a team that could allow them to be impressive. 30 – 18 Philadelphia

Andy – The Eagles may be on life support, but the Cardinals are dead.  John Skelton may have the support of his teammates, but that does not make him a good QB, especially in a hostile Philadelphia. 31-13 Philadelphia

Tennessee @ Carolina

Cole – Cam’s saying all the right things about being 2-6, but his play has been phenomenal thus far this year. Unfortunately, they lost so much talent on defense that it’s all he can do to keep them in games. Tennessee will play down to them a bit because their offense is still sputtering, but I think Tennessee is too talented on defense to let Carolina sneak one out. 21 – 16 Tennessee

Andy- Cam always keeps his team in the game, and Tennessee has shown that they do not have that offensive push, especially late in games.  I think this is when we see a poor CJ2k and no Kenny Britt come back to bite the Titans.  24-20 Carolina

Houston @ Tampa Bay

Cole – If Andre Johnson was back for this game I’d bet heavily on Houston. Even without him, Houston should be able to handle Tampa Bay who just brought in Haynesworth because they’re so depleted at defensive tackle. And their Tampa 2 requires some good defensive linemen. Factor in Houston’s defense is *gasp* top ten?! and it could be a long day for Josh Freeman. 27 -20 Houston

Andy- Houston’s run game is the best in the NFL, Tampa’s run defense is far from best.  Foster and Tate should have a field day.  27-23 Houston

Washington @ Miami

Cole – Oh boy the Zoloft runner-up this week is on local television! Probably won’t help build Miami’s fan base unfortunately. Still, with a win under their belts and a very wounded Redskins team rolling into town, this could be a back to back thing for them. The Redskins need to pick up their defensive play because the offense simply isn’t clicking. Miami’s defense has been underwhelming thus far this year, but there’s talent to get them over the Redskins if they want to. 24 – 13 Miami

Andy- Washington’s downward spiral continues.  They can’t run, can’t pass, can’t really cover the pass either.  The Redskins are filled with holes and have such negative momentum.  I think they hit their low this week.  21-17.

Jacksonville @ Indianapolis

Cole – The bronze medal for the Zoloft game of the week. Indianapolis has the inside track this season on the Suck for Luck sweepstakes, but Jacksonville looks primed to bumble that opportunity for them. It’s in Indy (if anyone is still out at the games), and the dreaded Freeney / Mathis combination are always better on that turf. I look for The Blaine Train Gabbert to get hit, and hit a lot. If they can’t run with MJD or Painter puts up points early, this could be a rough one for the rookie. 24 – 17 Indianapolis

Andy- If Indy does not win this week, they will likely be preparing their Andrew Luck playbook.  Indy’s defense is terrible.  Look for MJD to run a lot, and Gabbert has started to become a better game manager.  Meanwhile, Jacksonville has a good defense, certainly good enough to stop Curtis Painter.  23-20 Jacksonville

Denver @ Kansas City

Cole – Ah yes, the zone read option has finally reemerged in the NFL. How many weeks til a team demolishes it and Fox returns to the Kyle Orton style offense that Tebow flounders in? I think this week Denver will run it well, but I’m not sure it’ll be enough to take down the Chiefs. In Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs are a much better team, and they seem to be finding some rhythm on offense that has been lacking since Jamaal Charles went down. Add in Jonathan Baldwin’s emergence as a viable number 2 with a defense beginning to replace the many pieces missing and I think Denver will come up a little short. 26 – 17 Kansas City

Andy – Kansas City is the most confusing team in the NFL.  One week they beat the Chargers or Raiders pretty convincingly, the next week they lay a gigantic egg against the Dolphins (the Dolphins?!  Really?!)  Meanwhile, Tebow is not getting much better as a QB (probably worst in NFL right now), but damn he brings another threat running the ball.  Still, after a shitty loss and at home, I’m going to give KC the benefit of the doubt.  24-21 Kansas City

