Cardinals vs. Eagles: Having Chip Kelly’s offense that ranks first running the ball, going up against a Cardinals defense that ranks second against the rush might seem like the key match-up in this contest.
However, with quarterbacks Carson Palmer (108.8 quarterback rating and a 68 completion percentage in the last three games) and Nick Foles (138.6 quarterback rating and a 70.2 completion percentage in the last three games) playing lights out this month, I have a feeling this is going to be a game where the aerial attack will be the main attraction; especially with the Cardinals allowing 19 passing touchdowns this season, while the Eagles have allowed 17.
Also, this is a must win game for both teams as Philly is trying to keep up with Dallas in the NFC East, whereas the Cardinals are vying for a NFC wild card spot. Being as I trust Foles over the turnover prone Palmer (15 interceptions this season), I’m picking the home team to win in an epic shootout. Eagles 40 Cardinals 33
Dolphins vs. Jets: With both teams having records of 5-6, the time to win is now if they want to keep contending in the very tight race for the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been proficient (has a 64.3 completion percentage and an 84.9 quarterback rating in the last three games) despite the fact his offensive line has been decimated by “The Scandal.” As for the Jets, their quarterback Geno Smith has been so hideous (has zero touchdowns, five interceptions, and a 16.2 quarterback rating the last two games) that he’s playing his team out of the playoff race, despite the best efforts from their defense.
Now the Dolphins have been playing well, and actually have a tendency for building early leads, although they have let teams come back and beat them in the second half or fourth quarter in five of their six loses. I see the Dolphins keeping with the trend of building an early lead; except this time they don’t squander it, because the Jets don’t have a quarterback capable of making a comeback. Dolphins 20 Jets 10
Broncos vs. Chiefs: Yes both teams were stunned last week, with the Broncos letting the Patriots comeback and the Chiefs being edged by the Chargers, still they both sit atop the AFC.
Although being in the same division, the loser of this game will most likely have to go into the playoffs with a wild card berth, which makes this game even more important. When these two teams clashed two weeks ago, the Broncos offensive line did a remarkable job keeping Peyton Manning unscathed the entire game, which helped Denver get the win.
Now the Chiefs will have go into this game with Tamba Hali playing hurt and Justin Houston out after getting banged up against San Diego. This is a crushing blow as these two pass rushers account for 20 of the 37 sacks the Kansas City defense has amassed this year. With that being said, I see the Chiefs putting up a fight but coming up short once again against the Broncos. Broncos 34 Chiefs 26
Giants vs. Redskins: The Giants kept it close last week against Dallas but came up short and now are a long shot to win the NFC East. As for the Redskins, their playoff hopes are dead as a door nail after being beat down on Monday Night by the 49ers. Also, it seems as if Mike Shanahan has lost this team, while RG3 has completely lost his superpowers that guided the team to success last year. Even though the Giants lost last week they have been playing better lately, especially running the ball with the return of Andre Brown (averaging 102 rushing yards a game); which doesn’t bode well for Washington, as their defense has been giving up 111.5 rushing yards a game while allowing 15 touchdowns this season. Because of this, and the downward spiral the Redskins are in I just can’t see Washington winning this game. Giants 30 Redskins 20
Saints vs. Seahawks: It can’t get any better than having the 9-2 Saints and the 10-1 Seahawks battling for NFC supremacy on Monday Night Football. Who wins the fight between the Saints second-ranked passing offense (averaging 317.3 yards a game) and the Seahawks second-ranked pass defense (only allowing 180.4 passing yards a game) will be vital in the outcome of who wins.
Another crucial match-up will be how the Saints rush defense that struggles (allowing 4.8 yards a carry) fares against the fourth best running back in the league for rushing yards Marshawn Lynch (925 rushing yards and nine touchdowns).
Now everybody has heard Walter Thurmond and Brandon Browner have been suspended. Although, Thurmond was only starting because Browner has been out with an injury, so the suspension shouldn’t affect Seattle as much as critics are perceiving . I mean think about it, they still have arguably the best corner back in the league Richard Sherman, and don’t forget about their safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, who are both Pro Bowl caliber players. When deciding who to pick for this game I kept remembering how much the 12th man rattled Drew Brees and the Saints high powered offense in 2010 during the playoffs, which is why I’m going with the home team in a game that I feel will go down to the wire. Seahawks 27 Saints 24 OT