Buffalo @ Dallas

Cole – Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills! Still, you’ll recall Dallas isn’t out of it yet, and Demarco Murray has been electric since taking over for injured Felix Jones (who has been dreadful thus far). Romo is twice the quarterback with a running game. Even without Miles Austin this week, they should be primed to put up points. The question is, which Rob Ryan defense shows up? The Rex Ryan-esque one, or some intricate game plan that was foolish from the start and gets the Cowboys blown out early. I think this’ll be close, and Dallas sneaks it out late. 24-21 Dallas

Andy – Dallas has such a good offense when it clicks.  Tony Romo sometimes has a tendency to throw the pick, and Buffalo’s defense thrives on turnovers.  I see Romo throwing a couple picks…enough to let Fitzmagic get the win.  27-21 Buffalo

New Orleans @ Atlanta (Game of the Week)

Cole – This is my game of the week. These two provide great games every time they play. They’re not Baltimore v Pittsburgh because the offenses do show up on time and not in the 4th quarter, and usually there’s a couple big defensive plays to swing the tide. Atlanta has been playing much better since they rediscovered Michael Turner in the backfield. Add an emerging Julio Jones to the mix and this offense is starting to look like what we all envisioned it to be when they spent so much to bring the Bama receiver in. New Orleans, on the other hand, has been shaky on defense. Gregg Williams hasn’t been dialing up pressure as effectively as in years past, but we know this unit is capable of doing so if it gears up and it should be geared up for the Falcons. Offensively, Drew Brees is having a solid year – 3000 yards passing, 21 TD and 11 INT. He has a 100.6 QB rating (for those of you who don’t quite subscribe to the voodoo that is the Total QBR). He has a trend going over the last five weeks though. Great game, average game, great game, average game. His last 5 qb ratings – 100.1, 70.9, 144.9, 73, 101.4. See the trend. This corresponds to an increase in interceptions. I expect Brees to put up a nice 300 yards and a couple of scores, but he won’t have enough possessions with Turner slow burning the clock all game. 27-24 Atlanta

Andy- Atlanta is starting to heat up, while New Orleans is just constantly playing back and forth, good or mediocre.  Both defenses are acceptable, but also can give up a lot of yardage as well.  For me, this is a gut decision, and I’m going with Brees having a good week.  30-27 New Orleans

St. Louis @ Cleveland (ZOLOFT GAME OF THE WEEK)

Cole – Your zoloft game of the week. St. Louis is running scrubs out there currently, their secondary continues to be a mess, and there doesn’t appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel (except maybe the hope of drafting Matt Kalil or Justin Blackmon in April). The Browns have been called the most predictable offense in the NFL by multiple pundits and sport one of the worst defenses in the league. Should be an epic game, right? Listen, I’ll take the Rams because they’ve beaten a good team once and that puts them leaps and bounds above the Browns currently. 21 – 7 St. Louis

Andy – St. Louis may have finally found a decent formula.  They are all over the place with their backups (and backups’ backups), but at least they showed some life last week.  Cleveland has looked dead in the water since week 5.  17-13 St. Louis

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati (Game of the Week Part 2)

Cole – That’s right, I gave you two games of the week this week. All be praised! Seriously though, the AFC North is loaded and playing very bad teams outside of the division. It’s the first time in NFL history that 3 teams in a division are all 6-2 (happens all the time when I play Madden though… curious). Everyone continually says that the Bengals will come back to earth, but with three more NFC West games on their schedule, they only have to win one against the Ravens or Steelers. I’d bet on them beating the Ravens because they play them much better. The Steelers have had the Bengals number recently, and I’ll take them to rebound from the Ravens game here. 17 – 10 Steelers

Andy – This game decides if the Bengals are true competitors or if they have deceived us all.  I love what Andy Dalton and the Cincy defense has done, but I don’t think they have the experience and depth to keep it up against a Pittsburgh team looking to rebound.  23-13 Pittsburgh

Baltimore @ Seattle

Cole – A lot of traps here for Baltimore. East coast team going west. Seattle is home of the 12th man. Baltimore plays down to competition this year. Just came off a big win against the Steelers in prime time. A lot of similarities to Week 2 when they came out dead against the Titans. The Titans have turned out to be a much better team than the Seahawks are and I’ll bet on a Harbaugh rallying the troops. 21 – 7 Baltimore

Andy – Baltimore tends to have games where they play down to their opponent, and Seattle is a very difficult place to play.  Nevertheless, I will take the Ravens defense against T-Jack (or Whitehurst) any day.  27-14 Baltimore

New York Football Giants @ San Francisco

Cole – As previously mentioned, Eli Manning is carrying the load in New York. 2300 yards, 15 tds to only 6 interceptions. And half of those came in one game against the Seahawks (which they lost). Unfortunately, the Giants are traveling west and San Francisco has a very good defense this season. Jim Harbaugh is easily the coach of the year this year if only for his development of Alex Smith, who is a perfect west coast quarterback now. They don’t allow a lot of points, keep games close and win them late, which is exactly what I think goes down here. 21 – 19 San Francisco

Andy – Eli is playing out of his mind, and without Ahmad Bradshaw he will have to carry the load once again.  Jim Harbaugh has done a great job with this team, but Eli has been playing at another level, and the Giants get to the QB with 4 linemen (and Alex Smith still has trouble with 7 defensemen in coverage).  24-20 New York

Detroit @ Chicago

Cole – Another great divisional match up. Detroit has had a nice bye week to get ready for the Bears, who are suddenly surging. Like last season, Mike Martz started the year with all 7 step drops, took a ton of heat for his play calling, adjusted and found out Matt Forte is a beast. The Bears rode that path to the NFC Championship game. Detroit, on the other hand, continues to fight rumors of dirty defensive line play, but also refuses to fold. These two teams know each other, so I don’t expect Calvin to be 1 v 1 a whole lot, which will put pressure on Stafford to find another option. Without a run game, that’ll be tough. 24 – 20 Chicago

Andy – This would have been my choice for game of the week (way to go, Cole).  Detroit has been somewhat exposed by the Falcons, especially in the backfield, but this is still a top playoff contender.  Meanwhile, the Bears defense is still good as usual (not great, but good), and Jay Cutler is doing a much better job than most people give him credit for.  This pick is a bit of a toss-up for me, but I’m going to go with the better passing offense and more stout D-line…27-24 Detroit

New England @ New York Jets

Cole – A nice Sunday night match up, but it seems to have lost some of its luster with both teams struggling to maintain their position in a very competitive AFC. The Jets are playing much better since turning back to the run game, but the best way to beat New England is to attack them in the air. The Patriot secondary is a disaster, and their pass rush is not even close to good enough to protect them. Belichick has been loading up on offense so much these past years with high picks, that he has been unable to find good pieces on defense in those two areas. The Jets defense has been good, but not Rex Ryan good. They’ve struggled with stopping the run, but New England is an aerial team which suits them fine, they have the best corners in the NFL currently. I’ll take the Jets in this one. 24 – 21 New York

Andy – Does New England have a defense?  I’m still not sure, and Belichick should be ashamed of that defense.  Nevertheless, Tom Brady is Tom Brady, so they are always in the game.  In the end, I think the Jets are on a roll with the defense playing much better, at home, and a desire to get vengeance this week.  24-17 New York

Minnesota @ Green Bay

Cole – Aaron Rodgers is the league MVP. Their team is almost twice as good as the championship team last year. Their defense makes enough plays to give them comfortable leads most of the times, and is too talented to not recognize that Adrian Peterson is a beast. Packers roll. 28 – 14 Green Bay

Andy – Aaron Rodgers is on fire, and Minnesota cannot put out the fire.  31-17 Green Bay


Last week:

Cole: 10-4
Andy: 7-7


Cole: 80-50 (.625)
Andy: 87-43 (.725)